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Sam's Club / returning damaged online purchase

1 Madison Heights, MI, United States

I have loved every Sam's Club I've ever shopped at--until this one. Every single time I go in there the lines are 4-5 people long and no one is opening more lines and I inevitably get stuck behind someone who doesn't speak English or has three items that all require manager price changes or a big cartful with six separate transactions. Last week, it took a couple 25 minutes to ring up three items with all their issues. Ugh.

But today took the cake.

I had bought a camera online at http://samsclub.com and straight out of the box it had a huge scratch on the LCD screen. I could NOT live with that, so I took it back (first making sure the instructions allowed me to return online purchases in-store). It was a Saturday. I was told that since I paid with a Visa (and brick and mortar stores don't deal with Visa), they couldn't call [whoever they needed to call] to process the return. Ooookay, somewhat plausible reason, but still a pain.

So I went back on the following Monday and first they tell me that I have to take it to Photo. I went to Photo and there was a sign saying "Back at 12:30." Um, no, I'm not waiting 25 minutes, so back to Customer Service--where it was like they had never ever returned anything purchased online. No one knew what to do and they had to get other people involved. She asked where the memory card was. I say that camera doesn't come with one. "No, the one listed here" and she pointed to the receipt. Oh, you mean the other item on the order? I'm KEEPING that. Okay.

So they finally get it worked out (20 minutes later) and show me my return amount, which was MINUS shipping and handling. Ohhhhh no. I said "The item was damaged, I was told I would also get the s/h back." The girl goes off to check (i.e. ask someone else). Nope, she tells me the box wasn't damaged. I said "But the ITEM was damaged." She checks again [with another employee] and the answer is still no. You got it--they were refusing to refund my shipping because the product BOX wasn't damaged, even though the actual ITEM was. The girl who was helping me was very nice, but the other woman she was asking was showing attitude (I could see it from where I was standing), like "Who does she think she is?" type of thing.

Seriously? I was ready to ask for my membership fees back. But I asked to talk to a manager.

She came over and I repeated my story--that there was a SCRATCH on the screen, the item was damaged, and I should get ALL my money back. You could tell she wasn't buying it, either, and basically told me (implied) that anything you buy online at SamsClub.com you never get refunded shipping when you return it.

WHAT?!

But then she agreed to give me a gift card (somewhat begrudgingly it seemed), since they couldn't actually process the refund (due to it being a Visa) and they couldn't do it online [for whatever reason].

I tried to have a reasonable chit-chat type conversation with the manager to get clarification on their return policies and you could tell she didn't want to be dealing with me and she thought I was scamming them.

I should have just ate the $10 shipping and asked for my $40 membership dues back...I would have been $30 ahead.

Just another reason I am NOT renewing my membership.

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