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Walmart's "Unwritten" Return Policy

Posted Sun February 17, 2008 12:00 pm, by Colette C. written to Wal-Mart

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We visited the walmart in belfountaine ohio while on a weekend trip to the area where we have a second home. We purchased a simmons queen hi top inflatable mattress since it was the largest they had available thinking that it would be big enough for two adults to sleep on comforably. After making our purchase, taking it home and inflating it, we found that it wasn't any larger than our daughters full size futon mattress and were highly disappointed. So we deflated it and stuck it back in the box and decided we would simply return in the next day for a larger one at our local wal-mart.

When we got to our local store in lewis center ohio (Polaris) the csr stated we could only exchange it for a larger one which I didn't really have a problem with since that is what we wanted to do. However, after checking things out we found that they didn't have any larger mattresses either so we wanted to get our money back.

We had our original sales receipt, but they told us that we could not get a refund or store credit because it had been opened, but we pointed out that their return policy did not state anything about this and they said it was a "new policy" that was just implemented in January. I find this pretty fishy considering that wal-mart should and probably would print new store return policies for it's customers when they would make such a major change to their policy. If we had known, we would have never made the purchase in the first place until we were certain what size we really needed. I think this is deceptive practices on wal-mart's part and it is borderline consumer fraud. I feel completely ripped off considering I HAD MY receipt, it was within the 90 return policy (it was the next day!) and I know own a worthless 70.00 blow up mattress that is worthless to me.

I want wal-mart to honor it's "WRITTEN" public return policy, not some crap that the CSM decides to make up because they are too lazy to do the return. I had my receipt, it was the next day and you have absolutely no excuse to treat your customers this way. ITS FRAUD and I will be contacting my attorney if you don't provide me with a refund.


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by carin j. Posted Fri September 28, 2012 @ 3:44 PM

ok guys i had the same issue i bought the bed because i was in the
process of moving and was waiting for my mattress so meanwhile i
needed a bed. I bought the most expensive one thinking im going to
return it and get my money back but at least be a little more
comfortable meanwhile. Well i got the counter and of course he got
rude and nasty with me telling me he couldnt give me my money back
because it was open.

i went on the internet and read the policy to him where it says you
could exchange for another air mattress of the same value or get a
stored credit. I asked him for the store credit he put me through hell
and didnt give me the credit.

I went home and thought about it for a second and said well well im
not going to stay with a 70 dollar charge of something i no longer
need. So i went back to the store exchanged for a brand new one of the
same value. I went to another store and returned unoppened and they
gave me my money back because the policy says if its unopenned within
15 days of purchase the stores will refund the money.

end of the story i got very upset and wasted my time with that stupid
guy for no reason. I passed by another day and made sure he knew that
i got my money back and not only that i wrote to walmart and complaint
and they will lower the points from his store. :)

i hope it helps it sure did help me lol

by Sheri P. Posted Wed December 22, 2010 @ 1:58 PM

Same thing happened to me twice both times I had my receipt once it
was a pair of shoes I got my bf they were not the right size so at
first we tried to exchange them for the right size but they had
nothing that would fit that he liked so we tried to get money back or
store credit they wouldn't do either of them the return was attempted
3 days after purchase.
Then another time still with receipt we tried to get anything back for
a x box game that we bought my son for his birthday that his
grandparents also got him they wouldn't even allow us to trade it in
for another game they said that video games can be duplicated and
that's why all sales on any disk that can be copied are final. The
security tape had not even been removed or the plastic wrap. They
really need to knocked down off their high horse. $100.00 is what the
two items equal out to, which might not be much to a lot of people but
to me it's not easy to spend anything anymore just for $100.00 I had
to save awhile to be able to spend that on something other than bills.
I believe that because their written return policy says nothing to
support their actions that they are committing fraud and they should
have to suffer whatever the law states as a consequence. I would love
to get my attorney involved but It's not in my budget but please
anyone else who has been scammed and can afford to make them pay do it
,it's not right. Just think about an angel tree child going in to
exchange a new pair of shoes maybe the only new shoes they have ever
had but they are to small and wal mart employees being to lazy to want
to deal with it tell them no. I wouldn't dought that's happened more
than once it's not right something needs to be done. P.S. This
happened at walmart in phoenix az on bell and 19th ave

