You Can't Return This Phone To Walgreens, So Take It To Another Walgreens

Robert bought a prepaid AT&T Wireless cell phone at Walgreens in order to try out the company’s service. He never ended up using the phone, so had the crazy idea that he might try returning the unopened phone to a different Walgreens for store credit. The store wouldn’t hear of any such madness.

I live in a “dead zone” with my current cellphone, so I thought I’d buy a cheapie AT&T one to see if I could get better reception. I purchased an AT&T Samsung phone at my local Walgreens in [redacted], FL.

I decided against using it, and a few weeks later, stopped in at a Walgreens to return it–unopened, never used (with the receipt) When the manager was called up to the reigster, she took one look at it and said, “Sorry, we don’t do refunds on cellphones.”

“I don’t understand,” I said, “This one is unopened and I have the receipt.” I wasn’t even looking for a refund: I had about $20 more than the cost of the phone in my cart. I just wanted a store credit.

When I pressed her why, she stated that “we don’t get credit back on an item like that of we return it.” I pointed out–again–it was UNOPENED. She said I could “go to an AT&T store or back to the Walgreens I bought it from and try there.”

Now, why on earth would I go to another Walgreens, if the policy was not to do refunds on such product? And why should I have to call AT&T? Would I have to call Johnson & Johnson if I was returning an unopened box of Band-Aids?

She also said there were signs clearly posted in all stores about the policy. At her store, however, like the one I bought the phone at, there were only three small signs that said: “Gift/Phone cards no refunds.” I pointed out that I was a loyal customer, and if I had known about the return policy, I probably would have thought twice about making the purchase. No go–even when I asked for the customer complaint hotline. (By the way–no sign of that policy on the front or back of my original receipt.)

So here’s what it boils down to when you shop at a Walgreens–and they’re not out of half of the advertised items in stock. Even when you buy something, and you don’t open it–you may not be able to return it, even with a receipt.

By the way, I did a little checking on line, and when I called their 1-800 number I told the person on the other end of that the store was in violation of Florida Consumer Statutes stating that a “no return” policy had to be prominently displayed.

Walgreens lost a 15 year customer over a $15 cell phone. The funniest part of the story? I took the phone to my local Wal-Mart, who carry the same brand. The girl looked at it once and gave me a store credit.