Don't buy anime from Walmart.com

This forum is for the general discussion of Anime.

Don't buy anime from Walmart.com

Postby Cyrix » Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:40 pm

This is probably a no-brainer, but I thought I'd share my ongoing horror story of ordering anime from Walmart.com. It's mostly a rant, hopefully a bit informative and amusing.

I wanted to get a copy of Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl , and Walmart had it cheapest - at the beginning of MArch I ordered the "Vocal Collection" (one of several complete series box sets available for it) for about $14. In hindsight, I did everything wrong - the set is manufactured by Anime Works (not much I can do about that though), and I selected in-store pickup for the online purchase so I wouldn't have to pay shipping.

It took nearly two weeks to arrive at the store. I picked it up, but didn't open it for a couple weeks because I was busy with school. When I finally opened it, I found that the tabs that hold the first disc in place were broken, and the disc was loose and scratched up.

I sent an email to Walmart customer service asking if I could get a replacement. I got this gem of a response:
Thank you for contacting Walmart.com regarding [Fill in the blank: Example: "your damaged chair", "your late order", "the status of your order", "etc"].
If we have not fully answered your question or you have additional questions, please reply to this email.
Sincerely,
Walmart.com Customer Care


I let them know they had sent me an unedited form letter skeleton, and they issued a return/replacement. I ripped the episodes I needed to make an AMV off the disc and sent it back.

Two weeks later, the second copy arrived at the Walmart store. I opened it at the pickup counter, and lo and behold, it was broken in the same way as the first one. I showed it to the employee who got it from the back for me, but he said he couldn't do anything.

I emailed them again, angry I had received two broken copies of the same series, and that I had to drive to the store twice. They responded they were "looking into the issue" and I'd hear back "within a few business days".

After 14 days, I hadn't heard anything, so I sent another email asking what was going on. "We have escalated the issue to a higher department" was all I got in response. I spent another two weeks trying to get information on what the hell was going on but they wouldn't say anything, not even who it was escalated to (I'm pretty sure "escalated to a higher department" is code for "fuck you, we aren't even looking into it"). After my persistent emails, a customer service rep offered to refund the cost if I returned the second copy. I explained I just wanted an undamaged copy, but I'd settle for keeping the damaged one and getting a refund if they couldn't figure out a way to send me one that wasn't broken. The employee said they couldn't do that, so I again asked for another replacement, and they finally issued one.

Surprise, surprise, the third copy (which I also opened in the store) was broken in the same way as the first two. I showed it to about five employees, but they store staff can't help with online orders, and emailed Walmart.com pictures of the broken case on the pick-up counter to prove it was still in the store when I opened it.

At this point I'd driven to Walmart three times, and it wasn't exactly close, so I was probably closing on spending more money on gas than the damned DVD cost in the first place. I sent a complaint to the Better Business Bureau, explaining that I had received three broken copies of the same series, I didn't think that Walmart.com staff were willing to or capable of being helpful, I was sick of driving to the store to get broken copies, and I thought at this point it was fair to receive a partial refund and have the next replacement shipped to my house so I wouldn't have to drive anywhere.

I received a call the next day from a Walmart employee, who nervously indicated they were contacting the manufacturer directly and would have a fresh copy shipped to my house directly off the line, inspected by the factory staff to make sure it was intact. They also refunded me the full cost of the series. Sounds pretty good, right? Wait for it...

Yeah, the fourth copy came in the mail, and the tabs that hold the first disc in place were broken. Fan-goddamn-tastic. Luckily I filmed myself opening it in case it was broken again. I emailed Walmart and the BBB the video. A Walmart employee called me two weeks ago and said they were sorry, they didn't know what had happened, and they were trying to contact the manufacturer. Last week, they called me to helpfully let me know that the manufacturer wasn't answering but they were still investigating. It's been another week with no word. I guess I'll have to update the complaint again tomorrow.

