The Wal-Mart Experience

November 3, 2009 by admncc

In the past, whenever we’ve discussed Wal-Mart on this blog, it’s always been entertaining.  Some people like Wal-Mart and some people don’t.  But one thing always remains true – the opinions on both sides are strong.

This post actually involves my wife.  Yes, that’s right; Mrs. Constant Complainer!  Keep in mind, she’s not a blogger and doesn’t read every single post I publish.  But she has been supportive of my time and efforts on here.  So imagine my excitement when she said, “This is the closest I will ever come to a Guest Post.”

I’m never exactly sure what to make of the Wal-Mart greeters.  Some days they are extremely nice and other days I think they are overstepping their bounds.  Mrs. Constant Complainer has had two incidents in as many weeks with these greeters.  I’ll share her stories and then you’ll have to be the judge.

Like I was saying, this started two weeks ago.  My wife visited Wal-Mart for two quick items.  She grabbed them, paid for them, stuck one under each arm and headed out the door.  At which time she was summoned by the greeter and told that she had to furnish her receipt before she would be allowed to leave the store.  My wife explained that she was in a hurry, had already stuffed the receipt into her purse, clearly had both of her hands full, had visibly just left the cash register and asked if she could move on.  She was told no and that she needed to produce the receipt.  I should note that anyone having met my wife would agree with me when I say that she clearly would never meet any thief stereotypes.  So what did she do?  She set the items down, produced the receipt and was allowed to leave.

Last week, she went back to the same Wal-Mart (I told her this was the first problem).  This time she purchased a number of items, including two pumpkins for Halloween.  When she got to the checkout register, the cashier said, “Oh, are those the $2.98 pumpkins?”  My wife said, “Yes, do you need me to take them out of the cart.”  And the cashier said, “Nope, that’s OK, I got them.”  As my wife was heading out the door, a greeter again stopped her.  This time, he was an arrogant young man.  He said, “I need to see your receipt.”  She gave him the receipt.  He then proceeded to go line by line through the receipt and verify every single item in every bag.  He said, “You weren’t charged for the pumpkins.”  My wife explained the above-conversation and that she should have been.  He then said, “Well, you weren’t charged for the pumpkins.”  So she said, “Well, what do you want me to do?  Set them here on the floor?”  Surprisingly, he said, “Yes.”

Part of me says that the Wal-Mart employee was doing his/her job.  But the other part of me says come on!  Why was she flagged twice?  Why did they only stop her as five other customers walked out of the store at the exact same time with items exposed in their carts?  Why was my wife stuck there being questioned about her purchase?  Like I said; she looks like the last person who would be a problematic customer.  The answer – she was chosen because they thought she would be the easiest to question and pick on.  Interestingly enough, in the second scenario, the cashier actually hadn’t charged her for the pumpkins.  So she was literally forced to set them on the floor in front of the greeter, before storming out.

I stopped by the exact same Wal-Mart last week to buy a DVD for my daughter.  It was in stock; so I bought it and brought it home.  The DVD didn’t work, so I went back the next day to return it.  They said no problem, told me to go pick out another one and bring it back to the customer service desk.  I did.  However, when I got back to the front of the store, the employee proceeded to start opening the DVD.  I said, “What are you doing?  Why are you opening it and taking the plastic off of it?”  She said, “We need to make sure there’s nothing else in there.”  I said, “It’s a factory sealed DVD.”  She glared at me and said, “And we need to make sure there’s nothing else in the case.”  She then ruined the collector’s case by ripping the seal off and digging her fingernails into it.  So let me get this straight – they open a factory sealed DVD to make sure that I haven’t found a way to already open it myself, put merchandise in there and then reseal it (all within the five minutes that I’ve been walking through the store).

Is it me or are Wal-Mart’s priorities mixed up?  I don’t think we’ll be going back there anytime soon…

P.S.  It’s Election Day 2009.  Please make sure to get out and vote!

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  1. Angella says:

    Wow, I am sure glad I haven’t had any problems like those. My guess is they have been subject to shoplifting in the past, and now are just being overly cautious. As for your new DVD that they tore open right there in the store, I would not have accepted it. I would have demanded that an employee go retrieve the replacement DVD and bring it up to the counter for me, so they would know I couldn’t have possibly inserted any stolen merhcandise in it. I think they are being ridiculous about that situation.

  2. Sugar says:

    I would have called a manager over so that he could see how ‘ignorant’ this employee was acting when clearly it was a sealed DVD. What morons!

