Another Walmart Debacle

Another Walmart debacle. The red piece of furniture I told you would be coming to my dining room was a very pretty red buffet. It had glass doors and I was going to put my dishes on the shelves where they wouldn’t collect dust.

The box was delivered yesterday morning. Nathan sat down on the floor to start putting it together later in the day.

What on earth?

The pieces he had to put together were covered, literally covered, in fiberglass. Nathan was a trooper and put it together. Then took off for his apartment as fast as he could because the fiberglass was all over him.

What I regret now is that I did not stop him from putting it together. It simply was not worth the risk. But you know how hindsight is 20/20.

Once he got it put together, the doors wouldn’t stay closed. Pieces did not fit correctly. And still, after we’d wiped and cleaned and dusted and vacuumed it, it still had fiberglass on it.

Have you ever dealt with fiberglass? It’s like trying to trap dust particles.

I was fit to be tied. I paid nearly $130 for a piece I did not want in my home. So I called Walmart.

Can no longer find walmart corporate phone number:

Did you know that the corporate number I called just months ago over the promotion I never got ($25) for their Walmart credit card no longer is online? Now it goes straight to customer service in another country.

Another country where you can hardly understand them and they can hardly understand you.

Another strike against them. I never used that credit card, by the way. It’s sitting in a drawer. I should have listened to my gut back then when I was so angry and not purchased anything significant from Walmart. 

They have promised me a refund. And if I don’t get it I will be yelling from the rooftops. They wanted me to take the piece apart and put it in the box and then have Fed Ex pick it up.

I told them there was no way I was letting anyone near it to be covered in fiberglass like Nathan was. And I wasn’t touching it. I said it needed to go straight to a dumpster, and that’s where it went.

So we’ll see. Who wants a piece of furniture covered in fiberglass to be used for their dishes or anything else? Those little pieces of fiberglass were everywhere. I vacuumed thoroughly once Nathan took it to the trash on a dolly.

What Fed Ex employee is going to pick up a piece of furniture not in a box and covered in fiberglass? I don’t want to get sued. And I don’t want anyone hurt.

Yet another curious walmart incident:

Do you recall months ago I ordered what I think was kitty litter from Walmart. Kitty litter is heavy and hard on my hands. So it’s far easier to order it online.

What was delivered was two boxes. One was the box of kitty litter. And there was a huge box as big as my porch filled with pesticides, fertilizer and cat food. And the first two were open and spilling out. Which of course I did not order.

I had maintenance take that horrid box to the dumpster too. That’s what Walmart actually asked me to do. I did not pay for what was in that big box. And I have no idea why it arrived at my door.

No way was I giving away the bag of cat food bag mixed in with the other more potent stuff to someone with a cat (this was just before Ivy). Because the pellets of pesticides and fertilizer was open and splattered in the box.

Of course people order a lot of things online these days. It is routine now and it is handy. People on the other end who fulfill these orders make mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes.

But why did I receive a box with pieces covered in fiberglass? It is a mystery.

Poor Nathan. He was hurting all over. It got into his hands and his clothing and his shoes. He was miserable as he headed home to try to shower it off. And I felt terrible for having put him through that.

Stores sell you boxes of furniture now:

When you stop and think about it, there are no longer many stores you can go into where you can purchase a whole piece of furniture and not a box full of pieces to be put together. Think about it.

I can’t even go into a furniture store around here and walk out with furniture. You have to order it and then pay to have it delivered and assembled. Or you might get lucky and they have the actual boxes on sight and you can take them home if you own a truck.

We don’t have an IKEA in Oklahoma, so I don’t know how that place works. Is it the same with them?

So I’m back to square one on what I was planning to do in my dining room. Sorry for the rant, but it had to come out somewhere. And I’ve already given several ears full to Walmart.

My fault here as well. I guess the old adage you get what you pay for is mainly true. I was trying to get a cheap piece of furniture because that’s what people without tons of money do. And oftentimes you get a dud.

Here is the dud:

It is pretty, the right color, and just what I wanted. But take my advice; don’t order it. I read many of the reviews and no one mentioned fiberglass. So I’m sure this was an anomaly.

So now I will tell you about tomorrow’s Friday Frugal Tips topic. Let’s discuss frugal forms of entertainment. Movies, books, or whatever you do in your down time and hours of relaxation.

See you tomorrow for Frugal Tips Friday.

Note: I just checked my bank account online. To Walmart’s credit, they have already refunded me in full.

