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WALMART WARNING - Thinking about buying TVs or electronics on sale at Walmart? Think again!!!


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#1 of 13 OFFLINE   govtdog

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Posted January 05 2013 - 07:10 AM

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. ELECTRONICS The following electronics items must be returned within 15 days of receipt: • Computers • Computer hardware • Camcorders • Digital cameras • GPS units • Digital music players • Tablets • E-Readers • 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.

#2 of 13 OFFLINE   Mr645

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Posted January 05 2013 - 10:34 AM

Dude, you bought something at the lowest price you could find, from a retailer known for low cost, low quality goods. Hopefully there is a real support department for whatever fly by night brand they are carrying that week.

#3 of 13 OFFLINE   govtdog

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Posted January 06 2013 - 03:54 AM

Dude, you bought something at the lowest price you could find, from a retailer known for low cost, low quality goods. Hopefully there is a real support department for whatever fly by night brand they are carrying that week.

Jon, First, my name is not Dude. Please call me Jack or if you prefer, Sir. :D Second, I hate BF nonsense too but in this Obama economy, the $700 60" Vizio was all I could afford. AND, it received good reviews at PC Mag, Home Theater and other places to boot! Years before, our current game room 50" HDTV was bought at the Walmart BF sale for $588 and 5(or more?) years later it is still going strong. In order to get it, I had to agree that it would be all I got for Christmas and my birthday this year in order to get my wife to approve. In better times, I paid $2800 for the 64" (broken)HDTV it was replacing and almost $4K for my Krell HTS 7.1, so I would love to have been able to afford a better (and more expensive) TV if buying it would still allow me to pay my mortgage and feed the kids. Until I bought the $700 Vizio, we were using a 20" SDTV with built in DVD player(ooooh) as our primary family room TV, so you can imagine that even the lower quality relatively cheap Vizio was a huge improvement. Thanks anyway for the feedback to my issue. :)

#4 of 13 ONLINE   Mike Frezon

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Posted January 06 2013 - 06:25 AM

Jack:


I guess I'm not sure why you ever left the store when Paul (the CS Mgr.) obviously didn't know what he was talking about.  Did you ask to speak to the store manager?  Did you ask Paul to show you their policy which states customers needed to pay the current price on such an exchange?


It's hard for me to understand a scenario in which you would have done all the diligence that you did leading up to the store visit...and driven the 20 miles to the store...only to accept what you already knew was BS.  I would have insisted that Paul show me this "policy" he quoted you and in its absence continue the climb up over his head until I got satisfaction.

And while you checked with Best Buy and Target, I could point you to numerous reports on this forum in which both chains have pulled similar nonsense upon their customers (mostly due to individual incompetence).  I don't think Wal-Mart has cornered the market on such activity.

But I certainly understand your annoyance.

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#5 of 13 OFFLINE   Albert_M

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Posted January 25 2013 - 08:20 AM

Second, I hate BF nonsense too but in this Obama economy

Oh Jesus. :rolleyes:

#6 of 13 OFFLINE   Ron1973

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Posted January 30 2013 - 07:45 AM

This is why you never buy electronics from Walmart unless it's something small. Not to be offensive, but I wouldn't pay that kind of money for a Vizio. I know a lot of people who've bought them but I also know the hoops one has to jump through in order to get satisfaction with them. I would have rather waited and saved money for something better.

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#7 of 13 OFFLINE   Radioman970

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Posted April 19 2013 - 08:34 AM

Vizio's stink.  By chance, I returned a Vizio LCD 120 hz after trying it for a few weeks. Extremely nice features that were fun to play with but ultimately didn't improve anything about the bad picture.  I had returned a Samsung 60hz I used for 3 months on the same day I bought the doomed Vizio.  Both from Walmart, both without any problems returning.  Of course, neither was a part of Black Friday.  Had there been any problems I probably would have had my ma return it.  She's a pro, worked retail for years and knows the tricks.  She "performed" a routine that had her getting sick.. heh heh, at Best Buy once since they were having a problem with us returning a monitor that was light gray when dark, and the UPC was missing since we sent it in for a rebate. Oops!  But it was a   damn inspiring work of art from her!  she told me they don't want somebody getting sick in the store and making a scene.  They want you outta there fast.  And she was right!  We laughed all the way to the car!  :rolling-smiley:

 

Btw, got a Panny Plasma online that has LUCKILY done well over about 3 years.  I hate to have to go through the hassle of returning it.  Just lucky.  Last plasma I ever buy though.  Too much imagine retention, and now probably burn in. :( 


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#8 of 13 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted April 20 2013 - 08:06 AM

"Btw, got a Panny Plasma online that has LUCKILY done well over about 3 years.  I hate to have to go through the hassle of returning it.  Just lucky.  Last plasma I ever buy though.  Too much imagine retention, and now probably burn in."

