You’re Not Going To Believe This Story…

My regular readers know that, after weeks of searching and comparing,  my hubby and I bought a new big screen television a month ago.  Several times during the past month our new television would “pop” while we were watching it, like it was giving off a static charge.  Then one night last week when we tried to watch a dvd, we couldn’t get the tv remote to work.  We discovered that the tv was “locking up” whenever we pushed a certain button on the remote.  We had to unplug the tv to even turn it off!   After an hour on the phone with technical support, my husband finally got the remote and the television “in sync” again, and all the while  I’m thinking…”hmmm, this baby needs to go back to Wal-mart!

On Saturday morning we got up early and went to Wal-mart for pet food.  While there, my husband noticed a television like the one we recently purchased, with a sign over it saying $1096.00.  We paid a good bit more than that for ours!  My husband decided it was time to return our troublesome tv, and get a replacement–at a cheaper price.

We went back home, boxed up the tv (we’d saved the packing just in case something happened), and back to Wal-mart we went!  Did I mention that it’s a 60 mile round trip to Wal-mart?  We returned our troubled tv, explained our problems with it,  got a refund, then went to purchase another tv.  We told the salesman that we wanted the one under the $1096.00 sign.  He put it on a cart, then rolled it to the register.  When he scanned the tv, it rang up at the same price that we originally paid– not $1096.00!  The guy looked puzzled, then excused himself for a moment.  He returned to say that there was a mistake–the wrong television had been put in front of the sign.  My husband argued and said, “Well, the sign says…1096.00, and this television was under the sign.”  So the guy went off again, came back, and says “My manager says the best she can do is offer you three dollars off, for the price error.  She can’t sell that tv to you for that price.  ”  By then, we were getting aggravated!  My husband asked to speak to the manager.  My husband never gets upset, but he was getting upset by now…He explained to the lady that we’d just made a second trip of 60 miles just to buy that tv at that price.  She wouldn’t budge, and said that all she could do to help was give us a 20 dollar gift card for our gas.  We didn’t know what else to do, but take the gift card.

Ed and I talked,  and decided that we might as well go ahead and purchase the television for the original price.  We really liked our other one–until it began having  problems.  By then the manager had gone, and we were back dealing with the original guy.  You could tell he felt bad for us, and seemed surprised that we were still going to buy the tv.  Then he said to us “If you will wait until tomorrow to buy this television, you will get a $250 gift card.” ( a special promotion)  I was thinking…”I am not coming back tomorrow”, but my husband said, “I’ll come back tomorrow!”  The guy put our name on the tv and said he’d put it in the back for us.  We thanked him for telling us about the upcoming promotion  and we left–with no tv!

Today we went back to Wal-mart to buy our television.  We asked an associate to get our tv out of the back.  She rolled a tv out to us, my husband took one look at the box and immediately recognized the box with a tiny tear on the corner!   It was the “troubled tv” that we  returned the day before!   They were trying to resell it–to us!  My husband said, “I don’t want that tv, I want one that hasn’t been opened.”  Soon another manager came to see what the problem was with us…Ed explained that he knew this was a used set, because he had returned this very set yesterday because it had problems! ( By this time, I’d escaped to the grocery section!)  Ed opened the box for them, and sure enough, it was our former tv!   After that,  the manager got busy and went to find another tv– with our name on it!  When Ed questioned the manager about selling a used, defective tv as a new one, he claimed it had mistakenly gotten put back in stock!  Finally, we made our purchase and got our $250 dollar gift card. 

My question is this…Why couldn’t Wal-mart “make things right” yesterday, and go ahead and give us the gift card?  I”ve always heard that, legally, the store has to honor the price that’s advertised, but Wal-mart wouldn’t budge, and we didn’t know what else to do.  However,  we were very insulted when they only offered us three dollars for a price error!!!  Worst of all–how dare they try to resell a defective television to some unsuspecting souls–especially us!  Oh, how I dislike shopping at Wal-mart…

I’ll bet you think the story ends here–but no there’s more!  While there (call us crazy) we decided to use the $250 gift card to go ahead and purchase a tv for the bedroom because I recently sold my old one.  After purchasing the big screen, Ed went back in the store,  and got a smaller tv for the bedroom– and we got a $40 dollar gift card with that tv.  Once we got it set up, we discovered that the new bedroom tv has problems already… the picture quivers every few minutes… That means Ed will be going back to Wal-mart, again, sometime in the near future,  to exchange another tv!   I can hardly wait to see what happens on trip #4!

