For many people, the ease of ordering online has become a daily routine. We are now able to order our groceries and all sorts of items from our cell phones and computers. But do we really know who we are ordering from?
Walmart.com has become one of the most used online ordering tools next to Amazon and other online marketplaces. But did you know that when you order from Walmart.com you are not necessarily ordering from Walmart itself?
Many of the items on Walmart.com outside of local delivery items are sold by a 2nd party supplier.
Electronic items such as laptops and stereos along with 1,000 of other items are actually sold by (what they call) partners of Walmart. And if an issue arises you are informed that you have to go through the partners to get anything corrected.
One person told us their misfortunate story of ordering from Walmart.com. He ordered a refurbished Dell Laptop from the website for $132.00. And when it arrived a week later he discovered the laptop did not work properly. After calling 1-800-WALMART, he was informed that they would reach out to the seller to see what could be done. He received an email from ASN (the company that actually sold the laptop through Walmart.com) with the tech support number to call.
ASN tech support gave him the Microsoft Windows Activation Key for his laptop, but could not help him get it connected to his Wi-Fi network. He also mentioned to ASN that it appeared as if the laptop had been set up for someone already. ASN informed him it is their common practice to set it up with an account prior to shipment.
After several phone calls between Walmart.com, ASN, and his Wi-Fi network provider he was still unable to get his new laptop connected to the internet. He took it to a Computer Repair Store where he was informed that the hard drive needed to be wiped and Windows would be reapplied and also that the network card needed to be replaced. This service cost another $180.00, now bringing the total of the laptop cost to $312.00.
In a final call to Walmart.com, he was informed they would reach out to ASN one last time to aid in him getting some sort of refund back, and if not they would see what options they had available to aid him.
In the last year, Walmart.com has removed several of its marketplace partners for various issues such as the one above.
The old adage of “Buyer Beware” is something we should all hold close to in this Global Marketplace. For many buying used items from well-known stores such as Walmart gives them a sense of security in their purchase, but it is becoming more of a status quo to direct issues to the 2nd party supplier who actually sold the items and leaving the customer in the cold without any real assistance.