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Be wary of buying the Black Pearl from Walmart.com

AmberylAmberyl Member Posts: 193
edited September 2012 in Buying & Selling Topics
I recently picked up the Black Pearl from Walmart.com, where it was on sale for $81. It arrived today, in completely destroyed condition. The box it was packed into was roughly the same width and length as the BP box itself, but was also easily five times its height. When it arrived at my door, it was completely open and filled with leaves, and the Lego box itself was damaged and torn open on one side, since there was zero packing material to stabilize it inside the far larger packing box.

To make things worse, the delivery folks (USPS, I think, any trace of the shipper seemed to be destroyed) didn't rang the doorbell (doesn't surprise me, or I would have outright rejected the delivery), so I got it after it had started to rain -- the whole bottom of the box was filled with water, the Lego box itself was sodden, and the moment I picked it up, both boxes fell apart.

I bundled the whole thing up into a garbage bag, checked which local Walmarts had it in stock, drove to the closest one (40 minutes away), and went to customer service returns. They explained that since I had gotten it from Walmart.com and that the problem was shipping at not Walmart, that I needed to deal with it online. I pointed them at the policy on their website which says explicitly that items bought online can be returned to a retail store, and the fact that if Walmart hadn't so carelessly packed the item, it might have had a chance of survival. They did agree to issue me a store credit, but they did not actually have it in stock (there was no sign of PotC sets anywhere, including in the clearance aisle). They did credit me the full item price I paid online (as opposed to the $69.99 price they had in their own register), but not the shipping and handling. (They were at least polite and sympathetic.)

I picked up the Ninjago Destiny's Bounty instead. They refused to honor the online price for the item, though ($10 more in-store, although I guess if I had really wanted to take the trouble, I could have purchased it online from my phone, and used in-store pick-up, so that's kind of absurd).

I have learned a valuable lesson about not shopping at Walmart, and I ordered the set from Lego directly.

If you're ordering your BP from Walmart.com, be aware that their shipment method is unlikely to get you a box in pristine condition.

Comments

  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,435
    I think anyone should be careful shopping at Walmart. My mother is an assistant manager at one and she has seen all kinds of theft and scams. I am stereotyping, but just walking through a Walmart sends chills down my spine. I feel like I have to take a shower after I leave. They do have a specific camera in the Lego aisle, but I don't think anyone is monitoring it...lol.
  • Penkid11Penkid11 Member Posts: 789
    ^I'm sure that the large Cole's Tread Assault wheels that have been rolling around my nearest stores Lego isle for the past 4 months would agree with you!
  • RennyRenny USAMember Posts: 1,145
    I ordered 3 from there but opted to have them shipped to the store for pickup. If they turn out to be damaged I will just ask for a refund. Thanks for the heads up though, that sounds terrible.
  • nkx1nkx1 Member Posts: 719
    edited September 2012
    Amberyl, you're stating Walmart shipped you, for all intents and purposes, a destroyed item and refused to issue you a full credit card refund? Instead, they issued you store credit and did not refund shipping?

    That is outrageous imo. If that happened to me, I would have insisted on a credit card refund of the purchase price + shipping, since it was entirely their fault. If they refused, next stop is small claims court lol.

    Even though we're talking a relatively small amount of money here, it's obviously the principle- they promised (ie entered into a contract) to send you a new item, and they did not honor their promise.

    I had a related annoyance with them a while back. I returned a tv a bought online, but they wouldn't refund the extended warranty I also purchased. Luckily, I was able to contact the extended warranty department to get that refunded. Walmart can be tricky to deal with, apparently.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,435
    Penkid11 said:

    ^I'm sure that the large Cole's Tread Assault wheels that have been rolling around my nearest stores Lego isle for the past 4 months would agree with you!

    That's freakin' funny ;)

    As far as the damaged Black Pearl, I would have called my credit card company an maybe you could get a full refund. It's worth a shot. Hopefully you took some pictures.

  • AmberylAmberyl Member Posts: 193
    Correct. They said that to receive a refund of the shipping, I would have to contact Walmart.com and ask for it back. If anyone knows what the contact method for this is, please let me know. Their returns policy is useless, as is the form for returning an item.

    The shipping was only $0.97, but they also would not refund me the sales tax of $4.89. The aggravation of trying to reclaim $6 isn't worth the hassle, other than the principle involved in my righteous anger. ;-)
  • LegobrandonCPLegobrandonCP CanadaMember Posts: 1,916
    What? Not even tax? Are you serious?
  • AmberylAmberyl Member Posts: 193
    Yeah. Not even the sales tax. And they would only do store credit or a gift card. Otherwise I would have decided that Walmart would not be getting to keep my money.
  • LegobrandonCPLegobrandonCP CanadaMember Posts: 1,916
    That is outrageous. But isn't store credit and a gift card the same thing? LOL You have to put store credit onto a gift card...
  • nkx1nkx1 Member Posts: 719
    So Walmart just gets to keep sales tax that you paid? That is absolutely absurd, and probably illegal (not exactly surprising, given Walmart may not be the most ethical of companies). If I were in your position, I would just keep all of your receipts/records in order and go back to the store to speak with the store manager. Hopefully, he'll be less of a jackass than whatever customer service person you were dealing with and issue you the appropriate refund for your original purchase.

