Small Minded Mega-Store. Really Wal-Mart? Seriously?

                                                      If you’ve worked for a big company, you understand how processes can get in the way; however, this is not a big company.  It’s Wal-Mart, standing in a goliath evil class of its own.    Evil for many reasons to many people but to be fair, it is also a necessary evil, like insurance or government.  I have shopped many times at Wal-Mart and have gotten several deals but the problem lies when you buy a bunch of crap you don’t need.  The alternative (my opinion) is Target which after this last Christmas season was determined to be a better deal overall by consumers.  www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/05/18/136435972/who-has-cheaper-prices-wal-mart-or-target 

Our local Wal-Mart has the grocery portion which Target does not have our store.  We all have Wal-Mart stories. When you have kids, it is the easiest place to go if you need all of the following items at once: diapers, a birthday gift, beer, toenail clippers, and motor oil. Oh, and you can get your nails done there.  Really Wal-Mart?? And then some.. Even though we all have our own stories, I’m compelled to share one with you that happened a few days ago to us.

My wife needed to purchase 110 Wal-Mart $20 gift cards for incentives for work. She went to Wal-Mart to purchase the cards with my son at 7:30 AM. She was told that they could not get them get the cards ready at that time. They took her number and told her that they would call her. They called her and told her to call the store back 30 minutes before she comes in to pick up the cards. When she called the store back and told them she would be coming by in 30 minutes, they said they could only get the gift cards ready when she arrived in person.

Are you getting annoyed yet?

We’re only buying 110 merchandise items like most of us shoppers who do not expect to pay that much to them or spend that long of a time in their customer service, unless you’re buying a house or a car.     Just wait…

When we (I, my wife, and my two sons) arrived, they told us they would begin getting the gift cards together and that they would call her on the intercom when they were ready. Let me remind you that this is the second time my wife and oldest son have been to Wal-Mart that day, which is the mental equivalent of pulling a mental 12-hour workday after having a root canal done.

 Forty-five minutes later, her name was called to pick up the cards. She paid them $2200 in cash and started to leave the customer service desk, when she saw that the gift cards did not say, “Gift Cards,” but instead, “in Store Credit.” So, she was handed $2200 worth of gift cards paid with cash, 110 cards that said “In Store Credit.” She looked at me a little perplexed. Exhausted and perplexed. She went back to the customer service desk and told them that she wanted gift cards not “in store credits.” They told her that it doesn’t matter. You can use them the same as a gift card, not only at Wal-Mart, but at Sam’s Club, too. Quite the perk, thanks Lady.  This only infuriated my wife, who needed these gift cards to give to research participants for work. When asked what she wanted, my wife told them that she wanted the 110 cards that said “gift card” on them, you know, the ones with the goofy pictures on them that we get for Christmas, birthdays, Flag Day, President’s Day, Arbor Day, Etc. O.K.  Maybe not Arbor Day.

After about 20 minutes of customer service squabble with customer service associates, she was told that it was not possible. At this time she asked to see a manager. When the manager came by, she immediately sounded condescending and could not for the life of her understand why it would bother my wife that the gift cards said “in store credit.” When the customer service associate told my wife that she was sorry, the manager said, “It’s not your fault,” and rolled her eyes at my wife. The manager said that they would have to re-key and take the money individually off of the “in store credit” and then individually add that money to the “gift card.” This was going to take a while. At this time, my wife said….I will just take my money back! At which time the manager said, “You are going to have to wait until we are done processing.”

Let me remind you that I am waiting with two tired and hungry boys who have been in Wal-Mart now for almost 2 hours (They may need therapy after this). We had to go to the car because they just had their fill (which most of us get when we walk in, after the greeter doesn’t greet us and gives us a wobbly cart).

My wife came out and told me that she had to wait until they re-key everything.  When they take back a gift card, they have to do all the regular keying and then the manager needs to key in her code, too. So, for 110 of these, it takes about a half of a minute per card, if there are absolutely no interruptions. If you ever have been to Wal-Mart, you know it is one constant interruption to them and for our time (starting with entering the parking lot which is not put together very well.  After another 20 minutes, my wife came up to the customer service desk and said, “Listen, you have my $2200 and my gift cards. Why in the world do I need to wait? You have the gift cards. You have my money. You have the gift cards. You have the money, gift cards and money “ GIFT CARDS OR MONEY, NOW!”  My wife is very sweet, patient and understanding but ‘’her change in demeanor is welcome in this situation. 

So, long story….well, long….she got the money back. For some reason, Wal-Mart did not even mind not getting my wife’s sale. They didn’t mind not having $2200 of gift cards purchased.

Subsequently, we went to Target and it took a total of 5 minutes to get the cards. Yes, 5 minutes.

Do you have a Wal-Mart story? Is it as infuriating as this one? Do tell…..

In store credit is like being owed money and getting paid back in a bag of nickels.  No.  If you received 20$ in nickels it does not quite spend the same as a 20$ bill.   

If I received one from someone I don’t know,  I would be concerned that it came from some shady stock boy that steals Depends and talks his grandmother into taking them back…..FOR STORE CREDIT. 

So, with all this, they weren’t worried about losing 2,200$ in sales on gift cards!  of merchandise that they still own?  Didn’t the acting manager stand to look a little better at the end of the day when they had an additional 2,200$ in sales?  Guess not, one because the manager sided with the 2 employees who couldn’t figure it out and wasted everyone’s time by not giving us welcoming gift cards with pictures of birthday cakes, puppies and spring gardens or even a sunset. 

 Again, I’ve been told to be careful of rants as I write, however, I think that most of us who go to Wal-Mart  have similar complaints can relate to a lousy experience there. 

Thanks for reading and I assure you my next post will have a little less anger and hopefully some comedy/light content about kids and families.

Cheers

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2 Responses to Small Minded Mega-Store. Really Wal-Mart? Seriously?

  1. Heather says:

    Wow… What an awful time! Your kids will totally need therapy after all that. Imagine, the oldest sitting on a therapist’s couch, explaining the Wal-mart ordeal: “We waited inside Wal-mart for what it felt like an eternity.”
    Therapists nods, scribbles a few notes.
    “Would some Peanut Butter M&Ms and watching Cars on repeat make up for it?”
    End scene.

    I try not to go to Wal-mart, because, well, I have never had a pleasurable experience at a Wal-mart. I think the stories are designed to break the customers’ souls.
    My last Wal-mart experience included going for a few items (big mistake) and wanting to check out in the Express Lane. You know, the one for 15 items or less. The lady in front of me had, I counted, 72 items. I might not be a Mathlete, but I know that 72 items is a bit more than 15. I was behind her, and just got more upset. She knew I was mad about it. She gave me an incredibly dirty look as she opened(!!) things in her cart and started to eat them.

    I was totally upset by my story until I read this post. Made my minor inconvenience seem even more than chump change compared to this story.

  2. Silas says:

    Appreciate the fresh appear. I liked the information. Many thanks for a remarkable article.

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