Walmart Sends Me Cheaper Bed Frame Than I Ordered, Shrugs

Cassandra had a confusing problem with Walmart. She ordered a bed frame to be delivered to her local store. She happened to order a black frame, which was more expensive than the similar (but out of stock) bronze-colored frame. When she got the box home, though, she noticed that new labels had been put over the areas on the box identifying the frame’s color. The labels identified the frame as black. The box itsef identified it as bronze. The frame inside was bronze. So who altered the box, and why?

On 10/9/11, I ordered a black bed frame from Walmart.com for $69 plus tax using Site to Store. I picked it up 10/15. Upon opening, I noticed the bed wasn’t black. After removing the plastic, I saw it was grayish-brown/bronze. I check the box and see that, although the description on it appears to match what I ordered, someone had placed different information on top of parts of the item description. The new info matches the color and print of that directly on the box. I peeled away the labels, and what was originally on the box (bronze) is definitely not what I ordered but what was inside. Walmart once sold the bronze frame, which is now out of stock. But I just received one! I paid more for black ($69 vs. $59) but just received the cheaper frame in a box that was altered to say that it was the item I ordered.

I contacted Customer Care to explain and let them know I felt misled. I stated the facts and tried not to insinuate anything. I offered photos of the frame and box, should they wish to see them. I said I’d prefer not to return the bed, as it barely fit into my car, and would have to drive 120 miles total to return it and pick up a new one. I asked what could be done to remedy the situation.

I receive a generic response… Reply if I want to return for a replacement/refund.

I called Customer Care ASAP to explain. All the rep seemed to get out of it was that I received the wrong color. I told him that, yes, I received the wrong color, and repeated how I paid more for black but got a different color that sold for less and was “out of stock” yet sent to me packaged as if it were the item I bought. He decides to look up the bronze frame to confirm. He can’t find the bronze frame and asks if I’m actually at Walmart.com. I tell him I am and give him both the manufacturer’s model number and Walmart.com’s item numbers straight from off the webpage. Nothing.

Here are the URLs for both:

Black frame I ordered.

Bronze frame I received.

Assuming they have not pulled it in the meantime, the page for bronze is still live and shows it “out of stock” and “not available” for shipping or pickup.

The rep came to the conclusion I wanted bronze but mistakenly ordered black and want to return it for bronze. I repeat myself a third time. Now he asks if “the moral of the story,” as he put it, is that I received the wrong color. I’m not sure if this rep is really witty and just doesn’t want to deal with me or he truly doesn’t get it… I tell him receiving the wrong color is only part of it. I’m not expecting to get something for nothing and say that I want to be refunded the difference. I was put on hold for a few minutes before being told I’d receive a $10 credit.

Maybe I was too subtle.

I reply to the e-mail thinking a person will actually read it this time. I describe the phone conversation, noting that a review for the black frame indicates another customer experienced the exact same problem. Desperate, I dropped the F-bomb: fraud.

“I didn’t initiate contact because I received the wrong item but for what I ordered and paid for versus what I received and the manner which it was sold to me, which could be construed as fraud.”

I mention that, given the whole of the situation, it would be in their best interests to be concerned since it reflects upon Wal-Mart most. Everything seems hinky to me. (Reviews on the site indicate another customer experienced the same problem with the same items in July.) I ask that the underlying problem be acknowledged and handled accordingly.

Today (10/18) I received a response reiterating “a $10 discount for my frame.” (Well, not MY frame since I never received it.) I will attempt to contact Walmart again. I’d be happy if they would at least say they’d look into this mess, even if they lied.

At least no one at Walmart is snarky and resourceful enough to offer to send Cassandra a can of black spray paint.

Comments

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  1. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    Woah.. Thanks Consumerist! I bought this same bed on Amazon for $135.. and I need another one for my guest bedroom. Going to Walmart instead!

    http://www.amazon.com/Pragma-Bed%C2%AE-Mattress-Platform-mattresses/dp/B002LJTGVC

    • mauispiderweb says:

      When you click on the link, your frame is now on sale for $155!

    • pop top says:

      Just be careful about that because it may not be the exact same thing. Some manufacturers will sell the “same product” at Wal-Mart, but have to make it cheaper in terms of quality and materials to fit the price point that Wal-Mart wants them to sell it at.

    • Scurvythepirate says:

      Actually you bought it from Dynasty Mattress, NOT Amazon. Amazon just fulfilled the shipment. Don’t give Amazon a bad name.