    What a time-consuming mess over something that should have been so simple!
  • AmberylAmberyl Member Posts: 193
    Nope, with store credit you just get a receipt that you can trade in. A gift card goes on an actual gift card.

    I did speak with the customer service manager, who said that it's their policy that those fees can only be refunded by Walmart.com.

    Definitely not worth the $17 that I would have saved over MSRP, especially given that a physical Walmart isn't close to me. The drive was just less annoying than returning it via the mail -- since Walmart holds you responsible for the shipping fees when you return something, and I didn't want to deal with returning packaging and a Lego box that were soaked through.

    Also, annoying that Walmart.com and the Walmart app claimed that this store had the set in stock, although notably, the inventory syncs only once a week, so it was six days out of date...

    So lesson learned. Amazon, by contrast, deals with refunds and replacements for damaged goods with no hassle, and they cover the shipping for the return. (I've even had the very positive experience of a birthday gift not showing up on the expected receive date, and Amazon next-day expressed a second one for free so I would have it on time, and didn't even ask for the first one to be shipped back when it arrived. That was an expensive, large toy, so they ate both the item cost and express shipping for a big box.)
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    ^ Amazon is indeed the best in customer service...

    At the end of their customer service e-mails, they have the tag line:

    "Amazon.com - We're building Earth's most customer-centric company"

    They are not kidding...

    Take a look at their own "about Amazon.com" page:

    http://www.amazon.com/Careers-Homepage/b?ie=UTF8&node=239364011

    Very first item right on the list:

    "Earth's Most Customer-Centric Company"

    :)
  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 2,002
    Here's the thing about the sales tax... If they issued you store credit, whatever you purchase with it won't be subject to tax. So, if you (for some reason) purchased the Black Pearl again at the exact same price you originally paid, you would not end up paying the $4.89 in tax again as they already collected it the first time. I realize this doesn't help the situation much at all, but I also didn't want you to storm off to the authorities for something that's perfectly legal.
  • BumblepantsBumblepants DFWMember Posts: 6,763
    I has the same issue with TRU, they sent Capt Americas Cycle in an envelope and the whole thing was crushed and mangled. I tried to return it to the b&m store and they refused to give me the shipping and tax back and insisted it had to be done online which would still involve the expense of me paying to send it back. I ended up just keeping it for my son since I can live without the box of a small set like that but I am never dealing with TRU again
  • AmberylAmberyl Member Posts: 193
    That does not seem to be the case, y2josh. I was in fact charged sales tax on the store-credit purchase (I immediately applied the credit to another set which was $2 cheaper than the BP).
  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 2,002
    In that case, that sounds very wrong. Unless there's some loophole in your state I'm unaware of, they should not be able to 'double dip' on sales tax, as it were.
  • caperberrycaperberry LondonMember Posts: 2,226
    I just love how this thread title sounds like a pirate's warning. Arrr.
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Denver 4800 miles to BillundMember Posts: 2,560
    My wife worked retail when we were young. You will NEVER get sales tax back on a purchase. You can thank your government for that and it's all very legal.
  • nkx1nkx1 Member Posts: 719
    edited September 2012
    ^I've never heard of that. Perhaps different states have different laws regarding sales tax. In California, you are always refunded sales tax. That makes little sense to give sales tax to the state for something that you returned (something you effectively did not buy).

    What state are you referring to, where you are not refunded sales tax? I'll be sure not to to buy anything there if I ever visit lol (if that practice is, in fact, legal).
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    ^ Ditto, in Texas you always get the sales tax back.
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Denver 4800 miles to BillundMember Posts: 2,560
    Colorado. He bought a destroyed item that tax was paid on. The item was destroyed and is no longer an item. He exchanges it for a like item and there fore the tax is paid on that item. He should have done what he said he was going to do and ordered another one for in store pick up and exchanged it. He wouldn't have paid tax on the second item. But he didn't and incured another tax.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    ^ When the item is returned and refunded, sales tax gets returned at the same time.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    BTW, it really isn't worth the effort on a $80 purchase, but Colorado (and almost every other state) has a process to get the sales tax back, if the retailer refuses.

    http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite?blobcol=urldata&blobheader=application/pdf&blobkey=id&blobtable=MungoBlobs&blobwhere=1251794022059&ssbinary=true

    That is the PDF file for Colorado showing how to submit the request for refund, the state department of revenue will cut you a check for the over-payment of sales tax.

    But again, that is a lot of work for a few dollars.
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Denver 4800 miles to BillundMember Posts: 2,560
    ^ Apparently not for him. He received a store credit minus the tax. The same as I would get.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    oldtodd33 said:

    ^ Apparently not for him. He received a store credit minus the tax. The same as I would get.

    The store employees made a mistake, what can I say, they are human. :)
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Denver 4800 miles to BillundMember Posts: 2,560
    edited September 2012
    ^ Was it a mistake or the tax laws in his state? We don't know.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    oldtodd33 said:

    ^ Was it a mistake or the tax laws in his state? We don't know.

    You're right, I suppose it is possible there is a state out there with such rules.

    While I've never heard of it, anything is possible. All I can tell you for 100% sure is that Texas doesn't work that way. :)
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