Adventures in Wal-Mart -OR- I can't believe people are so stupid/crooked!!! semi-long

Well, I had to go to Wal-Mart last night to return something I had purchased earlier in the day (not needed, never opened, never used). While waiting in line at the Customer Service counter, I started watching the guy in front of me (what else was there to do?). He was returning a ahem NEW Playstation system. It consisted of 4 games, an extra controller and a memory card. Every single package was absoultely ripped open and destroyed. The cords we dangling out of the box like he just stuffed an octopus in the box. I mean, if this person was purposely trying to wreck boxes he couldn’t have done a much better job. I figured (somehow) that the unit must be defective or something and he was going to exchange it. Well, soon the cashier girl is counting out $20s to him and he leaves with about $300. After I get up to the counter I ask the girl why on earth he returned it. She said “He didn’t want it”. Whaaaat? I then asked why in the world they would accept something like that back (since there is no way in hell they could sell it like that). She said that she wouldn’t have, but her manager over-ruled her. So, for this first part this begs the question: Why for the love of god would a manager accept something like that back???

The saga continues…

I am in the tool/hardware section looking around. I eye a cordless drill and pick it up and look at it. This other gentleman sees me looking at it and starts talking to me. He mentioned its a good drill. I mention I kind of need one for a job I plan on doing around the house this weekend, but I think I might just buy a cheap corded model for what I need. The guy then says this:

"You have a glue gun, right?"


Well, do this. Buy it and be careful opening the package. Use it for what you need. When you are done, reglue the package down and return it! I do it all the time!"

Like he is REAL proud of this!! I say, uh no and leave.

WTF??? Is it just me or are people just dumb and dishonest nowadays or what? Or am I just old fashioned?

I know none of the things I saw directly effected me at all but man! It just gets me mad!


Well there does seem to be a lot of dishonesty floating around.

For example, here in boston, the subway costs $1/ride. However, at the Park Street station, one of the turnstiles is frequently broken and you can get in free.

I always put a token in the turnstile, anyway. I don’t think $1 is too much for a train ride, and I’m honest. However, people usually give me smug-n-superior looks, as if to say “Look at me! I’m a damn thief and proud of it! I got away with getting my train ride free because I have NO MORALITY WHATSOEVER!!”

Yeah, guy, you’re my idol.


The first episode I don’t think is that bad because they can put it into a new box and resell it. So they trade the price of a new box for the good will they receive from a liberal return policy. The second story is just bad, I do think like that are stupid and dishonest. What gets me is they are proud of their dishonesty. What is worse is those people who do that with clothes.

I don’t buy things in order to use 'em and take 'em back, but I do occasionally buy things, try them out, and take them back. Wal-mart and other “discount” stores offer no-questions-asked return policies. I don’t see that it’s taking advantage of the store to use that policy. In fact, I think it’s a selling point. For example, I buy a lot of kitchen equipment. Some of it works well, and some of it sucks. If I buy something from a cute little specialty store, I don’t get to try it out. Once I pay for it, it’s mine. For this reason, if I can get something at a department store or Target, I’ll always buy it there. I can then return it if it doesn’t work the way I want it to. Note: I always keep the box and packing material, and do my best to keep things in “brand-new” condition if I think I may want to return it. No sense it making it unusable.

I often wonder, though, what they do with stuff that’s obviously used. If I buy something that looks like it’s been used, I get pissed. I especially get pissed if there’s stuff missing from the box (which has happened to me). Mr. Athena thinks they ship this stuff off to third-world countries where they can sell it as-is and nobody complains.

Ok. So I was shopping at what my fearful roomates call “Ghetto Cub Foods,” mostly because it is the not-so-nice part of town. I always shop there because it is the closest grocery store to my place, they will drive the extra 10 minutes to go to a nicer place. Any-hoo on a few occasions I’ve noticed people leaving items below their shopping cart so they dont pay for them. I’m aware this could be done accidentally but I’m pretty sure it was done deliberately. I didnt have the heart to “tell” on them because. . .it’s food. Its not like luxury items, it was bread. They were a big family and they were sneaking off with some extra bread.

On the flip side, I used to know a family that would return items (shoes and bikes) a year after purchasing them just to upgrade to something nicer. That pissed me off because they did it continually. They just took advantage of the store’s return policy. Yeah, this was a “christian” family.

Aaaarrrrgggghhhhhh! This drives me insane at Walmart! (OK, more insane than I already am.)

I am shocked by the amount of items I see on the shelves of Walmart that are ripped open, and were obviously returned. It’s bad enough they accept crap like this, but can’t they at least make a half-assed attempt at putting the package back together in a presentable way? And, uh…Oh yeah! How about checking that all the parts are included?

Makes me feel like a mutant when I have something to return, and I’m neatly bundling the cord, twist-tying it, neatly closing the box, etc. Then you see stand on the return line and see the abortions that people are bringing back, and you think “Why bother?”.

When I worked at Wal~Mart (shudder), I was in the Health and Beauty aids department for a while. Customer Service called to ask me the price on a cologne that was being returned (it was something like Joop- pricey). I check the case-we don’t sell it! I tell the worker that, and she says “well, can you find something similar and tell me that price?” Well, what on earth does that mean??? Something similar??
“Well, this one smells like a French whorehouse, too. About $39.99”

I told her that I was not going to do that, and asked why they would take a return on an item we didn’t sell. She said it was their policy. OK…whatever. It was then I knew. Wal~Mart is run by complete idiots.

