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:
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.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.
Walmart.com Customer Care
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.