Saturday, April 26, 2008

Wal-Mart Made My Wife Cry

I am irate.

No, scratch that, I'm beyond irate. Irate is what I get whenever Wal-Mart accuses me of stealing when I'm walking out of the store with a large box of diapers that I've paid for--and they insist that I submit myself to their inspection.

This goes beyond that, by an order of magnitude.

Apparently, Wal-Mart has a new policy in effect for the Madison area. Basically, as you come into the store with returns, they force you to submit to an inspection of your property that you're taking back into the store for a refund. What happens is that the door greeter takes a horrendously long time in scanning each and every item to create a number of stickers which they print out and attach to the items.

My wife probably wouldn't have been as distraught over this act if she had not been returning some undergarments.

Basically, this is how the trip went tonight.

We walked in, and waited at the door for one of those stupid pink stickers. The greeter informed us of a new policy, which involved a scanner and a printer and the fact that we had to take every item out of the bag we had it in.

Like I said, this wouldn't have been something that horrid, except my wife was returning undergarments. So this greeter forced my wife to more or less debase herself by having her take out all theses underwear not only in front of the MALE door greeter but also in front of the half-dozen or so male customers and employees who were loitering in the foyer area.

When my beloved made the simple request that he pull the printer and scanner around the corner to hide it from the other men, he refused and said he had to be in front of the camera.

Which confounded me, as I know that there's no camera in the foyer area. So I asked him what camera, and he said the black one on top of the door.

Which looked kind of like this:

Yes, that is a sensor from the automatic doors.

After I questioned him about the utter idiotic statement that there was a camera hidden in said device, we finally received the blessed Wal-Mart approval to head to the "Customer Service" desk.

Now, I was thinking, hey, this junk has already been scanned once, there shouldn't be a need to scan it again.

Boy was I wrong.

We get to the counter, my wife tearing up at this point, and I instantly ask to see an Assistant Manager. So, imagine my surprise (or lack thereof actually) when the Wal-Martian had to scan every item in my stack of stuff (as we no longer had them in nice bags).

So, I'm storming, and my beloved wife is trying to keep me from chewing out the poor CSR. When the assistant manger FINALLY shows up (for the record we stood there maybe 5 minutes, but when you're as beyond-irate as I was that does seem like forever) my wife tells him the story, and one kind of expects apologies from the assistant manager over what is in effect a stupid policy.

Again, boy was I wrong.

Which is highly odd, because I remember having to jump through hoops--and not always proverbial ones--to appease irate customers when I was a Wal-Martian, but I digress.
So, as you can see, it was a fun evening, and I'm still beyond irate. Not only did this policy make my wife cry, which made me angry beyond belief, but the process doubles the time it takes to make a return, as each item has to be scanned twice.

I can admit, we've cut back on the amount that we've been shopping at Wal-Mart. After all, Kroger is not that much more expensive and it's closer. Yet there were still things we purchased there--including those boxes of diapers that I'm constantly getting searched over.

Well, at this point, that's enough. Not even the joy of making the idiotic door greeters squirm when I tell them that they are in effect accusing me of shoplifting by requesting me to submit to a search can entice me to return to Wal-Mart now.

I'll drive an extra 10 miles down the road to go to Target.

Actually, I won't even need to drive extra, there's one I can stop at on my way home from work.

At this point, the only thing that will get me back into Wal-Mart is if I go there, buy 100 of those dollar hot wheels, and then turn back around and return them.

At least if I did that, then the door greeter would be tied up with scanning that he couldn't accuse folks of shoplifting.

Anyways, for more reading on the joys of being treated piss-poor by Wal-Mart then you can read this:

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Blogger Javed said...

I am a faithful walmart customer but after first time I got through this new policy I am going to cut down going there as well. My pride is more important to me that few bucks!!!!

May 26, 2008 at 1:45 AM  
Blogger Stephen Wrighton said...

Glad to hear it. I definitely understand what you mean about pride (and self-esteem in general) worth more than the two-three cents on the dollar one would save at Wal-Mart.

Additionally, the stuff I'm buying elsewhere is better quality.

