I've written about this many times, but it continues to amaze me that people continue to cling to the myth that "Wal-Mart will take anything back."
The old people have flown back to Florida in force. It seems like the entire population of the Midwest and New England is here, along with a good chunk of Canada.
And aside from the Canadians, none of them have any manners.
I had more trash — both stuff and people — come through my line Saturday than most sanitation engineers seen in month of Sundays.
One woman used an entire set of solar-powered garden gnomes for the entire summer — and I mean the entire set — gigantic lighthouse, all the little village houses, the animals, the lights, the animals, the whole works — and returned it once she was bored with it.
She just yanked it up right out of the garden Saturday morning, slung it in the back of her car and plopped it up on my counter. It got dirt and water everywhere. Some of the stickers were so dirty I couldn't read them. That's just dirty.
Another woman had this clock she's bought before she went back to Minnesota. It didn't work. I told her I couldn't take it back because she'd bought it in April. "Well, we just got back. We've been up north." And this is my problem, how exactly?
So she walked over to the trash can, threw away the receipt, came back and looked at me and said "I don't have a receipt and I want to return this." So, do I call a spade a spade, or just give her $6 and change in store credit?
Another woman had a phone that she said she bought "last week." What these people don't know is that serial number scanning is now mandatory on all warranty items. So when I scan the phone and the serial number, it says ITEM PURCHASED ON 06/09/06 - LAST DAY TO RETURN WAS 09/09/06.
I tell her and she knows she got caught in a lie. "So I can't get another phone?" "You can buy another phone ma'am, but we can't take this phone back."
"Well what am I supposed to do with it? It quit working two months ago." Wait, I thought you said you bought it last week?
I stood my ground and made her take the warranty information (it had a year manufacturer warranty) and leave.
And the grand prize of the day was this stereo. Some old man had wheeled and dealed for three of them over the past two years. He'd bought one, returned it and bought another and returned it. He finally got one he liked. But this one went out too.
So, in his infinite wisdom, this old fool decided that Wal-Mart was to blame for his cheap stereo going out. So some assistant manager decided that as long as he bought a new one, we could take the old one back — 544 days after he bought it. NEVER MIND THAT WE ARE ONLY SUPPOSED TO TAKE BACK ITEMS FOR 90 DAYS.
You better bet I put 'RETURN APPROVE BY ASST. MGR. XXXX" on that stupid stereo when I shipped it back to Claims. No way I'm going to take the fall for a 17-month old stereo and a $315 hit on our bottom line!