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  1. Brenda, I ordered that exact same red cabinet from Overstock and it arrived in perfect condition. My husband put it together and it looks great in my home. Target also has the same cabinet but it was cheaper at Overstock. If you want it to come already assembled you do have to pay extra but that would probably be worth it for you. I’m sorry you had such problems!

  2. I used to work for Wal Mart Pharmacy Warehouse – when I first started it was Awesome but after the original owner died it went downhill fast. Within three months they cut out everything ! We don’t shop at Wal Mart for several reasons but the main one being the employees are so RUDE ! Sorry y’all experienced that, it does help to vent and it was a nice piece and loved the color. Have a great weekend.

  3. Fiberglass can cause stomach irritation when ingested . This is of special importance for Ivy because when she grooms all of the particulate matter on her feet, face, coat will be ingested. Every time she rolls on the rug, she’ll pick up additional fiberglass dust and will groom that off as well.
    Fiberglass dust is the worst . I had some fiber contamination on my hall runner from an attic pull down . Ended up tossing the rug.

  4. I”m so sorry you’ve had this horrible experience, Brenda. I hope you can get the fiberglass disposed of safely and that you and the fur babies won’t suffer any breathing effects from it.

    I never have and will never shop at Walmart for anything whatsoever. They are a despicable company for the way they treat their employees and the way they move into areas and put the local businesses out of business. I have read that because they are such a huge company that they can dictate to manufactures what they will pay for products and that many companies will not manufacture certain products if Walmart doesn’t want to sell them. And they are notorious for outsourcing to overseas manufacturers. I just won’t have anything to do with them even if their prices are lower than anywhere else because I think they are an unethical company. I wish everyone would boycott them but, of course, that won’t happen. We all have to make our own choices about who and what to support in our crazy country.

    Brenda, maybe you should do some research about getting the fiberglass out of your apartment. I’m just worried that it will affect your and Ivy and Charlie’s breathing. I’ll be interested to know how you come out with it. Take care.

    1. ,Why blame Wal Mart for putting others out of business? Blame the people who CHOOSE to shop there instead of the local shops! No one is forcing them to shop at Wal Mart.

      Brenda you should go back and check whether the cabinet came directly from Wal Mart or another Vendor. I have never heard of shipping something in fiberglass! I would demand a full credit back!

  5. Holy cow! I just hope that somebody doesn’t dig it out of the dumpster and take it home to infest their home with fiberglass! That is just bizarre! I hope Nathan will be okay and a shower (and separate laundering of the clothing he was wearing) will solve the fiber glass problem. I’m glad you demanded and got your refund! Good for you.

  6. I have stopped buying anything from Walmart except vitamins..those come in larger sizes for less cost. Walmart is horrible to their employees and customers. I hope you get your refund soon.

  7. Mercy what a mess…heh, yea we have a few items we got from them too…we do NOT expect much, but we do expect them to be at the least, not toxic!! Hope you and Nathan will be ok!! Glad they reimbursed you quickly…twas a smart move on their part!! So sorry for your disappointment. Daughter has a lot of stuff from IKEA…most of it seems at least better engineered than the usual…for the price. Also, a lot of wood in their products. Not always easy to figure out the directions however…but I think most might be found on say youtube if you need help.

  8. I am more worried about you and Nathan and Charlie and Ivy with the fiberglass than anything. That stuff is very dangerous – even to breathe in. I wonder how you can safely dispose of the fiberglass in your vacuum now?

    I don’t think it matters what store online you order furniture from – it’s all cheap fiberboard, made in China. All toxic, even without the fiberglass. You’re best off looking around at antique shops in your area for a small cabinet. Real wood, no assembly required.

  9. That’s why I like to shop at antique stores. Many of their prices are great, and you get good solid pieces of furniture that are real wood.

  10. That’s awful about the fiberglass! Was a cute little hutch. Have you tried Wayfair or Those companies I think, ship furniture all put together. I knew a gal who always ordered furniture from Overstock, as it came all put together! There must be somewhere who still does that!

  11. To the “good people” add Kiwi Crate – and to the “bad people” add Chasing Fireflies!
    Kiwi Crate allowed me a much larger discount code on my still un-shipped order even after I placed it knowing items were back ordered for several weeks. When I called a day or two after another order to sub a crate, they didn’t argue it was too late to make a change – just added my new request – free – to the order as a courtesy and I received both items!
    Chasing Fireflies wouldn’t give me a $30 credit for shipping when a much better discount code showed up the day after I placed a big order. In email discussions the woman actually “played dumb” about what I was asking for and that was the annoying part. Granted, many businesses do say “not applicable to previous orders” and that’s fair enough – but the ones who give them when you ask politely always earn far more back in repeat business from me!

