It’s always a WalMart

Recently I had to return an electronic device to WalMart.  It is a very long, complicated story, so I’ll try to keep it brief.  We allowed our 11 year old to use his birthday money to buy an iPod touch so he can text people (we are not ready for him to have a phone yet).  After much searching, we found a refurbished iPod on that he wanted to buy.  After we got the iPod delivered and set up, we discovered that we could not get the iMessage to work.  Since this feature is basically what he wanted the iPod for, this was a major problem.


I spent 2 hours on the phone with Apple Support that night, ultimately to be told that we had gotten “a dud”, and I should return it.   Promptly the next morning, I headed to WalMart and returned the iPod.  I was expecting there to be an issue, but it all went fairly smoothly.  I then walked back to the electronics department to purchase a new iPod touch.  It was going to be easier to just pay a few more dollars for a brand new one than go through the hassle of getting another refurbished one.

I waited for forever for someone to help me.  I told the young man finally who came that I wanted to buy a 16 gb iPod Touch in any color but pink.  “We have one blue one left” he said.  “I’ll take it” I said.  I purchased the iPod and went on my merry way.

When I got home, I took it out of the box and plugged it in to charge.  I wanted to have it ready for my son when he came home from school.  After it was charged, I was ready to set it up.  I turned it on and it said “Enter your passcode”.  Now, I, personally, own two iPads and an iPhone, so I was expecting the friendly Apple “Hello” when I turned this sucker on.  Obviously I didn’t have a passcode.  And obviously this iPod had been used.

Livid, I packed it all back up and went back to WalMart.  I marched right past the greeter with a determined look on my face (or maybe it was just pissed off, I’m not sure) and went back to the electronics department again.  I waited for about 20 minutes for the same kid to help me since he was helping someone else.  He finally came over to me with a blank look on his face.

“Can I help you?”

“Yeah, um, I was here an hour ago and bought this iPod?  From you?”

Nothing.  Still blank look.

“Yeah, so, uh, I bought this iPod because I thought it was new and when I took it home it asked me for a passcode, so it has been used.”

He took it from me.  He was having a very hard time getting it out of the box so I finally took it out for him.  He turned it over and said “I think there’s some way to reboot it to manufacturer settings.”

“I don’t want to do that.” I said.  “I paid for a new iPod, so I want a new iPod.”

He handed it back to me.  I handed it right back and said “so can I get a different one?”

He looked under the counter.  “We have one pink one”.

“I don’t want pink”.

He looked up at me in my pink hoodie.  “You don’t like pink?”

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“I love pink.” I said.  “But it is for my 11 year old son.  He would like any other color but pink.  Blue, white, silver, black….”

He looked under the counter again.

“We have one pink one.”

“Okay, so I guess I want to return this one” I said with a massive sigh.

“Okay” he said.

“Okay, so can I return it??”

“Yes, you will have to return it at customer service.”

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Of course.

So, I made it up to the front of the store and waited for another 30 minutes in line to return my 2nd iPod of the morning.  The lady working in customer service looked me up and down like I was a common criminal.

“Didn’t you just return an iPod?”

“Yes I did”.  I then explained the story to her, told her that I talked to someone in electronics and he told me to return it.

She didn’t seem to believe me and, by then, I was holding it together by a thread.  “His name is Josh” I said.  She called him and he confirmed my story.  Which was a very good thing, because I was about to become a common criminal if this interaction became any more annoying.  I have heard of many people losing their shit at a WalMart and making the news.  I was about to become one of those people.

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After I got my money back, I drove across the street to Target where I had not one, but TWO employees offer to help me within 2 seconds upon my arrival to the electronics department.  I purchased my third blue iPod and took it home to charge with no further problems.

Moral of the story:

I will NEVER again buy electronics from WalMart.  Or really anything if I can help it.

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