by CLASSYJAZZY Posted Sun January 17, 2010 @ 12:27 AM

Same thing happened to me. I found a cheaper on at Academy during a
sale, so I wanted to return it. But the box was open. They told me i
couldnt return it, even though I had a receipt. So I told her fine I
would exchange it for another one, even though I didnt want another
one, I just figured maybe I could get a closed one and sell it on
craigslist. While I was in the store I used my phone to look up the
policy online. I realized I didnt need my receipt to exchange, so when
I went back I told the CSR. that i magically couldnt find the receipt.
So I got the same exact air mattress, just a closed one. then took the
new mattress with my receipt that i magically found, and returned it
to a different walmart the money was credited back on my card even
after 35 days.


policy by pbillin Tue April 10, 2012 @ 9:58 AM

by adma Posted Wed November 11, 2009 @ 11:23 AM

This is exactly what happens to me with Wal-Mart in Secaucus NJ!!!
They will not return the airbed I bought and returned within 7 days of
buying it.
I did check with the sales person before I paid for it and they advise
me that I can return it within days but when I returned it even after
days they will not return it or even give me store credit.

by adma Posted Wed November 11, 2009 @ 11:18 AM

This is exactly what happens to me with Wal-Mart in Secaucus NJ!!!
They will not return the airbed I bought and returned within 7 days of
buying it.
I did check with the sales person before I paid for it and they advise
me that I can return it within days but when I returned it even after
days they will not return it or even give me store credit.

by Zico Posted Sat October 3, 2009 @ 6:06 PM

Last night I tried to return the Air Matress which I bought it one day
before and the CSR at Wal Mart said he can't return it because it was
open. I wanna return it because I was looking for an Air Matress
equiped with Air Pump and it wasn't. The faniest thing that after I
open the Air Matress Box I found a paper that discuss the un return
policy for the product after been open.
The return policy for that product was attached to the Cashier table
and it wasn't at the shelf next to the item.



by Raelena Posted Thu October 30, 2008 @ 12:58 PM

Today I tried to return a "mainstays" air mattress to walmart only to
get turned away. Now let me explain my situation.

Two weeks ago, I bought the air mattress before going across country
to help take care of my mother who just came out of the hospital. I
knew she did not have a place for me to sleep once I got there.

When I did arrive, My brother let me stay in his room, as he was
working the night shift, and I was always up before he came home from

The mattress was never opened, the tape across the box never even
played with, let alone removed. It was in the bag, But I had lost the

I was told there is a 15 day return policy on mattresses, without a
receipt. I explained I bought it 2 weeks ago. She asked if I payed
with a card or cash. Unfortunately I payed cash, to which she said
"yeah we cant accept that". I thanked her and left the store with the

Now here is my issue, if the woman felt i stole it, why not call the
police? Nope left me walk out with it. So that is obviously not the
issue. It was never used, not even ever opened, the tape sealing it
not tampered with. And within their "15 day return policy" I dont see
this anywhere.

I just want someone to explain how I cannot return a Walmart brand
Item ,"mainstays" that has not been opened, reciept or not. Thier
greeter welcomed me as I walked in the door, I obviously did not go
back to housewares grab this off the shelf and walk to returns.

As for target, they can only credit you with 1/2 the purchase price ,
and at that you have to take a target gift card. I wont ever shop
there again.

I guess the moral of this story is save your receipts and even if you
do save your receipts according to Wal-mart , Do not plan ahead , Buy
last minute. Because they have a window of time. guess I wont be
purchasing anything for Christmas this year at Wal-mart.

by Wild Wahine Posted Sun August 10, 2008 @ 11:25 AM

Actually that item is a high theft item and coorporate did put the
smack down on such returns IF the customer does NOT have a receipt.
You should have been given a cash refund as a former CSM of Slavemart
I can tell you not all CSM's are qualified and understand the
importance of Customer satisfaction. the number one reason after 8
years I Quit. Always, Always ask for a member of REAL mangement, NOT
A CSM. I guearentee you no one wants the store manager on their ass
for a unhappy customer, in th estore I worked in I saw a man who had
just called me everything but a white woman because I refused his
cockroach infested can returns. Management not only gave h im the can
money they also handed him a gift card for 30.00. what did I get?
Told to always satisfy the customer even it it meant bending the rules
or guidelines. Hope this helps....

by rouge Posted Mon February 25, 2008 @ 12:33 PM

Assuming this is a new policy, the CSM isn't being "lazy" by
not allowing the return. He/she is just doing their job, and if that
job states that something cannot be returned then something cannot be
Don't take your frustrations out on the CSM who is just doing their
job; worry about maturely addressing your complaint to Wal-Mart, since
they're the ones at fault for not printing new return policies.

