Sears Canada is promising to help customers who lost money or had liens put on their homes because of the bankruptcy of Sears Home Services.
Earlier this month, CBC News reported that after Sears Canada sold off its home services division — which offered roofing and other home renovation services — to a private firm, the operation collapsed, leaving many customers who paid for services in the lurch.
The company went into receivership, owing more than $8.9 million to nearly 600 companies and tradespeople and up to $1.8 million to roughly 1,800 customers,
On Friday, Sears Canada announced that it will ensure that customers who paid for work using Sears credit cards will either receive a refund or get the service.
"Sears has operated in Canada for over 60 years by pledging customer satisfaction and is committed to continue seeing the resolution of every SHS transaction so that customers receive the work for which they contracted or are refunded for services not rendered," said the statement released by the company.
"This has already happened in the majority of cases and Sears is working diligently to see that services are completed or refunds provided to the remaining customers."
Sears says customers who paid using other third-party credit cards should be able to obtain refunds from those credit card companies for services they did not receive.
Outstanding liens on homes
Sears is also promising to to help customers who paid for services, and then had liens put on their homes by independent contractors because they were never paid by Sears Home Services before it collapsed.
"Under court supervision, the receiver has now begun a process for lien holders to file their claims with the receiver. This may lead to a process in the receivership whereby lien holders will be paid and their liens removed from customers’ homes," said the statement.
"Until these liens are lifted, for customers who are selling their home and are impeded from doing so or are otherwise affected by the presence of a lien related to SHS, Sears will work with them to remove this barrier."
The company had already promised to honour all Sears Home Services warranties.
Beware of fraudsters, company warns
The company is also warning affected customer to be wary of fraudsters calling affected customers and seeking credit card information.
"There have been reports of individuals misrepresenting themselves as SHS or the receiver and contacting customers to offer refunds. Sears encourages customers to exercise caution when giving their personal information and credit card details over the phone.
"Neither Sears nor the receiver is calling customers asking for credit card or other personal information. Individuals who receive such calls are asked to email the receiver at firstname.lastname@example.org with details of such calls.
"Individuals who have been defrauded should contact the authorities, their bank and the local police to report the incident."