Walmart Warning: Looking to buy that sale LCD TV at Walmart? Look Elsewhere! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 81 Old 01-05-2013, 11:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Wasn't sure where this thread belonged, so I put it here which corresponds to the TV I bought at Walmart.

Let this be a warning to all of you who may be considering buying a sale TV or item at a Walmart Store.

I have bought 3 large screen TVs from Walmart over the past 5 years and have spent thousands of dollars more on items ranging from laptops to clothes to food. Before now, I thought highly of their customer service, prices and return/exchange policy… which I have only used for exchanges on clothes where I needed a different size or color.

My experience today resulted in my family vowing to NEVER shopping there again nor will I ever recommend or even suggest that buying something there is a good idea.
Sometime this weekend we will be packing up the $300 worth of Christmas Presents we bought there and returning them for full refunds.

Here is how this Walmart Fiasco transpired accurately and in chronological order(I document everything and live in a state where you can record all your phone calls legally, so I do.).
- On Black Friday I stood in line for 4 hours and by doing so earned the right to buy a large screen TV for a great price.
- Upon use, the TV was faulty.
- Because of the great price, I decided to give the same TV another shot and exchange for another one rather than return it for the cash I paid.
- I checked Walmart’s official return/exchange policy(seen below) and verified that I was well within the time limits for doing an even exchange.
- I called the stores near me and none of them had the TV in stock. I finally found a store 20 miles away which said they had 3 in stock, which came in just last night.
- I explained my situation to three people during my initial call to the store and then again during their call back to me. Those people included Youli(CSR), Mark(AsstStoreMgr who called me back to say they were in stock) and the woman whose name I did not get in the electronics department who I originally asked to check their stock for the TV.
- Everyone I spoke to said doing an exchange was NO PROBLEM and all I needed to do was bring in the TV and my receipt and they’d have me out the door with a new replacement TV in no time.
- So, my son and I unhooked and carefully packed the TV and transported it slowly over the 20 miles to the store.
- Upon arrival at the store, we wheeled in the TV to Customer Service and were met by Karen(a CSR whom Youli told we were coming in and why). Karen told me to leave the faulty TV there, give her the receipt and go back and get a new one to do the exchange.
- When I got to the back, I told them I was the guy who they spoke to an hour earlier and was here to grab one of the TVs. They told me I made it just in time as they only got 3, put one on display and they already had sold one that morning.
- They then went into the back stockroom to pull and wheel the new TV out to me……. I started to worry as time ticked by… first 5 minutes, then 10 minutes and finally almost 20 minutes later they came out with the TV. The whole time I waited outside the door leading back to the storeroom without any explanation why it was taking so long? I was worried that they were considering telling me that the other one sold too so that they could sell the only TV they had left in stock, rather than let me do an exchange.
- We wheeled the new TV back up to customer service and upon arrival, I was now met by Paul, who said he was the CSM(Customer service manager). He promptly informed me that since I bought the TV on sale, I would have to pay the current price difference in order to do the previously explained, “simple” exchange. I told him I didn’t have the $300 they wanted and said that nowhere in Walmart’s official return/exchange policy did it say anything about the customer having to pay the difference between a sale price and the current price on an item when doing an exchange. I also reminded him that Youli, Mark and the electronics woman who was standing there knew fully about my black Friday purchase exchange an hour earlier and they NEVER said anything to me about having to pay anything… saying it would be a simple swap.
- Knowing that the TV was under warranty and I could get a new replacement from the manufacturer in a few weeks, we angrily left the store with our faulty Walmart TV.
- I have since called Walmart Corporate and filed a grievance with them about this incident and will post here in this thread when they respond(within 3 days supposedly?) to my issue.
- In the end, Walmart’s subterfuge resulted in me wasting 2 hours of my time and effort along with 40 miles(approx. $10) of gas. My guess is that this is not corporate policy but just some arbitrary decision by Paul, an inept Customer Service Manager?

In the meantime, if you are considering buying an item at Walmart which is on sale, and remotely think you might want to return or exchange it, you probably should look elsewhere to buy it. I just checked with Best Buy and Target and they said they wouldn’t treat their Black Friday customers so rudely and have no such sale price return/exchange policy as Walmart apparently does, as long as you have your receipt(which I do).

