Sam's Club new return policy - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 37 Old 10-05-2009, 08:20 AM - Thread Starter
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As most people know, Sam's Club has had a very generous return policy. Basically, if you have a receipt, you get a full refund. If you don't have a receipt, they look up your purchase history for the last two years (purchase history file is lost after 2 years) and you are given credit on a gift card. There was never a need to purchase an extended warranty. I have personally witnessed members returning 5 year old flat panels with receipts and without extended warranties basically upgrading to a new set. On November 1, 2009, a new 90 day return policy will take effect on electronics purchases. If you make your electronics purchase prior to Nov 1st, you are grandfathered in. Just an FYI
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post #2 of 37 Old 10-05-2009, 08:28 AM
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I never knew Sam's Club had this policy. I had known Costco had this policy, any idea if they're changing as well?
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post #3 of 37 Old 10-05-2009, 09:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twinsen View Post

I never knew Sam's Club had this policy. I had known Costco had this policy, any idea if they're changing as well?

I actually think that Costco has had this 90 day electronics return policy for a couple of years and Sam's realizes that their old policy is costing them dearly. This will also help them sell extended warranties.
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post #4 of 37 Old 10-05-2009, 10:53 AM
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Costco also extends TV warranties by 2yrs giving consumers a total of 3yrs. I wonder if Sam's will follow suit?
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post #5 of 37 Old 10-05-2009, 11:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BudgetHT View Post

Costco also extends TV warranties by 2yrs giving consumers a total of 3yrs. I wonder if Sam's will follow suit?

If you are a Plus member($100/year), you will get an extra year on an extended warranty purchase.
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post #6 of 37 Old 10-05-2009, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tweenDhedges View Post

I actually think that Costco has had this 90 day electronics return policy for a couple of years

Yes.

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and Sam's realizes that their old policy is costing them dearly.

Yes, and it was and is inevitable for any store, with a 'no time limit return for refund policy' to have to limit the returns, eventually. They can be generous, but there always has to be a limit, otherwise people shameless abuse the policy, because, technically the returns are allowed.

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This will also help them sell extended warranties.

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post #7 of 37 Old 10-05-2009, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tweenDhedges View Post

If you make your electronics purchase prior to Nov 1st, you are grandfathered in. Just an FYI

In this case, that is a euphemism. By law, whatever terms of sale are in effect at the time of purchase, remain so. They can't change the terms of sales afterwards without your agreement, because one might not have purchased the item had the terms been different.

Sam's Club is going to have a run of electronics purchases in October, is what you are getting at, I am sure.
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post #8 of 37 Old 10-05-2009, 12:06 PM
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I have a bad pixel on my iPod I got at Sam's 4 years ago. Sounds like it's time to get it replaced.
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post #9 of 37 Old 10-05-2009, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tweenDhedges View Post

As most people know, Sam's Club has had a very generous return policy. Basically, if you have a receipt, you get a full refund. If you don't have a receipt, they look up your purchase history for the last two years (purchase history file is lost after 2 years) and you are given credit on a gift card. There was never a need to purchase an extended warranty. I have personally witnessed members returning 5 year old flat panels with receipts and without extended warranties basically upgrading to a new set. On November 1, 2009, a new 90 day return policy will take effect on electronics purchases. If you make your electronics purchase prior to Nov 1st, you are grandfathered in. Just an FYI

Thanks buddy! Looks like I'll be purchasing my 54" Panny this month!!
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post #10 of 37 Old 10-05-2009, 01:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevrol View Post

I have a bad pixel on my iPod I got at Sam's 4 years ago. Sounds like it's time to get it replaced.

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Originally Posted by HawkbyKO View Post

Thanks buddy! Looks like I'll be purchasing my 54" Panny this month!!

Just remember to save your receipt!!!
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post #11 of 37 Old 10-12-2009, 11:30 AM
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The guy at sam's didn't know about this policy, and said they have a 6 month return policy which is still quite generous. I also couldn't get anything in writing which worries me, but my new Sony 40" is certainly beautiful and working just fine. My wife asked me if we got a TV or a monitor because it's constantly hooked up to my laptop via D-sub.
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post #12 of 37 Old 10-12-2009, 12:56 PM
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I was clued into this a couple weeks ago which is exactly why I went out and bought a Panasonic TC-54PS14 54" Plasma there this past Saturday. I had been saving my money and was looking to buy closer to Christmas from Sam's Club, due to the lifetime return policy, but I had to move on this before November 1st.

This TV was $1697 in July and $1497 in August. It is now $1297 which is what I paid.
(The 50" was $1298 in July, $1198 in August, went down to $999 in Sept but is now back up to $1198. Would have been ticked if I had been waiting on that one and then had to buy it now at the higher price before Nov.1st).

