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Call Kurtis Investigation Into Walmart Gift Receipts Gets Lawmaker’s Attention

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Eight-time Emmy Award winner Kurtis Ming is CBS13's consumer...
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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Call Kurtis’ hidden camera investigation caught Walmart shortchanging some customers when they returned items with gift receipts.    He uncovered it happening at three Sacramento area stores, and stores across the country in Philadelphia. Click here to read the original story.

Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett was outraged watching the report.
 
“I’m definitely going to look into this.  This definitely should be looked into,” Corbett from San Leandro said.   “Consumers shouldn’t be ripped off like that.   That just doesn’t make logical sense.  It doesn’t make ethical sense”

Our investigation found when you return something at Walmart with a gift receipt they don’t always give back the full price the gift giver paid.  David Schmitz of West Sacramento asked us to investigate after the West Sacramento store tried to shortchange him. 

“I bought the item.  I paid for it.  I paid $15.   I didn’t pay 7.50,” he said.

It wasn’t until he pushed back, he got the full amount.  During our three visits to Sacramento area Walmart Stores, we bought seasonal items knowing they’d most likely go on sale.   After the holidays, when we returned the items with our gift receipts, we too were shorted on every single item.

For example a pillow and blanket we bought around Valentine’s Day for $10, we only got $5 back.   We only got $4.50 for the $9 pajama bottoms we bought because they had since gone on sale.

 Add up everything we bought, we paid a total of $51.82 with tax, but only received $26.99 back.  Walmart kept $24.83 of our money.  

“If you give someone a gift, they should get the full value of that gift,” Senator Corbett said.

We learned the law is silent on gift receipts.

She feels gift receipts and regular receipts should be treated the same, and is now discussing options with her colleagues at the capitol. 

“Why should you have to pass a law for a retailer to treat their customers fairly?  But if that’s what you have to do, I guess that’s what you have to do.”

Consumer Attorney Bill Kershaw thinks it’s outright fraud.  His Sacramento law firm suspects Walmart; the nation’s largest retailer has made millions shorting customers.    His firm is now exploring a lawsuit. Click here to read a news release about their efforts.

“Walmart prides itself on being fair.  This is anything but.”
Walmart declined our repeated requests for an on camera interview, and didn’t return our calls today.   This is the only statement Walmart has released.

We are committed to customer satisfaction and apologize for any inconvenience to our customers. It is our practice to refund the original price paid to the customer when returning an item with a gift receipt. We will be communicating with our store associates to reinforce our practice. If a customer has a question regarding a gift receipt, we encourage them to speak with a member of management. -Ashley Hardie, Manager Media Relations

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