Sunday, March 04, 2007

Eureka and gone

Another vacuum cleaner - another throw down. I should start keeping track.

This woman came up Friday night and I just cringed when I saw her in line. I knew it was a junky vacuum and I could tell by the hard little set of her mouth that she didn't have a receipt and was spoiling for a fight. Well, she got one.

Of course, it has been my experience that when the customer does not have receipt, they will try to throw everything at you in the first blast of the conversation. Sort of a "shock and awe" punch, so see if you can be stunned into going along with them.

So I get the "We bought this vacuum three weeks (HA!) ago and we only used it once and it just quit working and we don't have the receipt because I threw it out and I think it is just junk and now we want a new vacuum cleaner." Shields at maximum!

I don't even start pressing buttons, except to get the item number off the barcode. I look it up in the Warranty Returns computer and Eureka products are not returnable without a receipt. Period. Doesn't matter if it works or not. So I print off the warranty and gird my loins to deliver the bad news.

As predicted, it doesn't go down well. "Well, that's just not right. We bought it at Wal-Mart."

"Ma'am, it's not a question of you purchasing the item at Wal-Mart. You do not have a receipt. Without a receipt, that item is not returnable. This is the warranty information. Eureka has a one-year warranty on their products. If it is broken, they will fix it or send you a new one. But Wal-Mart cannot take that product back unless you have a receipt."

Well now she just gets snappy. "Well, I want a manager. This is terrible customer service." Well, you're stupid for losing your receipt. I'd never spend $178 on a vacuum cleaner and toss my receipt in the trash? Who buys big-ticket stuff and tosses the receipt? Total idiots. That's who.

Well, one supervisor happens to be walking by. I get her and explain the situation. She's like "I'll deal with it."

So they start arguing. The woman pushes the warranty back over the counter toward me and the supervisor pushes it back. "Ma'am. You don't have a receipt. We're not going to take it back. We're telling you how to repair it. There's a toll-free number and a Web site."

The woman pushes the paper back and goes "Well, what about customer satisfaction? Isn't that what Wal-Mart is all about? I'm not satisfied right now."

My supervisor, bless her, points to the huge policy hanging on the wall behind our Service Desk and says "Ma'am, it says we will refund any item within 90 days WITH A RECEIPT. If you find a receipt, we will take the vacuum back. I'm sorry that you are unhappy, but we're not going to take that merchandise back." And she walks off.

The woman makes a "Hmphf" sound and looks at her husband. Sort of a "You never fight me, so why does anyone else?" look. And she threw the vacuum into the buggy and rolled right out of Customer Service the same way she came in. Pinched lips and unsatisfied!


Anonymous said...

Hooray for management for following policy!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Adrienne said...

When did Walmart stop taking back ancient merchandise?

These people are just responding to operant conditioning with intermittent reinforcement. They're not stupid. They learned the policy and thanks to the occasional manager giving in, it will take years for them to unlearn it.

Walmart should just take everything back anyway. They take everything else of value from the community, and it's not like they ever really "lose" money. I wish I could lose so much money and still be a multi-billionaire.

chunes said...

Woohoo! A small victory for you! Congratulations.

Stephanie said...

If you administer a small electric shock every time you say "No," they will learn faster.

FARfetched said...

I guess those vacuum cleaners really 'reek-a if Wal-Mart has gotten tough on returns. It seems to happen a lot: Wal-Mart insists on companies take a haircut on what they charge for the product, so they end up cutting corners so they can make some money.

Result: Wal-Mart is full of junk products.

I have to agree — in a lukewarm fashion — with Adrienne: Wal-Mart squeeze play causes the problem, so part of the responsibility is theirs. However, this information is pretty well-known to anyone who hasn't plugged their ears, so people who buy appliances at Wal-Mart pretty much get what they pay for.

Anonymous said...

You should have directed her to the Metamucil/FiberSure aisle and instructed her to wash it down with large quantities of prune juice. That would take care of her "pursed lips" problem and give her ample time to stew over how dumb she is to 'misplace' a receipt, for a newly purchased (so she claims)item that exceeds the cost of $75, from WAL-MART.

Anonymous said...

I walked into my Wal-Mart on Saturday and saw that the third person in line for Customer Service was hugging a giant purple vaccum. It made me laugh and I thought about your blog.

Sarah said...

I think the underlying problem is that people don't read. If they took time to read signs and receipts, they would know return policies. And if by chance someone is truly illiterate, they can just ask an employee. (and hopefully the employee gives the right info)

I work at a totally different store, and today someone tried to tell me there was a sign above some ribbon saying it was 2 for $1. What the sign said was - 2" Ribbon, $1.00

Shenida Weave said...

"Maam... this is Wal-Mart, not Saks... you're lucky we didn't have the greeter flash you his shriveled old boner on the way in... 'cause we sure them same pursed lips of yours would pop out at that, too!"

Anonymous said...

I must say this about WalMart being the big evil: If we (consumers) weren't greedy tightwads those places (WalMart, Dollar General, All-You-Can-Eat China Buffet for $3.99) would not appeal to us. If there is no market the stores wouldn't survive. SO, stop shopping/eating at cheap places and go to Worth Ave and SPEND SPEND SPEND! 8)

The Crutnacker said...

Wal Mart used to carry quality items. I still have an Emerson TV, Pioneer CD changer, and several smaller electronics that I got from Wally World back in the mid to late 80s. Unless it's something of minor value (ie: a cordless phone), I won't buy it at Wal-Mart.

That said, is there ANYONE out there who doesn't save a receipt for any electrical item for at least 6 months? I still have receipts for electronics I bought 10 years ago.

Debo Blue said...

Shenida-you too funny!

Aside from the day to day cleansing items and equipment, I don't shop Wal-Mart.

Now I know what its employees have to go through.