Published in: on October 31, 2010 at 11:04 pm  Comments (12)  
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12 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I’m with you. I hate Wal Mart. It is the only large store close to me so I do a monthly shopping there and groan every inch of the way. If I could shop at any other store for as little I would. But, the the other big stores are aobut 1 1/2 hours from me.
    I hate Wal Mart!
    Good luck with the TV, I am afraid you will need it.

  2. Oh I believe it! I try to tell this to my customers (I own a baby & maternity store). They don’t believe me when I tell them that this is how the big-box stores (Walmart,Target,etc) can afford to give refunds months after the purchase -no questions asked. Because they don’t want to know why you are returning it….they are going to just put the box right back out on the shelf and sell it again.

    I have purchased several things at walmart (like a vacuum for one) that was obviously used and was missing important parts. They took it back from me and gave me another and never marked the box defective, damaged or nothing…they just put it back for a 3rd potential sale and hopefully to someone who doesn’t like to return things.

    As a store owner I can also share with you that they get seconds of lots of merchandise. We as specialty stores (non-big box stores) get the first quality products, which obviously cost us more, and they get the seconds that cost them less. They put what ‘appears’ like an identical item on their shelf at half the price that I do and people buy from them thinking they are getting a bargain. Example, one of my customers brought in a sleeper that they said they bought from us with one leg at least 3 inches shorter than the other…I thought at first glance it was from my store. They did not have a receipt so I searched inside the outfit for a tag to prove it came from our store and what did I find??? A Walmart Tag!

    At my store I would NEVER dream of putting something back on the shelf that was returned, regardless of the reason, yet it happens all the time at the big box stores.

    Sorry to be venting, but your post just opened the perfect opportunity for me to share with your readers what I have tried to convey to my customers for a long time.

    Owner of The Baby Store Plus

  3. I am very sad to say that I absolutely DO believe the story! That very thing is so typical of our Wal-Mart! They don’t budge on anything whether they’re at fault or not. That old adage about the customer always being right has escaped Wal-Mart policy. Now I don’t believe that the customer actually IS always right. However, we probably are 90% of the time. And I 100% certain that y’all were right! I am so glad you posted about this. You really should send the link to that particular store and to corporate as well. Maybe the rest of us should post our own Wal-Mart horror stories and do the same!

  4. I’m sorry you had these problems…A company has to honor an advertised price…but our only recourse if they refused is to sue them for false advertisement which would cost us more and not be worth the hassle…Honey Bear comments often about how Wallmart has changed since Sam Walton passed away…the quality of service just isn’t the same.
    I have often found products on the shelf that have been opened and I never buy them because I figure they are returns, not necessarily faulty products but who knows…let’s choose to believe there was a mistake made when they returned the problematic TV to stock.
    I agree with Pam, you should let the store and headquarters know about the problem…sometimes it is human error and not store policy.
    Take a deep breath and enjoy your day.
    Mama Bear

  5. Post script: Don’t ask me how I feel about Ashley Furniture

  6. Ugh. Sounds miserable, like something that would make my blood pressure skyrocket. I have no patience for this sort of thing.

    Hope your week improves!

  7. I agree with Pam and Mama Bear. You should definitely send this to their headquarters and demand an apology of some sort! That is really EXTREME bad service!!
    Good thing we have no Wal-mart´s down here.

  8. I really thought they had to honor the price shown too. That’s their mistake not the customers! And I can’t believe they tried to sell you back the broken TV…ok, yes I can, this is WalMart we’re talking about after all. I hope trip #4 is much less worrisome!

  9. I hate to hear this. I hope you get it all settled and taken care of soon. The color tube is trying to go out in my TV, so I know it won’t be long before I have to replace it, and after this story – I don’t look forward to it !!! 😦

  10. Ugh! A Wal Mart fan I am not, and that’s why! They’re crazy there 🙂

  11. My goal is to not have to go to Wal-Mart. I shop Bi-Lo for their specials, local IGA for my meats, and dollar general for household items. Local pharmacy for any prescriptions. I’m thinking of doing my Christmas shopping at K-Mart.
    Wal-Mart has gotten where they think they have a monopoly on everyone else.
    Also I’ve gotten into using coupons and Bi-Lo doubles them. Wal-mart acts like its an inconvenience to ring up coupons.

  12. In answer to your question about Bi-Lo. I only shop their specials and what I have coupons for. They double their coupons, and some of their specials are buy one get one free. If you don’t want but one of the item then it’s half price. For example last week Dijorno Pizza was Buy One Get One Free. Reg price 5.30 so I bought one for only 2.80. Can’t beat that. Other than that their normal prices are way higher than anywhere else.

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