Shopping Discussion

Walmart No Longer Offers Price Protection

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  • Jul 27th, 2020 10:25 am
[OP]
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Jul 19, 2012
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Walmart No Longer Offers Price Protection

I just got off the phone from Walmart, and after talking with 3 different people, apparently they no longer offer Price Protection on products that drop in price, even though their site clearly states they do offer a 30-day price protection policy.

"Within 30 days (with receipt), if a customer has purchased an item from any Walmart store that is now offered at a lower Walmart price, the store will refund the difference of the price for the customer. Important: the refund excludes items that are on Clearance."

I bought an expensive item online over the weekend, there was a roll-back this morning (not a clearance item) and I called in asking for a refund on the difference - I did this a month ago on a pack of networking equipment I bought, and it was no problem. The first guy I spoke to this morning told me "there is no policy for refunding price changes or any kind of price protection". I quoted him the online Price Protection Policy and after waiting on hold (an obvious stalling technique) for 20 minutes, he stated "I am sorry sir, that policy no longer exists and has been changed".

I asked nicely to speak to someone else, and the lady I talked to said exactly the same thing. I literally felt like I was in the Twilight Zone and I kindly inquired if they understood what I was referring to (that the price was on their own website) and even quoted them the previous order number I received price protection on. Another 20-30 minute wait on hold, with a "Sorry sir, we no longer offer that." reply when she finally returned.

So I asked to speak to a manager, waited on hold for another 15 minutes (the total call time recorded on my handset was over 1 hour) and amazingly, she told me the same thing. No Price Protection on products bought online or in-store, even though the website states otherwise. "I'm sorry sir, that policy no longer exists". Cue Rod Serling ...

So after waiting over 1 hour on hold for a process I thought would be easy, I just ordered a second product at the lower price, and will drive around the corner to the local WM and return the first one - I have taken screenshots of their return policy and "Free Returns" note on my order in case they try to retroactively change that too.
My last and final digital game I purchased at PSN from those Sony Devils was on November 22, 2020 - Ban that Sorny!
30 replies
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Jun 13, 2010
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They no longer allow returns on opened items.
[OP]
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Jul 19, 2012
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Montreal
Sure, but they use the fake "Danger COVID Danger" excuse on that one - what is their excuse for not adhering to their stated Price Protection policy?

Answer: They don''t want to give any money back on Walmart price drops. Greedy bastards.

Edit: I actually got what you might have meant there, and since Walmart no longer accepts returns on opened items, that gives the customer far fewer options if policies like Price Protection are no longer offered.

The old threat of "I'll just return it and buy another one at the lower price" no longer holds if you've already opened and used the item (thus rendering it unreturnable), so greedy corporations like Walmart may get more aggressive in dropping all levels of consumer-friendly policies like this.
My last and final digital game I purchased at PSN from those Sony Devils was on November 22, 2020 - Ban that Sorny!
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Apr 4, 2001
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Good.

I don't know why anyone did price protection, ever, anyway.

If it's at a price that represents good value to you and you buy it, why would that change just because the price drops?
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Sep 27, 2003
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mbg wrote: Good.

I don't know why anyone did price protection, ever, anyway.

If it's at a price that represents good value to you and you buy it, why would that change just because the price drops?
They didn't want people waiting for sales or to have remorse if the price then dropped after purchase.

The only way that this works is to:

1. Eliminate price protection
2. Eliminate sales / discounts
3. Always have decent pricing (or not)
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Feb 19, 2017
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Honestly many retailers will use covid as an excuse and major corporations right now have leverage to offer less customer friendly policy because lots of small businesses are in trouble and rolling back the same policy. Its what happens when competition is lower so this isnt exactly unexpected due to covid. Its a shame and it might or might not revert when covid goes away, guess we will see.
[OP]
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Jul 19, 2012
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mbg wrote: I don't know why anyone did price protection, ever, anyway.
To get people to buy who were hedging and waiting for a sale - then consumers think "Hey, if the price drops within 30-days, I'll get the sale price anyway".

This is pretty basic consumer theory and it's designed to "sell more stuff", especially impulse buys, rather than having 90% of the consumer base "waiting for a sale". Price protection induces immediate consumer purchases, no question.

I use this all the time, and in fact, recently made 2 expensive purchases based on it - one from Microsoft 99% due to their extended price protection period.
My last and final digital game I purchased at PSN from those Sony Devils was on November 22, 2020 - Ban that Sorny!
[OP]
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Jul 19, 2012
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Paigne wrote: Its what happens when competition is lower so this isnt exactly unexpected due to covid.
Yep, and it seems like Walmart feels they can do whatever they want and people will still buy there - after all, if they eliminate every other B&M store, where do you go other than Amazon?

With all this anti-consumer behavior, I have virtually stopped any non-essential purchase for the immediate future and am living in "make do with what I have" land.
My last and final digital game I purchased at PSN from those Sony Devils was on November 22, 2020 - Ban that Sorny!
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I laughed at Walmart's announcement about their investment into their stores and how it will improve customer service. Meanwhile their return policy is much worse and they no longer offer price protection.
[OP]
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Jul 19, 2012
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cristianosham wrote: Just refund the item and go buy it at the lower price.
As I stated in the first message, that is exactly what I'm going to do as the first item hasn't arrived yet.

