Saturday, December 17, 2011

Walmart is falsely advertising products.

I have proof for that statement. I dare them to say a word to me about it. Now before I get to the evidence, I will (fairly) say that they did fully refund me for my money. So this isn't a rip-off scheme. It's just that they're trying to sell you something that isn't what you ordered, hoping you'll keep it even if the thing you ordered is a better product than what you got. See what I mean? I'm sure there are people out there (my husband is one of those people) who are willing to settle for what they give you, even if its not what you want.

Not me!

So I was looking for an e-reader that had wifi capabilities similar to that of a Kindle Fire. After much research, I finally settled on Walmart's Ematic eGlide Reader Pro with Wi-Fi 7" Tablet PC Featuring Android 2.1 Operating System (if the link is broken due to Walmart's removal of the page, you can see a screen cap below).

I ordered the tablet and was very excited. Imagine my disappointment then when what I received was not what I ordered. Using their contact page, I sent them this message with my personal information removed, of course:
The following message was received on December 09, 2011 11:35 AM, by the Help Desk: First Name : XXXX Last Name : XXX Phone : XXX e-mail : XXX Order Number : XXX Comments : The item pictured is not what I received. I want the one that I ordered. This one has no keyboard but your photo indicates that it does. It lies and that's false advertising. I want what I ordered for the same price and I want free shipping. This is non-negotiable. Items :Ematic eGlide Reader Pro with Wi-Fi 7
I wanted free shipping since I had already paid for shipping the first time, without getting the correct item. I was not going to accept being billed twice for shipping. Here is the response I got:
Dear Customer,

Thank you for contacting

We are sending you this automated response to help you with your question.

Tracking Your Order:
1. Most, but not all orders can be tracked online using the tracking information in your order confirmation email. For example, orders shipped using the United States Postal Service, UPS Mail Innovations and Fed Ex Smart Post cannot be tracked.
2. Once your order has shipped, it may take 24 to 48 hours for the carrier to update their tracking information. You can check back daily to track the progress of your order.
Processing Time:
3. Once you click Submit and your payment is authorized, it normally takes 24-48 hours for the warehouses to pick, pack and prepare your order for shipping.
4. Due to our suppliers' varying delivery schedules to our stores, it is normal for some Site to Store orders to require longer than 48 hours to process; however, your order will still arrive by the estimated delivery date.
You can find the most up-to-date order status and tracking information by signing into "My Account" at:


If we have not fully answered your question or you have additional questions , please reply to this email or call us at 1-800-966-6546. We're available to assist you from 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM CDT, Monday through Friday and 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM CDT, Saturday and Sunday.

Sincerely, Customer Care
I don't know how their "automated" system works, but they completely failed on its auto-response. Naturally, I replied.
You didn't answer my question at all. I wasn't asking about tracking. This time, read what I wrote.
Now, I will give Walmart credit here. They at least were willing to replace the item, as you'll see below. Sounds good right? Just wait.
Hi Last Name,

Thank you for contacting regarding your :Ematic eGlide Reader Pro with Wi-Fi 7

Last Name ,we apologize that your:Ematic eGlide Reader Pro with Wi-Fi 7 for order number XXX was not as pictured.  Please reply to this email to let us know whether you'd like a replacement of the item(s) or a full refund.

Note: If the item is no longer available at the time you contact us, we will issue a refund to the original form of payment.

We strive to deliver the best experience possible and appreciate your understanding that certain conditions sometimes prevent that from happening.

If you have additional questions, please reply to this email or call us at 1-800-966-6546. We're available to assist you from 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM CDT, Monday through Friday and 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM CDT, Saturday and Sunday.

If we have not fully answered your question or you have additional questions, please reply to this email.
Notice that they called me by my last name only. How rude is that? They didn't say Ms. or Mrs., nor my first and last name, just last name along with their typos. So I (for whatever reason, luck I suppose) go to the product page and gee, it's "out of stock". You can draw your own conclusion here. This was only over a two day interval. I cannot believe for a moment that it really ran out of stock. Maybe, but I doubt it.

