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Undocumented Polices and unethical return policy at Walmart

Posted Tue January 8, 2013 12:00 pm, by Jenn B. written to Walmart

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On December 15, 2012, I visited store number 4358 to purchase a Nook Color as a christmas gift. As I am not well versed with Nook products, I was assisted by an employee in electronics to ensure I purchased the correct one as it was a gift for Christmas. The Nook I purchased I learned was not the correct one on Christmas Day and was rather shocked to learn that I was also charged almost $30.00 more than the price at Barnes and Noble and the wal-mart website. In fact, it seems you have quite a mark up on these items when compared to other stores.

The following day I went back to the same store to exchange the item I purchased earlier in the month. This is when my undesirable adventure began. The day after Christmas I awoke at 5am and headed to the store so I could exchange the item for the correct one and get it home and charged before my partner left for work. Upon arriving and beginning the process of the exchange with receipt in hand, I was told I could not return or exchange the item as more than 15 days had passed since my purchase date. I explained it was a gift and I could not locate my gift receipt but I had the original which is what the employee was holding. I was again advised of the 15 day policy. I then explained that the 15th day, if it were calendar days, was Christmas Day and the store was not open and if it were busineas days i was well within the time frame. The customer service woman then explained that 15 days was 15 days and had another employee come over to confirm this. I pointed out it was a Christmas gift and that in essence I was being told had I bought it Black Friday for example, if the person got it at Christmas they could not exchange it and she said that policies are policies and she would do me the courtesy of seeing if a manager would override their store policy. She then called a manager and the manager advised her she could override the policy if I was exchanging for a like or similar item. The item I was purchasing was almost $100 more than this item and was another Nook model so I was advised this would not be an issue.

She walked me back to electronics and explained the situation to the young woman back there. She came over and I again advised that I was trying to purchase the nook color- specifically because my wife (the employee didn't even second guess my marital status as a lesbian and I commend your company for that because sometimes the tone of the conversation is changed when this is mentioned) was trying to get a tablet in color to read books to at night to our twins so a color tablet was required. More importantly it had to be a nook as her sister has one and they can exchange books that way. The young lady then told me that she would not recommend a nook with children and tried to sell me a tablet that didn't even do books- which was clearly not going to work. I again explained I needed a nook color as her sister recently purchased one online. She handed me the nook tablet on sale for 199.99 and said it was the one she uses with her kids and would be perfect for reading to them. I again asked if it was the nook color as it did not state nook color specifically and she said it was and again explained that she has one. I went to the front of the store to begin my exchange where the 15 day policy again became an issue but now with the girl in electronics. A manager was called and overrode the policy (even though the 15th day was a day in which your store was closed so I was in the store on the 16th day and I believe there should be special attention to this point). After multiple attempts to do the exchange and issues with canceling one transaction to create another I had been in the store for almost an hour for what should be a simple exchange one would think. I was told i may have to leave and come back when the customer service desk was open and explain my situation again because my item would now be over $100 and they weren't sure how to do it. Eventually they figured out how to do it as another cashier joined them and when I went to pay the difference with my gift card for $25 I was advised that I could not use a gift card for exchanges. I explained that I did not understand how that could be a true policy since wal-mart was making more money on the transaction than previously and i was told it was due to the transaction not being a new transaction but instead an exchange.
At that time I requested to be shown where in this now quoted policy that was stated and she said she would make an exception for me and allowed my gift card. From what i can see, none of the actions of any of the employees were exceptions etc. as i followed the rules of the return policy from a legal viewpoint. At that time she swiped my gift card followed by my credit card and completed the transaction. I then realize that during this fiasco she had failed to charge me for my soda. I explained to her that I didn't think she had rung up my soda and she confirmed the error. You would think it would be on the house at this point- but i am not the the kind of person to try and make waves. When i went to pay for the soda with my credit card i was told I could not do so because my transaction was less than $5.00. I am unsure if this is a new policy but there was nothing in eyesight that mentioned this policy and I has just spent over $5.00 with my previous transaction. She then stated she would make another exception and allowed me to use my credit card. Finally, an hour long exchange finished, I left the store and went home to leave the newly purchased nook color out for my partner. Imagine my surprise when I got a text a few hours later saying it was not the correct nook and was the nook tablet not the nook color. Upon calling Barnes and noble I learned the nook color was being phased out and they didn't even sell them but they sell the nook HD for $199.99. So I sent my wife to wal-mart to return the obsolete nook tablet I purchased for the price of a nook HD at Barnes and noble (seems rather messed up that a model being phased out is the same price as an HD one) I went to your store later that night and saw you had the nook HD starting at $249, not sure how that works?

