Refusal to accept return on unopened items WITH receipt WITHIN 90 Days - blatantly ignoring stated return policy!
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA -- I run a business where I buy and sell videogames, and one of the places I have shopped with throughout the years is K-Mart. As I do a lot of purchasing from multiple retail stores, I am always ensuring that not only am I aware of each store's return policies, but that I keep all of my receipts in case I decide I need to make a return. It is rare when I do make such a return, but until today, I have never had any problems with doing so... after all, anything I do return is unopened, and the return by date is clearly listed on the receipts. If a return date passes and I choose not to make a return, so be it.
Today, I attempted to return approximately 25 video games across 4 different receipts, with return dates ranging from mid-March through mid-April. Those 25 items were just a small portion of the full amount of items that were purchased on those receipts (about 10% of the overall amount of items bought), and I made sure to have everything organized for when I entered the store, in order to facilitate an easy return.
Well, immediately upon entering the store and pulling the games and receipts out of the bags at the customer counter, I was confronted with accusations and questions - literally, I was treated as if I were some kind of criminal from the get-go. The first question/accusation that I received was the manager questioning where I got "all these games", and why I was trying to return them here.
I tried to show the manager my receipts and explain that I simply wanted to return these items, pointing out specifically that my returns were well within the 90 day policy CLEARLY stated on both the receipt and KMart.com. Most of these games still had the original KMart stickers on top of the shrinkwrap, and were clearly purchased from KMart. However, my receipts and the games themselves apparently did not suffice to quell the thoughts that I must obviously be some criminal trying to return stolen games to their store for whatever reason.
Just as the cashier is about to process the first return, a second manager came up and stated that "You need to remove your items from this store. We will not accept this return."
When I asked why and also asked to see where their store policy could contradict my receipts, the manager started becoming belligerent and threatened to call the police to escort me out of the store. I asked him for the phone number to corporate so I could consult with someone there. He proceeded to provide me with an incorrect number, while still threatening to physically remove me from his store.
I decided to leave and call corporate directly, but when I went outside to call them, the number that was provided to me was incorrect. The second manager who had threatened to call the police then came outside, and I informed him that he had given me an incorrect number, and asked him if he knew the correct number. Again, this person threatened to have me escorted away from the store, as it was "private property" and they were allowed to determine their own return policies independently.
I informed the gentlemen that I would be contacting corporate and that I would expect an apology for the abusive manner in which they treated their customer. He said that there was "no way in hell" that he would apologize and that he was "absolutely right". Yes, you read that correctly.
Now, I finally return home and look up KMart's customer support number and give them a call. I talk to a gentleman and explain the exact situation, and he puts me on hold for about 15 minutes. He comes back and tries to explain that the return policy for "media" items is 14 days, and it should say so on my receipt. Meanwhile, there is no statement REMOTELY close to this supposed policy on my receipt. In fact, I read the exact back of the receipt to him that states:
"A receipt dated within 90 days is required for all returns and exchanges... All returns and exchanges must be in the original packaging and contain all of the original accessories. Some items... including video games... will not be returned if they are opened."
I also point out that the last day to return these items is clearly stated in bold print on the front of the receipt, and that any unwritten policy to contradict these terms is false advertising. The rep starts to waver, but then says again that not all their policies are listed, and that 14 days is the return policy on games, despite all written evidence clearly stating 90 days with receipt, so long as the item is unopened.
He even then offers to call another store in the area and allow me to ask them their return policy... I have him call the next closest store while I am on the line, and when the person answers the phone, I state that I just want to make sure I have the return policy straight before I return the games I was planning on returning. The salesperson confirms that so long as the merchandise is unopened and I have a receipt, there will be no problem and that the 90 day return policy stated on my receipt is correct.
The rep then asks for his name, hangs up the phone with him, and then insists that the employee we spoke to (and that he recommended I ask) was incorrect, and that this fable of the 14 day return policy was correct, not 90 days... you know, as confirmed by store receipt, KMart.com, and a KMart employee over the phone.
Has anyone ever dealt with anything so absurd as this? Can KMart or any other store just randomly choose to change their written return policies at their whim? I know that this is an incredibly long read, but I am just completely flabbergasted here. Not only is this store attempting to contradict their own stated policies, but they were also incredibly abusive towards a customer who simply came in to make a simple return.
Any responses or thoughts would be appreciated.