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Old 01-19-10, 05:21 PM   #1
rennervision
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Returns at Walmart & "Violations of Federal Law"

Was curious if others have had a similar experience as mine trying to return a DVD or BD to Walmart.

I had a Blu-ray which froze around the middle of the disc, so I returned it to Walmart today with a receipt (showing purchased yesterday). The returns lady said since it was opened I needed to go back and get the same title.

Fair enough. Except I searched the store for about 10 minutes and couldn't find it. I came back to the returns desk and said I may have bought the last one. So she then searched herself for another 10 minutes.

When she came back, she agreed I bought the last one and said she will call another store to see if they have it. At this point I had no interest in going out of my way to another Walmart, so I asked if I could just take store credit.

"I can't do that," she said. "Since this has been opened, if I accept it now it will be a violation of Federal Law."

Well at that point things got a little crazy. I explained to her we have a problem since I'm not leaving with a defective disc. She reiterated it would be a violation of Federal Law. I asked her if people return a defective item to this store and it doesn't have replacements, they're now out of luck? She repeated it would be a violation of Federal Law.

So things started to get heated and she offered to call a different store for me. I told her I'm not driving all over the city looking for another copy of this BD, but reluctantly agreed since I could see I was getting no where with her. She's on hold for 10 minutes and then learns it's not at that location either.

So again we're back to arguing and her speaking her mantra of Federal Law. She then offers to call another store for me and check their inventory. I ask to speak with her manager, so she then calls the manager on the phone.

She explains to the manager that I was unwilling to let her call another store to see if it was in stock. (Guess she forgot about the last 10 minutes.) Then I hear her say, "So you want me to break a rule for this customer?" (translation: Violate a Federal Law.)

At that point she hangs up and asks if I'll accept a gift card.

So what's the deal? I've returned defective things before and accepted store credit when the item was sold out. But now that I think about it, it may not have been at Walmart. Has this always been their policy? If I have to make sure the movie has 14 copies in stock before I buy it, it's not even worth the trip because their selection of BDs isn't very big.
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Old 01-19-10, 05:57 PM   #2
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Re: Returns at Walmart & "Violations of Federal Law"

My opinion is if they don't have it in stock then they should give a refund. Their rule of only exchanging a defective disc for the same one can only apply if they have one to replace it with.
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Old 01-19-10, 06:53 PM   #3
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Re: Returns at Walmart & "Violations of Federal Law"

You should have called her bs on it being a federal law! LMAO!! Unless wal-mart return policy is actually federal law now. I do think its bs that they were unwilling to do what was right.. but at least the store manager made things better.
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Old 01-19-10, 07:01 PM   #4
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Re: Returns at Walmart & "Violations of Federal Law"

OMG! People who work at Wallyworld are dumb? What's next?!?
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Old 01-19-10, 07:09 PM   #5
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Re: Returns at Walmart & "Violations of Federal Law"

I'm surprised they didn't offer to do a site-to-store, or whatever they call it where they ship a particular product to a store just for one customer. Would you have been ok with waiting a couple of days for that to happen?
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Old 01-19-10, 07:53 PM   #6
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Re: Returns at Walmart & "Violations of Federal Law"

I'm not calling the OP a liar, but thats a bunch of bullshit. Ive had a few instances when Ive bought a dvd/bluray/game and it didnt work. When I took it back and if there werent any left in stock they told me I could either 1) wait a few days and check again, and if they didnt have it, then I could get a refund (not store credit) or 2) just get a refund now (again, not store credit).

