Walmart battery pro-rating policy

For years I have boycotted Walm-mart because of their slave-shop labor practices and other sissues that I won't get into. However, my car came with a wal-mart battery, and when it ran out under warranty, I
got another one from them for free. I used to always get them from Sears since they used to be everywhere, and have real automotive departments, but about three years ago I decided that I'd go with Wal- mart for their batteries since they are everywhere, and when you have a bad battery, that is a good thing.
However, I might change that policy of mine for the following reason. I bought a 2 year free replacement battery from them about 2.5 years ago. It says right on it that after the free-=replacement period that battery is pro-rated over a 72 month time period. My battery died last week, and when I went to replace it, they only gave me nine dollars back on a 67 dollar battery. My math indicates that I should have gotten almost 28 bucks credit to the new one. So when I bought the battery, they charged me a nine buck core charge. I asked the cashier how to get my pro-rate back. She told me to take my old battery to customer service to get my "pro-rate" back. However, once there, they told me that it is their policy to give everyone with a battery out of warranty but in the pro-rate period nine bucks flat rate. I then looked at my reciept and noticed the nine dollar core charge. I pointed out to them that a core charge and a pro-rate are not the same thing. They insist that the core charge that they refund to a person bringing in a battery is a pro-rate.
That is not a pro-rate though. That is just a core charge. In fact they even call it a core charge, and charge it to you on the reciept when you buy the new one. So in effect, they didn't give me a pro-rate at all. This is their policy though.
So in short they are not delivering on their promise of pro-rating their batteries. Not that I am one to go sue over crap like this, but I'm surprised that some high-strung lawyer hasn't pounced on this and created a class-action lawsuit. It's cut and dry theft in my eyes.
Am I out in left field here? I have had multiple pro-rated things fail and wound up getting my fraction of their advertised value applied to the replacement.
Thoughts?
Bill
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I am using Autozone batteries. They are good and they are good on their warranty.
File a complaint with your state consumer protection agency. Give them copies of everything... warranty, all reciepts, and write on it to explain them what happened. Calculate your own Prorate using the warranty that you recieved... So if you are owed $28... do it in calculation so that the warranty support it... plus that $9 core charge they charged you.
Send a copy of your complaint to Walmart headquarter and you will get your money back. If all this does not work, then threaten Walmart in another letter along with a copy of letter you sent to them... that you will sue them in small claim court.
With small claim court, Walmart must send a corporate lawyer... which means $250+ an hour lawyer fee... this case will easily cost them $1000 to settle in court. Explain this to them in letter too. So you are giving them a chance to make good with you before you file a claim.
If you do file a claim, go to court on appointed day. If no representative is there to defend Walmart, judge will rule in your favor and place a lien on Walmart... which is basically you own part of Walmart for a kicker.
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Seventy two months is about the longest warranty offered on most batteries. A 72 month battery probably has the following warranty:
72 month prorated warranty during which the first 24 months are a free replacement - not prorated. However, the proration starts on day one so the customer paid portion of the proration on the 24th month is 24/72 and theirs is 48/72. After 36 months it's 50%, after 48 months you pay 67% etc. That's how a proration ought to work. Read the new battery's warranty to see if that's the case.
Sometimes a retailer will use the full list price of a tire, battery etc. to calculate your share of the proration, even thought the item was purchased and usually sells for a substantial discount. A 50% driver share of a $120 (full retail) item is $60 vs. its usual, say, $75 discounted price. That's how a retailer reduces its warranty costs.
I don't understand the "core charge" which is another matter; I thought a battery has a nominal ($2) credit for its metal. Our recycling center takes them for free.
I suggest you phone your local consumer protection bureau, part of local government.
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That is exactly how I thought they worked, and how I calculated the 28 dollar value. But now I see that actually I had messed up in my message. I had actually used up about 28 or 29 dollars worth of value, but still had about 38 dollars of value left. I should have been credited 38 bucks, not 28 bucks. It was a 24 month free replacement 72 month pro-rate. I had had it for 31 months. So I had 41 months left. When 41 is divided by 72 then multiplied by the $66.88 you get $38.08.
Unfortunately I don't have a reciept to prove my case in court. The only proof of the age of the battery was the shipping date sticker on the side of the battery. They provide a handy pocket to stick the receipt in, but since the reciept was exposed to the elements in my engine bay, it had turned dark purple and was a crumbled mess. I think it was thermal paper, and apparently my engine bay gets hot enough to effect it.
I just thought that others should know about Wal-marts practices. It could be one isolated store that I went to, but they swore up and down that that is the policy everywhere.
Oh well. Thank you for validating that what I was pretty sure was true about pro-rates still held true.
Have a good day, Bill

