We told you last week that Walmart recalled 1.5 million Durabrand DVD players sold between January 2006 and July 2009 after several units overheated and some even caused fires. Customers were instructed to take the units back to Walmart for a refund as a result.

Several readers wrote to thank us about the post, including Anne from Manchester. Her DVD player wasn't working well so she was happy to hear the news:


Except, that's not what she said happened when she arrived at the Walmart in Hampstead, with the DVD player in the original box, but without the small plastic plate that covers the batteries in the remote control:

So, Anne said she took her DVD player home with her and called a district manager to get confirmation of Walmart's policy, and he confirmed what the employee at the store said: that the store needed all parts to process the return. The manager was willing to make an exception for her, just this time.

But fortunately for Anne and the owners of the other 1,499,999 recalled DVD players, that's not the case. I talked with Walmart spokeswoman Melissa O'Brien, who confirmed that customers do not need the receipt, the original packaging or even all the parts to get the refund --- "as long as it is the exact item that is being recalled," she said.

She called the Hampstead store, and the manager there did not recall a situation like the one described here, but said that anyone who had bought the product should definitely bring it in. 

With all the recent toy recalls, for example, O'Brien said people received their refunds even if some of the small parts were missing. 

Without a receipt, the dollar value refunded will match the current price of the product, O'Brien said. "The remote control should not have mattered," she said.

UPDATED: I changed the headline on Wednesday to reflect the fact that these complaints stem from only one Walmart location. --- lfk.

UPDATED again: Here's the epilogue to Anne's recalled DVD player refund saga.