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PR Fail: Sears Provides Loyal Customers With Useless Coupon

Sears couponEarlier this week The Consumerist blog highlighted a very poorly planned promotional effort from struggling retailer Sears. It’s fairly simple, really: Sears “thanked” customers for choosing to use its auto center with a coupon good for $5 off any purchase of $25 or more. Sounds good enough, right? But the whole thing gets problematic when the customer begins reading the fine print and comes across this list of products to which the discount does not apply:

  • Clearance and closeout items
  • Special purchases
  • Everyday great price items
  • Introductory offers
  • Land’s End merchandise
  • Levi’s
  • Items from Sears fan shop
  • EMC outerwear

  • Footwear
  • Fab finds
  • Insane deals
  • Mattresses
  • Automotive
  • Air conditioners
  • Air cleaners
  • Floor care
  • Home appliance accessories
  • Microwaves
  • Fitness accessories
  • Patio furniture
  • Gift cards

The list goes on, but our hands got tired.

See, we understand that discount coupons cannot be applied to items that are already on sale. That’s kind of standard practice. And many retailers also cannot apply such discounts to big-name brands like Levi’s. But it makes you wonder: what’s the point?

We’re going to make a wild guess here, but we have a feeling that the Sears customer service department got a lot of complaints about this. The company tried to explain itself to The Consumerist, but

Certain items are not eligible for some of our promotional offers. In an effort to clearly communicate those excluded items to our customers, we have listed them on the coupon.

Doesn’t quite cut it. Why bother promoting a discount that will end up being more of a PR headache?

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