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I am sorry to hear that. Thermal paper must be photocopied in order to preserve the proof. Thermal paper will always fade over time.
So with any extended warranty purchase, always photocopy them. It doesn't matter where you keep them... cool and dry or hot and high humidity, they will fade... In sun? Ha! Even faster. I think this is a loophole for all of them.
As far as Autozone, they have all your information on computer. No need to bring reciept (it is good to bring one though)... they have you on the computer.
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This sounds like you ran into a nitwit at the counter. Did you try again with a different manager, maybe one with more intelligence?
I have had terrible luck with Costco tire departments, but I have a Costco 95 month warranty battery in my Toyota Corolla I have had since 1993 and it still works fine. They don't offer a battery that fits my 300 TDT though, I have to use a Sears International in that.
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It may have been that I was dealing with a nit-wit. Although, the nit- wit's manager sang the same story, and before I bought the battery I asked a guy in the automotive department (just some guy stocking shelves) where I go to get my pro-rate, and he said that as far as he knew they don't do pro-rates. I showed him my battery, with the pro- rate statement printed right on it, and all he said was that,"it must be an old one." However, the new one has the same thing printed on it. So I think that he was the most clueless. Strangely enough, the lady that I was dealing directly with seemed rather intelligent. Maybe she was funding her way through college at Wal-mart.
I think I'll have to start getting my batteries from autozone. They are nearly ubiquitous. I did get an alternator from them a few years back that went bad within the warranty period, and they replaced it with no hassle without needing anything more than my phone number.
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waitasec.........
you boycotted Walmart due to their slave-shop labor, et al ....but sold out for ease of availability of their car battery, and the likelihood of a free replacement?
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Okay, you got me. It was a questionable decision. But three years ago when I first went to them for a battery, it was because I already had one of theirs that came with a car that I bought. Their battery had gone bad, so I went to them for a replacement. I couldn't justify paying full price somewhere else when I still had pro-rated value left in that battery.
Since then I have put a battery in one other car of mine that I bought with a dead battery. I went to Sears first, but they had shut down their automotive department. I remembered that Wal-mart had batteries, and they had the one thing that I had always liked about Sears-the fact that they were everywhere. Since the guy at sears was saying that they were phasing out their automotive stuff, I thought it would be foolish to look for another Sears that still had an automotive department since eventually that would go away leaving me with a battery without support. At this point I should have just switched to Autozone or some place like that. But it never occured to me. I didn't know that they sold batteries.
And I wasn't going with Wal-mart because they offer free replacements. Pretty much all brands offer a warranty period where they will replace it for free within the first two or three years. If you re-read me post, I was not looking for a free battery, but to get credit for the pro-rated value in my battery, which is the industry practice.
So now I am done with them. You might be happy to know that you are the straw that broke the camel's back. Even when this battery dies, I'm just going to get one elsewhere. That is unless it dies within the free replacement period. Then it is more of a burden to Wal-mart. Apparently you can still get Diehard batteries elsewhere now. I wish Target sold batteries. They're everywhere, and a responsible company.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Just 2 comments:
1    According to Consumer Reports ratings the Diehard batteries are rather low. You can do much better.
2    A few years ago I noticed the receipts fading and I am now in the habit of scanning them into my computer just after buying. Later, if I need to, I can just print them.
RF    
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But beware, some stores will not accept a printed copy of a receipt...original only. I bought something with a credit card and did later could not find my receipt so i had my credit card company sent me a copy of it and the store (Wal-Mart) would not accept it.
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Isn't the real problem with a credit card receipt that it only shows the amount, date, where, etc,, but not exactly what was bought? Even if you had the original credit card receipt, I doubt that would have been sufficient either.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Good points guys. The only return I had to make was to Home Depot and they accepted the printed version. However, they are now set up to track purchases just from the card number and a date.
I have noticed that those original receipts will fade very rapidly if exposed to strong light and probably heat. Putting them in a sealed envelope and storing them in a fridge might work. I'll try a test soon - put one batch in the fridge and keep one in a dark drawer in the kitchen.
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On Sat, 29 Mar 2008 04:35:31 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

you would get in the store if you use the card machine at the check-out and sign the electronic pad. It is really a Wal-Mart receipt but shows you used a credit card for the purchase. The credit card company was really giving me a copy of the Wal-Mart receipt instead of the typical credit card sales receipt.
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Here is my opinion on batteries. Never buy a battery manufactured by Exide. I once took a job at Montgomery Wards in the auto department and spend all day everyday processing battery returns.
As I can figure, here is the scam. A new car comes with a battery that has a life expectancy of 6 or 7 years. When the battery needs replacement, some one buys another expecting similar life, but the battery is no where near what the original equipment battery was.
If the battery fails within the first two years it is replaced for free but the warrantee runs from the date of the original purchase.
Where they get you is when a receipt is lost, the car changes hands or the customer is oblivious to the warrantee. No tickee, no washee.
What I do is to purchase either batteries made by Johnson Control, or even better I buy an Optima battery. (Especially in my diesel.) My experience is that these batteries tend to do the job well beyond the warrantee period.
--
Roger Shoaf
If you are not part of the solution, you are not dissolved in the solvent.
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I also just "exchanged" my old WalMart battery that had 9 months left on it's pro-rated warrenty. I found that the automotive dept. had a different idea than customer service and before I was done I had to go through 2 managers. Bottom line I got 6 dollars pro-rated towards my new battery. Hardly worth the 30 minutes and hassle. I've had good luck with they're batteries but don't think they train their people very well to deal with these situations...
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Its a good thing those slave laborers built you a reliable computer so you could drone endlessely on about your 9 dollars. Those poor Wal Mart workers, already underpaid, now have to listen to your whining.

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Thoughts? My 7yo ML320 battery died two days ago while I am 1500 miles away from home. I called 1-800-mercedes and the local MB dealer's fully-equipped Roadside Assistance ML was out with a new battery and had it replaced within an hour. No muss, no fuss; thank you Mercedes Roadside Assistance.
I didn't pay no $67 like you did at Wal-Mart; but I didn't have (and won't in the future have) the aggravation of dealing with the Wal-Mart Customer Service and Automotive Departments either. <lol>
DanlK "You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan
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I agree with MB Roadside assistance. They do charge 1.5 times regular labor, but they do the job for you on the road if they can. My only gripe is sometime they send out rookies who has little experience with oldies.
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