  3. C. Princess says:

    Our newspaper receives so many letters to the editor complaining about the service at various Wal-Mart stores. I’m sorry for your wife’s experience and as for your DVD experience, talk about an idiot employee. As Sugar wrote, you should have called the manager.

    The store constantly advertises about having the “lowest price” but sometimes consumers are willing to pay a little more someplace else especially if they know they will be treated with decency.

  4. Wow. Sounds like Wal-Mart really wants your business eh? I would have thrown a fit regarding the DVD business. The other two cases we can’t really complain because the employees are doing their jobs by stopping random people. I normally throw my bill in one of my shopping bags in case they ever want to see it. They never do.

    Regarding the DVD. I would have called a manager over and shown him exactly how stupid the employee was. Seriously, as if you are trying to steal something and you are so sneaky you managed to sneak it into a factory sealed DVD. Yeah… where today’s society is going scares me a lot.

    But you did just remind me of something I had once posted. I think you’d be interested. It has to do with stupid employees, at Best Buy!

  5. Basin says:

    That sounds incredibly frustrating. I don’t shop at Walmart anymore; I think they have become too huge of a corporation for anyone’s good. The greeters are turning into out of control police and noone is saying anything. The thing is they don’t have to care because they are so big no one can compete with them. It’s an unfortunate situation for us consumers, but like I said I shop elsewhere now, even if I end up paying more. I rather support the little guy actually.

  6. Well, I,for one, hate Walmart. I don’t think the cheaper price is worth the hassle of the overcrowding and only 1 or 2 registers being opened when there are tons of people standing in line. Furthermore, with the rising prices of everything, due to the recession, I don’t see where WalMart is much cheaper than any other store.

    With that being said, it is standard practice at WalMart to have to produce a receipt for items that are not bagged. Some greeters overlook it, some don’t. But being asked to produce a receipt is not outrageous, in my opinion. Not that I’m concerned about WalMart’s profit margin, but stores lose millions of dollars a year due to theft.

    On the other hand, the other incident of being asked to place the pumpkins on the floor—utterly ridiculous and RUDE!!! Did your wife leave the pumpkins on the floor or go back to the register to pay for them?

  7. MajorLeague09 says:

    I had a similar incident at Wal-Mart. My husband bought a collar for our dog, but it didn’t fit. I told him I would return it the next day. I went to customer service to return the collar. The person took the receipt and told me that my husband never paid for the collar. The cashier had scanned the collar twice and then took both of them off instead of leaving one on the bill. The customer service rep was looking at me like we had stolen the collar and her tone wasn’t nice. I told her that the cashier didn’t scan it into the system correctly. It was a $2.00 collar. I told her that since I was returning it, no harm no foul and I walked away. I try to avoid Wal-Mart as much as I can. I perfer Target. Target has been my go to for a long time. There prices may be a bit higher, but the quality and service that I get from them is worth it. Since I had my child in jan, I’ve made the trip to target on a regular basis. It’s a 45 min drive for me, so when my son was little it usually included a feeding when I was there. I was almost done shopping when he started crying and I knew I wasn’t going to make it through the line without him having a crying fit. I went to customer service and I asked if I could leave my cart there, so I could go feed him. She said I could go to the cafe area with my cart. I told her that I hadn’t checked out yet. She said that was okay, I could still take my cart over there to feed him and then continue my shopping when he was done. I was blown away at how nice they were. I would have never had that experience at Wal-Mart, I could only dream about what they would have told me.

  8. TallElf says:

    In regards to Mrs. CC, perhaps her photo is in the breakroom with a sticky note that say give her a hard time… we will get publicity. I can honestly say that Wallyworld has its advantages, and its disadvantages. I purchased a pair of boots in April, and by June they had split at the seams. They refused to refund or replace due to “Abuse”. Hrm… they were work boots,and I used them to ride back and forth to work on my motorcycle, but not actually abuse them… Oh well

    I can say that they claim to pride themselves on customer service, but every time I go there, I get the exact opposite. I have started to go back to the mom and pop kind of places instead, although the price may be a few dollars more, the ability to discuss an issue and not be accused of trying to rip them off does not come up. CC and Mrs. CC just avoid them and you will avoid the idiocy altogether. (That is hard from an almost 100% reformed Walmart shopper to say).