  12. I feel so badly about this – the buffet is beautiful and I can imagine your excitement – followed by the crash when it was apparent what you’d received instead of the perfect piece you dreamed about.
    I’m just happy you received a prompt refund – was worried after the $25 credit card debacle.
    What about a Frugal Friday that lists companies who give great customer service – and ones who don’t? We actually have a little start in the comments here today. My own list of great service (prompt refunds or immediate replacements of defective merch) includes: Pottery Barn – and PB Kids, Vermont Country Store, Hearthsong, and Grandinroad. The “thumbs down” list includes Design Quest over an experience my daughter and SIL had with a glass door tv cabinet. What a battle to get the correct size doors delivered without the kids being CHARGED shipping for them! Otherwise they agreed to pick up the entire piece if it was disassembled and boxed! Holy crow! Finally received a satisfactory outcome after HOURS on the phone. No more DQ for us!

  13. Not to scare you but Connecticut is very strict about fiberglass disposal and I believe that even though you have vacuumed there will be fiberglass residue in your machine and how and where you dispose of the vacuumed up dust is important..
    Here is a site: The EPA also has a site: you can check.
    If it were me, I would write to Walmart and CC the EPA about receiving merchandise covered in fiberglass, many people may have been exposed – the shipper the packer the poor underpaid clerk at Walmart. I am so sorry this has happened to you and to Nathan. – and your vulnerable pet buddies.

  14. What a pain in the butt! I hope Nathan is ok and not feeling sick from this debacle. The little cabinet is cute! Target is great and you can return anything there. I hope that you find something new!

  15. Good morning,
    I agree with the person who ordered a buffet from Target. I ordered a similar one from Target a couple of years ago–in a shade of green that I liked. It was easy to put together and no fiberglass involved. Both Target and Wayfair are easy to return things to, although I have only attempted twice. Target sent me another to replace the shattered wood on a bookcase and throw the damaged one away. Wayfair just told me to keep the item I had ordered–it was difficult to put together–doggie stairs– and they refunded my money. Wayfair has good customer service. I hope you get what you are looking for. It is a cute piece.

  16. Ugh, that’s horrible! Fiberglass no less! Well I guess we can all learn from your experience and never order anything from Walmart. But if you ever want to pick up a smaller piece of furniture, you can rent a pick-up from Lowe’s or Home Depot for about $20 for an hour or two. Al does it whenever we have need of it. Just an idea. The cabinet was really pretty, and it definitely had your name on it. Poor Nathan, but he should be okay today after a shower and all. You’ll find the right piece. Glad you felt free to rant here, you do indeed have to get things off your chest, any way you can.

  17. Well, that is a really cute piece-what a shame. I have honestly never had any problems with Walmart but I know that others do have problems.
    I hope you can find a nice piece-maybe used and can paint it the red you love–Diana

  18. Wayfair and Overstock has cute and reasonable side boards also….Manufacturing jobs are starting to come back to the USA now….Most of our furniture is MADE in China! which is overpriced junk…..I got a Jade Green one a couple of months ago from Overstock very similar to yours to put my pewter collection in and the doors did not line up…its like you got to take a gamble when you order…you never know…but my son fixed the doors for me so it was fine…..

  19. I’ve ordered a LOT from Walmart. The stores accept returns when the purchase came from them, but not if it came from another vendor. I bought a “Fiskars” manual lawn mower a few years ago in early spring. (It came from them directly.) It sat for months in the box due to my ambivalence about the ability to do it…too much for my brain. So back in the perfect condition box it went, packed in the styrofoam.

    First I took it to one store’s customer service desk where they instantly sliced the box open to check that it wasn’t full of rocks. They said I could have their “assembly guy” put it together if I wanted to keep it. Problem was, a lot of people were buying all kinds of lawn mowers at the time, so he was very busy & it would be a few days before he got to it. So back into my huge trunk it went, all askew in the box. Lesson: if returning something, don’t tape the box up.

    I went to a different Walmart soon after & returned it. A month or so later I saw it on the shelf in the garden dept, box all messed up, at a large discount! I had already bought one by “Scotts” @ Home Depot that said on the box “No Tools Needed For Assembly”. It had only a few seperate parts to assemble by hand. I was just thrilled to learn that Walmart’s stores will accept any returned product of theirs even if bought online, as well as learning they have an assembly person.

