Community Response to Walmart
Walmart Store on Rio Rancho Road in Pomona
By Naomi Bonman
IVN Staff Writer
Pomona, CA- The response that the Inland Valley News has been getting from the community regarding the article about Walmart removing the newspapers from their Pomona store has been phenomenal. Residents and employees of Pomona Walmart have called to share their stories. There have been people who have had great experiences while shopping at the store; however, the majority of people interviewed this week voiced the negative experiences that they encountered.
One of the Inland Valley residents, Dorothy N., recently experienced the racial tension of the Pomona Walmart. She had purchased a StraightTalk cell phone which came with a prepaid phone card. While trying to activate the phone, it turned out to be dysfunctional, so she called the StraightTalk customer service and they referred her to the store in which she brought the phone from.
Dorothy took the phone back to Walmart and they said that they could not give her a refund and that she needed to call the manufacturer company of the phone. Dorothy informed them that she had already done so and requested to speak to the manager, but the employee who was working in customer service said that there was no manager.
Since no one at the store could state the store’s policy, this writer went on the company’s website to double check to see if there were any violations and the policy states that Walmart accepts returns up until 90 days after purchase with a few expectations for electronic items; such as computers, camcorders, digital cameras, digital music players, e-tablets, e-readers, portable video players, GPS unites, video game hardware, pre-paid cell phones and post-paid cell phones. These electronic items must be returned within 15 days with a receipt and in its original packaging.
Dorothy had her receipt and tried to return the phone to the Pomona Walmart within a couple of days after purchasing it; she should have been able to receive a refund with no problems, according to the return policy.
Even if Dorothy did not have her receipt, the policy states that if a customer did not have a receipt, he or she could still return the item and that for several years Walmart has accepted returns without a receipt by giving customers the option of a cash refund (if the purchase was under $25), a shopping card for the amount of the purchase (if it was over $25) or an even exchange for the product. According to the return policy, if applicable, Walmart follows the manufacturer’s warranties.
“I noticed other ethnic groups that would go to customer service and have no problems, but when it came to Blacks trying getting assisted, they run into problems,” Dorothy said.
A call was made to the Pomona Walmart store to inquire about what their return policy was regarding returning items without a receipt, a customer service representative whom would not identify herself, stated that she did not know what the store policy on returns was and then transferred the call to another department. The phone rang but no one answered and there was no voicemail, upon trying to call back, the phone rang again and no one answered.
Walmart keeps a track on all returns. In the event that a customer has returned more than three items without receipts within a 45-day period, the cash register system will automatically flag the transaction, and a customer service manager or member of management must approve the return. The cash register messages will remain active for six months and will disappear if there are no more returns during that time period.
As long as an item is purchased from a Walmart store or from Walmart’s website, it can be returned to the store or mailed in to the Customer Service department. However, if the item was purchased from a marketplace retailer (eBay, Amazon, etc) then the item cannot be returned to the store, and must be returned to the marketplace retailer.
After leaving the store, Dorothy went to community leaders and received the telephone number to the Regional Manager, Javier Anguillo. She called him several times and did not receive a call back until two weeks later. She told him if the issue was not resolved that she would take the issue to the Walmart headquarters; Anguillo then referred her to the manager of the Pomona Walmart.
Dorothy finally did get her refund. She had to go through the hassle of trying to get a refund when she could have received one when she first went to try and return it. Walmart’s policy clear states that a refund could have been made within 15 days with a receipt, which Dorothy had.
“I met with the manager of the Pomona Walmart and talked to him about the situation, and was able to get the issue resolved,” Dorothy said.
If you have had an experience with the Pomona Walmart that you would like to share, please call the office at (909) 985-0072 or email your experiences to email@example.com.