Costco just had this 54" TV for $1197 with free shipping but you only had 90 days to return it. They do extend the warranty an additional a year, but we all know that usually means being without the TV for months while the repair shop guesses what is wrong and then waits for the parts which the manufacture says are backorder (they aren't really but they say they are to run out the warranty on future breakdowns).

I know I could have got the next model up on sale for about the same price from Best Buy but the lifetime return is what did it for me. I did confirm from Sam's Club in writing that if I return this TV for exchange after Nov 1, the replacement TV now only has a 90 return period.

So, if or when this TV dies, I will take it back to Sam's Club for a refund and go buy one at Costco. Sam's Clubs new return period is 90 days, but unlike Costco, they don't give you an extra year of warranty service for free, you have to pay for an extened warranty with Sam's Club.
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post #13 of 37 Old 10-12-2009, 01:05 PM
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By the way Costco extends the warranty only one year more, not two years like BudgetHT said. From the Costco website.

"Costco extends the MANUFACTURER'S WARRANTY to two years from date of purchase."

By the way, since Costco's preferred method of payment is American Express, does anyone know if this would extend the warranty another year or two? I am suspecting AE would say they double the one year manufacturer's warranty to two but since Coscto already does that, AE would probably run at the same time as the Costco warranty.
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post #14 of 37 Old 10-13-2009, 08:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drdrink View Post

The guy at sam's didn't know about this policy, and said they have a 6 month return policy which is still quite generous. I also couldn't get anything in writing which worries me, but my new Sony 40" is certainly beautiful and working just fine. My wife asked me if we got a TV or a monitor because it's constantly hooked up to my laptop via D-sub.

If it isn't in writing, it doesn't matter what they said.
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post #15 of 37 Old 10-15-2009, 05:50 PM
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Hey guys, I just wanted to clarify a couple of things since I plan on getting a 42" Panasonic X1 plasma this weekend. Sam's was my preference due to the cheap extended warranty but I wasn't sure about return/repair procedures.

If something happens like the screen gets screwy or the unit is making noise, basically anything but not completely going dead, can you still simply take the unit in w/receipt, explain the situation and get a replacement?

At what point do you risk having the TV sent away for an indefinite time for r&r?

I will pay a little more at Best Buy for the extra 2 year warranty ($99) but just want the least amount of downtime and hassle, that's all. My 3+ year old RCA 32" CRT has been surprisingly perfect so I'm new to the return aspect of TVs.

Jeremy
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post #16 of 37 Old 10-17-2009, 04:36 PM
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Why would you buy the extended warranty at Sam's Club when they have a lifetime refund or replacement (BUT ONLY IF YOU BUY BEFORE NOV. 1, 2009). After that it is 90 days. If you buy it and don't like it for any reason for life, bring it back for a refund. Note: if you return it after Nov 1 and get a replacement, the replacement can only be returned for refund or exchange for 30 days.

The 50" Panasonic 1080P plasma is back down to $998. It was that price for a couple weeks in September and then went back up to $1200, so to get it for $998 with a lifetime return policy for free is great.

If you buy after Nov. 1, go to Costco if you have one near by. They double the manufacturers warranty for free so you get two years. Sam's Club charges for the extended warranty.

Costco actually had the 54" Panasonic Plasma I just bought for $100 less (I paid $1297 at Sam's Club) with free shipping but I wanted the lifetime return policy at Sam's CLub.

You are right to be concerned about warranty service. Some companies like Samsung don't even provide it (for example, on smaller products they will have you ship product back at your expense and they send it back unrepaired knowing you will soon tire of paying shipping for nothing). Most often the problem can't be diagnosed or is diagnosed wrong. Then you have to wait for parts that are back ordered (they really aren't but the manufacture says they are to run out the warranty knowing the TV will probably break again in the future).

So some searching on Best Buy's extened warranty service. It takes 4 repairs before they consider it a lemon and replace it. Do you want to be out if a TV that long?
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post #17 of 37 Old 10-30-2009, 01:45 PM
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I was at Sam's Club last weekend and the 54" Panny Plasma I bought on Oct. 10, 2009 went up $200 to $1497. Today I checked the website and it is now $400 more ($1697) than what I paid 2 weeks ago. The 50" is $1197. Looks like Sam's Club is raising prices to screw people who want to buy before Nov. 1. I am so glad I bought when I did. I thought about waiting until closer to Nov 1, but if I got a bad one had to return it after Nov 1, the replacement then only has the 90 day warranty so I wanted to run it a few weeks and be able to return it for replacement before Nov.1 if I had to.
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post #18 of 37 Old 10-30-2009, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe_Blough View Post

I was at Sam's Club last weekend and the 54" Panny Plasma I bought on Oct. 10, 2009 went up $200 to $1497. Today I checked the website and it is now $400 more ($1697) than what I paid 2 weeks ago. The 50" is $1197. Looks like Sam's Club is raising prices to screw people who want to buy before Nov. 1. I am so glad I bought when I did. I thought about waiting until closer to Nov 1, but if I got a bad one had to return it after Nov 1, the replacement then only has the 90 day warranty so I wanted to run it a few weeks and be able to return it for replacement before Nov.1 if I had to.