Finally, in comparison, I ordered both volumes of 3x3 Eyes from Amazon last Friday. Two discs arrived on Tuesday, but they were both volume 1. I requested a return/exchange from Amazon, and they immediately refunded me the full cost of the second volume, told me to keep the extra copy of the first volume, and told me to order the second volume again with 1-day shipping and they would waive the shipping fee. Amazon rocks. Walmart can kiss my ass.
Image
User avatar
Cyrix
 
Joined: 17 Jul 2006
Location: California

Re: Don't buy anime from Walmart.com

Postby Cyrix » Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:42 pm

Dammit, there's no edit button on this forum.

I realize I could order Kashimashi from another retailer, but I don't want to let Walmart win, and also I've apparently uncovered a massive problem in their supply of Kashimashi and I think it's important for them to actually take care of it instead of continually shipping broken copies.
Image
User avatar
Cyrix
 
Joined: 17 Jul 2006
Location: California

Re: Don't buy anime from Walmart.com

Postby Warlike Swans » Thu Jul 05, 2012 11:41 pm

Walmart is a terrible company that you shouldn't be buying from anyway.
User avatar
Warlike Swans
 
Joined: 20 Oct 2010
Status: Pending

Re: Don't buy anime from Walmart.com

Postby Cyrix » Fri Jul 06, 2012 12:25 am

Yeah, yeah, I know.

I forgot to mention the first time I went to pick up the third copy, after receiving an email that it was in the story six hours earlier... it wasn't actually there, and I had to go back the next day.
Image
User avatar
Cyrix
 
Joined: 17 Jul 2006
Location: California

Re: Don't buy anime from Walmart.com

Postby TEKnician » Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:21 pm

http://www.rightstuf.com/rssite/main/

Go. Fulfill your destiny...

:bear:
Almost as hard as fighting a Holy Paladin.
User avatar
TEKnician
 
Joined: 04 Mar 2010
Location: Smack in the middle of the Pacific Ocean
Status: Not reading the spoilers or manga

Re: Don't buy anime from Walmart.com

Postby Radical_Yue » Wed Jul 11, 2012 10:57 am

Warlike Swans wrote:Walmart is a terrible company that you shouldn't be buying from anyway.



This x a million.
ImageImage
User avatar
Radical_Yue
stuck in a room with a moose
 
Joined: 04 Feb 2005
Status: The flamer with heart of gold~<3

Re: Don't buy anime from Walmart.com

Postby NYCarrieW » Wed Jul 18, 2012 10:45 am

Buy it off of Amazon or eBay that's where I shop, if I buy stuff online.
Walmart has cheap stuff but terrible customer service and most of their stuff are of bad qualities. :(
User avatar
NYCarrieW
 
Joined: 13 Jul 2012

Re: Don't buy anime from Walmart.com

Postby iheartsable » Wed Jul 18, 2012 6:55 pm

TEKnician wrote:http://www.rightstuf.com/rssite/main/

Go. Fulfill your destiny...

:bear:


This.
Image
User avatar
iheartsable
 
Joined: 11 May 2011
Status: Ninja

Re: Don't buy anime from Walmart.com

Postby Cyrix » Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:46 pm

Well of course Walmart is terrible, hence "this is probably a no-brainer". :D

So here's the final conclusion of the story: They sent me SIX broken copies of Kashimashi over a four month period before they gave up and gave me a refund and a twenty dollar giftcard and told me to keep the last four copies. I guess I sort of got a lot out of that, but I don't really have any use for multiple broken copies of the same anime.

I'm going to school and get paid crap (for software development, which normally pays well...) so I can't buy anime often and when I do it has to be the cheapest goddamn sale anyone has. I have never seen anything on RightStuf that I couldn't get for several dollars less from Amazon, although admittedly I haven't been checking RightStuf often because of that so I might be missing good sales. This was the only time I've bought anime from Walmart, and obviously I will never do so again.