People like to believe that employees have control over what corporate
does, when in reality it's quite the opposite.
A CSM has NO control over return policies, and is likely unwilling to
put their job in jeopardy for you.
Yeah it sucks, but that's the reality of it.
Unless the CSM was being a right pain, you have no reason to assume
that they were being lazy by not bending to your will, had corporate
decided they are no longer able to perform such refunds.

And you're going to contact your attorney? For the FRAUD Wal-Mart
Good luck with that one.
So you're willing to spend hundreds of dollars on attorney's fees and
wrap yourself up in a minor legal battle (minor to Wal-Mart, but
likely significant to you) all over this $70 mattress?
I can't be the only one who sees how ridiculous this is.

Oh, but it's "the principle of the thing!"


Walmarts ILLEGAL return policy by pcwizpcwiz Wed September 3, 2008 @ 12:05 PM

by jugs Posted Sun February 24, 2008 @ 2:28 PM

I had the same exact problem!My fiance and I were moving and after
getting our things from storage we noticed that our mattress was
soaked with rainwater and smelly.So we went to buy an air mattress
from wal-mart.Before deciding to go to walmart,Id spoken with my mom
and told her about our ruined mattress.So,later that night she shows
up with the same air mattress as we had purchased.So,the next day I
went to return one unopened air mattress.The customer service employee
refused even though the box was unopened.She gave me the same garbage
about it being a new policy.Ridiculous!!!

by pattyrn Posted Fri February 22, 2008 @ 5:58 AM

when I lost all of my stuff in the hurricanes of 2004 I had to go to
air mattress temporarily, they were raised and with a good serta
mattress pad, and nice sheets, pillows and comforters they can be
dressed up really nice and with the thick pad comfortable. next time
there is a natural disaster donate the bed to the red cross and deduct
if off of your taxes, I am sure it would be appreciated by someone who
has lost everything, the raised air beds are by far more comfortable
than a cot any day,

by Royce Rentz Posted Wed February 20, 2008 @ 11:10 AM

I'm just now discovering their amazing new policy myself that was
unannounced to any of it's customers. I purchased an xbox little over
two months ago. Since I've purchased it, my fiance and i have moved
for her to go to school, so i stored the box with the receipt in it at
my parents. About two weeks after i moved, my parents sold their
house and while moving they threw away the box. I thought they still
had it, so i sent the xbox and all accessories back to them, only to
find out what happened. I thought it would be alright because wal
mart scans serial numbers, so i had them take it to exchange it
anyways. According to the wal mart they took it too, in order to do
an exchange, you have to have the receipt or the exact date you
purchased the item for them to look it up. They said the serial
number will not bring the item up in there system, if that is true,
why even scan the serial number when you sell the item. One of the
things that always made me believe wal mart was ok, just went away,
without notice to anyone. So now i will take my business elsewhere,
best buy or target. I know wal mart used to have the big slogan of
customer service, but since Sam Walton passed away, they are turning
into, "give us your money and go away"


You don't say.. by Harleycat Wed February 20, 2008 @ 1:29 PM

Receipt Look-up at Target by SiouxFan Wed February 20, 2008 @ 1:46 PM

Read post by Royce Rentz Wed February 20, 2008 @ 6:03 PM

exchange by Royce Rentz Wed February 20, 2008 @ 5:59 PM

Microsoft by amh Thu February 21, 2008 @ 9:33 PM

by Jessica Sheldon Posted Wed February 20, 2008 @ 12:22 AM

I am in full agreement with you on what you say. I for one will not be
buying any more items from wal-mart because they always give me a
hardtime when I return items into the store. They are lazy and don't
want to be bothered about promoting good customer service.

by Chris&RyansMama Posted Tue February 19, 2008 @ 8:06 PM

I think that Wal-mart should have taken the mattress back if they
could not provide you with a written policy. I can totally see why
they would not want to take back a used mattress, but what if it was
defective. You obviously would have to open the box before you would

by colette Posted Tue February 19, 2008 @ 3:36 PM

Wow, there are really some nasty wal-mart loving trolls out there. For
those of you that aren't able to read the whole letter, the mattress
was never "USED", no one ever slept on it, it was blown up
and that was it.