  9. NeoConDon says:

    I like to shop at Walmart because I can save money AND carry a concealed loaded handgun in…sometimes they even have ammo in stock at prices far less than my local gun shop. Target is an unsafe zone…no self defense allowed, so I usually avoid it unless there is a sale on diapers. Then I take my chances.

  10. Jane says:

    I think Mrs. CC was justified to be upset. They greeter may have been doing his job, but it doesn’t sound like he was well trained at it. However I don’t have high expectations for greeters at any store.

    As for you, CC, I would have been upset over the DVD situation. And I would have demanded a new one or to speak to a manager.

  11. MikeE says:

    You have the right to be upset about the DVD not even sure what you could put in there along with the CD even if it were open. If you had purchased milk would she have taken off the cap and had a little sip to make sure nothing was put in the jug?

    As far as your wife is concerned – take it as a compliment (assuming the 1st greeter was also a male) they just stopped your wife because she is good looking. I don’t have that problem

  12. Ron says:

    OMG…I’m reading this post getting more and more aggitated with they way they handled your situations.

    SOOOOOOOO glad I don’t shop at Walmart.

  13. Extreme John says:

    I don’t think I would say that Wal-Mart has their priorities messed up if anything I would say that sadly they hired a moron that probably decided to generate their own little company policy. The bigger you are the harder controlling that is, crazy ass story I would have went bananas.

  14. Jen says:

    What the hell kind of Walmart are you running out there in Ohio? Man, our greeters are like, 85 years old and can barely stand there. They just teeter back and forth and say “Hello!” in the general direction of your movement!

  15. Kearsie says:

    I once was stopped because I was trying to leave the store with toilet paper on the bottom rack, which I had totally forgotten about.

    It couldn’t have been a really cool item, or something less telling. Nay nay, it had to be toilet paper.

  16. Jacki says:

    I recently had two incidents that has left me shaking my head. About 3 weeks ago I was there to buy 4 bed pillows…the $5 ones. That is all I had in my cart, and of course I had to show the person my receipt as I left to make sure I wasn’t stealing $20 worth of pillows.

    Just this past weekend we were there and bought a new TV for our kitchen. This time there was no one at the door to check my receipt, leaving me to wonder if they are more concerned about pillows than a $200 TV.

    Our daughter is 5 years old and she is still scared of the greeters at our Walmart who chase after her wanting to give her a sticker.

  17. I don’t think the greeters should be checking receipts. They should….er…..GREET! If they are that concerned about people stealing, then hire people to check all shopper’s receipts.

    As for the carrying of the two items, they are obviously not used to that. Bring you own bag or put them in a plastic bag next time and keep the receipt in the bag.

    Ad for the DVD, that employee was JUST PLAIN STUPID.

    Rant over.

  18. Its so annoying I don’t even want to get into whats happened to me at Wal-Mart, but what I will say is what I think it boils down to is Wal-Mart needing to hire more people who have the switch in their brain turned to the ON position opposed to OFF.

  19. MikeE says:

    I have come to the conclusion that, in general, people are stupid and unfortunately we live/work with a whole bunch of them.

    (The irony of that is in my job and my volunteering I deal with people 24/7)

  20. Tristan says:

    Don’t take that crap from them, CC. Opening the DVD was nothing short of insulting. That’s when the manager takes a hike to get you a new one or you go across town to make your purchase. Likewise for the pumpkins. The cashier can own up to the mistake or the greeter can restock everything in the cart for you so you can be on your way to another store. There’s no reason for that sort of ignorance and poor service.

  21. You must have a weird Wal Mart because the one I shop at doesnt even check receipts any more. I live in a small town and while Wal Mart isnt my first choice to shop at they serve me well. Had I been told to put pumpkins on the floor or had someone tried to peel off the packaging of a new DVD I just purchased I would have screamed for a manager and told them in no uncertain terms that a RUDE employee is off limits when my purchase if factory wrapped and on the reciept. Totally uncalled for behavior and your wife should bitch, bitch and bitch louder. Don’t let these ignorant security people forget just who is the customer.

  22. All I can say is… Wal-Mart is the epitome of EVIL! lol 🙂

  23. Sarah says:

    they open the dvd so you cannot return it unopened they should not have torn the casing but they are in the right to open the plastic seal and as for stopping you wife i dont know why they would do that and its the cashiers fault for being lazy and not scanning the pumkins

  24. Re-reading this post actually makes me laugh. I recently started watching South Park and if you saw the Walmart episode you’ll know why I laugh. Pretty funny and true.

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