      • Scurvythepirate says:

        And that is definitely NOT the same frame. The Walmart frame doesn’t have sides to hold the mattress in place and if you look closely the frame is different.

        • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

          I know, the walmart one looks better – I don’t know what “sides” you’re talking about – ours is just a flat platform with legs.

          I like the Walmart one better because you have to screw the legs into place. That prevents the really annoying feature of ours – if you move it against one of the sides with legs they’ll fold under the bed. Not cool when you’re trying to push it against the wall.

    • Chasing Headless Chickens says:

      I purchased the same frame from Walmart, but I purchased the bronze one when it was still in stock, so I didn’t have the same issues as the OP. The frame is great. I would recommend it.

      I would not, however, recommend buying it from Walmart. Before purchasing the bronze frame, I had purchased a wood frame. Walmart sent me a “doube” size instead of the “queen” size I had ordered, but I didn’t notice it until half way through (they don’t list the size on the box, just the item ID number). They made it a real hassle to correct; I really had to fight to get them to refund the money to me (and they forced me to dismantle and return the thing to the store, even though there was no way they were going to be able to re-package and sell the thing).

  2. pop top says:

    Let’s hope that the people on here can understand that the article isn’t about the color of the bedframe…

    • lupinthethird says:

      “At least no one at Walmart is snarky and resourceful enough to offer to send Cassandra a can of black spray paint.”

      A ten dollar can of spray paint

  3. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    They’re offering her the price difference for the frame she actually ordered. That makes the transaction ok.

    It is odd however that they’d purposefully mislabel it as a black frame. It’s possible the FACTORY did it and Walmart knew nothing about it, though. In a lot of these cases they ship direct from their warehouse which is taken directly from suppliers. How does OP know that Walmart is the one who switched the tags?

    • Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

      No, the transaction is NOT okay. She did not receive what she ordered.

    • Peggee is deeply offended by impetulant, pernicious little snots disrespecting her and violating her personal space at Best Buy. says:

      If it really was done deliberately, that’s not enough. What would be the incentive not to commit fraud if you only had to pay for the times you got caught, and then only for the exact amount you took?

  4. SerenityDan says:

    Yeah I’m confused,
    “I’m not expecting to get something for nothing and say that I want to be refunded the difference. I was put on hold for a few minutes before being told I’d receive a $10 credit.

    Maybe I was too subtle.”

    Huh? They just did exactly what you asked for so what is the problem?

    • mauispiderweb says:

      I get the feeling she wants someone to actually admit that they knowingly relabeled the bronze frame as a black frame AND get the $10 refund. I can totally understand that. I don’t think it’ll happen, though.

    • Chmeeee says:

      Yeah, she says she just wants the difference, so they give her the $10, now she’s not happy? Confused?

    • TBGBoodler says:

      A $10 credit is not the same as a refund. Wal-mart still gets to keep the $10, assuming the OP will shop there again and spend the $10 credit. She wants a refund.

      • Such an Interesting Monster says:

        See, now I took “$10 credit” to mean a credit applied back to her credit card, not a store credit.

  5. Scurvythepirate says:

    My mistake, there inst little sides like the one picture looked like, but the one you ordered looks more like this one: http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=12082083&findingMethod=rr which is pretty much the same price.

  6. Hoss says:

    “Mislead”, “fraud”, “lied” , “altered”, “f-bomb” but says she “tried not to insinuate anything”? It’s a mistake for cripes sakes. People make mistakes. Approach it for what it is and someone might be understanding

    • ColoradoShark says:

      A mistake? So they mistakenly covered up the “bronze” labels with “black” labels? That was no mistake. You can’t accidentally cover up a bunch of labels.

      • PSUSkier says:

        Agreed. Mistake would imply, “Oops, the bronze frames are in the warehouse slot next to the black ones and i had a brain fart when grabbing them.” It’s no longer a mistake when you look at the item, the customer ordered black and print labels that say “Black” and post them over the bronze markings.

  7. 4Real says:

    Walmart is EVIL……

  8. chemmy says:

    She drove 120 miles to pick it up?

  9. Rachacha says:

    While it sucks that the OP had to go through this mess, I suspect that some of it was based on how she presented the complaint. While it was easy to focus on the color as a means to identify the product, it likely confused the situation. From WalMart’s perspective:

    I ordered a black bed frame, you gave me a bronze bed frame, but I don’t want to drive 120miles to return it…make it right.

