Evan had a problem. Well, first, he had an Xbox One, which was a pretty great thing. He had picked it up at a Kmart in a different city while visiting friends, because they had it in stock. When it began to make can opener noises a few weeks later, it would have been simplest to exchange it for a new Xbox at Kmart. Naturally, that was impossible.
Why was he still dealing with Kmart instead of going to Microsoft? There were a few reasons for that, he explained to Consumerist – exchanging it would leave him without a console for a week or so, losing valuable game-reviewing time, and Microsoft would send him back a refurbished unit when his new one was barely a month old.
He called up the Kmart in his friends’ city, asking for an exchange. Someone on the phone confirmed that they could exchange it for a new Xbox, so he set out on the three-hour round trip to the store. Where they would not exchange his console.
He posted a video (language NSFW) ranting about the situation on Reddit, where the reaction there and on YouTube ranged from “Why did you shop at Kmart in the first place?” to criticisms of his beard.
Generally, you can get a better result from a company if you refrain from insulting the appearance of their employees, but we don’t have any evidence that Kmart representatives watched this video anyway. If they did, the follow-up video (also NSFW) where he calls them the devil probably didn’t help, but you really never can be sure with Kmart.
After some wrangling with Kmart at home, the company agreed to exchange his console…but only if he brought it to the store in his friends’ city, even though there are Kmarts much closer to him. He found this absurd, and we did too.
We referred him to Kmart’s social media support team, who…didn’t get back to him before Microsoft did. They offered him an exchange at the Microsoft Store right in his city. Lovely!
In the end, this story ended happily without our help. All it took was more than a week of wrangling, tens of thousands of YouTube hits, Evan getting banned from Kmart’s Facebook page, and a wasted trip to a different city.
Evan hadn’t shopped at Kmart in well over a decade. Does anyone think he’s likely to go back?