Scams

Walmart.com third party sold me badly refurbished laptops as new. What precautions to take before returning?

The general Internet business method is to use “Renewed” or “Refurbished” in the title or comments when a laptop has had a prior owner. I purchased 3 units of a particular laptop model, thinking I was getting a great deal on these implicitly “new” laptops which were advertised to have i3 Intel chips in them. These tend to go about twice what I purchased them at, and it was an older model, and it was Wal-Mart, so the 50% price markdown wasn’t unreasonable. The results (the job of a third-party vendor on Wal-Mart):

* only 2 of the 3 laptops arrived, and the order has been marked complete.
* the orders arrived without original packaging
* running some internal tests on it, I found some lower-end unit instead of the advtised i3 (bummer!).
* also found out via a Service Tag Lookup that the computers’ warranty expired in 2019.
* one of the 2 laptops that arrived are clearly used. It’s stripped of its rubber “feet” and has serious scratches across the bottom chassis.

At this point, my intent is to just do damage control effectively: get my money back and alert Wal-Mart, that is, if they aren’t “already in” on how this seller or type of seller operates and condone it.

* I already messaged the dealer directly saying that I’m missing a laptop from the order.
* I have taken photos of the delivery box weight so that the number of units that would have shipped within it can be verified.
* Anything else I can/should do to protect myself?
* Also, if you have any references to posts/comments that explain this trend on the online market would be a bonus for me — I’ve never experienced this in Wal-Mart, and I want to be as up-to-date as possible on how some online stores may be evolving.

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Edit: Formatting


The content was posted by rootseat on 2021-01-25 06:44:34 via reddit

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2 Comments

  1. Read and understand the return policy. Walmart likely isn’t “in on” this. They have better ways to make money than allowing third parties to damage their reputation by cheating customers. But make sure you understand what the policies and procedures are for disputes and returns and follow them closely. Don’t assume that, simply because you are the wronged party, someone owes you something. Return fraud is a thing, and businesses build their policies to help combat that.

    > and it was Wal-Mart, so the 50% price markdown wasn’t unreasonable. The results (the job of a third-party vendor on Wal-Mart)

    In the future, be careful of this. Don’t expect third party vendors to have the same buying power, and thus the same pricing ability, as Walmart. Walmart likely does not enforce their pricing goals on vendors, for this reason.

  2. >only 2 of the 3 laptops arrived, and the order has been marked complete.

    Check how much you were actually charged. Walmart places a hold on your payment method until orders are completed and if they can’t completely fulfill your order, they only charge you for what you actually received. If you were charged for 3, then definitely dispute it.

    >the orders arrived without original packaging

    Completely normal for refurbished devices, unless purchased directly from the OEM.

    >running some internal tests on it, I found some lower-end unit instead of the advtised i3 (bummer!).

    Definitely a bummer, but could be an honest mistake in the ad. Out of curiosity, what did it come with instead?

    >also found out via a Service Tag Lookup that the computers’ warranty expired in 2019.

    Aha I work for this OEM, my time to shine. These warranties do NOT automatically renew or transfer upon resale, the seller would have had to renew the warranty themselves and then specifically transfer it to you via a form you’d have to fill out. Did the ad say it came with a warranty? If so double check the fine print, it might be a third party warranty instead of OEM.

    >one of the 2 laptops that arrived are clearly used. It’s stripped of its rubber “feet” and has serious scratches across the bottom chassis.

    Also normal for refurbished, AKA used devices. Refurbished just means it was fully tested and any necessary repairs were made to restore it to full working order prior to sale. Missing feet and scratches look crappy but don’t impact functionality, in fact the cosmetic condition is probably why they were so cheap.

    Honestly I really don’t think you were scammed here. It sounds like a few mistakes were made, proper expectations weren’t set, and they may not have had enough laptops left to fulfill your order. Walmart isn’t “in on” anything, their site was just the means of sale for the third party seller. Still though, wait and see what they say before assuming a scam.

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