Anyway- she returned the nook after waiting in line with our twin toddlers almost an hour- but her return was flawless. I am unsure why I was blatantly lied to on more than one occasion by your employees, my integrity questioned due to a 15 day return policy in which the 15th day you were closed, why I had to spend close to an hour trying to do a simple exchange, why my request to speak to a manger was denied, why policies appeared to be coming out of nowhere during my transaction, why you were selling a phased out model of an item at the same price of a new one that is better than the one in your store, why your website and store prices do not match and your nooks in general are at a minimum $15 more than Barnes and noble and lastly why this whole ordeal went down the way it did. I did nothing wrong at anytime other than not have a gift receipt but instead the original and as someone who has worked customer service jobs I know if this happened in my establishment I would be blatantly embarrassed and likely mortified.

Needless to say we left your store after the final exchange and made our purchase elsewhere. I myself have now decided to also buy a nook HD but due to the holidays- I have to wait a little while but I am not certain if I should even attempt to purchase it at your store. Based on this last experience, frankly, I am scared to purchase anything but socks and groceries from you going forward unless you can make me think differently somehow. I am not asking for reimbursement of my time (even though I was ultimately late to work since this ordeal took way longer than it should) but I am asking for you to restore my faith in your customer service and electronics department because every person I have talked to so far about this situation has been floored by my experience and frankly disgusted at the lack of service. Sure I would like to buy my nook or kindle or maybe iPad mini at wal-mart because typically you have the lowest prices- but I see now that is not always true and if something went wrong etc i would only have 15 days to resolve it and I may have to go through this nightmare again- so tell me- what can you do to ensure nobody else experiences this and what can you do to right a horribly wronged customer in the future? I have receipts and stuff I believe still if needed (not sure as I wasn't going to write this but was told by others I should and that I should get a gift card for the amount of my next tablet but I really doubt something of that nature would happen based on the customer service received thus far). The store is located at 1606 South 72nd Street, Omaha, NE. Please make this situation right however you would want it made right if you were in my shoes- that's all I ask.


In an effort to get this resolved I tried to submit this through your website but it kept giving me errors, i am guessing due to length but i couldn't find shorten it in a way that would get the point across.

Resolve in a way best seen fit, monetary or otherwise please just take the time to acknowledge and resolve.


Reply



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by htay462 Posted Sat February 2, 2013 @ 3:36 PM

I completely understand a person's frustration with someone selling
them the wrong product and being provided inaccurate information
regarding return polices and etc

To keep it short and to the point I have some questions:

1. How much time would you spent researching Nook models and writing
down the actual model number prior to oing shopping?

2. Why was it important to identify your martial status and partner
during the return?

3. Based on your experience at this retail location; what will "you"
do differently to avoid future experiences like this with other
businesses?

Reply
by New2tattoo Posted Fri January 11, 2013 @ 7:01 AM

Thanks everybody for you feedback/support. I still have not received
an official response from Wal-Mart regarding any of this but will
definitely keep you all posted.
Thanks.

Reply


Thank you by MA Bellamy Mon January 14, 2013 @ 10:12 AM

by Jared C. Posted Wed January 9, 2013 @ 10:49 AM

"When i went to pay for the soda with my credit card i was told I
could not do so because my transaction was less than $5.00."


^This is a blatant lie by the WalMart employee and it is NOT WalMart's
policy.

It is AGAINST FEDERAL LAW to refuse to process a credit card
transaction for less than $5.

Several small, mom-and-pop places - like liquor stores and convenience
stores - post this policy and they get away with it, since they are
small-time and regulators aren't running around everywhere enforcing
every rule the Fed govt. has....but a large company like WalMart could
never get away with this as it would get noticed and they'd get
whacked.

