Can you help me with the worst shopping experience of my life?

After Sam’s Club charges Sharon Guo for items it can’t ship — and then fails to refund her for the items — she reaches out to our advocacy team for help. Can we fix this self-described “worst shopping experience” of her life?

Question

I had a bad Sam’s Club shopping experience and I feel helpless. I placed an order this summer. About a month later, I received a cancellation notice because the item was out of stock.

I made a phone call to Sam’s Club right after I received the email to talk about the refund, because I made the purchase with gift cards and a credit card. Because it was a month past, I have thrown out all the gift cards. The representative told me that the company would issue four new e-gift cards within 24 to 48 hours.

After a week, I hadn’t received any refund. I called Sam’s Club again, and I was told somebody would contact me on the next business day. Nobody contacted me within the following week.

Then I sent an email. I’ve received no response.

I called again multiple times, and every time the representative told me that someone would contact me the next business day. I’ve never received a call back from Sam’s Club.

To be honest, this was really the worst shopping experience in my life. Please help me solve this issue. — Sharon Guo, Corinth, Texas

Answer

You’re right, that is a bad shopping experience. Sam’s Club shouldn’t have charged you for items it couldn’t ship. But you might have also held on to those gift cards, just in case. I’m sure you won’t make that mistake again.

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Permit me a quick rant about gift cards. I’ve covered the folly of gift cards many times before, including my own misadventures with these payment systems. Combining them with cash is a recipe for an even bigger disaster. Don’t mix fake money and real money.

Let’s just get this out of the way: Executive contacts for Sam’s Club. Use our list. It will open a few doors that all the calls and emails in the world will not. I think they might have resolved this issue for you.

Fixing the worst shopping experience of her life!

My amazing advocacy team jumped in to help you. First, we asked you to examine your credit card statement to see if you’d been charged for the unshipped item. You were not. That explains why you never got a refund of the four gift cards, each worth $200.

Our team suggested you make another run at Sam’s Club, this time asking for the correct reimbursement of $800. You did, and Sam’s quickly sent you the cards it promised.

Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or check out his adventures on his family adventure travel site. Contact him at chris@elliott.org. Read more of Christopher's articles here.

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