Walmart Refuses To Take Back Air Mattress, Makes Up New Return Policy On The Spot

Jacob writes, “I have been trying to make Walmart take back an air mattress for two months now, and they refuse.” The store manager at the Walmart on South Duff Avenue in Ames, Iowa (shout out to Leslie Hall!) has started making up new rules on when an air mattress can be returned—including that the federal government limits returns to 15 days “because of the bed bugs, you know.” No, we didn’t know that, Walmart manager. In fact, after thinking about it, we’re still not sure we know it. Because it sounds like you made it up.

In June my wife and I bought a queen size air mattress for some friends who were going to stay with us for three weeks in July. We tested it and found that because the edges of the mattress are higher than the middle, once two people lie in it, they slide towards each other almost like in a hammock. It was inflated as much as I deemed safe and was quite hard, so that was not the reason. As the mattress is basically defective, we go to Walmart and buy two twin air mattresses ten days later. We did not think to return the first one at that time because, as Walmart advertises, they have a 90 return policy.

After our friends had left, in early August we went to Walmart here in Ames, Iowa (the newer Super Center – yes, we actually have two in a town of 50,000) and attempted to return it. We were flat out denied by the co-manager, who claimed that a 15-day limit for air mattress returns are in effect. She had various ridiculous excuses, one of which was “the federal government’s rules, because of the bed bugs, you know”. When I asked if the government really controlled Walmart return policies, she answered yes, almost defiantly. Apparently, if an air mattress spends 16 days in anyone’s house, but not 15 or less, it will get infected with bed bugs. She did say, though, that she would exchange it with another air mattress… So what’s the point of the bed bug excuse?!

We declined, as we already had bought two new twin mattresses in the same Walmart, even within the 15 day period. I offered to bring her the receipt so she could verify this and just return our money for the queen size one. This she also refused. I took down the names of everyone involved, and went home to write the store’s manager and ask him to set it right. In my letter I made it clear that Walmart’s own website does NOT ention anything about return limits on air mattresses, and that, in fact, if I had bought the mattress online, I would not have this limitation. Furthermore, in the store there is now a sign to this effect in the sporting good section, though it was not there when my wife and I bought ours, but not in the Home section, where there are also air mattresses. Thus, a customer can still go into Walmart today and buy one without knowing about this limit. It also isn’t printed on the receipt. The store manager completely ignored my letter.

I then submitted a complaint to the BBB and sent the original complaint to Walmart national customer service. Walmart proceeded to ignore both this letter, as well as the BBB complaint.

I do not think it is right that customers are treated differently. In the store, they claim 15 days. Online, they have general return guidelines for all Walmart stores that list a few limitations for returns, but not for air mattresses. The return policy for the online store has a more specific return policy with more limitations, but still no mention of air mattresses. It even says I can return any online-bought product to any store. So had I bought the mattress online they would have had to take it back in the store!

I want Walmart to take my complaint seriously and not just think if they ignore me I will go away. I also want my money back. My wife and I give them hundreds of dollars of business every month, which I pointed out in my letters, and they don’t give a damn.

Where do I find executive contact info for Walmart? I have looked around online but not found anything. Please give me some hints here and help turn on the heat on Walmart.

Jacob, this post links to over 700 phone numbers at Walmart. It’s nearly a year old so we’re not sure how up-to-date it is, but it’s a good place to start.

“Reach Walmart Vice Chairman John Menzer And 742 Other Walmart Employees”
(Photo: CipherSwarm)

Comments

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  1. IrvCrapper says:

    I’d recommend protesting somehow, but when SuffolkHouse helped the guy who protested his EBay purchase of an RV here, he was denied commenting privileges.

    Be careful what you say here – the open-minded consumerists will shut you down.

    • tc4b says:

      @IrvCrapper: The comment section has guidelines which are clearly stated. Most of us are grateful, as it has cut down on trolling and blaming the victim quite a bit.

      • IrvCrapper says:

        @tc4b:
        Ultimately, who gets to determine the legitimacy of someone’s comments? What’s the purpose of allowing people to respond in the present format, if it isn’t to police the legitimacy of responses?

        The comments guidelines were not violated by SuffolkHouse to my understanding. It seems rules are being interpreted and applied capriciously.

        It’s too bad.

