Consumers Beware, don't purchase Walmart Black Friday Doorbuster specials on anything you may have to return. This is what happened to me. I purchased an Emerson 19" LCD HDTV on Black Friday for $198.00 for my son as a Christmas Gift. The purchase was made at the Clarksburg, WV store. When we opened it and hooked it up on Christmas, it didn't work. We had sound but no picture. We boxed it back up and with receipt in hand, I returned it the day after Christmas to the same store as purchased. To my delight, there was no line for returns! I told the cashier the problem with the TV and that I wanted to exchange it for another one. She scanned the TV and my receipt, and cheerfully told me I was in luck because that particular TV was still on sale. Her comment confused me somewhat, since I only wanted to exchange it for the exact model I wasn't sure what that would have to do with anything. She said since that was the case she would issue me a cash refund, and I could just go back and repurchase another one.
My two sons and I headed back to the electronics dept. and quickly located the same TV. However, when I looked at the price, it stated $287.oo. We put the TV in the cart and took it to the register in the electronics dept. and asked a nice young man there to scan it. I explained the situation to him, and after scanning the TV he said it had a different SKU and that it was the same model, but they change the SKU after black friday. The department head whose name was Bonnie came over, and we explained to her that I wanted to "exchange" and that it was the same TV. She very rudely stated NO, and said that was just how it was. If I wanted that TV, I would have to pay the difference. I could not believe what I was hearing. How can they do that? She said black friday specials have different SKU numbers, even though they are the same item, and it was that way at any store, not just Walmart. I disagreed with her, and after telling her that I doubted that other stores had that same practice, decided I would take my $$ and buy a TV elsewhere, even if I had to pay more. On the way out of the store, with my 18 year old son prompting me, we stopped to speak to an assistant store manager. I explained everything to him, thinking all the while that something is very wrong, and I'm sure he'll fix it. After making a call back to electronics, he told me No sorry, that was just how it was, and it was Walmart's policy. So I proceed to ask him if what he is saying is that Walmart purchases items from wholesalers, stocks them for Black Friday at discounted prices, then changes the SKU and increases the price afterwards. THEN, when innocent consumers purchase items that don't work, return them WITH receipt and ask to just exchange for the exact same item, they cannot because the SKU and price are different. If the consumer wants the same item they must pay the difference?? HE ANSWERED YES THAT IS WALMART'S PRACTICE.
I gave him an earful, as well as the people in close proximity to me, and went over to speak to my Mother who works there, and was going on lunch break. I told her about the issue, and after she returned from clocking out, she said she spoke to another manager and that she wanted to speak to me. I went to her, and told her the problem, and she did say that although it was not company policy, she would make it right. I followed her to electronics, and she did help me and make it right by giving me the EXACT SAME TV WITH A DIFFERENT SKU AND PRICE, for my original purchase price. However, I might add that while she was doing the override on the electronics department register, BONNIE, the dept. head was there and put her rudeness back to work by stating that she didn't know why I was getting to do that when they wouldn't even do it for associates. If I were her boss, she would have been fired immediately for saying that in front of a customer. WE GOT THE TV, AND IT WORKS, SO THANKS FRANCIE FOR YOUR HELP, YOU ARE GREAT. The rest of WALMART can kiss my @**, cause I'm taking the roughly $10,000 I spend annually there somewhere else. DO NOT BUY BLACK FRIDAY SPECIALS AT WALMART IF YOU MAY HAVE TO RETURN THEM. BETTER YET DON'T BUY THEM AT ALL!!!