SamsClub Informative - Samsclub versus Costco -- Return Policy
CATONSVILLE, MARYLAND -- Sam's Club buyers beware: their return policy is not the same as Costco's despite their supposed assurances that they provide 100% satisfaction guarantee on their products (which may be found on their website and even posted in their stores).
About 17 months ago we purchased a Danby wine cooler from samclub.com. Danby's warranty is 2 years parts and labor, five years on the sealed system (compressor, condenser, evaporator, etc.). Yesterday the unit stopped working. I called Danby to find local repair service and they said that they had no service providers anywhere near our location in Baltimore, MD. When I asked what their customers in the Baltimore area should do if they have a warranty claim, their response was to take it back to the dealer. I said that shouldn't be a problem because I purchased the cooler at Sam's Club and they have a 100% merchandise satisfaction guarantee (or so I thought).
Packed up the unit (weight about 100 pounds) and brought it to Sam's. I asked for an exchange for an identical unit they had in stock. (Good thing I didn't ask for a refund!) The clerk working the desk said that because the unit is over one year old a manager had to approve the exchange. A manager was summoned and first thing he said was "We can't accept a return for a product that old." When I brought up the "100% satisfaction guarantee" he said that it did not include products returned after six months. "Plus, if we accepted products after that period why would anyone purchase an extended warranty." I said that I thought that Sam's return policy was now the same as Costco's. He mistakenly said that "Costco doesn't accept returns past a certain amount of time." (Since I am also a Costco member I know that statement is incorrect, except for the six month policy for computers.) Note that the Danby wine cooler has a two year warranty and my return was within that period, although this should not have been a factor.
Seeing that I was getting nowhere, I said that I had tried to have the unit serviced but that Danby didn't have any service repair facilities in the area. Luckily, Danby sent me an email stating this, which I gave to the manager. Upon seeing this he threw up his hands and said, "OK, in this instance, because of this unusual situation, I'll accept the return."
So, Sam's Club buyers beware -- don't expect same return policy as Costco members enjoy. Also, Danby buyers should be sure that local Danby repair service is available, otherwise their warranty is meaningless.