        • trujunglist says:

          @IrvCrapper:

          Would it be possible for a link to the supposedly offensive material so that other people can judge for themselves why SuffolkHouse was banned? I can’t tell if he should’ve been banned or not based upon someone’s opinion. If you want your argument to hold water and get other people involved in your cause, then you should back it up with some evidence. I am not familiar with this problem even though I read the RV eBay thread.

        • WhirlyBird says:

          @undefined: I’ve stopped posting for exactly this reason. First, they get all “retarded like Teresa Neilsen Hayden” with the comments, then, lo and behold, they’re not making enough money, and now Consumerist is laying people off. Cause and effect? You decide. But censoring the speech of the people to whom you market your “wares” isn’t always the smartest thing to do, is it?

    • shepd says:

      @IrvCrapper: @tc4b: And it’s stopped me posting, which I’m sure my place of employment appreciates. And I’m sure no-one will be sad to see me go, but I don’t post anymore because I see so many psts tht r dsmvwlld, or deleted. The stories are still good, though, so I guess I’ll just stick to the front page.

      • nsv says:

        @shepd: Um, but you’re posting.

        [head explodes]

      • IrvCrapper says:

        @shepd:

        Well, I’m new here, but I used to visit before and after the comment changes. I think these comment changes suck, and I’ll let you know why I think so. The kind of audience activated by the idea of holding corporations responsible for their shenanigans tends to be more liberal, and liberals don’t like being told that they can’t talk without approval.

        I’m convinced that the site is headed down this path where it is trying to “mature.” Why? I don’t know, unless it has some commercial money-making interest. In which case, it will be compromised as an oversight mechanism.

        And frankly, I think the quality of the posts have gotten weaker since the lead writer left. It is less snarky, edgy. it has lost something.

  2. kmw2 says:

    Blaming the government for policy at Walmart seems to be endemic. I had a Walmart clerk tell me they needed my social security number for a $100 money order once “because of the Patriot Act”. I took myself and my hundred bucks next door to the supermarket and bought one without even handing over my ID. It’s ridiculous.

    • temporaryerror says:

      @kmw2:
      Every month I have to buy $600 worth of money orders…(trying to get credit back on track.) and I’ve purchased them both at Quicktrip and the local Kroger affiliate. Never been asked for ID, or even had to answer questions about what I was doing with them. I can see maybe wanting ID for orders over $1000 or $5000, but $100? I don’t think so.

      • tylermorgan says:

        @temporaryerror:
        I believe the official WalMart limit is something like $1500 – asking for ID is largely at the discretion of whoever’s working the customer service desk, at least in my experience.

        • antisane says:

          @tylermorgan: Walmart limits each MO to $500, if you want a larger amount you have to buy multiple MOs of $500 adding up to your wanted total.

          I pay my rent bi-monthly, and pay with MOs from Walmart. It’s out of my account faster than a check, so it’s easier to track, and each MO is only the amount plus $0.39.

          Oh, and I have NEVER had to provide my SS# for a Walmart MO, sounds to me like the guy/gal was trying to pull a scam.

    • eelmonger says:

      @kmw2: The Patriot Act does require (or at least it used to) a ton of information (including SS#), if you’re buying a very large amount of money orders. I think it was something like $5,000 worth back when I was working at a service desk. We were told this was cumulative, so if someone bought that much in total over the course of several weeks/months they’d have to fill it out too, of course none of the employees would keep a running total of how much anyone bought. For a $100 money order though, they were either being dicks or thought something was fishy.

  3. VA_White says:

    If you ever read “Behind the Counter” you know that the air mattresses get returned so much it’s like Wal-Mart is a air mattress rental company.

    They are jaded and don’t believe for a second that his guests didn’t enjoy a comfortable stay on the Wal-Mart air mattress. I can’t say I blame them.

    But if they are going to institute a new mattress policy, it should say so everywhere.

    • ludwigk says:

      @VA_White: My first thought was that the store mgr was suspicious of “Retail Renters”, that is, people who purchase a device for a short period of use with no intention of keeping it, then returning it a short period later to get their money back.

      Air mattresses would likely fall into this category, as people might buy one when a guest comes over, then promptly return it since they have no actual desire to own said mattress.