    From the OP’s perspective:
    I paid $69 for a bed frame. You sent me a $59 bed frame that was originally shown on your site as out of stock. For convenience, I would like to keep the $59 frame, can you please refund the $10 and also promise to look into how this mistake happened.

    The OP received a $10 credit…what more does she want?

    • chemmy says:

      The Waahhhhmbulance perhaps?

    • BocaMan says:

      What she deserves is for Walmart to pick-up and replace it for the one she ordered. She could insist on it. But since it’s too expensive for Walmart to do that, and she’s ok with the Bronze, a $10 credit plus an extra discount is in order. Walmart wins, she wins, everyone is happy.

      • Rachacha says:

        While I don’t disagree, she needs to TELL WM that is what she wants. Instead, she asked them what could be done without returning the bronze frame. They credited the $10 difference. She got a frame for the correct price and of story.

        #1 rule of complaining, tell them what you want them to do to make it right, or worst case, lay out several viable options that you would be willing to accept.

  10. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    You know what I take away from this? That the OP lives 60 miles from a Wal-Mart. Surely she could have found a cheap bed frame closer to home. Or a slightly more expensive bed frame but still closer to home, negating the cost of gas needed to get to and from Wal-Mart.

    Oh and friends don’t let friends sleep on crappy bed frames unless they want their friends to have years of back pain. Maybe Cassandra bought the frame for an enemy (my coffee is strong today; I went with a milder roast).

    • kewpie says:

      If you live 60 miles from a Wal-Mart you are pretty much in the middle of nowhere. I’m not sure where you think the OP would find a closer place to buy a bed frame.

    • aloria says:

      You do realize not everyone lives in a city or suburb, right? Some rural areas require a pretty big hike to get to anywhere other than a grocery store or gas station. When I lived in Maine it was 60 miles to the nearest mall. If you wanted to buy clothing you either purchased online or made the hike.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        But don’t even small towns have towns nearby that might have stores that would sell these kinds of things? I’ve been in towns of 1,500 that had one grocery store and five churches, but you could get a bed frame from a town 20 miles away.

    • Darsynia says:

      There’s this thing, it’s called the internet, and often you can order products on it! You even get free shipping sometimes! Unfortunately when a mistake is made and the cost to ship the incorrect object back is exorbitant, there will be a problem that needs to be fixed.

      • coren says:

        You mean like the item she had “shipped” to her local walmart store that she drove 60 miles to each way? I’m not sure why you’re acting like the idea of her buying it online and having it shipped should be obvious when we already know that didn’t happen. And even if it had, Walmart can email her a shipping label to have it sent back.

  11. Remarkable Melba Kramer says:

    120 miles round trip to return?? I though everyone lived close to a Wal-mart!!

  12. LightningUsagi says:

    I would like to see the pictures of the labels. I’ve bought items before where small labels are added on top of the bigger one just to indicate color or size, and also if an error was made on the original label. It’s quite possible that this was a manufacturing error that caused it to be mislabeled, and not the fault of WalMart.

    • hoi-polloi says:

      That’s the first thing I thought of. I’ve seen numerous packages with smaller labels to indicate color, or check boxes that are ticked for a specific color. Chalk this up to a labeling issue at the factory rather than any chicanery. Cassandra should have been more clear regarding her expectations and dropped any hint of malice.

  13. unpolloloco says:

    So confused….what does OP want beyond what Walmart did (issue the $10 credit)? I understand why the CSR was confused…

  14. brinks says:

    The frame was mislabeled by the manufacturer. Wal-mart ordered black, they received something labeled as black, they sold it as black. It’s not fraud; the kids in the sweat shop in China made a mistake.

    If the OP can live with bronze, the $10 credit should suffice and she should move on.

  15. Such an Interesting Monster says:

    General rule of thumb: if you go into a customer service conversation looking to pick a fight you’re likely to get one. Why don’t people ever learn this simple truth?

  16. blinky says:

    So what exactly did she want from Wal*Mart?

    • George4478 says:

      $10. An actual $10, since that’s what they overcharged, not a credit.

      • blinky says:

        But they gave her a $10 credit. An actual $10 credit, presumably returned to her credit card.

        I *think* what she wants is satisfaction. But she can’t get none of that, though she tried, and she tried…

        • coren says:

          Credit to me sounds like “here, 10 bucks to spend at Walmart!” – given Walmart is quite the drive for her that probably isn’t cutting it.

  17. blinky says:

    So what exactly did she want from Wal*Mart?

  18. dvdcowboy says:

    Call your credit card agency/bank and dispute the charge.

    You made a honest effort to resolve, but they were not sympathetic.

