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I ordered a laptop from Sam's Club. Where is it?

Christopher Elliott on

Terry Barber orders a laptop computer from Sam's Club. It never shows up. Two months later, her refund is also missing. What's the problem?

Q: I ordered an HP Pavilion laptop from Sam's Club recently and paid $856 for it. I never received it.

I contacted customer support and they verified that the laptop never left the warehouse. I asked for a refund, but a representative said they would first have to find the laptop. Then they could issue a refund.

It's been two months since Sam's Club promised me a refund. Can you help me get my money back? -- Terry Barber, Fort Washington, Md.

A: Two months is plenty of time to track down a lost package, don't you think? In a perfect world, your refund should have taken minutes, not months. But Sam's Club says it had to find your package, which was somewhere in the warehouse. I think it would have been nice of you to give Sam's Club a reasonable amount of time -- say, a week -- to find the lost package. After that, it shouldn't have held up your refund. You didn't lose your package, the company did.

If it's any consolation, lost orders are pretty rare. Companies like Sam's Club use a sophisticated, and almost foolproof, system to track their orders. The handoff to FedEx should have been easy. I'm looking at your order, and you even had a FedEx tracking number. It isn't immediately clear what happened to your laptop.

Sam's Club looks as if it tried to help, even offering a 5 percent discount as a way of making up for the delay. But that didn't fix the problem. It would have been nice to see a Sam's Club employee taking ownership of this problem, by which I mean sending you a replacement quickly instead of making you wait for the company to find the lost device.


I list the names, numbers and email addresses of the Sam's Club executives on my consumer advocacy site, Elliott.org. A brief, polite email to one of them might have fixed this. Really, there's no excuse for making you wait two months for a refund -- especially for something that isn't even your fault.

Sam's Club prides itself in being "the membership you love most." But after your long wait for your laptop, I don't think there's a lot of love. I was curious to see how the company would fix this and make it up to you. So I asked.

Sam's Club quickly refunded the $856.

Christopher Elliott is the chief advocacy officer for Elliott Advocacy. Email him at chris@elliott.org or get help with any consumer problem by contacting him at http://www.elliott.org/help

© 2021 Christopher Elliott.




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