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.
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.
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.
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. ;-)
What a time-consuming mess over something that should have been so simple!
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.)
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:
Very first item right on the list:
"Earth's Most Customer-Centric Company"
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).
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.
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. :)