BLYTHEVILLE, Ark. (KAIT) – Walmart has paid up, and a Southeast Missouri family is getting their car back after it was damaged at the Blytheville Walmart Auto Center.
“It is a nightmare what Walmart has done, and I get the feeling that they just don’t care, and that is what bothers me,” Rick Stanfield, who claims Walmart damaged his car, said.
Stanfield told K8 News that his wife took one of the family cars in nine days ago for an oil change. They left with a job they said wasn’t done and damage to their car.
“It was missing some,” Stanfield said. “Didn’t think a whole lot about it. Then it was missing some, and she could smell a hot odor.”
The Stanfield said they took the car back, and when they went to the service desk, the Stanfields said they were told the work they paid for was never done.
“As soon as they did that, they apologized and said we drained the transmission fluid back in, and we didn’t change the oil,” the former Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper and law professor said.
The couple said Walmart promised to take care of any damage, even claiming the company had the car towed to a Memphis dealership for repairs.
It took Walmart ten days to pay the dealership’s repair bill so the couple could get their car back and offer a settlement to the Stanfields, only after K8 News began asking questions.
According to Stanfield, a Walmart representative reached out on Aug. 4, one day after K8 News aired the Stanfield family’s issues.
Stanfield said Walmart initially offered a $700 payment to them because of lost wages, but when the company was told that did not cover the lost wages, the offer was reduced to $450, according to Stanfield.
Being without a car was a struggle for Rick, a cancer patient who has to travel to and from doctors’ appointments and is now struggling to get the care he needs and the empathy he wants from the world’s largest retailer valued at over $572 billion.
The family said a Walmart employee filed a claim the day of the incident, and the Stanfields said it was downhill from there.
A Walmart representative reached out on Jul. 26. Rick Stanfield responded the next day.
There was no response, despite the car being towed to Memphis and the dealership telling the Stanfield’s $460 in repairs had been made.
“I was almost to a point I was begging for them,” Stanfield said. “Please let us get our car.”
Without payment, the dealership would not release the car to the Stanfields, and according to the family, they did not get answers from Walmart until K8 News anchor and chief investigative reporter Chris Carter got involved.
Carter asked the company why the repair was not paid and the delay in communication with the family.
Joe Pennington, the Director of Global Communications, responded with two sentences:
“We’re aware of the mistakes made during the Stanfield family oil change at our Blytheville store. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused and are actively working to make this right.”
When asked for more information, including when the Stanfields could expect a resolution, Pennington responded that the “process to make this right is well underway, and we will continue working directly with the Stanfield family.”
The family wants one thing.
“We want our car,” Stanfield said. “Put a policy in place that is going to prevent this thing from happening again. I can’t imagine how many people are going through this with the service department at Walmart.”
The Stanfields said they are still determining how they will proceed with the offer from Walmart but are considering all of the possibilities.
Editors Note: Several people have reached out on social media stating they have had similar issues with Walmart Auto Centers. K8 News anchor and chief investigative reporter Chris Carter is collecting information on those reports and wants to hear from you. You can email at [email protected]. Be sure to include your name, the date of your incident, the store it took place and your phone number.
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