Walmart has banned Irena Shie from shopping online. The reason? Too many returns. But which return triggered the ban — and can she get unbanned?
Walmart never mentioned the exact issue. I have a disorder and am easily confused. One of the symptoms is difficulties in communication and being very literal. It might sound like an excuse, but if a customer service representative says I can return stuff, then I will take it literally.
I can send my diagnosis if needed. I am not clear which or what return that has caused the problems. If there was an issue, I would appreciate it if they gave me a warning prior to taking any action. I would like to have the ban lifted. Can you help me? — Irena Shie, Glen Mills, Pa.
I’m sorry Walmart banned you. I happen to be related to someone with the same disorder, so I understand how confusing this can be. If Walmart says you can return an item, you take that to mean you can return an item.
How to avoid getting banned by Walmart
Your case reminds me of another recent Walmart.com blacklisting. Remember Diane Robinson? She also returned some items and got blacklisted. Walmart didn’t tell her much more than it told you. In fact, initially it told her nothing. It just showed her an error message when she tried to log in.
The way I read it, Walmart doesn’t have to say a word. Walmart’s terms allow it cut you off without explanation. But while it has the right to do that, banning you without an explanation is not the right thing to do. Walmart should take the time to explain how you violated its terms and offer a chance to fix it. Why it didn’t do that is not clear.
I reviewed the emails between you and Walmart. They were short and cordial. Nice work keeping a paper trail, by the way. If you’d called Walmart, then you might not even have proof that you’d been blacklisted. Remember, you can appeal a decision like this to one of the Walmart executive contacts I list on my consumer advocacy site, Elliott.org.
I think Walmart missed an opportunity to explain its refund policy and help prevent future violations. You reviewed your purchase patterns and came up with a likely explanation. You would order items from Walmart.com. Sometimes they arrived late. “So I just went to the store and bought the items I needed,” you said. Then you returned the online items.
“Then I returned the items I ordered online prior to that because Walmart always says that I could return my order anytime and I believed them,” you said.
No doubt, these frequent returns triggered an internal alarm at Walmart that led to your blacklisting. But Walmart should have warned you that you were about to get banned. I’m not sure why it didn’t.
I contacted Walmart on your behalf. A representative agreed to reinstate your account, and told me your account exceeded the number of returns by quite a bit. Walmart is monitoring your account. If you return too much, they’ll ban you again — this time for good.