In an unfortunate move Sears announced that it’s very lenient return policy on Gas Powered equipment will be changing from 90 days to 30 days as of May 23, 2010.
Why, reading the news, talking to manufactures, and just listening to mechanics and homeowners I feel that at least 40% of the returns on gas powered equipment are FUEL RELATED! These returns have nothing to do with the quality of the Craftsman products, instead has to do with the poor fuel our government has forced us all to use. This poor fuel may work in larger engines like cars, vans and pickup trucks, but it is just a royal pain for small engines. Most consumers don’t understand this and blame the engine, or the retailer for a poor product. In reality it is a problem with our fuel, and the government regulators who keep messing with the quality of that fuel.
While Sears decision only affects new merchandise the problems are not just with the new gas powered equipment, but motors we have been using for years are now having problems with these “reformulated” blended fuels. I’ve seen fuel systems literally dry out, crack and fall apart. Other fuel systems melt and turn into a gooey mush. And to make matter worse apparently the imported engines are having even more fuel related problems than the ones still made here in the U.S.
Ace, Lowes, Home Depot and others all have had this policy for quite a while now and Sears is one of the last hold-outs.
Even with this change Sears still has one of the best return policies out there.
Note: The following is not the EXACT wording of the new revised return policy, but it is close enough for you to see the changes.
Please visit Sears.com or your local Sears store to read the exact policy.
I highlighted in bold the items that affect us in Lawn & Garden
Sears Return Policy:
“Our goal is that you are completely satisfied with your purchase. If for any reason you are not satisfied, simply return your purchase in its original packaging, with your original receipt within 90 days of your purchase, 30 days from the purchase date for Home Electronics, Mattresses, air conditioners, gas powered equipment, jewelry, and watches for a refund or exchange. Video games, CD’s, DVD’s, computer software and sports/toy collectibles must be unopened for a refund or exchange. For other items, including folding guest beds, air/inflatable beds, continuous air bouncers, water slides, pools, gas powered lawn equipment, power tools, scooters over $149.99, specialty occasion clothing, video camera/camcorders, handbags, jewelry, and watches if the original packaging has been opened or tags and/or labels have been removed the items will only be exchanged with an identical item or a substantially similar item of equal value. Replacement products obtained in an exchange transaction will only be exchanged and are not eligible for a refund. Returns and exchanges are not allowed on customized jewelry.
Where applicable, all refunds will be issued in the same form as the original method of payment. If you are not satisfied with your purchase after this please let us know. Your satisfaction is important to Sears.
Restocking/Cancellation Fee Policy
A 15% restocking fee is charged on Home Electronics returned without the original box, used, and without all of the original product packaging and accessories; mattresses, built in home appliances, and special orders on hardware, sporting goods, lawn & garden, and automotive merchandise. Home electronics returned in unopened boxes may, but need not be, determined to have been used. Special orders canceled after 24 hours of purchase are subject to a 15% order cancellation fee.
Refunds will not be given without a receipt.” (My understanding is items purchased with a Sears Card and/or you used the Shop Your Ways Reward Card to record the purchase can be refunded without a receipt)
Kidvantage Wear-Out Guarantee, Craftsman Hand Tool Full Warranty, and the Land’s End Guaranteed. Period has not changed to my knowledge.