If anyone else who has a copy of the Kashimashi Vocal Collection, I'd appreciate if you let me know if it is broken, as I'm still wondering if the problem was with Walmart's stock or the entire production of them.
Image
User avatar
Cyrix
 
Joined: 17 Jul 2006
Location: California

Re: Don't buy anime from Walmart.com

Postby BasharOfTheAges » Thu Jul 26, 2012 1:31 pm

Cyrix wrote:I'm still wondering if the problem was with Walmart's stock or the entire production of them.

The anime industry is so small in this country that I doubt there's more than one factory pressing disks for one run of a single show. If there was no outward sign of stress on the case that would indicate a problem in how they were being shipped or stored by the store, then everything that got created in that time frame was likely broken the same way at the factory. They probably got a shipment of bad blank DVD cases and loaded them into the packing queue like normal, or the alignment might have just been off somewhere in the chain, so something cracked the tab when placing the disc in the case.

You might want to shoot an email off to the distributor. Explain the situation to them (in less verbose terms). Make it look like you're trying to be helpful alerting them to a flaw in their supply chain.

EDIT - After about 5 minutes of googling this, i can see that Anime Works is notorious for screwing up like this and producing scratched discs. Your issue for the scratched-ness of the discs is squarely with them. Your beef with walmart employees following their corporate policies on returns is another matter entirely and wouldn't be limited to anime in any way.
Another Anime Convention AMV Contest Coordinator 2008-2014 & Head of the AAC Fan-works Theater - follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/AACFanTheater
:sorcerer: :sorcerer: |RD: "Oh, Action!" (side-by-side) | |
User avatar
BasharOfTheAges
Just zis guy, you know?
 
Joined: 14 Sep 2004
Location: Merrimack, NH
Status: Extreeeeeeeeeme

Re: Don't buy anime from Walmart.com

Postby Cyrix » Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:34 am

Thanks for the input. I tried contacting Anime Works, but of course they make themselves unreachable. Since there is nothing you can do about the fact that all copies of Kashimashi are printed by Anime Works, I felt like it was important to note that when the quality of the product might be questionable, it's good to order from a business that has their act together, and Walmart obviously doesn't.
Image
User avatar
Cyrix
 
Joined: 17 Jul 2006
Location: California

Re: Don't buy anime from Walmart.com

Postby BasharOfTheAges » Tue Jul 31, 2012 7:57 am

It's more like they have strict policies in place for DVD returns because they get a lot of people buying, copying, and returning stuff and expecting a refund. If this distributor becomes a headache for them, they'll just stop doing business with them. One of a million products they carry (and don't sell many units of) isn't going to hold much weight in anyone's give-a-shit-o-meter. It's incredibly naive to think it would.
Another Anime Convention AMV Contest Coordinator 2008-2014 & Head of the AAC Fan-works Theater - follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/AACFanTheater
:sorcerer: :sorcerer: |RD: "Oh, Action!" (side-by-side) | |
User avatar
BasharOfTheAges
Just zis guy, you know?
 
Joined: 14 Sep 2004
Location: Merrimack, NH
Status: Extreeeeeeeeeme

Re: Don't buy anime from Walmart.com

Postby Cyrix » Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:07 pm

The issue isn't with their policies; their return system is reasonable on paper. The issue is with them stalling, taking weeks to do anything, and generally being dishonest.

It's naive to expect businesses to deal with defective merchandise in a reasonable timeframe? It's one of their responsibilities as a merchant. Using the 3x3 Eyes from Amazon example again, they ended up sending me Volume 1 instead of Volume 2 twice, because they had mislabeled their inventory. Both times they issued an immediate refund and gave me free one day shipping on the replacement; after the second one when it was determined the supply was mislabeled they corrected the problem in a couple days. It took less than two weeks to get two replacements and the problem solved. Granted, corrected mislabeled inventory is less difficult than dealing with a defective supply, but Amazon went far beyond reasonable expectations. You can feel the difference between a company that cares about you as their customer and wants to make you satisfied, and a company that wants you to give up and go away.

Jeeze, this was supposed to just be an amusing story
Image
User avatar
Cyrix
 
Joined: 17 Jul 2006
Location: California


Return to General Anime

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest