Store returns for suck

Tiff and I ordered a number of the "bigger" items from our baby registry with Walmart cards we received at our baby shower. One of them, the Graco Spree 520 Travel System (Danbury) came damaged badly. The box was split down two corners and looked like it had been crushed a bit. Once we pulled everything out we found that the stroller handle had been bent and broke the mechanism to open/close the stroller. We knew shipping this thing back in the original packaging wasn't really an option and just trying to get everything back in the box was it's own challenge, even if we had a decent box. So I called the help line, and they said to return it to the store and they would give us a gift card. That worked fine.

That is, until we tried to actually return it to the Shippensburg Walmart. They don't "participate" with This means that their inventory system doesn't include anything that's "online only" on, which in turn means they can't process returns for these items. The items shipped by typically also come with a receipt, but ours didn't - either it was ripped off in shipping (possible) or it didn't come with one because it was online-only (more likely). After talking with them for a bit, and showing them how badly damaged in shipping it was (which made it very difficult for us to ship back) they agreed to manually run the return.

This whole process took about 30-45 minutes at the Walmart store. It was very nice for them to actually agree to take back an item that they don't sell in the store or even have an applicable inventory for. Where did this whole problem start? With This is obviously some sub-organization withing Walmart corporate with their own inventory tracking system and no support for "legacy" (brick & mortar) stores. I imagine their definition of "participate" means replacing all their POS systems with a system that would link with their inventories together. Since it's difficult to put blame on an entire organizational problem like this, it's probably easier for me to put blame on the representative that I talked to that told me to return the item to the store. If they had asked for my order number and saw that it was an online-only item they would have been able to tell me that shipping it back was my only option - but would again have been an option I wouldn't have liked. At that point there was probably only disputing the shipping damage with UPS. All around it wasn't a good time.