Monday, February 13, 2006

Duped by WalMart!

I don't know how many of you do this, but I start my Christmas shopping early. Last year I started asking my kids for their lists in August. I just don't want to be bombarded with a million things to buy in the two weeks before Christmas.
High on my 15 year olds list was a Nano ipod and a digital camera. I planned on getting her both, one for her birthday and one for Christmas. Her birthday is on December 22 (poor child).
Anyway, my husband and I were at Walmart in September and found a great deal on a digital camera so we jumped on it. Since it was so far away from December, I asked the salesperson if I would have any problems returning it if I had to and he said no, as long as I had my receipt and it was unopened. That was good enough for me. We bought it and hid it in a safe hiding place.
Well, two weeks before Christmas as we were talking during dinner, my daughter mentions that she doesn't want a digital camera any longer, but would rather have Uggs. OMG, can she please make up her mind and stick to it.
That night, my husband and I go online to and order her a pair of Uggs. I planned on going to WalMart the next day to return the camera.

I'm standing in the long customer service line with the unopened digital camera and my receipt. I finally get to the counter and the customer service rep looks like she doesn't want to be there in the first place. There has to be a better place in the store to put her. Anyway, I proceed to tell her that I want to return the camera and she looks at my receipt. Nope, can't do it, she says. She points to the sign above her head which says that all electronic items must be returned within 30 days. What? Nobody told me that!! I then told her what the salesperson told me and she didn't want to hear it. I couldn't understand the problem, I had an unopened package and my receipt. It says nothing on the receipt about the return policy. At that point, I ask to speak with a manager. She looked a little disturbed at my request and said fine, but I'd have to step aside while I wait for the manager so she can wait on the other customers in line. Fair enough. She pages the manager and I wait......and wait........and now, I have no patience. I wait until she is finished with a customer and step in. Now, I'm demanding my money back. She said she couldn't do anything until a manager was available (which could take forever in WalMart). I am just so frustrated that I take her name and the general manager's name and leave the store.
So there I was with a brand new, unopened digital camera that I didn't need. UGH!! I go home and write a letter of complaint and until this day, have not heard back from good old WalMart.

Let's fast forward to last week. My girlfriend was over and I told her the story. She used to work at Target and said they use to take returns past the 90 days all the time. It could be done with or without the manager's approval. She asks if she could try to return the camera for me. So we take a drive to WalMart. I didn't want to step foot in that store so I waited in the car. Ten minutes later, she walks out with no camera. What? How did she do that? She said she just went up to the counter and said she wanted to return the camera and showed the lady her receipt. No questions asked, she got the refund. She said she even saw the 30 day policy sign, but did not say a word about it. I was happy, but I'm still not happy with WalMart. They could have returned my money to me in December. I feel like I've been duped by WalMart. They certainly have lost my business, but I'm sure they're not too worried about that.

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