      This does really hurt retailers in a few ways. If it is a device that they cannot sell used, then they might have to scrap it entirely, eating the whole cost of the unit. If it is resellable, it will have the appearance of a returned device, reducing its appeal to customers. Some states have laws that the unit cannot be sold at full retail if it is returned, so then they eat an open box fee. Even if they charge an open box fee, or they can return it to a mfr for a refund, it generates extra work to return, process, and ship, or restock the product, which eats into the the stores very limited operational budget.

      Walmart lying about their return policies is unconscionable and unethical, but these are just a few of the many reasons why Walmart’s management might grow resistant to certain kinds of returns. It’s a case of a few habitual abusers ruining for everyone who might have a legitimate return.

  4. CyrusOpeth says:

    A few years ago, Wal-Mart was selling Sanyo (in-house exclusive brand) televisions with a ONE YEAR return policy. It was listed right on the shelf tag. My father bought one, tried to like it for three months, and decided he would just take it back. The store manager was nice enough but truly didn’t believe us until we walked him back and showed him the shelf tag. Imagine his surprise. He took the set back.

    Fast forward a couple of years. I bought a Sanyo 35″ tube HDTV, based on all of this. Same return policy. Different store. 11 months later, the green goes out. I take it back, and this fat redneck old dude assistant manager flat out refused to deal with me–he insisted I was attempting FRAUD against Wal-Mart.

    I stood my ground and got it all straightened out, but not without some hassle.

    Buyer beware Wal-Mart.

  5. campredeye says:

    I had an Xbox that died 1 day outside of warranty. My local Wal-mart wouldn’t take it back, so I went to the other one in the town over and they didn’t even think twice of it and gave me a new one.

    Try going to a larger store where they don’t have time to argue.

  6. ChuckECheese says:

    At my Walmart, there is a sign on the shelves next to the air mattresses explaining a restricted return policy, and there is another sign behind the customer service counter repeating this policy. I can’t remember the policy since I’ve only seen the sign in passing, but I remember it is more conservative than the usual for WM.

    • jeebussez says:

      @ChuckECheese:
      Some (states? counties? cities?) have restrictive policies on mattresses returns, usually amounting to once opened they are considered used and cannot be returned due to sanitary and health reasons. I know we have that policy local stores (not WalMart, but as one that sells mattresses); at my store we have a 90 day exchange policy, but we have to dispose (and eat the cost) of the returned mattress.

      Then again this may apply to actual -mattresses- and not inflatable plastic ones.

      • RedwoodFlyer says:

        @jeebussez:

        To add to that, you are, however, able to put the value of the air mattress towards another one – that way, it discourages retail renting, but lets you back out of the purchase of a super crappy one.

  7. bsalamon says:

    wait, you mean Wal-Mart isn’t the greatest store ever?

  8. ambrooks16 says:

    It’s odd coming across this post. I was in line at Walmart just a couple days ago in the return area. There was a sign saying something specifically about returns of air mattresses. I think it was a 15-day, but I’m not sure. I guess too many people just buy one when they have guests and return it as soon as the guests leave.

  9. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    Don’t bed bugs live in the fabric? How could they live on a big rubber balloon?

    • zentex says:

      @AlteredBeast: anywhere it’s convenient it seems:

      preferring to remain hidden in such places as mattress seams, mattress interiors, bed frames, nearby furniture, carpeting, baseboards, inner walls, tiny wood holes, or bedroom clutter.

      [en.wikipedia.org]

      • @zentex: But the plastic of these mattresii have welded seams, to keep the air in. This also precludes them from entering the interior of the mattress.

        • AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

          @Git Em SteveDave loves this guy–>: Thats what I was thinking. If it was porous for bed bugs to live in, it wouldn’t be a very good air mattress. Even if by design there are creases, to make it more comfortable, it seems easy enough to clean.

          Some products when returned get sent back to the manufacturer as there are special steps in repacking and reselling. I’m sure they have the means to clean these things off.

  10. fisherstudios says:

    Just because they put up a sign doesn’t mean you are forbidden to return the item.

    What if the person buying the product was illiterate for example and couldn’t read the sign? Or if the person was underage and therefore not able to make any kind of legally binding contract regarding the purchase at the time of their purchase?

    • TracyHamandEggs says:

      @fisherstudios: That argument will never work, unless you want people to have to take a test to purchase anything.

      Air Matresses are the single most rented item (I’ve read). People buy them when someone comes to town then return them all the time. I don’t blame them if they opted to never take one back. HAving once purchased one that rolled out with used tissues inside it I don’t blame Walmart one bit in this case.