I wouldnt accept a gift card if they offered it to me. If i bought something there and it didnt work, I want my money back and will go to a different store to get another copy (if the current store was sold out)
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Old 01-19-10, 10:59 PM   #7
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Re: Returns at Walmart & "Violations of Federal Law"

I had a similar incident at K-mart several years ago ... except they weren't even going to let me exchange another copy of the same title! The gal kept telling me "You opened it, I can't take back open DVDs. Had you not opened it, we could have exchanged it." She seemed a little stumped when I asked "How would I know it was defective if I didn't open it?" They eventually allowed the exchange and I left the rest of my planned purchase (about $100, I still had two kids in diapers at the time) sitting in front of the counter as I walked out.
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Old 01-20-10, 11:22 AM   #8
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Re: Returns at Walmart & "Violations of Federal Law"

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Originally Posted by movieguru View Post
My opinion is if they don't have it in stock then they should give a refund. Their rule of only exchanging a defective disc for the same one can only apply if they have one to replace it with.
Yes. Some stores even go so far as to remove the shrink wrap from the replacement copy, so that it cant be exchanged for a different title.
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Old 01-20-10, 11:23 AM   #9
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Re: Returns at Walmart & "Violations of Federal Law"

This thread has been reported to the FBI. OP, please remain where you are at.
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Old 01-20-10, 02:22 PM   #10
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Re: Returns at Walmart & "Violations of Federal Law"

had the same thing happen to me at walmart with a dvd i bought that had come loose in the case but was wedged inside so that you could not hear it rattling around. the manager called all the surroundings stores and none of them had it either. she then told me there was nothing they could do. i was stuck with a scratched dvd.
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Old 01-20-10, 11:47 PM   #11
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Re: Returns at Walmart & "Violations of Federal Law"

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This thread has been reported to the FBI. OP, please remain where you are at.
FBI? F--- the FBI ... you better call Homeland Security on him! He is a terrorist trying to destroy the American way of returning merchandise, one lie at a time! Where is Jack Bauer when you need him?
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Old 01-20-10, 11:48 PM   #12
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Re: Returns at Walmart & "Violations of Federal Law"

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Originally Posted by dkedvd View Post
had the same thing happen to me at walmart with a dvd i bought that had come loose in the case but was wedged inside so that you could not hear it rattling around. the manager called all the surroundings stores and none of them had it either. she then told me there was nothing they could do. i was stuck with a scratched dvd.
I hope you pursued this with higher management ...
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Old 01-21-10, 12:28 AM   #13
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Re: Returns at Walmart & "Violations of Federal Law"

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Originally Posted by jjcool View Post
Yes. Some stores even go so far as to remove the shrink wrap from the replacement copy, so that it cant be exchanged for a different title.
I exchanged a defective copy of Mario Cart a while back at a local WalMart and the blowhard behind the counter spent a good 10 minutes deciding on whether or not he had to open the replacement so it could not be returned.

"I can't let you leave the store with that unopened. I'll have to call security."

In the end, I opened it in front of him while giving him the "go fuck yourself and your $8 dead end job" look.

The idiots who run the return counters at these stores have a serious Stalin feel to them.

Fuckers.
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Old 01-21-10, 09:39 AM   #14
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Re: Returns at Walmart & "Violations of Federal Law"

You should have drawn a badge on a piece of paper, flashed it at her, and said you were an undercover DVD Federale , and you absolve her of any wrong doing.

+5 if you did it while making the sign of the cross at her.

I believe you would have a 50/50 chance of this working, based on the people i have encountered working for Walmart.
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Old 01-21-10, 12:36 PM   #15
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Re: Returns at Walmart & "Violations of Federal Law"

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Originally Posted by btbrossard View Post
I exchanged a defective copy of Mario Cart a while back at a local WalMart and the blowhard behind the counter spent a good 10 minutes deciding on whether or not he had to open the replacement so it could not be returned.

"I can't let you leave the store with that unopened. I'll have to call security."

In the end, I opened it in front of him while giving him the "go fuck yourself and your $8 dead end job" look.

The idiots who run the return counters at these stores have a serious Stalin feel to them.

Fuckers.
I once had the retard at the returns counter actually try to open an itme I was returning, to the point where she ripped the box apart to make sure what was supposed to be in there was actually in there. Once the packaging was torn beyond recognition, it was in pristine unopened condition when I handed it to her, she attempts to tell me that I can't return it, as the barcode doesnt scan in their system or some bullshit, even though I had the receipt. You can imagine how happy I was upon hearing that. For some reason, she was to stupid to figure out why I was upset with this situation.
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Old 01-21-10, 01:24 PM   #16
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Re: Returns at Walmart & "Violations of Federal Law"

This just happened to my wife on a Smallville set that I was having her exchange because of damaged disks. They had none in stock (they were recently discounted) and they would not provide a refund. In my case, I called around and found another Walmart not to far away to do an exchange. If not though I would have pressed it with a manager.

