Kmart red lights delivery after leaving customer in limbo

Customer can't get answers for what happened to patio set.

Kmart

Kmart (MONICA CABRERA / THE MORNING CALL / December 22, 2011)

It's seldom pleasant to waste a vacation day from work to wait around home for a delivery. It's never pleasant when the day is a complete waste because the delivery never arrives.

Kate Kline of Allen Township said it took her weeks to even get an explanation for why the patio set she'd ordered online from Kmart never showed up.

She said Kmart didn't return her calls, and she only got answers after she filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. I guess Kmart's blue light finally started flashing when it realized its reputation was at stake.

The answers she got, though, were contradictory. And the resolution was worse.

Kmart canceled her order.

She was told she'd have to repurchase the furniture if she still wanted it, and was offered 15 percent off on a re-order. But Kline told me she had bought the patio set at an even deeper discount, and scored another 10 percent off after Kmart stood her up on delivery day.

"I'm going to have to pay an even higher price for a product that I've been inconvenienced with? You've got to be kidding me," Kline said.

She did repurchase it, and it looks like the price will come out to be about the same, if Kmart holds up its side of the deal this time.

This time, instead of buying it online and waiting for delivery, she ordered online and went to the Kmart in Whitehall Township to pick it up on Tuesday. She said a Kmart representative promised her a 20 percent refund. She just had to endure a month-long headache.

"All I have wanted from the beginning was the patio set and it has caused nothing but stress," Kline told me.

Kmart did not return my call and email.

Kline told me she bought the patio set online March 15 and scheduled delivery, through Kmart's online delivery calendar, for March 26. The order was broken into two shipments, one for the table and one for the chairs.

The website noted delivery could occur between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. So Kline took the day off from her job at a bank and didn't schedule a shift at her second job, as a waitress, giving up that income.

The night before, she said, she got automated phone calls telling her to expect delivery of one part of the order between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., and the other part between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Kmart couldn't fit a table and six chairs on the same truck? That makes no sense. But nothing Kmart did with this order made sense.

By 6:30 p.m. neither delivery had arrived. Kline said she called Kmart, was on the phone for 30 minutes, got transferred twice and then disconnected. Frustrated, she and her husband drove to the Kmart in Whitehall. A manager tried to help them, she said, but couldn't get any answers either, though a customer service representative authorized a 10 percent discount for their troubles.

Kline said she was told to expect a call from Kmart the next day. It never came, but the discount was processed on her credit card. She said subsequent calls weren't returned either, and her offer to pick up her furniture from the store or accept another set for delivery from the warehouse was declined.

"Yours needs to be located," she said a rep told her April 7.

The next day, she emailed the Watchdog and filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.

"No one has been able to tell me why neither shipment had arrived, where my products are or when they will be delivered," Kline wrote to me and the BBB.

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