FYI, here is Walmarts Official Return/Exchange Policy which I cut and pasted from their corporate website.
1. How much time do I have to return or exchange an item?
• Items purchased on Walmart.com may be returned either to a store or by mail within 90 days of receiving them. (This only applies to items sold and shipped by Walmart.com. It does not apply to Marketplace items. For items sold by a Marketplace Retailer, contact the retailer directly.)

• Items purchased at a Walmart store can be refunded with a receipt or exchanged within 90 days of purchase.
ELECTRONICS
The following electronics items must be returned within 15 days of receipt:
• Computers
• Computer hardware
• Camcorders
• Digital cameras
• GPS units
• Digital music players
• Tablets
• E-Readers
• Portable video players
Computer software must be returned unopened.

Holiday Returns Policy
If you buy an item between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24, 2012 that has a normal return policy of 15 or 30 days, we will extend the time you have to make a return by starting to count those days on Dec. 26, 2012.

That means you can buy a camera, laptop, DVD player or other item that normally has a 15 or 30-day returns window and know that the recipient will have until January or February to make a return or exchange, depending on the item.

Items that have the usual 90-day return window must be still be returned within 90 days of purchase.
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post #2 of 81 Old 01-05-2013, 11:45 AM
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I had a VERY similar situation a few years ago when buying a PS3. Solution? Take it to another store and exchange it there.
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post #3 of 81 Old 01-05-2013, 11:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sitlet View Post

I had a VERY similar situation a few years ago when buying a PS3. Solution? Take it to another store and exchange it there.

Can you do that? Will Target or Best Buy take back a TV which I bought at Walmart and give me a new one in its' place?
Gotta look into that at Best Buy who has these TVs in stock.
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post #4 of 81 Old 01-05-2013, 12:23 PM
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Shopping at Walmart is like a box of chocolates - you never know what you're going to get.

Paying extra on an exchange is plain wrong, and I'm sure against Walmart's own internal policies.

I've had generally good experiences with Walmart exchanges,except for one incident where an item I had purchased subsequently went down in price after I bought it.

The Walmart folks maintained that there was a set time limit for price adjustments - I believe it was 30 days. I was just over that.

I ended up talking to a Manager, as the C/S people could do nothing other than explain the price match policy.

I explained to the Manager that the item (which was a Blu Ray player) was covered by the store's 90 day return policy. I would go home and disconnect my perfectly working component and bring it back for a refund if that is what he wanted, picking up a new item from his store stock on the way out at the lower price.

He was puzzled by his own store's contradictory policies, but ultimately agreed that it was better for both of us, just to refund the difference in price. Got the refund in cash and was ultimately happy. Saved me work disconnecting and reconnecting things and kept one more new unit in the store for them to sell.

If the price drop wasn't significant, I wouldn't have bothered, but it was about $30. Worth a few minutes of discussion time.

I suspect you'll get satisfaction from your exchange. You just had experience with person whose job was about 2 sizes too big for his brain.smile.gif
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post #5 of 81 Old 01-05-2013, 12:25 PM
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"Can you do that? Will Target or Best Buy take back a TV which I bought at Walmart and give me a new one in its' place? "

The answer is no, You didn't buy from them.
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post #6 of 81 Old 01-05-2013, 06:16 PM
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Ethics aside,usually the "big box" stores have different model #'s to prevent you from returning another stores product and/or price matching. And you don't have a receipt which is also a problem.
They treated you badly,from your account,but I would hope corporate will fix this issue.
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post #7 of 81 Old 01-05-2013, 08:33 PM
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WOW! Sorry to hear this "JM"...

My exchange couldn't have been easier. I purchased via Wal*Mart online, so I was a little nervous about an exchange. I left the TV in the van; went into Customer Service desk, and viola...I had my replacement loaded, and on my way home in less than 30 min. Unfortunately, I had the same issues with the second set, so ended up with a full refund.
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post #8 of 81 Old 01-06-2013, 01:04 AM
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Perhaps the real lesson here is that "Black Friday Deals" aren't really worth the hassle ... sleep in, enjoy your turkey coma .smile.gif
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post #9 of 81 Old 01-06-2013, 06:56 AM
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I agree about Black Friday deals not being worth it.

Any retailer should live up to their stated return/exchange policy regardless of the price paid for the item.

Sure they probably didn't make any profit on these Black Friday items, but, their ads brought tons of business into their store and it was their decision to sell the items at the designated price.

Asking someone to pony up an additional $300 to have a working model is just plain silly.