Great tactics of stores like what I have witnessed at Wilson(s) Leather. Target is the only store where I see real discounts.
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post #19 of 37 Old 10-30-2009, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe_Blough View Post

I was at Sam's Club last weekend and the 54" Panny Plasma I bought on Oct. 10, 2009 went up $200 to $1497. Today I checked the website and it is now $400 more ($1697) than what I paid 2 weeks ago. The 50" is $1197. Looks like Sam's Club is raising prices to screw people who want to buy before Nov. 1. I am so glad I bought when I did. I thought about waiting until closer to Nov 1, but if I got a bad one had to return it after Nov 1, the replacement then only has the 90 day warranty so I wanted to run it a few weeks and be able to return it for replacement before Nov.1 if I had to.

Damn, I can get a 54S1 from Big River for $1250 and the 58S1 for $1700. I think I'll wait until the 58S1 comes down to the $1500 range which won't be long.
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post #20 of 37 Old 11-06-2009, 05:16 PM
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I just purchased a Vizio vf551 LED set at Sam's 0n 10/29. I have been emailing back and forth with customer service and they will not commit to any specific terms on their return policy. I asked several times how long do I have to return the set, they refuse to give a straight answer. Nowhere is it listed as lifetime. I asked the customer service email line on their site for the definition of 100% member satisfaction since they would not answer my original question, here is the reply I received.

"We simply guarantee a 100% member satisfaction regarding all return requests that meet the expectation and criteria that remains within the return policy that has been established"

Funny that he used the word simply..lol.

Anyone ever get any evidence of the lifetime return? I called around to 3 local clubs and was told by all three that TVs purchased prior to 11/01/09 can be returned for refund as long as the are still under the manufacturer's warranty, which would be one year. Wonder if they are all getting on the same page now that the policy has changed. Seems strange that all the local clubs stated exactly the same terms.
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post #21 of 37 Old 11-06-2009, 11:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tweenDhedges View Post

As most people know, Sam's Club has had a very generous return policy. Basically, if you have a receipt, you get a full refund. If you don't have a receipt, they look up your purchase history for the last two years (purchase history file is lost after 2 years) and you are given credit on a gift card. There was never a need to purchase an extended warranty. I have personally witnessed members returning 5 year old flat panels with receipts and without extended warranties basically upgrading to a new set. On November 1, 2009, a new 90 day return policy will take effect on electronics purchases. If you make your electronics purchase prior to Nov 1st, you are grandfathered in. Just an FYI

that sounds CRAZY!

buying a TV and using it for 5 years and then returning it for a full refund? they will take a Tv that has been opened and used for 5 years and give you your money back?

you gotta be kidding
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post #22 of 37 Old 11-07-2009, 05:56 AM
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The reason they won't give you a strict interpretation of the policy is that returns for items purchased long ago are subject to the store Manager's approval.
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post #23 of 37 Old 11-07-2009, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by aydu View Post

The reason they won't give you a strict interpretation of the policy is that returns for items purchased long ago are subject to the store Manager's approval.

So does that mean it is only a lifetime return policy if the store manager says so? If that's the case, not much chance getting a refund a couple years down the road. All the stores around here are stating a return period that is equal to the manufacturer's warranty. In my case one year. Still generous, but does not replace an extended warranty.

Now the TV I purchased just dropped in price $100 less than two weeks after my purchase. If I ask for a price adjustment, will that effect the purchase date or change me over to the new policy of 90 days?
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post #24 of 37 Old 11-08-2009, 05:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dj81462 View Post

So does that mean it is only a lifetime return policy if the store manager says so? If that's the case, not much chance getting a refund a couple years down the road. All the stores around here are stating a return period that is equal to the manufacturer's warranty. In my case one year. Still generous, but does not replace an extended warranty.

Now the TV I purchased just dropped in price $100 less than two weeks after my purchase. If I ask for a price adjustment, will that effect the purchase date or change me over to the new policy of 90 days?

I had a set that would not turn on. Developed the problem shortly after the manufacturer's warranty expired. I had also bought the Sam's extended warranty and had tried to make a claim to get the set fixed.

Warranty company could not find anyone in my area to service the brand, so I took the set back and talked to the Manager at Sam's. He refunded the price of the set, and the price of the warranty - on the spot with no argument.

