I provide resources for rural youth. Living in a rural area, I (and our supporters) have purchased a great many games and systems as they provide some fun diversion on rainy days, lazy summer afternoons after fishing at the creek, and during our cold winter storms.
A Console was purchased from Walmart but we were not apprised a potential for discrepancy existed and the sales person did not scan BOTH the box and console. After spending $506.00, I returned with the Playstation 3, a new game, and a new high priced controller. As you can imagine, the young people were excited. We plugged it in, opened the game and inserted it, and found the machine was broken. We immediately drove back into town with the system and the receipt to exchange it for a working one. We were told the serial number on the console does not match the serial number on the box. It has been a daily fiasco with public humiliation, slander, and rude employees. If you want the details let me know. Had I been aware there was a potential for discrepancy, I would have insisted they scan both. Shame on everyone for not alerting consumers!
Three separate customer relations persons with Sony told me that over 500 cases have been documented by them just with Walmart. They told me Walmart was aware of this situation. If this is true, someone needs to alert consumers so they may protect themselves. Two problems exist 1. the customer who takes a nonworking console home with a serial number discrepancy. They cannot return the product and are out huge amounts of money and of course are subjected to public humiliation 2. those who take a working console home that has a serial number discrepancy- if their machine ever goes out they won't get service.
I was told by walmart, if a Sony customer relations person would simply call Walmart corporate customer relations, they would exchange the console for one in a box with a matched serial number. Sony customer service claims they are unable to make calls out of their location. Walmart corporate told me the manager always has the ability to approve or disapprove exchanges and suggested I speak with him. Both times I had an appointment with the manager he skipped out on me. I was finally able to see him and he blew up. We've been very civil. Each day that has gone by we've escalated our actions.
I think they are both making a bad name for themselves. Walmart and Sony are aware of the problem and not rectifying it nor are they making the public aware of the potential for serial number discrepancy.
As far as our problem, I don't understand why they can't trace both serial numbers and find out where the console is that belongs in our box. In hopes of rectifying this problem, I am providing the serial numbers from the box and the console that was in the box.
Box Serial Number; CK021608728
Console Serial Number; CE925181792-CECHE01
Suggestion To Sony (and other electronics manufacturers);
Please redesign your ps3 box with a clear hard plastic window over the console serial number. This way, the actual product may be scanned and there will be no discrepancy between the box serial number and the actual console serial number. With something as important as a serial number, it makes no sense to allow for potential discrepancies. You can lead the market by mentoring this important change with ALL high ticket electronic items! If consumers have to pay a little extra, fine. I would be willing to pay for the extra security.
Suggestion To Walmart;
As far as Walmart is concerned, this problem can be avoided by implementing a hard fast rule, not a policy, to scan both the box and the actual console. By the way, Walmart defined policy for me. Any policy they have may be broken by anyone at any time for any reason they so desire.
Walmart cannot expect a customer to simply acquiesce after spending that much money and having nothing to show for it. Walmart may wish to reevaluate their manager's position. He lacks any hint of customer relations skills. He does not keep his word, he hides, and he walks a fine legal line which I'm sure he'd be happy to tell you about. Likely it is on tape. Of course these are simply my observations and opinion. I can tell you, with this Walmart manager's lack of P.R. skills, the locals will only take it for so long. Locals in this area believe in old fashioned manners, courtesy, and integrity. The assistant manager has been courteous and has maintained his integrity. According to him he is not authorized to make any decisions although he has been relatively helpful.
Suggestion to Consumers;
If you purchase an item with a serial number (camera, tv, game console, etc), ask the clerk to remove the product from the box to be certain the serial number on the box matches the serial number on the item. Even if the box is sealed!
If you are purchasing a game console of any type, research the latest model number to be sure you are purchasing the latest model. Sony told us the model that was in the box has not been sold for 6 months. I was told they had hard drive issues and now sell a newer mode. Walmart told us the console that was in the box had been sold to someone in January of 2008.
I've found there are many other consumers experiencing this problem. Can we start a group to strengthen our position and alert future consumers? Is there a group already started?
U.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Wal-mart