On January 31st I decided to go ahead and order one of the Earlex Spray Stations. Sears (online) had them for the best price around. I also made the assumption that if I had any problems that I would be able to deal with my local Sears store. At this point, I have no idea if that assumption is correct or not, let’s just hope there are no problems! Either way, it was still $30 cheaper than anywhere else (including the woodworking show that I had just returned from). When I checked Sears online that night, I just happened to log on during a time that they were having a 10% off sale. Woohooo! Well, now, it wouldn’t be that simple, after all…..
Sears had 2 items — the Spray Station alone for $299 (and not on sale), or the Spray Station with an extra needle for — get this — $299 minus their 10% off sale. So I could get the Spray Station for $299 OR the Spray Station plus extra needle for $269. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that one out! There’s the bait, now comes the switch… The Spray Station + needle ‘combo’ was “out of stock”, and they would not let you buy it on backorder. I used their “chat online with customer service” button and explained that the combo was nothing more than an extra needle taped to the side. “I’m sorry, sir, we’re out of stock.” Grrrr…. They had the Spray Station IN stock, they had the needles IN stock, yet they claim that the Spray Station + Needle combo was OUT of stock. (Maybe it does take a genius to figure this out after all.) I wasn’t quite ready to give up, and I felt that talking to a live person I could get my point across, so I printed out the ad and took it to the store the next day. The local store said that it wasn’t even in their inventory database. They gave me the # of a larger store about 30 minutes away. I chatted with them on the phone to see if they could make me the bundle (which I assume consists of having the expert ability to use packing tape). This item, however, ended up being an online-only item. Apparently, that means that all that the stores can do is order it online just like I would. No help there. 🙁 Still wanting the item, I decided to call the online folks that night to see if this could be resolved. (“Part A + Part B DOES equal Part C in this case, people!”) Asking for a manager straight-away, I explain the situation and how ludicrous it is that they won’t sell me what they are advertising. I explain that they have all the items in stock (individually), and that they advertised the bundle yet would not let me purchase it. This manager seemed to understand the issue, yet was unwilling or unable to sell me the item that they advertised at the price they were advertising it. She did, however, eventually compromise and offer to sell me the Spray Station at the sale price without the extra needle. I took her up on that offer given that the sale price made it considerably cheaper than I could have gotten it anywhere else. The order went through on Feb 1st (as did the charge to my CC), but all UPS knows at this point (Feb 8 ) is that they’ve received billing info. Maybe there will be a “we dropped by” sticker on my door this afternoon, maybe it will take weeks, who knows? (Maybe I should’ve paid the extra cash and just ordered it from Woodcraft…)