Thursday, December 27, 2007

After Christmas Agita!


I happened to be making a return to Walmart late yesterday afternoon. The returns area is right up front by the cashiers, and I heard some very unhappy customers getting very riled up.

It started slowly, but it got ugly pretty quickly.

Seems like the good folks at Walmart had a problem redeeming all those gift cards that they didn't seem to have a problem selling (funny how it works like that?). Their "third-party verification" company had a "system error" which rendered the gift card balances to $0. (again, funny how that happens, notice nobody's cards erroneously went to $1 million).

I just wonder if this "third party" is another one of those "outsourced" parts of the business?

Another "WOW"... I had purchased a video camera for my oldest girl. It turned out to be the wrong model. She wants to be able to share her videos, YouTube, email back and forth, etc., and the camera we chose didn't do it. The salesperson insisted it did, but that's for another day.

We returned it, and went to a store where I thought the salespeople would be a little more capable and qualified. Circuit City.

After explaining exactly what we wanted to buy, the salesperson presented us with a Canon that was said to be "exactly what we needed!"

It wasn't. You can't tell this stuff from reading the outside of the box, you have to open it. But we didn't know, so we took his word for it. His word was worthless. Or more accurately, it was worth about 55 bucks. That's what Circuit City charged me as a "restocking fee", despite the fact that I only bought it at the salesperson's recommendation.

I immediately thought of that Dire Straits tune, Money For Nothing, except there were no "chicks for free", ya know?

Seems that they allow themselves to keep a healthy portion of your purchase price simply because you open the box. I wanna get in on that...I'll sell you products that are completely wrong, then keep a vig when you return it. Nice. Something to consider in the New Year, huh?


  1. I can't believe they can get away with that! A $55 "re-stocking fee"...give me a break.

  2. Anonymous8:32 PM

    $55?????? THAT IS OUTRAGEOUS!!!!
    Hope she liked the new one. I got my girls this FLIP video camera that's supposed to be small, easy and downloads to the internet. At least that's what they tell me! (lol)



  3. Anonymous8:33 PM

    Yippee! I don't have to return a thing this year!!


  4. Anonymous9:01 PM

    "But its Christmas!!"...guess that doesn't wash anymore, huh? Restocking fee??? Ridiculous...but whatchagonnado!!
    xoxo ~myra

  5. Anonymous9:25 PM

    That re-stocking fee is for the birds! Perhaps if they had trained their salespeople...

    Best Buy is not charging a re-stock fee until February. Perhaps knowing your future business will be there might have changed their $55 brain freeze.


  6. I hope you raised hell with Circuit City? That just ain't right!

  7. Anonymous9:59 PM

    Well, I know I would've raised hell about that restocking fee. Especially since the sales person said it did what it didn't do.

    With that said, it makes me seriously consider, do I want to do business with this company?


  8. Anonymous10:01 PM

    I would love to have a part of that money too! Linda

  9. Anonymous10:07 PM

    Thanks for the info, I can now add Circuit City to my personal "do not buy from" list. Restocking fee *$^#&! What a load. I for one, am sick to death of stores ripping the consumer off...bunch of grinches.

  10. Martha10:29 PM

    What's up with that whole restocking fee thing?! Are there any other ways they can come up with to rip us off?!

  11. Hi Jimmy,
    I guess the translation is: Retailers are getting desperate. The $55 restocking fee when you only bought the camera based on the salesperson's inaccurate advice is like adding insult to injury. I'll be if you wrote a letter, they'd waive it. I'm sure the last thing they want is publicity about your experience. Why not call your local consumer advocate reporter?

  12. My niece had the same problem yesterday when she tried to redeem her Walmart gift card. I didn't have any problems today, so I guess they fixed that error!
    BTW.. I always have some time for stupid! :)

  13. Our local TV news just did a story on this yesterday and I was surprised to hear that most electronics stores charge a restocking fee if the item has been opened.....but I had NO idea it was as much as $55. I'm sorry but that's insane and I'm not sure there's much you can do about it.


  14. Anonymous12:42 AM

    Grrrrrrrrr that should be against the law. A restocking fee? Cripes I won't be going there anytime soon!!! Hope you find what you're looking for.

  15. Anonymous1:44 AM

    How crazy is THAT?! We had an issue with a pair of boots. There was only one pair left in the store..... a pair of two right feet!

    "Santa's elves really mucked up that one, honey..."

    Hope the New Year brings you many smiles!


