When people purchase gifts for others, retailers frequently provide a gift receipt that allows returns or exchanges. This is a major convenience for shoppers who are not sure that the person to whom they are giving the gift will like it, or if the size is right. The gift receipt does not show the purchase price, but it allows the gift recipient to return the gift for an equal exchange or the purchase amount.
As helpful as a gift receipt can be, there are also potential dangers to consumers. In particular, if the gift item goes on sale after it was purchased, or even if the price is reduced, there is a risk that the retailer will improperly refund only the lower sale price. Unfortunately, it appears that may often be the case at Wal-Mart. Despite Wal-Mart’s claim that its policy is to provide refunds equal to the original purchase price, our investigations have uncovered what seems to be a widespread practice at Wal-Mart whereby its cashiers only refund the lower sale price. For some items, this can result in a loss to consumers of up to 50% of the original purchase price.
If you or anyone you know returned an item to Wal-Mart using a gift receipt, please contact us to discuss your legal options.