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I canceled my Sears dishwasher order. But where's my refund?


Yilun Liu canceled her Sears dishwasher order three months ago. But the company is still holding her $540. Will she ever get a refund?

I canceled a dishwasher order after Sears repeatedly delayed the delivery and installation. It's been two months, and I still have not received my refund for the canceled order.

I've called, emailed, and chatted online with Sears, which repeatedly promised a refund in 7 to 10 days. Every time the ten days were up, I followed up because I still did not see the refund. And they gave me the same answer every time: they had not processed the refund but would do so "right away."

I have email and chat records with customer service. Three days ago, I forwarded them to their director of customer experience, but I have not responded. I want my money back. Can you help me?

Yilun Liu, Azusa, Calif.

Sears should have processed your refund months ago. It would help if you hadn't been charged for the dishwasher until it was installed.

But that's not how things work. Businesses often charge you for goods and services not yet delivered, and in your case, it was both a good (the dishwasher) and service (installation). In a perfect world, you would have paid for your Sears dishwasher only when you were perfectly happy with your new appliance.

You bought your dishwasher online through and then asked it to confirm your delivery several times. Sears couldn't do that, so about a month later, you canceled the order.

I think you did the right thing with the wrong company. You gave Sears multiple opportunities to install the dishwasher. Your mistake may have been buying a dishwasher from Sears and expecting it to be installed within a month. Sears has a long history of delayed orders and has been undergoing a painful restructuring. The bar may have been a little bit high in this particular instance.

You followed all the correct steps after that. (I list them all in my free guide to resolving customer service problems.) These include calling, emailing, and initiating an online chat. Establishing a paper trail is particularly important. A written refund promise may help you later if you need to dispute your credit card charges.

Emailing Sears' director of customer experience was also a brilliant idea. I list the Sears executives' names, numbers, and email addresses on my consumer advocacy site,

Your case is a cautionary tale about doing business with a company struggling to regain its footing after falling on hard times. But it's also a testament to the power of self-advocacy. I reviewed the extensive paper trail between you and Sears, and I'm confident you will eventually get your money back.

But why wait? After you contacted my advocacy team, I contacted Sears on your behalf. A representative said a previous sales adjustment caused the refund to stall in its system. Sears processed your refund manually, and you received a full refund of $540.

Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy (, a nonprofit organization that helps consumers solve their problems. Email him at [email protected] or get help by contacting him at

© 2024 Christopher Elliott


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