My guess is that it is just a Walmart policy that thay are attempting to link loosely to a federal law to control open DVD returns. Like open DVD's lead to piracy or something like that (i.e., how do they know you didn't buy it, copy it, and then try to return it as damaged is their take).
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Old 01-25-10, 04:09 PM   #17
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Re: Returns at Walmart & "Violations of Federal Law"

Personally I'd ask the Wal-Mart employee to show me where in "federal law" does this "law" actually exist. I'm pretty sure that will quickly end any talk about it being "federal law."
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Old 01-25-10, 05:34 PM   #18
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Re: Returns at Walmart & "Violations of Federal Law"

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Originally Posted by jjcool View Post
Yes. Some stores even go so far as to remove the shrink wrap from the replacement copy, so that it cant be exchanged for a different title.
I actually had this happen to me when I bought Shoot Em Up on release day.It was one of those 2 packs that Walmart always had. (The Corrupter was the other title.) Shoot Em Up would not play on one of our DVD players so I thought it was defective (not defective player just doesn't like some discs which I found out later.) so I brought it back and exchanged it. They opened the new 2 pack and cut off the plastic wrap and slit the security tape to open them. I did not know what the heck was going on.
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Old 01-26-10, 08:21 PM   #19
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Re: Returns at Walmart & "Violations of Federal Law"

Yeah, they played the Federal Law card with me years ago on a defective VHS tape transaction when that was what was in their dump bins. About an hour later I finally got a 2.00 refund when they could not come up with a replacement. After I left the store I called the FBI and ratted them out for violating the Federal Law. Within 15 minutes the store was swarming with Feds and I had my revenge. Bastards.
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Old 01-27-10, 05:29 PM   #20
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Re: Returns at Walmart & "Violations of Federal Law"

Just wait until these knuckleheads get unionized.....
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Old 02-04-10, 07:21 AM   #21
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Re: Returns at Walmart & "Violations of Federal Law"

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Originally Posted by Abob Teff View Post
I had a similar incident at K-mart several years ago ... except they weren't even going to let me exchange another copy of the same title! The gal kept telling me "You opened it, I can't take back open DVDs. Had you not opened it, we could have exchanged it." She seemed a little stumped when I asked "How would I know it was defective if I didn't open it?" They eventually allowed the exchange and I left the rest of my planned purchase (about $100, I still had two kids in diapers at the time) sitting in front of the counter as I walked out.
Too funny. Seems like the ONLY way these idiots are going to LEARN but unlikely. Still funny though. It's the ONLY thing consumers can do anymore to express their opinion.
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Old 02-04-10, 07:31 AM   #22
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Re: Returns at Walmart & "Violations of Federal Law"

Same BS happened to me.............but at Target. No federal law sited but they gave me the corporate line of BS about returning the product for the same item, blah, blah, blah. So.....for some reason the did not have any more of the Star Trek Enterprise sets so I brought the regular DVD to exchange the movie disc. The moron from Bosnia couldn't figure it out. Seemed simple to me, take my defective disc, give me the disc from the regular edition and write off the regular DVD as damaged.

I ended up talking to a manager and he actually used his brain matter rather then being a f'in tool. Glad to know there are still people with an IQ over 70.
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Old 02-18-10, 08:38 PM   #23
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Re: Returns at Walmart & "Violations of Federal Law"

I once bought a DVD from Borders and it was the last copy. The disc was loose and I really wanted that particular title...I had a hard time finding it before then. So I pointed out to the clerk it was loose in the case and I asked her if she could open it so I could see if it was scratched before buying it. She said, no, they can't open the DVDs. I tried to explain if it's not scratched I am buying it and if it's scratched I just want to save the time of having to go through the returns process and they could just defect it out. She still didn't want to do it. I finally opened it myself while she was rattling on about why she couldn't do it. After I opened it, the disc was in pristine condition, she rang it up, I paid and left.

