Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Training wheels for dummies

I’ve had people try to return bicycles because they’ve literally ridden them into the ground, because they got a flat tire, because they found a better price somewhere else, because they were too stupid to realize that you should never buy a bike at Wal-Mart – for a whole host of reasons really.

But I’ve never had anyone try to return a bike because his kid outgrew the training wheels.

Uh huh. This man, came up to the Service Desk Sunday pushing a used but not overly abused bike.

Now, working at the Wal-Mart, I’ve learned to speak English, Spanish, Scammer, Cheater, Ghetto, Stupid and a little bit of French. Apparently today I added “Downright Clueless” to my repertoire.

This man’s first story was that the training wheels were broken. Which they were, on both sides – you could see that the metal had been stressed and bent.

Well, when we sold the bike to you, I’m pretty sure they weren’t broken – and you wouldn’t have bought it like that anyway – and you don’t have a receipt.

Then, he just doesn’t like the bike, because it is “too small” for his son. Well, it’s not really Wal-Mart’s problem you didn’t buy the correct size bicycle for your son. Why didn’t he sit on it, ride it around the store a little and then you pay for it? We DO NOT return bicycles.

So he keeps trying to explain himself, and we finally get to the real root of the problem.

“My boy, he is too big for the training wheels.”


I tell him this and it totally doesn’t penetrate. He wants a new bike.

Then he utters the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.

“I am a customer. I buy something. I do not want it. I bring it back. You give me something else. You fix this one up and you sell it again.”

Um, yes. That’s how a return process works, unless the merchandise has been destroyed in the process.

So I scream for help and get a manager who comes over. He tells the manager that when his boy rides the bike, BOTH TRAINING WHEELS DON’T TOUCH THE GROUND.


And the man goes “I keep bending them and they keep bending back.”

No wonder they’re broken. You’re the one that broke them.

And they finally, finally manage to convince him that that is how training wheels work. And that Wal-Mart won't take back a bike just because his kid outgrew it. I never. I really never.


High-Maintenance & Hostile Heidi said...

Wow. What an idiot.

All I can say is about this bike business is thank you so much for letting me know I can't return a bike at Wal-Mart....not like I shop at Wal-Mart or even need to buy a bike but still it's good information to know!

Anonymous said...

Not sure why you completely discount nearly all of the Merchandise sold at Walmart. A Huffy is a Huffy, a Mongoose is a Mongoose. Doesn't matter where you buy it. Granted, I could see if it's a Walmart specific brand or a brand known for defects/etc? I've gotten plenty of things at Walmart that haven't broken, including my daughters first bike.

FARfetched said...

Anon, I think the point is that good bicycles aren't sold in Wal-Mart (or Target, etc.). Sure, if you know how to maintain a bicycle (and it isn't hard), and do it, you can get a lot of good use out of a Wal-Mart bike.

As far "a Mongoose is a Mongoose," a lot of manufacturers make things… um, "special" for Wal-Mart so they can meet price points demanded by Bentonville.

Anonymous said...

FARfetched said...

True. I'm certainly not going to go to Walmart looking for a Trek or a Schwinn (etc.), but I don't think any serious biker would. That still isn't to say the bikes there aren't good enough for the average rider.

yellowdog granny said...

if i had your job...my teeth would be ground to dust..

grundes said...

I had a bike from Walmart that I didn't like. It was 3 or 4 years ago, so I guess I could bring it back, but I am more sophisticated than that.

Instead, I've used my psychic mind-control powers and had someone steal the damn thing from me.

luckycanucky said...

Similar situation at my own store, but when the guy was told he couldn't return his aged busted up bike (and had no receipt to prove it was bought at a Wal-mart anyway) he went balistic and when forced out of the building by management, he flung the bike out into the parking lot and stormed off.

I get cheesed at our returns desk all the time. That the girls who work back there don't think to check if Wal-mart sells La Senza shirts with 725 tags badly sewn in them before refunding the money...

Debo Blue said...

I once returned lipstick to Walmart after using it about two days and they took it back.

Now I know where I'm buying my next bike.

Anonymous said...

Luckily, my parents didn't believe in training wheels (or God forbid, bicycles from Wal-Mart). You rode or fell off. We all learned to ride a bike very quickly.

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