The only time I've seen Walmart refuse a return was when a guy in-front of me at the Customer Service counter was trying to return some custom colored wall paint. He just had the empty can with the dried paint drips running down the sides and told the C/S rep that he painted the room and his wife didn't like the color.

The rep politely told him that he needed to actually return the paint, not just the empty can, while I tried my best not to laugh loudly enough to be heard.
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post #10 of 81 Old 01-06-2013, 08:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aydu View Post

I agree about Black Friday deals not being worth it.
Any retailer should live up to their stated return/exchange policy regardless of the price paid for the item.
Sure they probably didn't make any profit on these Black Friday items, but, their ads brought tons of business into their store and it was their decision to sell the items at the designated price.
Asking someone to pony up an additional $300 to have a working model is just plain silly.
The only time I've seen Walmart refuse a return was when a guy in-front of me at the Customer Service counter was trying to return some custom colored wall paint. He just had the empty can with the dried paint drips running down the sides and told the C/S rep that he painted the room and his wife didn't like the color.
The rep politely told him that he needed to actually return the paint, not just the empty can, while I tried my best not to laugh loudly enough to be heard.
I hate BF nonsense too but in this Obama economy, the $700 Vizio is all I could afford. I had to agree that it would be all I got for Christmas and my birthday this year in order to get my wife to approve. In better times, I paid $2800 for the 64" (broken)HDTV it was replacing and almost $4K for my Krell HTS 7.1, so I would love to have been able to afford a better (and more expensive) TV if buying it would still allow me to pay my mortgage and feed the kids. frown.gif

Until I bought the $700 Vizio, we were using a 20" SDTV with built in DVD player(ooooh) as our primary family room TV, so you can imagine that even the lower quality relatively cheap Vizio was a huge improvement.
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post #11 of 81 Old 01-06-2013, 09:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Morris View Post

Can you do that? Will Target or Best Buy take back a TV which I bought at Walmart and give me a new one in its' place?
Gotta look into that at Best Buy who has these TVs in stock.

I meant take it back to another wal-mart store. Obviously you can't take anything back to a store you didn't purchase from.
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post #12 of 81 Old 01-06-2013, 09:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sitlet View Post

I meant take it back to another wal-mart store. Obviously you can't take anything back to a store you didn't purchase from.
No other stores within an hour drive have the TV in stock to do an exchange.
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post #13 of 81 Old 01-06-2013, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Morris View Post

No other stores within an hour drive have the TV in stock to do an exchange.

I hope you are able to talk to Walmart Regional Mgr. Maybe they can get one shipped to your local WalMart for an exchange.

Rick
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post #14 of 81 Old 01-06-2013, 11:02 AM
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Sounds like they took advantage of you, which is very sad because those employees had nothing to gain; it's not like they get to keep a portion of the extra money they wanted you to pay, so they had no reason to act that way. I know friends who work in corporate retail as middle managers (regional and divisional managers) and they all have the same line of thought: "let your employees know that if they can't handle customer service issues appropriately and it gets escalated to them then they are going to give the customer pretty much anything they want." So like others have said, ask to speak to the next person in command and eventually you will talk to someone reasonable who will take care of you since you were clearly in the right.
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post #15 of 81 Old 01-06-2013, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Morris View Post

No other stores within an hour drive have the TV in stock to do an exchange.

Had an interesting somewhat similar situation buying a Samsung ln40e550 from Walmart in Watchung NJ. it was priced at 398.00 online so I added one to my cart then did the "check to see if it's available in store". The Watchung store said "limited availability" so I went to the store and got the last one but it rang up as 428.00. I told the cashier it should be 398.00 and he got Diane the customer service manager to come over. I explained the situation to her and at first she tried the easy way out by stating "we don't compete with our online price". When I told her that didn't make sense she said the 398.00 online price was a 'ship to store' price. When I asked her what the "check store availability" feature of the website was then she stone walled me saying "the TV is 428.00". Being the last one and not getting anywhere with her I bought it and called Walmart's customer service line for store experiences. I explained the situation basically saying I could have purchased it online at 398.00 and then gone to the store to get it just like Sears allows and that Diane's explanation didn't make sense. The operator told me it would be escalated and management would call me, as I was a valued customer, but also stated stated that "store policies are individually set".