The mattress we purchased stated on the box:

Queen Inflated size: 80" L x 74" W x 21" H .

Which is close to a king size which is why we purchased it, not
because we were lazy, didn't want to measure,etc. etc., we found that
what was IN the box was NOT what the box stated, so of course it would
not meet our needs and we would not have known this WITHOUT OPENING

After we blew it up, the dimensions were more like 60" x 60"
x 21". Can you do the math or are you too busy correcting peoples

I obviously wrote this letter in the heat of the moment, and didn't
proof read it, I was upset and irritated. If their policy would have
been clear and I would have known that there was a chance that the
dimensions were misleading I would have never purchased it.


I think you would have gotten more sympathy... by Casmly Tue February 19, 2008 @ 4:56 PM

THIS is the letter you should have written! by olie Tue February 19, 2008 @ 11:37 PM

queen size by Michelle O Wed February 20, 2008 @ 1:25 AM

Wal Mart Loving Trolls? by Harleycat Wed February 20, 2008 @ 9:25 AM

While I agree with your premise... by StoicGrrl Wed February 20, 2008 @ 11:32 AM

Wow. You're one hell of a charmer, aren't you? by RedheadwGlasses Wed February 20, 2008 @ 12:58 PM

Do you honestly believe there are WalMart loving trolls here? by Don-Oh Wed February 20, 2008 @ 11:25 PM

Wrong size by f f. Sun January 2, 2011 @ 12:36 AM

by Jeffrey Posted Tue February 19, 2008 @ 6:59 AM

Folks! Wel-Mart has a specific policy on mattresses. It includes
them taking them back.

Like most of you, it gives me the creeps to think that Wal-mart might
be reselling used mattresses.

But as long as their policy states that they take 'em back, shouldn't


by Don-Oh Posted Tue February 19, 2008 @ 12:57 AM

Do you really need a return policy to guide you in realizing that
returning a used blow up air mattress is inappropriate? That's


No I don't by cchamberland Tue February 19, 2008 @ 3:21 PM
by p d Posted Mon February 18, 2008 @ 3:43 PM

"If we had known, we would have never made the purchase in the
first place until we were certain what size we really needed."

Why don't you take the money you'd spend on your lawyer and buy a tape


I choked on my water!!! n/t by RedheadwGlasses Mon February 18, 2008 @ 5:44 PM

I did measure and the box was wrong by Denmom Thu August 7, 2008 @ 12:47 AM

by Casmly Posted Mon February 18, 2008 @ 11:59 AM

Maybe I'm in the minority here, but ew...The OP takes an inflatable
mattress to their home, and then tries to return the obviously opened
package the next day. I would NEVER purchase a mattress that had been
opened already. As others have mentioned, the dimensions are provided
on the box for a reason. Who's to say that this person didn't take
the mattress home, use it for the night, and then return it? (Not to
say that this particular person did, but who knows) It would be very
easy for people to do this when they have company for instance and
then return the product once the visitors have left. I do agree that
the new return policy should have been printed on the receipts and/or
in the customer service area. Did you ask the customer service rep to
show you this policy? Maybe it's possible they have it written down
in a brochure etc. behind the CS desk? Either way though, I stand by
the fact that I think it's tacky and gross to return a used mattress.


by Tech Angel Posted Mon February 18, 2008 @ 11:52 AM

"and I know own a worthless 70.00 blow up mattress that is
worthless to me."

I think that's my favorite line.


There were so many by Don-Oh Tue February 19, 2008 @ 12:49 AM

by StoicGrrl Posted Mon February 18, 2008 @ 9:22 AM

First of all, I absolutely think you should have been able to return
the mattress. A company with as many resources as Wal-Mart should be
able to time their printed material to coincide with any major policy
changes. I know that in my time working in retail we got new signage,
register paper, and brochures well in advance of any policy change
that affected customers and just waited on the date of the change to
put it out.

