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Baseball Bats – Wood or Metal Best?

Did you see the guy taking out 28 HDTV at Walmart? Our local news said his reasoning was unknown. I can guess.

My guess he bought one and then had insurmountable problems with them and the brand support. He became so frustrated that he went seeking revenge.

I can identify with that. If I were a bit bi-polar, our local Walmart wouldn't be standing.

Two years ago, I bought a nice Hitachi laptop there at Christmas. It went south in a few weeks. The touchpad developed a mind of its own. Walmart has returns in hours and days. So, they wanted nothing to do with me. Hitachi had a model number that said Walmart. And seeing that Walmart didn't care, neither did Hitachi. And, neither did my credit card company.

I changed credit card companies; haven't been in a Walmart since; saw a Hitachi item advertised the other day that I would have bought but no!

If you've read this far, listen to my free advice. There are locally owned companies that will meet competitive pricing. I just bought a range from Abt in Chicago with free delivery that isn't usually available from Menards, Lowes and all the other big box stores. They even installed it cheaper. If you buy a high ticket item from a big box store, you deserve what happens when you experience a problem.

The following letter went unanswered by all three offices:

Lee Scott

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

702 S.W. 8th Street

Bentonville, Arkansas 72716

Atsutoshi Nishida

Toshiba

1-1, Shibaura 1-chome Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-8001, Japan

Jamie Dimon

J.P. Morgan – Chase

270 Park Avenue

New York, New York 10017-2070

March 17, 2009

Dear Sir:

It is 4 A.M as I write this. I am again up because I woke up thinking about this and couldn’t get back to sleep. I thought I might share with you how your company lost me as a customer forever.

Before Christmas a year ago Walmart had a Toshiba Satellite laptop on sale. It was in a range I could afford and I decided to spoil myself a bit and pick it up. It was a nice little machine and I was enjoying it when it’s touch-pad went bad. The arrow would wander all over or lock on the left side and user input was erratic.

My first step was to contact the manufacturer – Toshiba. I explained the problem in detail. I am a retired computer programmer so I believe I gave a thorough explanation. The foreign help desk recognized the serial number as a ‘special production’ (i.e. Wal-Mart only) and told me that I was at fault. I had, according to them, screwed up the drivers. (I had done no reinstalls or added hardware.) I did even try to reinstall Windows and it would not complete and would reboot and reboot with a message it could not find the right hardware.

I am guessing that when I called and called, hoping to get a different representative, the call desk was taking my caller ID and referencing the original call. Because, adding to my documentation of my attempts did not get me an RMA but the repeat that it was a user error with drivers causing the problem. I tried to call a local office to get help and when I told the guy my problems he actually laughed like he’d heard it before.

So, I went back to Wal-Mart. I was a couple of days late on the warranty disclaimer printed on the receipt but never mention before I reached the return desk. I ask the clerk to let me speak to the manager. A morbidly obese woman appeared (Portage, IN store) and really didn’t talk to me. She stated policy and when I tried to explain my situation she kept trying to turn and walk away. I’d remained courteous throughout this ordeal and continued. She finally just walked away with me pleading for help. The help desk clerk gave me one of ‘those looks’ like this wasn’t out of the ordinary.

My next stop is my credit card company – Chase. I asked them to reverse this transaction and they did after getting documentation that I’d returned it to Walmart via UPS. After doing so, I contacted Chase and asked if the problem was resolved. They assured me that it had been and the charge was reversed. I actually did this twice over two months and got assurance I was home free. At the end of 90 days, Walmart recharged and Chase locked it as unchangeable. They did write me a letter and gave me a name and number. When I called that I got an “out but will return your call” recording. I’d leave my number but wasn’t called. I called her at various times during the day but never had the call returned.

Over a year has passed. My new wide screen TV is not a Toshiba and it wasn’t purchase through Walmart. It was my gift to myself this Christmas. I haven’t been in any Wal-Mart since the morbidly obese lady wouldn’t even listen. I kept the Chase around on advise that it would now actually help my credit score but little annoyance with small item and service charges for being almost but not quite inactive caused me to cancel that.

Now, all my higher ticket purchases are through Amazon or specialty stores. Bezos(Amazon) goes out of his way to give customers a good experience and maintains a long term view. So, it is possible for a company your size to provide a customer experience that retains good will. Unfortunately, your company cannot be included in that group.

I am retired and on fixed income. I won’t be as great a customer as the younger demographic. Yet, I am a techy at heart and still get my toys. I spend more than I should on a lot of things. But, my income is fixed and losing to the tune of $630 on a computer that’s evidently still in Wal-Mart’s back room smarts. I think the reminder for my recent loss of sleep is that Chase and I are finally closing on the account And that’s why I am up at 4:30 AM and why you won’t see my business again and hopefully this won’t wake me in the future.

At 68 years old, I am lucky I guess. This is the most I have been taken for in all those years. I do still throw away a lot of money on my electronic toys and such and hope I can live a number of years to – at least in my mind – penalize your company’s stupidity by giving my business to your competition.

Sincerely,

Categories: Life and ChoiceTags:
  1. February 12th, 2010 at 11:38 | #1

    Wow, nice letter, and amazing how badly you were treated at every step.

  1. June 12th, 2012 at 11:31 | #1
  2. June 12th, 2012 at 12:17 | #2