    • ManiacDan says:

      @fisherstudios: Not to sound “elitist” but if someone can’t read that’s their own damn fault.

      Also, store return policies exist outside of contract law, no store is legally required to accept any returns for any merchandise except in the case of safety recalls. Even defective merchandise they can direct back to the manufacturer.

      I do agree with TracyHamandEggs! though, air mattresses have restricted return policies because people think they can just “borrow” them. Even the OP said: she bought an air mattress for company and attempted to return it after the company left. Now, the fact that she (supposedly) bought additional air mattresses doesn’t change the fact that Walmart’s policies are in place specifically to prevent people from using walmart as a free air mattress lending house.

  11. Toof_75_75 says:

    I don’t think you want Wal-Mart to “take your complaint very seriously.” Technically, even though they haven’t said it explicitly, that’s exactly what they are doing right now…

  12. Murph1908 says:

    Ugh. Nothing like an Ames, Iowa story to remind me that Paul Neuman died.

    I’ll be here with my JTS Brown, no ice, no glass, if you need me.

  13. pockygt says:

    That manager clearly has no idea how bedbugs work. Should have called him on it right there.

  14. I remember standing behind a woman in line to return an air mattress. The clerk told her that it had been more than 15 days so she couldn’t return it. She said “but it was 70$ and it’s less than a month old and it leaks!” The clerk said “Ma’am, that’s why there is a 15 day return policy. They don’t last very long”

    Wow. Straight up tell the customer that your products suck.

  15. akacrash says:

    pockygt
    “That manager clearly has no idea how bedbugs work. Should have called him on it right there.”

    No, ‘How Bedbugs work’ is a Lifehacker article! You’re on the Consumerist.

    ;)

  16. Gopher bond says:

    I didn’t think anyone on the Internet shopped at WalMart

    • clickable says:

      @testsicles: Not only did I shop at Walmart, I shopped Walmart online. My one and only purchase from Walmart was from their website, since AFAIK we don’t have any Walmart stores here (New York City). And not only did I buy from Walmart online, but I bought two quite beautiful cashmere throws for $25 each. Around 2 years Walmart made a brief foray into some online-only high-end cashmere apparel and home goods, but they didn’t sell well, probably because no one shops Walmart.com for fine cashmere. So everything was clearanced out.

      For that money, I thought they would be paper-thin and flimsy like the “pashminas” I buy in Chinatown, but they turned out to be as thick and sumptuous as anything by Johnstons of Elgin, yet light as a feather. One of them always goes in my carry-on when I fly.

      I’ve never seen anything even remotely similar on their site since that season. I check once in a while in hopes of getting another steal.

  17. grandzu says:

    Yeah they implemented a different return policy just for air mattresses about 2 months ago. Its only 14 days and that’s only if its unopened.
    Luckily I had a decent manager who allowed my return, even though the CSR had said “You will not get your money back.”

  18. bmcgann says:

    I have a similar story regarding returning an air mattress to Wal Mart…by similar I mean completely different. My in-laws bought one for when they stay with my wife and I. After using it for something like 6 months, it simply deflated one night while they were sleeping on it. Awkward. Anyway, my mother in law insisted that we (i.e., me and my father in law) take it to Walmart to return it. Mind you, we had no receipt, no box, no nothing. Just a deflated air mattress in a black Hefty bag. We went up to the return desk and the woman said “see if you can find this model of air mattress in our store now and bring it back to me and I’ll credit you for the price of the mattress”. Ok…so…we did as we were told. They didn’t have the one we bought, but we found one that was similar, i.e., was an air mattress. We were credited on a Walmart gift card for the full amount of that air mattress. For all Walmart knew, we could have taken the defective mattress out of someone’s trash. And for all Walmart knew, the mattress wasn’t defective, but rather deflated for some other ersason, which I don’t want to think about as this is my in-laws who were using it.

    • nsv says:

      @bmcgann: Um, hate to tell ya, but your in-laws have probably… ah… deflated more than one air mattress, if you know what I mean. Your spouse wasn’t delivered by a stork.

      Now YOU might have have been…

      That said, it makes sense for a store to have a special return policy on items which are usually “rented”. But they need to make it very visible, at the shelf where the item is sold, everywhere else where the general return policy is posted, and online. It’s wrong to surprise a customer after they’ve purchased something with the understanding that it falls under a different policy.

