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:
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.