If I ever heard someone at WalMart make that statement to me, I'd ask
to speak to a manager and then I'd threaten to report that store to
the Department of Commerce.

I bet a manager at that particular store thought he or she was being
clever (or trying to get brownie points with senior management) by
coming up with a way that store could pay less in transaction charges
to the credit card firms. Hence, a threat to one of the store managers
could nip the illegal tactic in the bud right quick.

Reply


This is actually incorrect. by MA Bellamy Wed January 9, 2013 @ 12:46 PM


I do not think it's federal law at all by RedheadwGlasses Wed January 9, 2013 @ 1:04 PM

I stand corrected by Jared C. Wed January 9, 2013 @ 1:43 PM


I personally would be okay with a purchase minimum by RedheadwGlasses Thu January 10, 2013 @ 1:23 PM


at my last job they told us it cost the store 7 dollars per purchase by PepperElf Fri January 18, 2013 @ 2:58 PM


It costs me by McJohn Sat January 19, 2013 @ 10:30 AM


JOhn's right, it's about percentages by RedheadwGlasses Tue January 22, 2013 @ 1:57 PM

by RedheadwGlasses Posted Wed January 9, 2013 @ 9:16 AM

All of this drama could have been avoided if you'd done basic research
before buying the Nook. And Walmart's policies on this seem very
industry-standard to me.

And whomever didn't want the Nook as a christmas gift probably should
be removed from your gift-giving list.

Reply


Um, it's her spouse by MA Bellamy Thu January 10, 2013 @ 4:33 PM

Um it's her spouse by New2tattoo Thu January 10, 2013 @ 7:44 PM


AMEN! by MA Bellamy Mon January 14, 2013 @ 10:28 AM
by At Your Service Posted Wed January 9, 2013 @ 7:59 AM

Ultimately the point here should be not to purchase electronics from
some mass merchandiser.

Pretty simple IMHO.

Reply

No. by VoiceOfReason Wed January 9, 2013 @ 8:26 PM

You sure. by At Your Service Wed January 9, 2013 @ 9:55 PM

Where do yo uget it from, then? by jeishere Thu January 10, 2013 @ 9:35 AM


I think by MA Bellamy Thu January 10, 2013 @ 4:35 PM


plus the OP also said B&N was cheaper. so that's more reason go to there first anyway right? by PepperElf Fri January 18, 2013 @ 3:00 PM

The Lesson by Back_n_TX Thu January 10, 2013 @ 5:58 PM

Good advice. by At Your Service Thu January 10, 2013 @ 9:05 PM

by CUOnTheFlipSide Posted Tue January 8, 2013 @ 7:31 PM

I have a Nook Color which I use for all my reading, and I really like
it. In purchasing a Nook, you'd do well to visit a B&N store for the
purchase. Each store has staff well trained in the functions and
problem solving with the Nook, and they seem truly happy to answer
whatever questions you might have.

Above that, while you are in the store, you can browse through any
books in their library for no charge. If there is a book you are
interested in, grab a cup of their coffee, a soft chair and read it
for an hour.

I don't think that B&N gets the kudoes that they should for the
outstanding way they handile th Nook program.

Reply
by Retail Veteran Posted Tue January 8, 2013 @ 6:09 PM

Wow! I never buy electronics at Walmart even though I always know
exactly what I want. I find Walmart employees to be useless when it
comes to electronics. However, it was initially up to you to know
exactly what your partner wanted. The Nook Color and original Nook
Tablet were beginning to be phased out when the new Nook HD came out
last fall. There are several stores that sell the Nook besides Barnes
and Noble. Target sells the Nook HD and HD+ for the same price as B&N
and they have a 30 day return policy for electronics. The 8gb Nook HD
sells for $199 and the 16gb version sells for $249. If the price is
higher, make sure they are not adding things to make it a bundle
package.


I wish you the best of luck in dealing with Walmart.

Reply

Electronics Expertise by Back_n_TX Wed January 9, 2013 @ 9:27 AM




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