      Of course this is Wal*Mart. Why should they care?

    • rainday says:

      @undefined: you’re the reason for the return policy. an air mattress is for temporary use, not constant use.

  19. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    While it does stink, I can see why such a return poilcy exists. Often an air matress is needed in a pinch, when someone has to stay over for just a few nights. Seems like the perfect product to buy, use, and return.

  20. Adisharr says:

    Whenever I needs something low quality I shop at Walmart.

    • AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

      @Adisharr: There is something to be said for consistancy.

    • thelushie says:

      @Adisharr: You mean like KitchenAid, Sony, Toshiba, etc?

    • ludwigk says:

      @thelushie: In some cases, Walmart has a mfr make a particular line of a product that is specifically lower quality, and thus lower cost so that Walmart can exclusively carry it at an unbeatable price. For instance, at some point they carried an exclusive line of low-quality Levi jeans that were basically Levi knockoffs actually made by Levi for Walmart. They could offer these at a lower price than regular Levi’s and were only sold through walmart.

      For some people, this can be a great value, for others, it has the risk of falling short of their expectations since these products are not up to the usual Levi quality. At any rate, it is a clear documented instance of Walmart specifically carrying a lower quality version of a name-brand product. They also do this with some television brands, although usually smaller mfrs like zenith.

      • sircrazyj says:

        @ludwigk: They still have that line of Levi jeans. All Levi’s use to be made in USA (not sure about that now) and Walmart Levis are made in Mexico. They don’t even have the same patch as “real” Levi jeans. They are called Levi Signature I think.

  21. CaterinaLelex says:

    Ugh. This is not the only way that Walmart tries to screw folks over on air mattresses. My boyfriend and I bought an air mattress at Walmart a few weeks ago for a camping trip — their store-brand. We used it for ONE night. The second night it sprung a leak and completely deflated overnight. (On a very cold night in the mountains, I might add! We didn’t get a lot of sleep that night). When he took it back to Walmart, they told him “Oh, those are only meant to be used one time — they’re disposable.” Ridiculous! My boyfriend did eventually get Walmart to do a return for him, after he pointed out that it’s completely ludicrous to say that an air mattress is only meant to be used once and that it doesn’t say that anywhere on the packaging, anyway. Still annoying, though. We bought a replacement at Target.

  22. Southern says:

    I bought an air mattress at a San Antonio (Texas) Walmart during hurricane Ike, and there was a sign on the shelf where the air mattress’s were that did stipulate that the return policy on them was 15 days, and they could not be refunded, they could only be exchanged for one of the same, or greater, value.

    There wasn’t anything on the sign that said anything about “Federal Law” or anything, so I’m sure it was simply a store policy. I didn’t think twice about it at the time, since I didn’t plan on bringing it back anyway. *Shrug*.

  23. mbz32190 says:

    I don’t understand…if she offered an exchange, couldn’t you have just exchanged it, then returned that one? If not just drive 5 minutes to another Wal-Mart until you find one with a “clueless” CSR.

    • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

      @mbz32190:
      My local Walmarts take anything back with no questions asked. I’d try again later when someone else is manning the desk or go to a different Walmart – although the next closest Walmart to Ames Iowa could be 30 miles away.

  24. ThinkerTDM says:

    Well, a while ago I had a great idea about inflatable furniture- even had a loveseat!
    But Coleman apparently doesn’t make stuff to last.

    Anyways, I can see the point of the 15 day return (if there is one)- how long does a balloon last?

  25. EricaKane says:

    Why didn’t person return this mattress when they bought the new ones? Frankly thats what stinks about this, you are headed to Wal Mart anyway to buy new ones, why not pack up the old one and do everything in one trip.

  26. EdnaLegume says:

    newest revision to walmart return policy:

    pajamas now have a 10 return policy. you know, cause of bed bugs.

  27. bigloaf says:

    I was told that at least here in California, it’s illegal to sell a used mattress because of possible biological contamination. A friend of a friend was supposedly fined $500 for trying to sell one at his garage sale.

    Secondly, when I worked in plumbing at Home Depot, we were told that it was against the law to accept returns on drain cleaning tools (snakes, augers etc.) because of the biohazard.

