I try to avoid Wal-Mart whenever possible. I have read to many sketchy things about the way they treat their employees to shop there on a regular basis, not to mention it’s always crowded and I feel like I need to take a cold shower when I leave. Also, I’m a fan of supporting the “little guy” and try to shop at local businesses when possible.
That said, I took the plunge and headed to “The Wal” yesterday to make a purchase. My girlfriend’s birthday is right around the corner, so I wanted to surprise her with a b-day beach cruiser. She is not an avid bike rider, but enjoys the occassional cruise sesh while I longboard (skateboard) next to her. It’s undeniable that Wallies has some incredible deals and there bicycle prices are super reasonable. I walked out the door with a $94 bike…much better than the $350 cruisers at the local shops. I brought the bike home and surprised her with it today- note: I bought the bike knowing I was probably going to pick the wrong color or style and would be returning or exchanging it so I kept the receipt like a good frugal boy.
Sure enough, after surprising her, we agreed the color was probably not the best for her personality (I knew I should have gone with light blue). I told her it was no problem at all and I only bought this bike as a physical representation of the gift I wanted to give her and not necessarily because this bike screamed her name. We went to target today and looked at a couple other beach cruisers and decided we will be returning the one I got her. Well, I came home and read the The Wal’s return policy and all appears good (90 days baby). But then the skeptic in me comes out and thinks “I wonder what others experiences have been returning bikes to Wal-Mart?” The verdict….not so good.
Apparently a bunch of people have been screwed and Wallies has not accepted their bikes. Now I sit here fearful that I’m gonna be stuck with a bike my girlfriend doesn’t particularly like. I am flying to seattle tomorrow so I wont be able to try and return it until next week. I’m sure some of you PFers have made a return to Wal-mart at some point. What were your experiences? Good, bad, ugly? Should I be ready to take it up the…nose? (get your mind out of the gutter). I’ll be sure to let you all know what goes down when I go in for the return. If they don’t take the bike, I’m going to punch the Wal-Mart manager in the face.