7 On Your Side races the clock to get Sears refunds

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Since the October bankruptcy filing we've been helping Sears customers riding out this roller coaster with thousands in refunds hanging in the balance.

Now we're in an all-out sprint to get viewers paid in case the retailer closes its doors for good.

James Gibson and Luis Camacho have never met. But they share the frustration of being owed thousands by the ailing once-mighty retailer.

"I own Craftsman tools, Craftsman lawn mowers, Craftsman generator," said Gibson of West Orange, the picture of brand loyalty to Sears.

That's why Gibson gave Sears Home Improvement the job, to replace all of the siding on his home. He put down $5,105 and materials were dropped off, but the work never started. A Sears sub-contractor then broke the news.

"He said it was too hard and would take too long," said Gibson. That was back in October, and he's been trying to get his deposit back ever since.

"I'm really disappointed. I just want to be done with them," said Gibson.

Luis Camacho is done too. After his new Sears stove had a meltdown, he says a worker removing it caused a 10-foot long gash across a brand new wood plank floor.

"It was like if you had a knife, slammed it in and literally just dragged it across," described the Mohegan Lake homeowner.

He filed a damage claim with Sears and received a check covering the repair for $8,900.

But with a problem - it had the wrong name on it and was uncashable as written. But when he requested a replacement check?

"The next email we get from them is that Sears filed Chapter 11. There was nothing they could do for us, their hands are tied," said Luis.

"Now we're in the hole," said Luis.

After seeing our story helping a Sears customer in Newark with a botched bathroom refund, both customers threw a Hail Mary to 7 On Your Side and in the midst of Sears bankruptcy headlines, both got notified their checks were being mailed out Wednesday for delivery Thursday.

We cut through the red tape to secure Luis's full refund from cash-strapped Sears. He's getting $8,900 and James Gibson will get back his full deposit, $5105.

"Thank you so much. I don't think I could've did this without you guys," said Luis.

Sears apologized to both customers, saying one situation was the "result of a clerical issue with the check."

So what's next for Sears? Its chairman is expected to submit a revised takeover bid.

If that bid is entered it will be considered next Monday at a bankruptcy auction. Sears will either accept the chairman's offer to stay open - or liquidate - possibly shutting their doors forever. Lots of uncertainty. Stay tuned.


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