Black Friday turns one consumer red

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Seven On Your Side
December 10, 2010 8:36:34 PM PST
The New Jersey man got up well before the sun the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday. It was all to bag a bargain, a TV for his daughter. But, he says, the world's largest retailer gave him a bum steer that left him out in the cold. "I think it's under handed. It's deceiving." Black Friday at Walmart has customer, George Filimonchuk, seeing red. " It's false advertising, bad business practice and there's no customer satisfaction."

George is talking about a flyer given to him 2 days before the sale. He wanted to snag this 32 inch Emerson LCD TV for a deep discount, just $198. A surprise gift for his daughter, Alexis.

"Made sleeping arrangements for her (Alexis) on Thanksgiving night to spend the night elsewhere so that I could afford that time to get up, get her the gift she wanted, and be able to get it home and hide it," said George.

The flyer said the sale started at midnight, 5 AM for electronics. But when he got there he says all the TVs were spoken for. Tickets were apparently passed out at midnight. Leaving George shut out.

What made George mad? The midnight tickets aren't mentioned in the flyer. If he wanted the same TV, it was now $80 more. "I think they baited and switched me," said George.

ShopSmart Magazine's editor, Jody Rohlena's take on the flyer? "This is misleading."

Confusing at best, it says "no rain checks." But fine print below, Walmart would grand a rain check - "just ask" for one. Unless, your items deemed "limited quantity."

"You have to read the fine print to what your entitled to. But if you're confused and you feel that that's not what the sales ad said you should talk to the store manager."

We contacted Walmart corporate office about the ad. And after a series of calls from us, the unhappy customer got good news.

Walmart honored the rain check, selling George the 32 inch TV at the Black Friday sale price.

"There was no other way to get satisfaction or to make things right other than to get Channel 7 involved. I'm glad I did," said George.

Walmart wound up honoring the Black Friday sale price. But declined to explain why there were inconsistencies between the ad and the what the customers says he was told in the store.