Bottom line here is this stuff isn't rocket science. And I understand copyright laws and cheap bastard customers who do abuse the system who buy things only to return it later on expecting a full refund because they are too cheap to just buy it to keep it or rent it first, but it's just DVDs. Who really cares? They can ship the defective discs back to their warehouse or whatever and get credit for them.
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Old 02-19-10, 10:21 PM   #24
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Re: Returns at Walmart & "Violations of Federal Law"

I've encountered the situation outlined by the original poster numerous times in recent years, and every single time it both amuses and frustrates me. I realize this is a broad generalization, but in my experience, Wal-Mart tends to hire the most unintelligent, uneducated people of any retailer. And more often than not, these individuals end up working the returns counter. For whatever reason, they seem to take a strange delight in quoting rules and regulations, exerting their small degree of power over someone whom they believe is trying to pull a fast one on them. I'm sure they were all given a sermon from corporate about how accepting returns of opened media is a "violation of US copyright law" (to use the words I've heard them tell me numerous times over the years). They seem to like repeating that particular phrase, "US copyright law," as if they are weilding some magical trump card that just stopped the perpetrator in his tracks. Oh no, not US copyright law! Curses, foiled again! I hate to say it, but these people are simply not smart enough bother debating, you'll only end up frustrating yourself.

Here's a little trick I learned that seems to get me around this problem. When I have a defective DVD that they won't return (for whatever crazy reason they make up), I take it to a different Wal-Mart location and leave it in the car. Then I go in, buy the same title again, walk out to my car and bring in the original defective one within minutes. I tell them that I just bought it (showing them the receipt from the recent purchase) and that I just played it in my car DVD player and its defective. If they try to throw the "US copyright law" excuse at me, I point out that there's no way I could have copied the disc since I just left the store with the disc 5 minutes ago. Believe it or not, this usually does the trick. They still give me attitude and all that, but so be it. It's sad that I need to resort to something like this to get a simple exchange for a defective item, but it's apparently the only thing that works with these folks.

So I suppose the moral of the story is... never try to have a logical discussion with a stupid person, because they're never smart enough to realize when you're right.

*sigh*

PS: Oh, just FYI, after I get a return on the defective disc, I conclude the above convoluted process by returning the second purchase on the first receipt. I travel a lot for work, so I'm always driving by a Wal-Mart somewhere...

Last edited by Ajay C; 02-19-10 at 10:28 PM.
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Old 02-20-10, 01:18 AM   #25
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Re: Returns at Walmart & "Violations of Federal Law"

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PS: Oh, just FYI, after I get a return on the defective disc, I conclude the above convoluted process by returning the second purchase on the first receipt. I travel a lot for work, so I'm always driving by a Wal-Mart somewhere...
Sorry to play Devil's Advocate here, but I worked retail for 10+ years as a Customer Service Supervisor and then Manager (not a Walmart) and I see one issue in your process ...

Why are you returning both copies of the movie if the first was truly defective?

I understand frustration if the DVD was defective and the store was out of stock on it (in that situation, I always offered up a store credit or to exchange for another movie when that customer issue arose, as I was still technically bound by the even-exchange corporate policy); but, your scenario you described has you ultimately returning the movie altogether, even after obtaining a new copy of the movie. Why not stop at the point of returning the defective one via the method you described and then keep the new copy, which in all likelihood is just fine? Why return the unopened copy, too? It's actions like that which make the retailers (and customer service reps) leery of returning open merchandise.

That's something I never understood ... when a customer would come in and tell me the movie was "defective" and policy stated that once opened we could offer an even exchange only ... AND WE STILL HAD IT IN STOCK ... and they still wanted a flat-out refund versus exchange. It always seemed the case of either buyer remorse or "well, I already copied it ..." (and I am not talking periods of time where they may have went and bought another copy elsewhere already ... I am talking, bought it a few hours ago to one day ago, according to receipt dates).

I had someone try to return a CD boxed set (opened) once because they said the discs were "too thick" for their CD player!

Last edited by wkkunkle; 02-20-10 at 01:22 AM.
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