RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Raleigh woman thought she was buying a new TV, but instead, she says she was left with a used one.
"I plugged the TV up and I noticed it was all broken on the screen and it was also in-store mode, and that's when it became a really big problem," said Dejalei Goncalves. She said there was also no seal on the screen on the TV and there were wall mounts still on the back of the TV.
Goncalves said she couldn't believe it as she just ordered the TV through the Walmart App and picked it up curbside. Showing ABC11 Troubleshooter Diane Wilson the box the TV came in Goncalves said, "This is what they brought out to the car." Wilson asked if the box was opened when she got it. Goncalves said, "No, it was closed, this brown part was at the bottom. There were two zip ties around the TV and they brought it out and they had three young boys load it up into my car."
It wasn't until Goncalves and her sister got the TV into their new apartment and unboxed it that they said they noticed all of the problems. "I called immediately to let them know the TV is broken. It's also in-store mode, and they told me, ok, bring it back to us. We'll figure it out for you," she told Wilson.
However, once at the store, things didn't go well. Goncalves said, "They told me this is not the correct TV that we have given you and I'm like, so when I hear that, I'm like taken aback. I'm like, well, this is a TV that I got when I opened it at home. All I know is that the screen was broken. I was missing pieces." That's when Goncalves says Walmart pointed out the TV had no serial number on it. She also said, "That's when they started to let me know that this is impossible, what you're saying. Either you switched the TVs and you brought them back because there's no way that we gave you a brand new box TV with the wrong TV in it. They informed me that I have to take the TV, that once it has left the store, it's not their problem anymore and to call corporate."
Goncalves says corporate directed her back to the store. She said to Wilson, "That really upset me because it's like, ok, I bought a TV for almost $600 after the warranty and it's like, nobody can help me, so I don't know what to do."
Wilson contacted Walmart and they provided this statement, "We have been unable to confirm that the television in question was replaced with a different model before being delivered to the customer. However, our customer care team plans to follow up with the customer."
Goncalves said she talked to a different store manager at a different Walmart and got different results. She adds, "He just basically issued the refund for us and he apologized. He gave us his phone number, sent us texts, and was very apologetic." With the full refund, Goncalves did end up buying a new working TV and says now she always checks purchases before leaving the store. "Definitely going in the store, communicating, and just making sure everything is box the way that it's supposed to be boxed."
As you're shopping this holiday season it is wise to check out the box for any big purchase before you check out. If you're picking the item up at a curbside spot for a retailer, get out of your car and examine what you bought. Make sure the serial number and barcodes are on the box and not tampered with. If there is any question, don't be afraid to open the item in the store in front of an employee.
If you ordered an item online and it's delivered to your home, unbox it right away. An ABC11 viewer had an issue with an appliance she ordered online, and it was delivered to her home. She did not take it out of the box when it arrived as she was waiting for her kitchen renovation to be completed. Once the work was done, she unboxed it, only to learn it was damaged. When she contacted the store, it was outside the 30-day return window.
Fortunately, in this case, the manufacturer did replace the damaged appliance with a new appliance, but this is a good example of why you should unbox it as soon as you get it to make sure it's what you ordered or it's not damaged.