April 28, 2011
Update June 2, 2011: Wal-Mart Gift Receipt Class Action Lawsuit Filed
Update November 15, 2011: Wal-Mart Apologizes for ongoing Gift Receipt Ripoff
Consumer protection lawyers at Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff are investigating reports that Walmart and Kohls are not honoring the original purchase price when merchandise is returned using a gift receipt.
According to reports, the stores justify the discrepancy by claiming that gift receipts only guarantee where the merchandise was purchased, not the price at which it was purchased. This has upset numerous consumers who have purchased gifts at full price, only to later find out that the gifts were returned for the clearance price of the item. All too often, however, gift givers never know that their gifts were returned, and so the scam goes unreported.
"It really is a 'perfect' ripoff," says consumer advocate and KCR partner, Stuart Talley. "The person who gives the gift typically doesn't tell the recipient how much they paid for the gift. And the person receiving the gift often doesn't tell the giver when or if they returned the gift. So the stores can give back a lesser amount, pocket the change, and neither the giver nor the receiver knows the difference."
As "perfect" a scam as it may seem to the stores involved - and so far reports have only mentioned this occurring at Walmart, Kohls and Toys R Us - consumers are getting the short end of the bargain.
"If this is happening consistently, it is fraud, without a doubt," says Talley. "We intend to investigate the situation, shed light on the deception, and fight for the consumer's right to receive full value for the products they purchase."
For more information on this story, watch CBS Channel 13's investigative report with Call Kurtis.
If you recently returned merchandise to Walmart or Kohls using a gift receipt, or if you gave a gift with a gift receipt that was later returned, we would like to hear from you. Please send us an email, call us toll free at 888-285-3333, or fill out the contact form to the right and tell us your story.