Sears: Lost your job? Keep the fridge

I can't recall anything ever happening like this before.

(Bloomberg) -- Sears Holdings Corp., the largest U.S. department-store chain, will let customers who lose their jobs suspend payments and keep appliances bought with store credit cards in an effort to bolster sales in the recession.

Customers who spend at least $399 on appliances and related merchandise between July 6 and Aug. 1 will have one-twelfth of the purchase price credited to their account for every month they are out of work, said Larry Costello, a company spokesman. Those who are jobless for more than a year will have the full debt forgiven, he said. The offer period may be extended, he said.
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Customers who lose their jobs between 60 days and one year after having made the purchase qualify for the offer, Costello said. The program also covers delivery, service and installation costs, he said.
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The debt-forgiveness trial follows offers by carmakers allowing buyers who lost their jobs to stop payments. In January, Hyundai Motor Co. began offering the option of returning vehicles and abdicating some loan payments without penalty. General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. subsequently introduced similar programs.

“It is much different than the Hyundai-GM-Ford models that we’ve all seen out there, in that you keep the appliance,” Brown said. “We’re the only ones with a program of this kind in this industry.”

Citigroup Inc.’s credit-card unit is managing the program.

Considering how much money that the taxpayer has thrown at Citigroup, should we consider this some sort of rebate?

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OMG

there has to be a catch on this one or have they figured out if someone has lost their job, they aren't gonna sit around and be homeless if at all possible, just to keep a matching Washer & Dryer set.

Here's one thing about all of this that bothers me....when it comes to the self-employed, they are just left out in the cold. I don't know the percentage of self-employed vs. W2, i.e. those who can qualify for unemployment but that's something to examine in our "permatemp" society.

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If they're anything like the credit cards

If they're using anything like the private unemployment insurance credit cards use, then merely *filing* for unemployment, whether you are paid for that week or not, is enough to suspend payments.

While I was out of work 2001-2003, I faxed in a copy of whatever unemployment sent me every week; even ended up paying *off* one credit card on minimum payments after 2 years.....
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Maximum jobs, not maximum profits.

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Maximum jobs, not maximum profits.