Considering that this new policy is not on the receipt (which
functions kind of like an agreement between seller and buyer), they
should have taken back the mattress in my opinion. Similarly, if the
receipt HAD said no returns on opened packaging, I'd have said you
were out of luck.

If there were in reality no changes to the return policy, then I agree
that you were treated unprofessionally by the employee(s) you spoke

So I'm with you to that point.

Here's the thing, though. When you write a letter like this to a
business, you are asking them to take some time and review your issue
individually. They may or may not be willing to take that time, and
they are made less likely to do so by wording like you use in your
last paragraph. It's a shame, because I was totally with you until
then. Being insulting to someone you are trying to persuade is never
a good idea (even if you really are right), even leaving aside
questions of rudeness. I understand that you are angry, but emotional
language and threats should always be left out of a business letter.

Good luck!


by April Tolliver Posted Mon February 18, 2008 @ 8:46 AM

While I agree that you should have recieved a refund for the mattress,
it is not fraud if they do not. walmart is within thier rights to
restrict refunds in any way that they deem needed, up to, and
including refusing to do refunds for any reason.


I'm not a lawyer, but.... by Keith C Mon February 18, 2008 @ 4:49 PM

Fraud come about when by T. C. Tue February 19, 2008 @ 10:38 PM
by Cor H Posted Mon February 18, 2008 @ 8:32 AM

"I want wal-mart to honor it's "WRITTEN" public return
policy, not some crap that the CSM decides to make up because they are
too lazy to do the return."

Unwarranted accusation. It may be easier to do the return rather than
debate the customer over the return. Therefore, laziness probably has
nothing to do with it.

It is more likely that the return policy changed without notice or the
employee was not clear on the return policy.

In addition, did the OP speak to a manager? The second paragraph
states it was a CSR, but the fourth paragraph uses CSM terminology.
Which was it? I would have tried someone higher up if it was the

The return probably should have been accepted. I would rewrite the
letter leaving out the accusations of fraud, laziness and threats to
get an attorney.


by Jeffrey Posted Mon February 18, 2008 @ 7:04 AM

I checked Walmart's return policy and I can't seem to find anything
that would say that this (air) mattress can't be returned.

She has the receipt, so I can't find a reason why should wouldn't be
able to make the return.

I appreciate the arguments that she should have checked sizes before
buying. But, since Walmart's policy is what it is, they need to allow
the return.


by donno Posted Sun February 17, 2008 @ 11:34 PM

"If we had known, we would have never made the purchase in the
first place until we were certain what size we really needed."

So, your belief is that you can go around buying stuff, take it home
and open it up, and then decide if it meets your needs. If not, you
can simply package it up and return it. It sounds like you are too
"lazy" to determine what you need before you buy it.

It is heartwarming to know that even WalMart refuses to be treated
this way. If you bought something that you used and found out it
didn't meet your needs, it is useless to you. You might consider
donating it to a homeless shelter.

It is laughable that you would contact an attorney over an attempt to
return a used $70 blow up mattress


by Bill R Posted Sun February 17, 2008 @ 10:41 PM

Colette C.,

If you needed one I don't see why a store crdit would not have worked
but that is really none of my business.

I looked at the Walmart site and each mattress they have listed sports
the inflated dimenions ie:
Approximate inflated dimensions Twin: 74" L x 39" W x
9" H, Queen: 78" L x 60" W x 9" H .

The cost of an attorney would probably exceed the costs of the
mattress as the other person stated.
Infact if you were to take them to court and not win the case you
might have to pay court costs.

Take a picture of it, create a write-up and sell it on ebay or better
yet donate it to an organaization that could use a "worthless
70.00 blow up mattress".



Wal Mart's Hidden Return Policy by Zico Sat October 3, 2009 @ 6:22 PM

by RedheadwGlasses Posted Sun February 17, 2008 @ 8:21 PM

I agree, they should have accepted the return. But didn't you end up
needing it, since there wasn't a larger inflatable mattress to buy?

FYI, you'll spend more money on your attorney's fees than on the cost
of the mattress.


This is call iron clad monopoly. by Qhizm Thu October 11, 2012 @ 1:31 PM

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