    Lastly, if you ever try to buy underwear on the internet, the sites typically state very explicitly that the product can’t be returned due to federal law (something about intimate wear).

    There could be some truth in what walmart was saying.

  28. HarcourtArmstrong says:

    The Wal-Mart by my house has a HUGE sign stating the air mattress return policy. It made sense to me, they’re in the business of selling air mattresses, not renting them.

  29. bentcorner says:

    Hopefully a Palin/McCain administration will mean that Wal-Mart will finally be free of government bed bug regulation.

  30. Supasam83 says:

    I would just try another branch…sometimes you just get stuck with a moron at one branch and a really nice and friendly rep at another…

  31. Mr.SithNinja says:

    I did time at Wal-Mart for a year as a Customer Service Manager. The real reason for the 15 day return policy on the air mattresses is that too many people were buying them knowing that they were just going to return them after their house guests left or their camping trip was over or what have you. Unfortunately, too many Store Managers are of the opinion that if you say “cuz the Government says so” is better than the truth, because if you tell the truth you are basically saying to the customer “Since so many people have screwed us on this one we must assume that you are too.” That combined with the fact that 95% of Wal-Mart customers either have a criminal record (so when you say Law or Government they run for their lives)or are too stupid to know better. The same kind of policy has been adopted by electronic stores in regards to “big screen TVs” that are bought around the time of the Super Bowl.

    • HogwartsAlum says:

      @Mr.SithNinja:
      I think 95% is a little high. Anyway, I shop at Wal-Mart. I don’t expect high quality or great service when I do, however.

      Oh wait, I forgot…I’m an international spy/criminal mastermind/evil genius who is out to scam the great American discount store. ;)

  32. technotica says:

    Funny that Ames has made the Consumerist twice now (last time was Best Buy). The new Wal-Mart the author bought this item from has a large number of idiots working there. I’ve only been there 3 times and in each instance I vowed never to return. It only took 3 times, but I don’t go there anymore.

    Have you tried the old one by North Grand? Supposedly when the new Wal-Mart opened the ‘good’ employees were moving from the old Wal-mart to the new one. However, that would mean all the idiots may have gotten left at the North Grand location.

  33. tracilyns says:

    I had this exact same thing happen to me back in March. I ended up sending an EECB and got the matter resolved in a week.

  34. Urgleglurk says:

    Wal-Mart: Your sourse for cheap plastic crap.

  35. tortcat says:

    @fisherstudios..

    That is not the stores responsibility. If someone cannot read or is underage would not be a factor as it is not a legal requirement to have to be so in order to buy.

    For the rest..I must say on this particular issue..I would tend to side with the store as this item no doubt has a huge return incident.

    If faulty I would have returned it right away and not let it sit..I do tend to agree that on a case by case basis stores should perhaps of course make exceptions. But if faulty I would also agree it should be replaced.

    My Main problem is for the poster…you should have taken the matress in and asked for an exchange for the 2 twins, buying them and then taking the other back later is kinda where the problem is, as the store did offer to exchange it.

  36. RobertW.TX says:

    I am sure every Walmart is different but I have to confess I have returned several things past the normal returns window. All of these items were unused or so lightly used they could be resold as new.

    Since I rarely keep receipts for small purchased (the only kind I make at Walmart) I can honestly say I don’t have a receipt and will gladly accept store credit.

    Always works for me.

  37. jimconsumer says:

    It sounds like you are making this very difficult on yourself. Have you tried simply going to a different Wal-Mart? I have three of them within a 10 minute drive. Chances are good another store would just take it back without question.

  38. thelushie says:

    So you filled it to where you deemed safe? Were there instructions included? Next time you might want to fill it to where the instructions deem it safe before you say something is obviously defective.

    In my retail experience, most people don’t read signs. Sale signs, return policy signs, etc. So it is quite possible that the sign was posted and the customer didn’t read it. If you are buying something that is not a regular purchase (air mattress, big screens, etc.) make sure you understand the return policy and attempt to get it in writing.

  39. SnakesSolids says:

    His first mistake was going to Wal-Mart.

  40. Icetrey74 says:

    OK, let’s see if you post this mattress-related comment this time.

    I agree that the store is in error for not accepting the return, but I’m afraid the OP is wrong about the bed.

