UPDATE: Local Walmart gives gift to 11-year-old - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

UPDATE: Local Walmart gives gift to 11-year-old

"No one should have to wait this long to get a scooter," JJ West said. "No one should have to wait this long to get a scooter," JJ West said.
JJ West saved for over a year to buy an electric scooter from Walmart. (Source: James West) JJ West saved for over a year to buy an electric scooter from Walmart. (Source: James West)

A WECT investigation has a happy ending when the local Monkey Junction Walmart goes above and beyond to apologize to an 11-year-old boy who waited six months to receive the proper scooter he purchased with his own money.

On Friday, area Walmart managers asked to speak to young JJ West, about what he thought was just an apology for delivering him a damaged scooter - twice. When JJ and his mother arrived at the Monkey Junction Walmart, they never expected what happened next.

The store managers handed JJ $250 and a bag of candy to make up for all his trouble. The manager said he was disheartened to hear his story and wanted to do something.

JJ was so excited about the surprise, he could hardly wait to use the money to buy new back-to-school clothes. 

In addition to the local gift, JJ will also receive a full refund from corporate Walmart, but just weeks ago, JJ was not as pleased with the superstore.

He had saved up his birthday, Christmas and chore money for over a year to buy a new scooter he wanted from Walmart.

It was out of stock at their local store, so JJ's parents helped him order it from Walmart online. Unfortunately, when the scooter arrived on the doorstep at his family's Wilmington apartment, it was damaged.

The Wests mailed the scooter back to Walmart for a replacement in January, but after six months of waiting, they'd yet to receive a new scooter - or even a refund - so they turned to WECT to investigate.

"No one should have to wait this long to get a scooter," JJ West said while sitting on his front porch.   

It was an early lesson in disappointment for the fifth grader. He said doing enough chores to purchase the $249 Razor scooter wasn't easy.

"I cleaned the cage, did some dishes. I cleaned my room, I cleaned my bathroom, and walked the dogs a lot," he said.

This situation has also been tough on JJ's mom and dad.

"It's frustrating as a parent," James West said. "You don't know what to tell your son. I mean, what do you tell him, 'Walmart ripped you off?!' I mean, it ain't right."

When the scooter arrived in January, it didn't look brand-new. The box was damaged, and so was the frame.

"When I got it, I was devastated," JJ explained.

After mailing the damaged scooter back to Walmart, the Wests waited six months with no resolution. They called Walmart's online customer service line and went in-person to the store in Wilmington for help, to no avail.

WECT reached out to Walmart on the family's behalf. The company was notably responsive, apologetic, and said they were putting a rush shipment on a new scooter for JJ.

It arrived a few days later, but ironically the Wests said it was the same scooter Walmart sent them the first time. It appeared they'd tried to repair it.

The Wests contacted Walmart again, and the company representative was so sorry, and apparently embarrassed about the latest snafu, they promised to send JJ a new scooter and a refund.

After WECT's investigation, the new scooter arrived in July. JJ is thrilled, though he is still waiting on the refund to process.

Walmart never explained exactly what went wrong here, but a media representative gave WECT the impression that when the first scooter was sent back to the warehouse in California, it was never scanned in as returned.

Walmart did send this statement in relation to the incident:

"Our customers are our number one priority, and we're so happy you brought this to our attention so we could quickly resolve the matter and get a replacement for the West family."

If you have a situation you'd like us to look into, just send an email to investigate@wect.com.

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