May 26, 2008 at 7:26 AM  
Blogger Crystal said...

ya, so that little black thing that you said was only a door sensor- that's a camera also, so no need to cal the people greeter an idiot, just for doing their job like they are told.
and in case you have never realied, there are walmarts everywhere making them more likely a target for organized retail crime, so unfortunately some people run it for everyone an walmart had to stat getting stickers put on each item at the store. as you can imagine, dishonest poeple would take the little pink stickers into the store, take them off of a $5 item, and put them on a $500 item and return it!
soooo, most customers you would think would appreciate the fact that walmart is protecting it's assets, so that those savings can continue to get passed on to the customer, but apparently some people just like to complain. ugh!

October 15, 2008 at 11:55 PM  
Blogger Stephen Wrighton said...

Crystal - Believe it or not, I used to work for Wal-Mart. Did for years. And believe it or not, that little black box above the door is just a motion sensor. I know, I've seen them taken apart of fix. I know, I've seen them getting installed as we were putting up our Super Center for the store I worked at.

And yes, I do realize they're everywhere. But again-what does that have to do with anything? Just because they are everywhere is not a reason for them to be so aggressive. It's not a reason for them to consistently accuse me of shoplifting (and that's how I see it every time they "ask" me to stop at the door as I'm leaving--which I've stopped doing).

Now, your example of the $5 to $500 item, it kind of falls apart as Wal-Mart requires a receipt for returns. If you don't have a receipt, then you get three returns on your ID, after which you can't make returns any longer. Plus, they have loss prevention associates who look for things like that (again, my time at Wal-Mart, has allowed me to see that in action).

And no, most customers don't like being harassed by "people greeters" as they enter or exit the store. It's bothersome to the shopping experience, and the reason why I'll go spend extra money so I don't have to be harassed and accused of shop lifting.

Now, your final point of me calling the guy an idiot for doing his job. According to his district manager, he was never told to do it in such a fashion, and in the way that it made my wife cry as I described it here.

Additionally, anyone who makes my wife cry is by default an idiot, and he's damned lucky I didn't beat the tar out of him just for that fact alone. The only thing that stopped that was because he was fifty years older than me, and respect for seniors was drilled into me via a strip of leather at a young age.

October 16, 2008 at 8:16 AM  
Blogger JB said...

I know this is a very old post but I am going to comment anyway. Your not going to believe this but I was the instigator for the new policy...

However they are not doing it as I originally detailed it so that they could get away with creating their own version (and thus not have to pay out any money for the idea). My idea was much simpler and would have saved the customer time and embarrassment you speak of.
My idea would print out a detailed listing (like a suspend slip...if you know what those were it only needs one scan and rings up everything) of the returned items to be given to the customer to take to the service desk by the end of the business day that way they don't have to rescan everything just process it through the computer and refund your money.

The comment by Crystal is right to a point about the customers coming in with a 5$ item only to get a sticker for a $500 item. However we found more and more that customers would find receipts outside or save them whenever they bought the actual merchandise.

Come in with a shopping cart or a bag and search for the most expensive items on the receipt and take them up to the service desk for a refund (since they had the receipt their ID # is not documented. I know I had to approve it even though I knew they were lying) and a full refund was available to them as long as it was still a valid receipt.

So in order to get around this problem I came up with the idea to account for all the items being brought back into the store for a refund, this way we had a visual and documented inspection of the returned merchandise.

As I indicated my idea would have been much greater and more efficient. (pity I could have been a millionaire had I gone through the proper channels)

July 17, 2010 at 1:14 AM  
Blogger JB said...

P.S why can't people just keep receipts for things that they spent tons of money on (just to be on the safe side) Bloody tape it to the product or keep a separate wallet somewhere and fill it with receipts.

People and their so called Pride too, seriously get over yourselves it's Wal'Mart!! not the some fancy high class jewelry store who's associates are there at your beck and call. Huh huh your to proud to go to blasted Wal-Mart and get screwed around...where does that put the rest of the population my majesty's.

If only we really did just heaven forbid shop somewhere else as we always tell them when we leave upset at them for our treatment than maybe they would go out of business. but it's worht it to us to save the few cent's per visit!!! That's why

July 17, 2010 at 1:29 AM  

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