    It may have been uncomfortable, granted. Defective? Assuredly not. The bed doesn’t have any center support system. That’s what prevents you from rolling toward the middle. It doesn’t matter if you went through each air mattress in stock, they will feel the same.

    Do you really think Wal-mart would sell a quality bed?

  41. twritersf says:

    One more example of why smart people just don’t shop You have a finite at Wally-World, er, Wal-Mart. You have a finite amount of time on this planet, and the time required to try and get compensated for their idiocies, not to mention the emotional grief, just isn’t worth the few pennies you save on a purchase.

  42. bairdwallace says:

    I had an issue with Walmart.com, and after going back and forth with customer care, I got escalated to a lady who seemed to have the power to fix any problem.

    Sara J Pierce
    601-554-1868
    Walmart.com Group Lead

    She might only work for the online end of things. But she was incredibly helpful and very nice.

  43. krom says:

    I think that Cist should put a moratorium on WalMart posts. There is no shortage on WalMart criticisms here or anywhere else. If you’re still shopping there, you shouldn’t be rewarded with a Cist post when it finally bites you.

  44. bostonguy says:

    I can’t believe I read that whole list of comments and not ONE person said “chargeback”!

    They tried to return it, and the store refused. Sounds pretty easy to me (unless they didn’t use a credit card).

  45. UnicornMaster says:

    Did you basically just admit that you bought an air mattress so that your friends could sleep on it for 3 weeks and then you returned it? While I understand your frustration it is very bad consumer of you…

  46. elisa says:

    Wal-Mart doesn’t take back books either – at least, not here. This policy is not posted anywhere, and they started it abruptly as I’d returned books before. I asked them to find the sign when I tried to return a book that my mom had already bought elsewhere. No sign could be found, but they continued to deny and say there was usually a sign posted.

    After arguing with them for a half hour, I finally left. Since then, I have not bought any books at Wal-Mart. I buy them at Target instead. And though I still return books at Target, I only return about 10% of them (in like-new condition), and only if they’re really crappy. Wal-Mart’s lost a lot of money since I stopped buying books there.

    And no, there is still no sign in the books department that books are non-returnable.

  47. PansyEnemasity says:

    I want to do the right thing….I want to HATE WALMART! They have cheap crap from China, and they are slowly taking over the world! However, here is my problem…White Tee Shirts @ Mervyns…2.63 ea, Walmart…1.12 and lasts 4 times as long, Post Raisen Bran in Albertsons…$4.62, at Wallmart 1.88 and a hell of a lot more raisens, Head & Shoulders @ Kmart 9.66, Walmart $7.73+4 more ounces, Thistle seed for finches @ the feed store5# @9.75, at Wallmart, 10# for 11.66..We have never had a problem with a return…never! .I’m trying not to like Wallmart…I really am…it’s bad though because they make it hard to hate them!!!

  48. kaylabear says:

    I actually bought one of those AeroBeds from Bed, Bath & Beyond, sensing that it probably wouldn’t last long. I was right – within a couple of months, a few holes appeared. You could get on the bed, totally inflated at night, and wake up on the ground, on top of a deflated mass of plastic. I saved the original literature that came with the bed, including the one that mentions something about the bed lasting a ‘lifetime,’ and took it and the broken bed back to BB&B. I showed them the literature and they actually refunded the full amount (about $200). I know my outcome was rare but it’s always worth looking into, especially if you have something in writing.

  49. flidget says:

    I work at a Wal-Mart in MA, and we have the same policy – two weeks, unopened only. I was told it was state law because they’re frequently returned with punctures. Up until recently (the area was painted, all signs at the service desk are down right now) I’m fairly certain we had a sign up at customer service stating the policy.

  50. ampersand says:

    I think they learned a valuable lesson here. When you replace one product with another, you ALWAYS take the first one back at the same time that you buy the second. If they had done that, there would have been no problem.

    Yes, the manager gave them a dumb excuse, but that’s a whole lot better than calling them liars and accusing them of trying to scam the store.

  51. loueloui says:

    I know at least in Florida, a store can have any return policy they want -as long as they give you notice beforehand. The only exceptions are items regulated by statute such as travel, real estate, and contracts solicited in your home.

    I have seen these notices posted in the Walmart near me also. They were plastered behind the customer service department. I do think this has more to do with people ‘renting’ air mattresses for company and just returning them than any specific law. I’m not aware of any big air mattress regulatory body at any rate. Hell we can’t keep the Chinese poison train at bay, much less soiled air mattresses.