Not wanting to continue the daily grind in contacting them over something so stupid. I knew they would tell me they were out and have a nice day (NOT!). I didn't trust them to refund my money, so I preferred to go down to a Walmart store for a refund. Here is my simple reply:
I plan to return it to Walmart today for a full refund. I decided to go with Amazon's Kindle Fire instead. Twice the money but a better product all the way around.
Here is the funny part. When I took it down to the Walmart store, they never could find the product number. In other words, they have no record at all throughout the entire Walmart corporation of a matching product number. Why? Because they were deliberately selling an item that didn't match the photo! There is no other explanation. Obviously the product was removed.

Now let's move on here. I was gravely concerned about the fact that they would, a few days later after all was forgotten, remove the "out of stock" warning. For this reason, I felt it was important to warn potential buyers that the product pictured was not the product they were selling. I wrote a review. I really wish I had copied and pasted the review in a text document so you could see what I wrote.

I wrote a clear explanation on what happened when I ordered it, though I didn't copy/paste the communications like I did here.

I will also admit that I added something to the review that may actually be what flagged it. However, I still stand by my claim. I believe that the reviews seen on the product page are faked reviews. Seriously, I want you to take a look at them. They are suspicious because:
  1. They were all posted on the very same day. How could this be? If these things were truly sold out, I'm sure that there would have been a number of reviews on different days. Not all would have the same date and if it's sold out, where are all the other reviews? Electronics tend to have the most reviews!
  2. They all were written in the same writing style such as they're all unhelpful one-liners.
  3. The user names are also all similar in style; all jumbled letters, all caps.
Coincidence? NOT!

Well no surprise, they refused to post my review. They didn't notify me at all of their refusal, but I've written other reviews and they were posted within 3 days. You can see my reviews further down here.

Now let's take a look at a couple of other things about that page that are very suspect. Let's look at where it says (this is using my screen cap because now it may be different) Customer Product Reviews. Notice Overall Rating Totals. It says that 4 people gave it 5 stars, but there are only 3 reviews. Now right next to that under Customer Recommendation, it says 3 people would recommend it. Where is the 4th recommendation? If someone gave it 5 stars, why wouldn't they recommend it?

I believe that they changed the star rating I gave it, which was 1 and deleted the comment. I also believe that Walmart likely is responsible for the faked reviews.

One other thing worth mentioning. Click on the reviewer names to see how many reviews they've written. Imagine that! All of them have only written ONE review, ever. ONE! I have another trimmed screen cap (click here) just to prove it, should they decide to cover their tracks. Yet mine was refused?!

Let's see if I've ever written any reviews, that's simple to do using Google: magnoliasouth
Wow, I've done quite a bit at, wouldn't you say? I've answered a number of questions and did a number of reviews. It's all right there. I wonder then why Walmart would post a review who has no history at all, but refuse mine who had a BIG history.

Okay, so here is my profile, in case you're wondering:
At the time of this writing, I have 11 reviews with 43 helpful votes. Now you tell me. Who would you trust more?

Let us also consider this over at, which granted has nothing to do with Walmart, but illustrates that I write reviews everywhere and I'm not just critical of Walmart products. A sample review:
You can easily click my profile there too.

So in the end, I would be very careful when purchasing anything costly at the website. Did they rip me off? No. Did they cause me a big headache? Yes.

What if I had purchased this as a gift for someone? What if I discovered that they sent the wrong one? What a predicament that would have been! How dare Walmart for knowingly selling a false product. I say this because the product is still there with its original photos, as of this writing. They refused to remove the page, and refused to update it.

Now ask yourself, can you trust Walmart?

Finally, here are the pictures to consider. I saved them for last so you could better compare, rather than posting links all over the article. The screen cap is important because it shows very clear details of a machine that I did NOT get. Use the "click me" link to see all in their full size. The screen cap will take some time to load because it's a long page.
  1. Click here for the screen cap. Note that the only shopping (photo shopping) I did was remove and replace my real name.
  2. Click here for image 1 of the tablet. Not a great angle, but I was trying to avoid flash glare. Now, where is the onboard keyboard? There is nothing to slide out either. I had both my kids (aged 19 and 22) check it out. They agreed, there is no on-board keyboard, nor one that slides out.
  3. Click here for image 2 of the tablet. Another angle. The packaging underneath is the actual shipping packaging.
So tell me what you think in the comments. Am I being unreasonable? Did I wimp out by not pursuing it further? What do you think?
My other post(s) you may be interested in:

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