I did receive a call back but wasn't home, when I call them back I'll be looking for them to credit me the $30.00 and have them explain to me how the lack of a uniform store policy in such a large corporation could allow an unknown shopping experience. I guess when it comes to Walmart's ymmv.
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post #16 of 81 Old 01-06-2013, 02:02 PM - Thread Starter
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If store policies are individually set, then absolutely make sure you don't buy anything on sale at this store:
Walmart SuperCenter #3390
10001 Woodlands Pkwy
Spring, TX 77382

As for asking to talk with a manager, when I did, Mark the Asst Manager said that that's the way it is and his boss the Store Manager approved. My only option at that point, IMO, was to angrily leave or make a scene and call them liars. Opted for taking the civilized road and just learn my lesson about Walmart... and of course, to let as many other folks know about Walmart's customer service so others can avoid going through what I did.

We got the Walmart Christmas gifts reboxed and am taking them all back for a refund, specifically to the store which earned losing my business both past(returns) and future.
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post #17 of 81 Old 01-06-2013, 03:53 PM
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When stores make policies that don't make sense, you can often use them for your benefit.

In this case, you could buy the set in-store at the higher price and order one via ship to store at the lower price. Use the in-store purchase until the other set arrives at the store. When it does, box up the higher priced set and return it via their 90 day return policy. Pick up the lower priced set and go home.

Walmart ends up with an open boxed item and only retains the lower price on the item. You get use of the set while they ship the other one to you.

Stupid, but it is just a use of their own policies.smile.gif
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post #18 of 81 Old 01-06-2013, 05:42 PM
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I would contact your state attorney general online and fill the form out with your complaint. And then send that over to Wal-Mart. It's sort of like filing a complaint with the BBB but instead something will actually happen. I had to do this for something that happened to my car and it was taken care of pretty quickly once the State got involved.
https://www.oag.state.tx.us/consumer/complain.shtml

I had a strange shopping experience with Frys recently. They wouldn't match their online price. The item was also open box which they wouldn't do anything about. I then talked to a manager and he said go on their computer to buy online and then have it picked up in store. I went through the steps but couldn't complete the order on their computer. He then tried and after being baffled gave me the correct price with a percentage off.
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post #19 of 81 Old 01-06-2013, 09:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aydu View Post

When stores make policies that don't make sense, you can often use them for your benefit.
In this case, you could buy the set in-store at the higher price and order one via ship to store at the lower price. Use the in-store purchase until the other set arrives at the store. When it does, box up the higher priced set and return it via their 90 day return policy. Pick up the lower priced set and go home.
Walmart ends up with an open boxed item and only retains the lower price on the item. You get use of the set while they ship the other one to you.
Stupid, but it is just a use of their own policies.smile.gif
Thanks for the idea, but I don't have any money to buy another TV. If I had more money, I'd have bought a better TV to begin with.
I bumped it up to Walmart Corporate so we'll see what happens next?
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post #20 of 81 Old 01-07-2013, 05:51 AM
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Originally Posted by HDTVChallenged View Post

Perhaps the real lesson here is that "Black Friday Deals" aren't really worth the hassle ... sleep in, enjoy your turkey coma .smile.gif

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post #21 of 81 Old 01-07-2013, 06:54 AM
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almost afraid to post this walmart secret that I discovered by accident because it's probably allowed to happen based on the individual store policies and I don't want it to end.

I'm a sucker for red tag clearance items specifically fishing stuff. One Sunday I go to my local Walmart store and buy all red tag clearance items. The young cashier says "did you know red tag clearance items are an additional 50% off on Sundays"! I asked her "all red tag clearance items"? She said certain ones, you have to ask a manager when you come in which ones are included. Sometimes it clothing but I've been in several times when it's anything red tagged. I was so impressed by getting stuff already cut 50% off at another 50% off that I went to another walmart that had a much better selection of red tag clearance items. Turns out they don't honor the policy so whenever I go to my local walmart on Sunday I ask what red tag clearance items are an additional 50% off and make a killing! I've never heard this advertised anywhere, try it the next time you're at walmart on Sunday! Good luck.
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post #22 of 81 Old 01-07-2013, 10:33 AM
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Does the receipt have the serial number of the tv on it? If not, buy new tv-same model, take back broken tv with original box and use new receipt.
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post #23 of 81 Old 01-08-2013, 04:24 AM
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What do you expect from one of the worst companies to work for in the US?
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Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
The Internet is no place for streaming video.
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post #24 of 81 Old 01-09-2013, 07:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Just got a call from Regina who introduced herself as an assistant Manager at the Walmart Store. She said she got the complaint from Corporate and wanted to see if she could make things right? Said the CSM who said I needed to pay an additional $300 to exchange my faulty TV for a working model is just an hourly employee and he doesn't make policy. She did say that Mark, the assistant manager who backed up the CSM does know policy and she wasn't sure why it happened? She said she would talk to Mark and investigate and get back to me.

