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.
The following electronics items must be returned within 15 days of receipt:
• Computer hardware
• Digital cameras
• GPS units
• Digital music players
• 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.