 

Those things are your fault...not the sets. Following the appropriate 100-250hr break-in period...you'd never have IR, let alone burn in.



#9 of 13 OFFLINE   Radioman970

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Posted April 21 2013 - 02:23 AM

^ I followed the break-in instructions.  Used a break-in DVD as well.  ...at the end of it all it says watch TV normally. 

 

I watch a lot of full frame TV shows, often flicks with bars on the top and bottom.  What can I do?  No more plasmas for me! 


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#10 of 13 OFFLINE   Stan

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Posted April 28 2013 - 03:20 PM

Not TV related and only went to Walmart since it was convenient and they had what I wanted.

 

Bought a cheapo mobile phone, TracPhone where you add minutes as needed because I didn't want to join a plan with anything fancier, no apps, etc. It's got internet, a decent camera and does the basics just fine for $30.

 

Anyhow, had some minor problem, took it back to have it looked at, they fixed it, doubling my minutes forever for the inconvenience.

 

My dog picked up the odor from someone else handling the phone and promptly played with it and chewed it up while I wasn't looking.

 

Went back, got a new phone, they programmed everything into it for me and added 1,000 extra minutes even though it was my fault. Very pleased with the service.


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#11 of 13 OFFLINE   Ron1973

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Posted May 01 2014 - 08:33 AM

I've haven't had an issue with their customer service in years. I recently bought another "pay as you go" phone myself. I had an Android before which I kinda liked but I didn't like the provider (Straight Talk). My same phone was available in an AT&T version or I could go with a Windows based phone. The associate was friendly and told me I'd be much happier with the Windows phone. He seemed to know his stuff and was quite knowledgeable about it; turns out I do love the phone!


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#12 of 13 OFFLINE   Dave Moritz

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Posted September 01 2014 - 07:07 AM

Before leaving I would have asked to talk to the store manager and if that did not produce the desired response of them exchanging the tv like they should have.  I would have asked for the corporate number and called on the spot.  If corporate refused to do anything and I saw some people in line buying tv's I might have been vocal on my way out telling them I wouldn't buy that since they do not honor exchanging defective product.  Best Buy hopefully has improved but I remember they had a horrible problem exchanging things and I even had issues with them trying to say I had to buy an extended warranty to get a defective open box taken care of.  When you want to deal with a retail location in the area you live it is sad because sometimes there are not alot of options anymore.  A number of good and reliable home theater retailers have gone under because to many people want the cheapest prices.  While there is nothing wrong with wanting a good deal and we all have spent alot of time to get great deals on black Friday.  Sometimes it is better to pay a little more for something from a repeatable dealer that specializes in audio video gear and who will work with you.  I hope you where able to get your issue taken care of and I see no reason why Walmart should not have exchanged your defective tv and taken care of the customer.  I think this should be a lesson to us all to buy our audio video purchases from retailers that specialize in it.  

 

Please update us and let us know if you where able to get your defective tv replaced.


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#13 of 13 OFFLINE   Alf S

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Posted September 05 2014 - 08:13 AM

Man just looking at the OP's post makes my head hurt...no paragraph breaks..just one giant wordy rant. :huh:

 

I have no real ise with WM and buy from them a LOT. Matter of fact we got a nice Dell laptop plus a 2 year full coverage warranty with it for far less than the other big box stores. It serves our needs well. If it ends up having issues, WM pretty much stand behind their stuff and I am confident that I could get any issues resolved in a timely/easy manner.

 

As long as you go there knowing what you're getting into, you'll be fine. But if you go in blindly, thinking you are getting the super top tier items on everthing, they sell, you may come away disappointed.


WOOSAH!.

 





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