    Now you can just make Walmart eat the entire cost.

    • StarKillerX says:

      An honest effort to what? She said she wanted the difference back, and Walmart gave her that but she still wasn’t happy.

      It appears she wants some big CSI investigation on why the it was mislabeled, but the truth is she is entitled to either return the item and get all of her money back or keep the item and get the difference back, but neither of those seem acceptable to her.

      • coren says:

        Refund and credit might be two different things. From this story I’m not clear on which she was actually offered (as credit can be used interchangeably to mean refund or store credit)

  19. profmonster says:

    Expecting quality control from a mega-corporation is a waste of your emotional energy – let it go.

  20. MrMagoo is usually sarcastic says:

    I’m not sure what the OP wanted either. Nobody was trying to mislead her. It would have been a lot simpler if she had just said, “I ordered black; you sent me bronze. Send me the correct color, and have UPS pick up the bronze one and return it back to you. ”

    I’ve found when dealing with C/S reps, that it’s easy to provide too much information. The bare minimum is all they can handle; if you give them more, then they pick up on a keyword and head of down a new path of their flowchart, and you never get back.

  21. J.A.Reader says:

    Chinese factory mislabeled the box, an error that was discovered by the first human being to actually open and inspect the box.

    Where’s the mystery?

  22. El_Fez says:

    Perhaps it’s because it’s early and I’ve not had my coffee yet, but the difference between the two beds is 10 bucks, Walmart is willing to credit her the 10 bucks back – assuming she’s okay with the wrong color, I fail to see the problem.

  23. IraAntelope says:

    Not to belittle your problem, but hey, it’s walmart. they can sell for half of what you would pay at a legit furniture store because, among other things, they can hire people like that to do their “customer service”. Take it back and get the one you want.

  24. ecuador says:

    I don’t get it. Walmart does not shrug, they offer the $10 price difference, or a return. So what does the poster expect? Some sort of internal investigation by Walmart to find out who put the wrong labels? I can only imagine what pain the Walmart CSRs have suffered trying to figure out what this confused person wants from life…

    Note that the two frames have the same retail price at $69.99, but the bronze is on clearance so it went down at $59.99. If there is “fraud” going on, it means they are not really running out of bronze, they are just re-labeling it, so bronze would not be on clearance. So this would be a pretty retarded fraud that would have $69.99 objects mislabeled as $69.99 objects…

  25. GoldVRod says:

    I think everyone here, myself included, is completely at a loss as to what exactly this person wants. No wonder Walmart’s CS is confused.

    * She’s been offered a return (granted at her expense but it’s hardly WalMart’s problem if she’s 120 miles away).

    * She’s been offered the difference in price of $10 presumably in-store credit or refund to CC which is something she’d actually asked for but then was unhappy with.

    There’s no ‘fraud’ here. Someone mislabeled a box and it was sold to her as black when in fact it’s bronze. WM have offered two full solutions of either a full refund upon return, or a credit of the difference.

    HEY OP – HERE’S A SIMPLE QUESTION: WHAT EXACTLY DO YOU WANT FROM WALMART?

    Why doesn’t your story go : “Hey Consumerist I bought bed frame A for $60 but Walmart sent me bedframe B which cost $50. I would like [insert satisfactory resolution here] by way of compensation.”

    Stop rambling you ditz.

  26. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    Most overseas factories have preprinted cartons, and if they ran out of “Black” carton boxes, someone printed stickers to put over the pertinant information to change bronze to black. The workers usually can’t read English, so they could have easily pulled the wrong carton for the bronze frames, and never known the difference. So the goods go into a shipping container, onto a vessel, and to the port, where a truck picked them up and dropped them off at a Walmart DC. From there, to the store. It’s not really a mystery. They should make it right, though.

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

    This is a job for The Mentalist!

  28. There's room to move as a fry cook says:
  29. Thalassa says:

    So you got a different frame that was $10 less than you paid, and Walmart offered you a $10 credit? And you’re still not happy?

    If the label affixed to the box was the same font/size, etc, I’d bet that label was affixed by the manufacturer and Walmart had no idea it had a different frame.

    Take the credit, and be done with it.

  30. evilpete says:

    I was in Hollywood once and over heard a shoe salesmen offer to spray paint a pair or shoes to the color they wanted…

  31. Kestris says:

    Walmart’s Site to Store sucks. I ordered a Better Homes and Gardens bookcase, 5 shelf, once, with a site to Store request. It took nearly a month longer than they initially told me it’d take to get it, and when I went to the store to pick it up, they couldn’t find it.