    As for fiberglass in the box, I cannot imagine the nightmare! The piece surely came from another vendor as it looks far too nice to be a Walmart product. How does that work, they get a percentage of the sale because it was bought on their site? Do other stores do that? Why? It’s so hard to make a choice when I’m looking @ Walmart online, there are so many.

  20. i have been looking for a new rocker recliner so my daughter and i stopped in Big Lots to try them. i decided on which one i want and we looked around at other things. we found a red buffet style cabinet that i like, i also liked a narrow red pantry cupboard with glass doors that i’m interested in. we inquired about payment plans and discovered they have several to offer. they are having a big sale coming up at the end of march so we are waiting for that. they do have the furniture in store stock now. we came home and looked at their furniture on line and found a couple more things that interested me. the Big Lots stores here are big ones and are well stocked. i hope you find something to please you and have an easier time with someone new.

  21. Hi Brenda, I have seen a very similar piece of furniture at Target. You might check their on line site. I always have found Target a little better quality than Walmart. Good luck

  22. If Nathan has a truck and there is a Big Lots store near you, you might want to check out what they have. We bought a nice cabinet to put in the kitchen and are very pleased with it. It’s wasn’t too difficult to assemble. All the Big Lots stores we have been in have a nice selection and good inventory. Poor Nathan, having to deal with insulation.

    1. I think Donna’s info is I was just in Big Lot yesterday and thought what nice looking furniture they had…they may even can hook you up with someone for delivery. I am sorry for Nathan’s issue with the fiberglass..yow.. and hope he has recovered. I can see why one would order the red looks great. Best wishes with your new sorry your excitement was spoiled. I know you do not like used furniture but I see some great bargains in the antique or consignment stores at times… Thank you for sharing your life..I look forward to your posts and how you are able to do fine on your own..and are so talented with lots of hobbies..Thank you.

  23. As my son so aptly puts it…when you call a customer service line, why do they ask that you press 1 for English and then transfer you to a country where no one speaks English! 🙂 So glad to know they refunded your money. I hate when companies do crap like that…hope Nathan was able to get all of that off of him and you were able to get it all out of your home so that it doesn’t make you are the babies ill! Love and hugs!

  24. What a nasty experience. I am glad you got your refund already though. As someone mentioned, Target does have similar items but are more expensive.
    I am very reluctant to order furniture online because of the assembly required, or the inability to test the comfort of, say, a chair. Returning such things could be quite a hassle for me.
    I hope you can find something else….

  25. I’m sorry you’ve experienced another WalMart challenge. Big Sigh! Might be time to think twice before ordering from them again. Just a thought. BTW, I believe Target carries a similar cabinet.
    When I moved into my apartment I purchased furniture from American Furniture Warehouse and had fabulous customer service, etc. Check to see if you have one in Tulsa.

  26. Brenda! First of all I know all about fiberglass, because in the 70s my mother had living room curtains made out of them, and they couldn’t be touched without gloves. Second – I hear you for the rant! Its the problem I had trying to get a new computer, after the old one died – nothing is in a store -its all online, online! How could I do that, if I didn’t have a computer?! They tell you never to buy online from a public computer with credit card info, but what other choice did I have?! And what about clothes, and shoes – wouldn’t you want to maybe try them on first?! And don’t even get me started on out of country customer service!

  27. Well, I have not had any problems with WalMart, but I ordered a chair online which said it was grey, and the picture of the chair was also grey, but when it came it was a muted blue. I had a little difficulty returning it as it came in a huge box which I had to cut open. They wanted it re-boxed for Fed EX to pick up. As a senior woman, it was very difficult to get it ready for pickup. I learned my lesson about ordering furniture online.

  28. Wow, that’s awful, Brenda! Poor Nathan!! I can’t believe it wouldn’t clean off even after vacuuming it multiple times, that’s terrible! Too bad, it’s a nice looking piece. Maybe you’ll find something nice on Wayfair?

  29. Several years ago, we ordered two drum chairs from a well known catalog. They looked gorgeous. Well, they did come assemble, but after opening one, we sat on it and it was just like a piece of granite.

    What a disappointment. We packed it back up and had them take it back. I know we didn’t pay shipping because we made such a stink.

    Sorry for your fiasco. It looked adorable in the photo.

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