Tuesday, August 07, 2007

File under Wal-Mart Rental Agency

Three separate and distinct times Sunday I had customers return USED power tools. These weren't even obvious scams - like putting an old drill in a new package. No. They bought the tools, used them and then returned them.

One woman rolled up with a buggy full of stuff - a drill, a sander and a power saw - and wants to return it all.

Her receipt is four days old.

She gets real huffy when I open up all the packages to look inside and start inspecting the tools for signs that the products are really old or obvious switches. I'm trying to see if the drill - an expensive model - has a serial number on it when she finally loses patience and snaps out "Is there a problem? All these were defective and I want my money back."

I just said "Ma'am, we need to inspect the merchandise prior to a return," in as bland a voice as I possibly could.

Look heifer. This is Black & Decker stuff. Most of what Wal-Mart sells is trash, but NASA used Black & Decker on the lunar missions. The chances of $200 worth of power tools failing simultaneously are about as great as you marrying Prince William.

So you can just stand there in your horrid orange terrycloth halter-top ensemble - yeah, those shorts don't BEGIN to cover up your cottage cheese thighs - and wait.

You might conceivably wander over to our Health & Beauty section for something to help with your horribly dry hair. Conditioner? Or a nice hot oil treatment for madame? Stay away from the home perms though. Your head looks like a poodle bred with a bowl of vermicelli.

PS: While you're over there, pick up something for your personal odor problem. I know it is hot outside and we're all sweating like hookers on a pew, but you need a bath and probably a douche in no particular order.

No choice on the returns. The merchandise had been used, but not to the point of fighting over it. I'm sure they had a renovation project, came to Wal-Mart, bought tools and were now returning them.

Buttons, mash, TOTAL cash. $189.21.

"Here's your refund ma'am. Sign here please." I hope Code Enforcement nails you to the wall.


I forgot my name badge said...

The terry cloth outfit description cracked me up!! we had a woman come in our store was leaning over the layaway counter and all I could think of was if that elastic goes we're all dead. I mean it looked like two little boys fighting under a blanket.

Anonymous said...

I keep reading your blog and wonder when Walmart is going to wake up and stop accepting returns like this.

While I'm all for a customer-friendly return policy, stuff like this is just crazy.

fnc said...

"I keep reading your blog and wonder when Walmart is going to wake up and stop accepting returns like this."

I'm amazed at what they'll put up with as well. My only theory is that they get SO MUCH legitimate business from the people who pull stunts like this that it makes up for them occasionally renting power tools at no cost from the store. In other words, the terry clothed wonder probably buys enough cheap plastic crap in a year that she doesn't return to cover well above the cost of labor it took for our poor hostess here to refund them for perfectly good power tools. If they started pissing the annoying liars off in greater numbers, business might take an unacceptable dive. Eh, just a theory anyway.

DolfanDad said...

I agree FNC. Its been my undestanding (I may be wrong so please correct me) that wal-mart actually budgets for these types of losses, both returns that they can't resell and thefts. I don't know how much but I don't think it matters. You know they are making so much more than they are losing, and until this type of behavior hits the higher ups in the pocket book, the return policy will be loose as a goose!

but look at the bright side, bbc american will have a blog for much longer, and that makes me smile! :)

High-Maintenance & Hostile Heidi said...

You know what Wal-Mart should start doing with all the returned power tools?

Put up a sign reading "If you're one of those people who just buy a power tool to use once, please don't buy a new one off the shelf, just buy this one and we'll credit your money back when you RETURN it!"

It would cut down on waste, employee frustration and still keep the customer happy because they're getting exactly what they want!

Even I wouldn't buy THREE power tools to use and return, although once during college I bought an $800 camera at Ritz to use for photography class just until I get could home the next week to get my dad's. (We had to have a certain kind of camera and my el cheapo WALMART one wouldn't cut it.) When I returned it, the guy was like, "You didn't even try it out! The film is still in the package!"

Tee hee.

Anonymous said...

I just love this blog ,,, I now know I can borrow tools from my local wallyville.

BitterEmployee said...

I know how you feel! It's the same with camping equipment and artificial xmas trees at my store. As long as they have their valid receipt, we have to take it.

But the excuses, like "It has a hole in it" for a tent and "It didn't work" for the xmas tree gets a 'riiiiiiiiiiiight' look from me.

Sometimes I just want to punch people in the face... Maybe we could open a retail store like this?

Anonymous said...

oh man..i work at a walmart and i HATE it when people do this. it's like we're rent-a-center or something...they buy, use, and return. i can hardly wait til the end of summer when all the air conditioners start coming back just under the 90 return limit =( it's ridiculous that anyone would even think of doing things like that, but it's sad to say that even associates at my store do it...use most of a shampoo bottle and say it didn't work for their hair; have a lunch bag for years and exchange it for another one b/c it ripped; buy window fans to use until we get another shipment of ACs in, and then return it. drives me crazy!

ps...love your blog! =) i can relate and i love that someone else feels the pain i do of working at the service desk...

Anonymous said...

Can't agree with you more, and don't doubt for a second this woman is full of crap. That said, please refresh yourself on the quality of B&D hand tools. They were quality 'once upon a time' - not so much anymore.

Warren said...

Just wanted to say that "Sweating like a hooker on a pew" is an expression that I have never heard which I find to be totally awesome, I will be working it into conversations all week long.

Jennifer Davies said...

I just wandered across your blog and have to say thanks a bunch for ruining my work efficiency! Now I need to go and read all of your funny retail experiences... well, it's almost lunch break. :) That's twisted and wrong, but your take is hilarious.

Jenn | http://www.ferrento.com/en/tools_and_equipment__rental_rates.html

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