  16. Gaboatman5:16 AM

    I wonder if they would open the box for you in the store before you plunked down your money? If they are not willing to do that, or at least get the box the floor demo was in to read the included instruction manual, then they should not charge a restocking fee. They will, anyway, but they shouldn't.

    I do hope you were able to find what your daughter needed. I know how important that is to you. Sounds like Santa is working overtime this year, LOL!

  17. I would have made sure that dumb arse sales assistant paid the 'restocking fee' or he would have had my fist re stocked in his mouth! ;-)
    I take it you won't be shopping there again?

  18. Anonymous9:05 AM

    Had they told me they were charging me a $55 restocking fee, I would have went crazy! That's out and out stealing! It certainly doesn't cost $55 to have a stock boy return it to the shelves now does it??

    Have a good New Year!

  19. That's so funny...we went to return something yesterday (late afternoon) to Walmsrt as well. Only get this: we FORGOT the item we were to be returning!
    AND...for the record, with the horrible problems I've had at circuit city in the past...I REFUSE to shop there ever again..even if they have the lower price. They are uneducated scam artists and get their money in a variety of dishonest ways.
    Merry, Merry!

    : )


  20. Anonymous9:12 AM

    Jimmy that is a rip off ~ can't think how they can get away with such a scam ~ Ally x

  21. Anonymous9:13 AM

    Jimmy that is some rip off ~ I for one wouldn't shop in either store again ~ Ally x

  22. I can't believe they charged you that much for something that was there mistake. What has the world come too?

  23. I'd tell them to restock this (then proceed to whip out middle finger).

    Ok, I wouldn't actually do that. But I'd raise some hell. I think a letter to the CEO is in order....esp. since their salesman dooped you. I guess you're adding Jerkit City to your 'do not shop list'?

  24. Not that I am not completely outraged at the customer service (or lack thereof) at Walmart and circuit city....but you should know that any video camera should be able to do what you need. Seriously. I just bought my son a kid's vid for $60 at Walmart and we are already uploading videos to the computer...

    What the hell is a restocking fee anyway? Can you imagine the hourly wage they must charge their employees if it costs $55 to spend 10 minutes putting something back on the shelf. Maybe I am in the wrong line of work!

  25. Unbelievable. You really have to put on your boxing gloves to hit the stores this time of year, don't you?

  26. Oh no. I bought A LOT of Wal-Mart gift cards this year....
    I think I will start ignoring the ringing phone....


  27. Ever get the feeling the scales of life are off kilter these days and they're no where close to tilting in our favor anytime soon?

    Don't even get me started on Wal-Mart my daughter quit college and that is her chosen job these days...and yes, I do know it will come back to bite her on the ass.
    Sorry Circuit City is such a sham! (Hugs) Indigo

  28. Anonymous3:58 PM

    That is crazy!!! Man...they will do anything for a buck!
    Hope you have a good New Year.

  29. I had to shop at Walmart today..the return line was long and it was nasty!!

  30. Anonymous6:44 PM

    I have to say that so many big retail establishments take customer service for granted and really don't care about providing the customer with acceptable options in order to keep you coming to their establishment. I can be frustrating. On another note, it was so nice chatting with you JP, I felt so good and I didn't want to go. : ( I hope you are having a wonderful Saturday. Luv Ya!!


  31. Anonymous4:42 PM

    I have a bone to pick with both Walmart and Circuit City. I do not appreciate that so many of our jobs went overseas just so Walmart can undercut all their competition. Life is getting too tough out here because of our declining economy. As far as Circuit City is concerned, they share a spot up there with Walmart in my book. I will only shop there when I have no other choice. Last year they announced that all of their sales personnel would be let go. They were hiring people who would work for less money. Those who wanted their jobs back had to agree to a pay cut. After hearing about a restocking fee, I wonder how much their executives are making. I think it's time to boycott both companies until such time as their customers and their employees are treated better. We are paying too much to live in this country and are losing too much of our pay in return.

  32. They charged YOU for THEIR salesperson getting it wrong? That is freaking insane! Write a nice long letter to their head office, and if you don't get a refund on the fee, send the same letter to your local newspaper with their response.

  33. Ahhh...the lovely "Walmart Money"... I feel your pain. I've purchased two of their "wonderful" debit cards, for my youngest brother. Supposedly, one should be able to re-load them with no problem...excuse me, while I choke...again. What a nightmare...

    Sounds like she wants the Flip. My oldest daughter got a video camers from Santa (he went out on his own...don't get me on that soapbox...Jimmy?...why won't boys listen to us?!)...that runs on batteries...and I'm not talking pack. Oy vay...;) C.


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