Sam’s Club Manager Makes Up Own Return Policy, Won’t Take Back Cracked TV

What kind of difference can a local store’s management make? A bigger one than you might think. Shanna ordered a new television online from Sam’s Club that arrived broken. For the sake of convenience, she went to exchange it at the local store after figuring out that it fit in her car after all. The problem was that that store’s management made up its own return policy that has no basis in the actual policies of Sam’s Club.

On Saturday, April 13, my husband, son, and I visited our local Sam’s Club in [redacted] with the intentions of shopping for a new TV. We found one we liked and could all agree on: a 50” Vizio LCD TV (item #630257). We own a smaller car- a Honda Insight- and didn’t think the TV would fit in our car, so we came home and ordered it from the Sam’s Club website that afternoon.

When the TV arrived on April 19th, I had the FedEx driver place the TV in the living room. The box was not bent, torn, or marred in any way. It did not appear to have been opened nor tampered with, either. If it had been, I would have refused the delivery and contacted Customer Service.

The next day, my husband and I set to work unpacking and setting up the new TV. When we pulled the screen out of the box, he noted that upper left-hand part of the screen was cracked. We immediately repacked the box and drove it over to the local Sam’s Club.

When we arrived and explained that the screen was cracked, we were immediately turned away by the customer service associates. They would not look at the TV or anything. They explained that because I ordered it online and it was damaged, they could not do anything about it at the store and that I would HAVE to call customer service to deal with the issue. I was perturbed- I knew that’s not what I read in the return policy online, but arguing wasn’t getting me anywhere, so I left and came home to call customer service.

Customer service was closed, so Shanna did some research and found that none of the posted Sam’s Club return policies actually backed up what the store staff said. The assistant store manager reiterated this policy, and told Shanna that the policy was the same at every Sam’s Club and that was final. When she got through to corporate customer service the following day, she set up an online return, but the representative also offered to call up her local club and talk some sense into them. The customer service representative failed, too.

“[The manager on duty on Sunday] treated me much the same was the man the day prior had, only she said that she was there when I came in and said that she watched them inspect the box- which they did not and I told her as much. I was downright angry,” Shanna writes. “I felt I was being jerked around and lied to and, admittedly, I hung up on her.”

The thing is, there’s another Sam’s Club in Shanna’s area, a little further away. One would think that it’s not worth driving an extra ten minutes to deal with the same exact chain. One would be wrong.

I called the Sam’s Club in [redacted] (about 25 minutes away vs. the 15 minutes away the local store is from me) and said that I bought a TV online and when I opened it, the corner was cracked, but the box was not damaged. I asked if I could exchange it and the associate said yes. My husband and I loaded up the TV and drove across the bay to that store and exchanged it with no trouble whatsoever. The manager even looked at the TV and had no issue taking it back.

In the end, yes, my problem was solved and I am grateful for that.  I am especially grateful for the kind customer service representatives I dealt with. They were patient with me and truly tried to help solve my problem. I cannot sing their praises enough. They are lovely people. I also am grateful for the [redacted] store- especially [J]. She was wonderful to me and my husband.

The way we were treated at the [closer] store, however, was inexcusable. I was treated like I had done something wrong, when the only thing I did was receive a broken TV. I never intend on darkening their doors ever again. If this is how they treat paying customers, I will gladly drive the extra 10 miles to a store that seems to want my business.