  52. BiZarRroBALlmeR says:

    Who;s the cat lover working here?

  53. Ben_Q2 says:

    Costco is our Friend. Long story short, ex-wife left everything that was not working in my house. I took it all back to Costco (years old), told them all the stuff was not working. At 1st they where like what? Till I show them the papers. They took it all back without a word. I think turn around and bought all the stuff over again (working).

  54. ninjatoddler says:

    Funny they bring that up. Last year, a buddy of mine bought an airmattress from WALMART only to find it infested with bedbugs. He had to move out of his apt (landlord did a courtesy switch), throw away half his clothes and furniture, and return the air mattress.

  55. NoraAlcestis says:

    I had an almost identical experience with the Target store here in Hillsboro Oregon. Their reason was not a timeframe but the fact that had been used, by used they meant “inflated”. I questioned how else I would have known if it had a hole or held air and the response was that if it was damaged I could have returned it but since I was returning it simply because we ended up not needing it and it had been opened thati would be out of luck.

  56. Yoooder says:

    I had to return an airbed to Wal-Mart, and the customer service rep wasn’t too warm to the idea. So I (falsely) told her I had an allergic reaction to the material, no more questions it was returned without a problem.

  57. pcwizpcwiz says:

    Same thing happened to me. The air mattress was worthless completely uncomfortable so the very next day I went to return it. They pointed to a little sign in the returns department so I thought OK maybe it’s my bad. I asked them to show me where the sign is next to the air mattresses or the cash registers and they responded we do not have one. What the heck do they honestly expect me to run over and check the returns department before I purchase something to see if they added a new exception. I too spent hundreds of dollars a week at Walmart and cannot get anyone to call me back or respond to my letters either.

  58. pcwizpcwiz says:

    @AlteredBeast:
    That’s fine. No compaints if they said nothing whatsoever is ever returnable under any circumstances. However given that return polices at the registers make no mention of this air mattress exception and online it posts the return policy for in store purchases that makes no mention of this it is not acceptable to me.

    In fact it is against the law in California, not sure about anywhere else.

    Why do you think all the other big stores stamp you receipt with the exception policy when you buy a laptop or other item that cannot be returned.

  59. Chewbenator says:

    Try the other walmart in Ames, I still think it’s ridiculous that we have two.

  60. Anonymous says:

    So WalMart makes billions (trillions?) selling crappy shit to (often) poor people…. then draws some figurative line at air mattresses.
    Must me my fault as when I was young we would drive around town and pick stuff out of the garbage we knew they sold at walmart and return it for cash!

  61. Bonnie Shamrell Bennett says:

    I bought an air mattress from Walmart on the way out of town for a camping trip. When I got to the coast, I pulled out the mattress and discovered that there was no cap or lid of any sort to keep the air in. Since I was far away from a Walmart, I had to go to another store to buy an air mattress to use immediately. Today (3 days after original purchase) I tried to take the 1st mattress back to Walmart. They told me I couldn’t return it but only exchange it since it had been opened. I went to look for one to exchange it for, but they didn’t have an identical one so I would have had to pay more to upgrade to one that worked in order to have anything but garbage. The girl at customer service finally opened another box, took the cap from that mattress, and put it on my mattress. The really frustrating part is that I flew into town for this trip and don’t have the luggage space for one, let alone two, air mattresses on the trip home. So I’m out $40 for 2 twin air mattresses. I can understand their reasoning if it’s been slept on, but I couldn’t even inflate mine. I had no alternative but to buy another and then I’m stuck with their garbage. Not so keen on Walmart, anymore.

  62. Sonora Deb says:

    I just bought a twin sized air bed. It was 3 inches shorter than the description on the box, so I put it back in the box and returned it. Of course, they would only let me exchange it for another of equal or greater value, which I did not want. But I paid $10 more and got a full sized bed. The clerk told me as she handed me the receipt for the new mattress “If you do not open this one you can return it for a refund.” So I am not even taking the box out of my car. In a couple of days I will return it for my refund. What a joke. They might as well have just given my the refund on the original bed. I understand why they instituted their policy, but they aren’t very bright about enforcing it. By the way, in my store the 15-day return policy was posted in only the camping department–not the bedding department.