I doubt they still have a Vizio 60 in stock anymore, so not really sure what she can do at this point?

I'll let you know what she says when she calls back.....
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post #25 of 81 Old 01-09-2013, 07:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

What do you expect from one of the worst companies to work for in the US?
Regardless of where I buy, I expect to get what I paid for... and I paid for a brand new in box, working Vizio 60" TV.

We are slowly remodeling our kitchen and I found a stainless Microwave on Ebay from a local seller for a great price(half price vs retail). I bought the unit and when I got it home, I found that the microwave's external dimensions were different from the descriptions on ebay. Called the seller and he apologized and said to bring it back and I could pick from one of the bigger microwaves he had in the warehouse. When I got there, he had his workers bring out three different models all of which were bigger units. I ended up getting a huge Kenmore Stainless build in microwave for the same $60 he sold me the countertop unit which was smaller than advertised. This same microwave sells at Sears for almost $300. eek.gif

Even though this business was run out of a small monthly rental warehouse space, and none of its workers spoke english except the boss, They knew how to give good customer service. I have since recommended this business to 4 other people who were remodeling their kitchens and will continue to recommend them to everyone who needs a microwave, vacuum cleaner or other small appliance.

It is a shame that a huge company like Walmart can't take a lesson from this small immigrant owned company. frown.gif
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post #26 of 81 Old 01-09-2013, 08:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Regina just called me back and she said they are getting 3 more Vizio 60 TVs in tonight and that I should bring mine back in and get one of the new sets tomorrow in exchange for my faulty unit. The local zone manager named Linda will be helping me.

Maybe, with a little luck I'll have a new working 60" TV to watch the NFL playoffs this weekend. biggrin.gif
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post #27 of 81 Old 01-09-2013, 08:58 AM
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Regina just called me back and she said they are getting 3 more Vizio 60 TVs in tonight and that I should bring mine back in and get one of the new sets tomorrow in exchange for my faulty unit. The local zone manager named Linda will be helping me.
Maybe, with a little luck I'll have a new working 60" TV to watch the NFL playoffs this weekend. biggrin.gif

The problem that I see is that you still have to drive back yet again and you still had to go through all of this trouble. Did you mention that you aren't satisfied with the result as you have had to take a lot of your time to resolve an issue that shouldn't have happened in the first place? I would say to her well all of this gas I have had to spend driving back and forth, why don't you give me some sort of goodwill discount or gift card for all of my troubles. And then jokingly mention you can always take it out of the managers pay check if you want, since he is going to end up hurting your business. Just pretend Walmart actually does care and see what happens.

I think this country still has the potential to start hurting these larger companies with their wallets, and they know it with the way the internet works. I would even direct them to this thread so they can see this is now indexed by Google when searching for a TV model number and what appears.
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post #28 of 81 Old 01-09-2013, 09:04 AM
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You bought a Vizio? Then shame on you for even dealing with Walmart. Call Vizio, they'll send you a replacement in 2-3 days. Put your dead tv in the box, Fed Ex picks it up - end of story.

No reason on earth to tie up 2 hours, $10 in gas, and all this drama.

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post #29 of 81 Old 01-09-2013, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Jack Morris View Post

Regina just called me back and she said they are getting 3 more Vizio 60 TVs in tonight and that I should bring mine back in and get one of the new sets tomorrow in exchange for my faulty unit. The local zone manager named Linda will be helping me.
Maybe, with a little luck I'll have a new working 60" TV to watch the NFL playoffs this weekend. biggrin.gif

Well good for you! I hope you're happy with the replacement.

rick
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post #30 of 81 Old 01-09-2013, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by flyingvee View Post

You bought a Vizio? Then shame on you for even dealing with Walmart. Call Vizio, they'll send you a replacement in 2-3 days. Put your dead tv in the box, Fed Ex picks it up - end of story.
No reason on earth to tie up 2 hours, $10 in gas, and all this drama.

He doesn't mention in this thread but he was getting jerked around by Vizio as well and said the hell with it and attempted just return it to the store in an effort to get a working set.
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