I'm guessing that if I brougt the set back in and said I was tired of it, or that I liked the looks of a new set better, the Manager probably would not have approved the return, and rightfully so.

I have no idea about the proce match changing your original purchase date.
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post #25 of 37 Old 11-08-2009, 06:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aydu View Post

I had a set that would not turn on. Developed the problem shortly after the manufacturer's warranty expired. I had also bought the Sam's extended warranty and had tried to make a claim to get the set fixed.

Warranty company could not find anyone in my area to service the brand, so I took the set back and talked to the Manager at Sam's. He refunded the price of the set, and the price of the warranty - on the spot with no argument.

I'm guessing that if I brougt the set back in and said I was tired of it, or that I liked the looks of a new set better, the Manager probably would not have approved the return, and rightfully so.

I have no idea about the proce match changing your original purchase date.

Thanks for the reply aydu. Thinking to just do down and have them adjust the price and maybe put that toward a service plan and not worry about how long there is to return it.
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post #26 of 37 Old 11-08-2009, 06:38 AM
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I'm pretty sure this policy was enacted to combat "the guy and the gal" that return everything whether they like the product or not. I know a few people who will not buy anything that they cannot return because they know in advance that they will return it after a few months of use. Women started this with clothes. Men picked up the habit buying TV's just before the Superbowl, then returning them after the game. If stores would refer all returns to the manufacturer's based on company policy's, they might stand a chance of staying in business. It's bad business policy to allow a person to smoke 19 cigarettes and return one claiming they were stale and receiving a full refund. Return policy's are a joke, cost people jobs, drive the price of consumer goods through the roof and ruin the economy.
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post #27 of 37 Old 11-08-2009, 06:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRT View Post

I'm pretty sure this policy was enacted to combat "the guy and the gal" that return everything whether they like the product or not. I know a few people who will not buy anything that they cannot return because they know in advance that they will return it after a few months of use. Women started this with clothes. Men picked up the habit buying TV's just before the Superbowl, then returning them after the game. If stores would refer all returns to the manufacturer's based on company policy's, they might stand a chance of staying in business. It's bad business policy to allow a person to smoke 19 cigarettes and return one claiming they were stale and receiving a full refund. Return policy's are a joke, cost people jobs, drive the price of consumer goods through the roof and ruin the economy.

Good post. Customer abuse and dishonesty has killed a lot of the goodwill sellers used to extend. If Costco and Sam's loses any customers over this who cares because they cost them much more than they made on the original transaction. Good riddance.
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post #28 of 37 Old 11-08-2009, 07:32 AM
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Interesting, I just received this reply from Sam's Club this morning after asking for a supervisor contact email.

Email I sent:

"Hi,
I have not received a response to the email reply below. Could I please have the email address of a supervisor, or a higher tier customer support? Just to clarify, I would like to find out exactly how long I have to return a TV set to Sam's Club, purchased on 10/28/09. I'm getting varying information from local clubs and would like some confirmation of exactly how much time I have to return the set, should it prove to be defective, given my purchase information described below.
Thanks"

The reply from Sam's Club Member Services:

"Thank you for contacting Sam's Club regarding the return policy on your TV purchased on October 28, 2009. You have 6 months to return the item. If after your item becomes defective after the 6 months you would need to contact the manufacturer of the TV. The return policy has recently changed and that is probably why you are getting misinformation. I apologize for the inconvenience this has caused you.

If you need further assistance regarding other issues, please use our Help Center located at http://samshelpcenter.custhelp.com.

Respectfully,

Casey
Sam's Club Member Services"


I guess this falls under YMMV, but I won't be assuming their grandfathered policies prior to 11/01 are being treated as product lifetime anymore.


Quote:


Good post. Customer abuse and dishonesty has killed a lot of the goodwill sellers used to extend. If Costco and Sam's loses any customers over this who cares because they cost them much more than they made on the original transaction. Good riddance.

I'm looking at it from a defective tv point of view. Seemed that Sam's old policy was touted as a kinda "forget the service warranty, you don't need it buying here"

If this reply said I had 5 yrs to return a TV, then I would have a no moral problem to hold them to it if the product was defective or had a service issue. It would be their policy, their rules. Since they have given me their official stance on the grandfathered policy, I now know the rules and can make a decision on a service plan.
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post #29 of 37 Old 11-08-2009, 07:39 AM
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I don't think the stores were taking the hit, I think in order to sell in the warehouse stores the manufacturers were agreeing to take back all returns. It's hard to believe they've kept it up this long, but I think to some extent it's a marketing ploy to draw in new customers.
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post #30 of 37 Old 11-25-2009, 08:33 AM
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I lost my job so I'm going to return an almost 2 year old 52" Sony, question is should I call them first?
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