Petsmart / return policy changed retrospectively at the cost of customers
I bought a dog in April, and that's when I first started shopping at Petsmart. Over the last 8 months, I spent hundreds of dollars at the Warwick, RI store - on training, toys, a travel crate, carriers, etc. Since the return policy was never printed on the back of the receipts, nor was it posted anywhere visibly inside the stores, I asked on three different occasions about it - just in case. I have never had a dog before and, especially in the beginning, never knew whether I would ever use what I bought. Each time, I was told that there was no time limit to returning merchandise for a money refund as long as the items were unused and I still had the receipt.
When I tried to return a few (unused, unopened) items with the respective receipts last week, I was told that the return policy was 60 days, past the 60 days, I could only get store credit. This is obviously contradictory to what I had been told originally. Now, the return policy is clearly posted throughout all stores and even printed on the receipts. I know that this was not the case previously. The girl at the register was unimpressed by my explanation and her manager never showed, because she was on the phone. She literally made that girl come tell me that I could not return anything other than for store credit. Period. Since I had tried to return the items at a different store than the one I usually do my purchases, I assumed the terms may differ from store to store so I told the girl at the register never mind, that I would in that case go to the original store the purchases were made, the store in Warwick. She asked me whether I was going to go there right away, and I answered yes. Little did I know that she would "alert" that store's manager, who literally waited for me at the entrance. Up to this point, I had been calm and quite sure that there must have been some misunderstanding on their part. It became apparent that this manager was well prepared to say sorry but no. He denied the fact that the policy had changed, acted as if it had always been that way, and more or less insinuated that I may be lying, since he had not been there to witness his employees informing me on the generous return policy. At some point, he admitted that all employees had gone through training a month ago to learn about the return policy, but he denied that the policy had ever changed. I am beyond furious: apparently, the policy changed in retrospect. Had I known that there was a time limit, I would have made it a point to return the items sooner.
The reason why I did shop so much at Petsmart is exactly because of their lenient return policy. While I don't mind that the return policy was changed, I mind that it was changed retrospectively, while customers are being lied to about this change. The store should have honored the return policy that was in effect at the time of purchase.
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