Oh, I also once saw someone return USED SHEETS with no package. WTF???


WalMart has a liberal return policy.

However, $300 for a PSX2 & games isn’t that much. That’s almost $500 worth of stuff.

I wonder if they have someone in the backroom who calls the police later reporting ‘theft by deception?’. They wouldn’t want to do that at the front counter in front of all the people.

Because it cost the store more in bad will not to take it back, than it does to just eat it, and have the thing repackaged. If they refuse, then the guy goes and tells all his friends that he bought this thing and Wally World wouldn’t take it back because it had a little tear in the box. Its just not worth it


It wasn’t a PSX2 it was a PS one.

My point is where do you draw the line? It is not “one” little rip in a box. The box was demolished, as was the controller and memory card package.

I worked in retail for a short while as a teenager and I know about reboxing. You cannot get “new” boxes for a videogame system from Sony or Nintendo (at least not easily). These are either:

  1. Going on the shelf taped up and looking like shit, which nobody will buy.

  2. Sent back to the manufacturer as “defective” when they are not, then the mfg takes a loss.

Either way, “innocent” parties take a loss.

I am willing to bet #1 will happen and the store will eventually sell it at a loss, hence the store loses money…and in the long run can arguably make prices go up since they have to somehow recoup costs.

This whole time the idiot that is at “fault” that returned it gets all of his cash back and has lost nothing. It wouldn’t be that bad if the guy at least opened the box with the slightest bit of care instead of letting his pitbull do it.

As for loosing customers, these are exactly the types of people stores could do without.

I believe the OP said “Playstation System” not “Playstation 2 system”. BTW, handy, I will sell you a New Playstation box and receipt for $450. :smiley:

I had no idea Wal-Mart’s return policy was so liberal. I once tried to return a CB radio at K-Mart and they would not take it because it was electronic and they dont let you return electronic merchandise later than 15 days or something. Bastards.

How about when people take advantage of Home Depot’s return policy. People seem to routinely purchase tools for weekend projects and then return them all banged up as though it was a free service provided by the store. Since they know they are going to return them they don’t even bother to clean them up. Their smugness is was pisses me off though, acting like their dishonesty makes them clever rather than just lowlife scum. I immediately feel smug about my moral superiority in such instances.

I also notice that the clerks almost always seem surprised when I hand them back money if they give me too much change. I would like to blame a decline in morality for that, but based on numerous discussions with teachers I think mathmatical illiteracy (illnumeracy?) is the more likely culprit, given that neither the clerk or the customer notices the errors in most cases.

I work support for a computer company (One with a pretty decent reputation.)

People call all the time with “defective” equipment trying to get free upgrades or are upset that they can’t return something after the return period (Or after their warranty is up.)

They scream and yell and curse… and I think I’m starting to understand why. Apparantly, it usually works. Fortunately (Or unfortunately) this particular company doesn’t budge a whole lot, so after they yell I get to explain again why they can’t get their upgrade and listen to them scream at me again.

Huh? They’re not so like this in Brisish shops.

Anyway, there’s loads more stories like this on one of the boards at the Customers Suck site.

People can justify anything in their minds. My personal opinion is that if anyone says to me, “Oh, I’m just going to borrow it.” or whatever, I’m going to say “You mean you’re going to steal it. Let’s not beat around the bush”.

It’s all denial. Call a spade a spade, if you ask me.

I know, but buy the time this guy get through telling the story, it will have magically changed to one little rip.

Many manufacturers, espicially when dealing with huge retailers, will allow the retailer to send back the package to be repacked. I know one placed I worked at years ago did this all the time.

But it is not that particular customer they are worried about losing. If one of my friends tells me a horror story about how he got ripped off at a retailer, I am not likely to buy from that retailer myself. When you piss of a customer, right or wrong, you usually lose more than just one customer. Since it really costs the store very little, it isnt worth the bad pr they would get. Its just part of the cost of doing business.

On the contrary, it could easily have cost the store $300 or more.

Lets say their supplier doesn’t give them credit (or they don’t bother to send it back). That is quite likely. They make a very small margin on Video Game hardware…sometimes only barely break even.

So, they have to recoup the cost of the product, plus any lost profit margin… that equals a lot of dough.

If his “friends” don’t want to shop at Wal-Mart because they wouldn’t let him return a un-sellable (is that word?) product, so be it. They are not going to miss 2 18 year old kids business. I very much doubt it would go that far anyhow. I would give a “freind” of mine a whack on the side of the head for trying to do that in the first place.

Just so you know bdgr, I understand where you are coming from and agree with you to a point. However loosing a customer over a “defective” $10 video tape is one thing, but I think it is quite different when several hundred dollars are in question.

“Is it wrong to steal bread to feed your family?”
“I guess not.”
“Well what if you have a large family? Is it wrong to steal a truckload of bread?”
“Well, no, I guess not.”
“What if you family doesn’t like bread? What if they like…cigarettes?”

They do indeed lose money on these returns-then they make up for it by cutting back on expenses, like turning down the heat and the air conditioner, not fixing equipment right away, runnign short staffed, laying off staff, cutting back hours, etc etc.
That’s what Krapmart does, anyways.

Besides, bdgr-these are not “customers.” They are scam artists. If stores would stop giving into these types of things, they’d save a lot more money.

Trust me, these people COST them money.