    When they finally did find it, after nearly an hour, the box looked like it’d been dropped or crushed a few times. I was so annoyed I just took it anyway. Thankfully the bookcase inside the mangled box wasn’t damaged.

    Another time, prior to this, I’d ordered 3 storage units that would hold DVDs and another bookcase. The employee who waited on me ran up one item and assumed that was it, despite my showing her that there were in fact FOUR items. She tried telling me that maybe they’d paqckaged the pieces to the bookcase (what she’d verified as picked up) in seperate boxes (what?!?), despite the dvd storage units being totally different SKUs. I had to literally show here, line by line, where there were in fact four seperate items, not just four seperate boxes.

    She then proceeded to ring each one up as a seperate order rather than as the single order it was, resulting in a stack of receipts. This took 45 minutes.

    Then of course, they couldn’t find all four and that took another 30 minutes.

    Never again.

    • Kestris says:

      Mind you, the Better Homes and Gardens book case was ordered at the same time as the dvd storage units and other bookcase. They just took wildly different shipping times, despite leaving the same warehouse at the same time.

  32. Harold Kint says:

    Specs on the bed are identical except for color. (and price on the Clearance item)
    Passive-aggresive person can take the $10 to buy a tin foil hat.

  33. kungfu71186 says:

    “Walmart Sends Me Cheaper Bed Frame Than I Ordered”, i stopped right there. Doesn’t walmart sell only cheap crap anyway? It’s all the same. It’s all made in china anyway.

  34. nodaybuttoday says:

    This kind of stuff is typical with WalMart. I had ordered two sets of red glasses from them and picked it up at the store. Luckily I was smart enough to check the glasses first. One set was red, one set was purple. I told them to return the purple set and stood there for a good 20 minutes as they tried to figure out how to do that, I got so frustrated I told them to refund both sets and after 30 minutes I was finally able to get out there. I am glad I returned both because when I went back home, they had sold out of the red. I didn’t need 4 red glasses when I was expecting 8 guests for the holidays…

  35. cmr81 says:

    OP here. Although I got a kick out of being called a “ditz” and the commenters who think I’m just a spiteful person or some kind of idiot that buys junk furniture, I’m glad to see that the point wasn’t lost on maybe three or four people.

    There were some things that had to be left out due to space constraints, and I’m kind of disappointed that the bulk of you just jumped to the conclusion I’m a whiner after something I don’t deserve. Perhaps you skipped over the part where I pointed out that another person had left a review on Walmart.com saying that they also ordered the same frame I did and also received the same incorrect frame? I tried to help said person out by commenting on their review and mentioning that they should contact Wal-Mart Customer Care as well, but Wal-Mart decided not to post my comment.

    What did I want? My $10 (plus tax) back. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think I should have to tell them that if I didn’t get the item I ordered, I should only have to pay for what they sent me. Regardless, I did specifically ask for the difference back, but they were hesitant to do even that.

    To clarify, the closest Wal-Mart is 30 miles away. I did not want to return the frame for an exchange for two reasons. I obviously don’t want to waste more of my money and time to do a return/exchange for their mistake. They wanted me to return the frame I received first, which is logical from Wal-Mart’s perspective. To do this, I would have to make a 60-mile roundtrip to return it. Once they received the return, I could reorder the frame, wait a week or however long it would take, and then drive the 60 miles again to pick up the new one… And what if I do all this and I get a bronze frame in the black frame’s box again? I asked if they can be sure I’ll receive the correct frame if I did this, but if they can’t, I just want the difference back. That’s when they offered me the $10 credit. It took some work to even get to that point because they kept saying the item I said I received didn’t exist on their website so they had no proof its price was less. I offered to give the rep the URL for the page, but he said that wasn’t necessary and put me on hold while he spoke to a supervisor instead.

    For the record, I never accused them of intentionally mislabeling the product. I simply said it could be considered fraud if the mislabeling and product switch was done intentionally. I persisted after the phone conversation because I was told the item I received “didn’t exist” in Wal-Mart’s system and because someone else had the exact same problem with the same items. I wanted them to just own up to the mistake, but they didn’t.

  36. odarkshineo says:

    walmart.com sucks…0 customer support. i ordered an item one time paid for over night shipping…it was sent 2 weeks later non-overnight shipping. took almost 3 weeks to arrive. sent an email, no reply, sent another no reply…won’t order from walmart.com again, all amazon – dont care the price difference.