I have no problem with the Wal-Mart return policy since they will at least give store credit even if a receipt is lost. However, items purchased on the Wal-Mart web site from other vendors, called Marketplace retailers, cannot be returned to Wal-Mart.
So, my complaint is about Wal-Mart protecting their Marketplace retailers by allowing false ratings to provide inflated good ratings and by not resolving disputes with Marketplace retailers. In general, Wal-Mart apparently sandbags consumer complaints until the consumer is finally fed up and quits complaining. Their online chat service is pitiful but on two occasions their phone option was answered quickly by very polite attendants. The problem is that no-one ever got back to me even though the attendants said the complaint would be sent higher up.
So, in this particular instance I purchased a spreader from a Marketplace retailer called Supply the Home. There was one review on the Wal-Mart site for the spreader and it was 5 star which on further examination really sounded phony. So, I bought the spreader, but at the same time failing to realize that the spreader could not be returned to Wal-Mart. So, in using the spreader for the first time it would tip over as soon as my garden tractor started to move.
I thought perhaps I had put too much grass seed into it so the next time I only filled it half-way way. Same thing happened. I contacted the retailer and they said I could send it back if I paid return shipping and paid a 15% restocking fee. Well, with a box the size the spreader came in it would cost me about as much as I originally paid.
Their return policy states that if a product is defective they would pay return shipping and no restock fee. In my estimation, if a product is not built right it is defective. The spreader was obviously too flimsy and top-heavy, so that is a defect. I contacted Wal-Mart and they said they would get in touch with the retailer and get back to me.
No-one got back to me. I contacted Wal-Mart and said at least let me review the retailer. However, there is no link on the review site and Wal-Mart could not find a way to let me do a review. They said they would get back to me, but never did.
This particular vendor has 303 review on the site with 175 five star and 58 one star. Obviously there must be a way to provide a review. However, most of the reviews had no narrative and it was obvious from some of the negative reviews that the narratives were suppressed. Further examination of the review led to the conclusion that the retailers had provided false reviews in order to raise the rating to 4-start.
Review such as five star by “Louie, 5 star by Oscar”, and so on. I could find no information whatsoever about Supply the Home anywhere on the web, but for some of the other retailers that sold the same product for which the Wal-Mart site gave the ratings above 3 star, but when looking at reviews of these retailer on other sites like Amazon, they rated 1 star. Obviously Wal-Mart wants to protect their Marketplace retailers. I complained twice to Wal-Mart, via the online help facility, about not being able to review Supply the Home.
They said they would look into it and get back to me. Guess what? No soap.
In conclusion, If Wal-Mart really believes in customer satisfaction they should put pressure on their Marketplace retailers and also back up the return policy so that all items that have a legitimate complaint can be returned to Wal-Mart and then Wal-Mart can work it out with the retailer. I will never again buy another item though Wal-Mart that is not directly returnable to Wal-Mart.
Product or Service Mentioned: Walmart Website.
Reason of review: Return, Exchange or Cancellation Policy.
Monetary Loss: $83.
Preferred solution: Let the company propose a solution.
Walmart Pros: Return policy of items purchased at walmart.
Walmart Cons: No followu-up on complaints.