But remember, under Walmart's new "pandemic non-return policy", they will NOT give you a refund on opened or used items. That differs totally from their old Price Protection policy, which required only a receipt to get credited the difference.

Now you need to keep the item sealed and unused for up to 30-days in order to get the full refund, and also hope they still have stock at the lower price, which totally negates buying it at a non-sale price in the first place. And you can't even do the old "return and rebuy" trick unless the item is still sealed.
My last and final digital game I purchased at PSN from those Sony Devils was on November 22, 2020 - Ban that Sorny!
[OP]
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tew wrote: I laughed at Walmart's announcement about their investment into their stores and how it will improve customer service. Meanwhile their return policy is much worse and they no longer offer price protection.
Where do you think they got the billions of dollars needed for this investment?
My last and final digital game I purchased at PSN from those Sony Devils was on November 22, 2020 - Ban that Sorny!
Newbie
Jun 10, 2017
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Maybe I'm missing something, but if you buy a widget, open it up, and then next week see it on sale for less, why can't you buy it at the lower price, keep the second item sealed, and return it with the receipt from the first purchase at the higher price?
[OP]
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0707DHToronto wrote: Maybe I'm missing something, but if you buy a widget, open it up, and then next week see it on sale for less, why can't you buy it at the lower price, keep the second item sealed, and return it with the receipt from the first purchase at the higher price?
Obviously you can if it's a) still in stock at your store and b) a simple item without a serial number or other method of tracing, but even then it still amounts to more time, effort, and risk compared to simply presenting your old receipt.

Plus, even if the cards all line up right, by using your method then you're effectively committing return fraud.

Your strategy also negates use with any product with a serial number, which is a lot of the big ticket items like electronics or small appliances you'd be looking at getting price protection on.
My last and final digital game I purchased at PSN from those Sony Devils was on November 22, 2020 - Ban that Sorny!
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Nov 25, 2004
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JackWhyte wrote: As I stated in the first message, that is exactly what I'm going to do as the first item hasn't arrived yet.

But remember, under Walmart's new "pandemic non-return policy", they will NOT give you a refund on opened or used items. That differs totally from their old Price Protection policy, which required only a receipt to get credited the difference.

Now you need to keep the item sealed and unused for up to 30-days in order to get the full refund, and also hope they still have stock at the lower price, which totally negates buying it at a non-sale price in the first place. And you can't even do the old "return and rebuy" trick unless the item is still sealed.
thats when go grab one off the shelf buy it at the new price. then take it and walk over to c/s with the old invoice and say i want my money back.
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Apr 1, 2015
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Can someone confirm whether Walmart is still refusing opened item returns?

I've seen a lady return a brita pitcher without any packaging some time last month

As for no more price protection, yes, it would cause some inconvenience on our part as customers but given that we would have to go back to Walmart to price match the purchase anyway I would not be too upset about it..
plz don't touch my signature.

don't make me less of a human just cause i don't share your "idiotologies".

👮‍♂️👮‍♀️lives matter
[OP]
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Jul 19, 2012
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aaron158 wrote: thats when go grab one off the shelf buy it at the new price. then take it and walk over to c/s with the old invoice and say i want my money back.
Sure, but again, that won't help with the big ticket items that have a serial number, which is probably where Walmart is looking to increase profits.

A great example is a Keurig dual-system brewer I bought a month ago - I bought it immediately because of Walmart's price protection (it was expensive) and 2 weeks later it dropped in price, so I easily got the refund. Now, I wouldn't go anywhere near it unless it's already on sale at a price I'm comfortable with. No more small appliances, no more electronics, no more entertainment systems, no more anything that can be traced by its serial number, warranty or otherwise on a receipt.

For me, this switch in policy changes everything.
My last and final digital game I purchased at PSN from those Sony Devils was on November 22, 2020 - Ban that Sorny!
[OP]
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Jul 19, 2012
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Terabithia wrote: Can someone confirm whether Walmart is still refusing opened item returns?

I've seen a lady return a brita pitcher without any packaging some time last month
She probably got a Replacement (which they offer on defective items), not a full Refund.
My last and final digital game I purchased at PSN from those Sony Devils was on November 22, 2020 - Ban that Sorny!
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Nov 25, 2004
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JackWhyte wrote: Sure, but again, that won't help with the big ticket items that have a serial number, which is probably where Walmart is looking to increase profits.

A great example is a Keurig dual-system brewer I bought a month ago - I bought it immediately because of Walmart's price protection (it was expensive) and 2 weeks later it dropped in price, so I easily got the refund. Now, I wouldn't go anywhere near it unless it's already on sale at a price I'm comfortable with. No more small appliances, no more electronics, no more entertainment systems, no more anything that can be traced by its serial number, warranty or otherwise on a receipt.

For me, this switch in policy changes everything.
tbh i've never seen a retailer print a serial number on the invoice so how are they going to match them up.
[OP]
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Jul 19, 2012
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aaron158 wrote: tbh i've never seen a retailer print a serial number on the invoice so how are they going to match them up.
I know Best Buy does, and I think The Source does as well, or at least that information is available on their terminal when they look at the transaction. I brought back a Switch Mini (Nintendo does not allow Animal Crossing save transfers so there is no way to move to a new unit) and they visually did a check on the serial number on the box with their screen. I would assume Walmart's systems would be at least as diligent.
My last and final digital game I purchased at PSN from those Sony Devils was on November 22, 2020 - Ban that Sorny!

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