Walmart Thinks Woman Is Laundry Soap Thief, Refuses Return

When a soon-to-be mother realized she had bought the wrong laundry detergent at a New Mexico Walmart, she tried to return it. That didn’t work out so well, ending up with the store manager insinuating she was a con-artist who replaced the detergent with water.

Here’s the letter she wrote to Walmart Corporate Headquarters:

To Whom It May Concern,

I am writing to let you know of the worst customer service experience I have ever had at a Wal-Mart store, which happened yesterday October 11, 2009.

I went to the Wal-Mart Supercenter, store #[redacted]to make an exchange. I had purchased two weeks earlier from store #[redacted] a bottle of Spray & Wash “Bright & White” laundry additive. After I got home with it, I realized I had bought the wrong kind; I only wanted the regular Spray & Wash laundry stain remover. I had not used a single drop out of the bottle. I had my receipt with me and I was well within the 90 day period. It should have been a simple exchange, right?

Well, as it turned out, no. I waited patiently for 10 minutes at the Customer Service desk. I explained what happened (as mentioned above). The girl waiting on me poured out some of the liquid into the cap and then poured it back into the bottle and sniffed it. Apparently – they have had people use a bottle of laundry detergent, then refill it with water & then return it. She told me to go get what I needed and come back for an exchange only. I explained that I had several other items to pick up too. She told me then to go through the regular line with my items, just don’t let them ring up the new bottle of Spray & Wash and they’ll exchange it then. OK…I wasn’t happy about the extra trip but fine. So, I did my shopping, checked out (another 10 minutes in line) and went back to customer service. When it was my turn again (after waiting another 7 minutes) – they told me that a manager by the name of “Peter” was refusing the exchange. They told me that the liquid was “watered down” and “missing half of its contents”. I was furious, but I kept my cool – they were essentially calling me a liar and a thief – without actually saying it. I explained that it was that consistency when I purchased it, that Spray & Wash Bright and White was thinner than regular laundry detergent, etc. They either didn’t care or were too stupid to figure it out. So, I asked to speak to another manager. It wasn’t about the money – it was a matter of principal at this point.

Before the other manager could show up to address the matter — a lady named “Gabby” called out from the back, that to “go ahead and just handle it”. She reversed the decision the other manager had made. They marked out as defective the bottle I originally bought (even though there was nothing wrong with it!) and then exchanged it for the one I needed.

It was stupid, humiliating and made me just plain angry. I have never had such a misery-inducing, wretched customer service experience before. I was well within the exchange policy they have posted behind the customer service desk. I will never visit Wal-Mart store #[redacted] again. And I’m seriously considering just doing my shopping at local grocery stores and Target from now on, as result of this visit. I’m 9 months pregnant and to make anyone suffer through that indignity is just plain wrong — regardless if they are pregnant or not! If a few bad apples are scamming the store by returning bottles of laundry detergent — that is not the fault of the rest of us honest people who have legitimate returns for products we purchase — and we should not be punished as such.

I wanted to make you aware of this sort of bad service that is being given and how matters are being handled at this Wal-Mart location.

The way the Walmart operated is a good way to get customers to shop somewhere else. Has anyone else had trouble returning detergent to Walmart or other stores?

(Photo: oamg823)