Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Dear Wal-mart, We are so over. Love, me.

It has been about a year since I last shopped at Wal-mart. A year since I became so fed up with their desperately lacking customer service that I walked out their doors never to return. Until yesterday.

I should have known I was in trouble after my experience in the parking lot. Nearly every parking place I attempted to pull into was surrounded by a flock of abandoned carts. The person or persons in charge of making sure renegade carts didn't take over their lot apparently called in sick yesterday. And judging by the level of cleanliness in the store I bet I could guess where he got sick.

But, I was looking for cheap fabric and tacky candles so I persevered through the parking lot obstacle course. And once inside I thought to myself, "Look at these great deals! Why don't I shop here anymore?" Never fear, though, the employees of Wal-mart would soon remind me why.

The fabric was a strike-out because apparently my Wal-mart has stopped carrying fabric. To make up for that disappointment, I found some school supplies I had left off my list for Kai's new class. And with two preschoolers and a newborn I walked all the way across the store and up to the cashier. And here's where it gets good.

I managed to pick up a pencil box that (GASP!) didn't have a bar code on it. Silly me didn't think to double check. Upon failing to ring it up the cashier rudely barked out, "It don't have a price." Ummm...okay.

Me: "Is there a way to look it up? I think it was a little less then $2."

Cashier: "It has to have a bar code." And then dead silence and blank stares ensued.


Me: "So what should I do?"


Honestly, I was beginning to think the self-checkout stands had better problem solving skills than this lady.

Me: "So, seriously, should I go get one or what?"

At this point, there was a long line forming behind me and I wasn't sure what she wanted me to do. Though I suspect she wanted me to tell her to forget about it and just not buy the item in question. But, I wasn't leaving that store without my (not totally necessary) $1.96 pencil box. Not a chance.

After she gave me yet another blank stare I took my cart, my preschoolers, and my newly screaming baby all the way across this mammoth store to grab another pencil box of a completely different color to have her ring it up. I swear I prayed all the way back that the keypad question would be "Was your cashier friendly today?" so I could pound NOOOOO into it. (God answered that prayer. Thank you very much.)

And guess what? She was totally thrown off and rudely barked out, "Well, which one of them do you want? The first one you got or the second one?"

I couldn't even look at her at this point. The line behind me was building up and she was clearly not capable of basic reasoning skills. I told her which I wanted (the one I initially picked out of course!) and paid for my items. At which point she gave me one of my bags and kept the other in the bag carousel closest to her and totally out of my reach. After an unsuccessful attempt to reach the bag (and, you guessed it, yet another blank stare) I actually had to ask her to please hand me the bag.

I have never been happier to leave a store in my life. And (this time I really, really mean this) I will never return. Ever.

So, Wal-mart, thanks for helping me realize that I'm actually willing to pay a higher price to shop at a store where walking through the doors doesn't fill me with dread and loathing. I'm sure Target appreciates you guaranteeing that I'm a customer of theirs for life.

Last night after I finished writing this post and scheduled it to publish I discovered two recent stories of Wal-mart dissatisfaction in my Google Reader. Check out what ohmommy & Jo-Lynne have to say about their Wal-mart disasters.


mama hall said...

Walmart is a nightmare. Not worth the 1-2cents saved per item. I just wish my Target would get the forward facing 2-kid seat shopping buggies that our Walmart has. And sell postage. THEN Target would be perfect.

Carey said...

A SO VERY wholeheartedly agree with you. I could write a full-length novel about my many bad experiences at Wal-mart. My favorite: the time my 38 year-old brother-in-law tried to buy beer there. He had just moved here from England, and did not yet have a Florida driver's license. After handing over his UK license, he was told, "Oh. We can't accept them foreign IDs", and REFUSED to sell it to him. HA!

I'll never shop there again. The extra couple of bucks I might spend at Publix are worth the extra years of my life that I'll gain from maintaining a nice healthy blood pressure.

Debra said...

They would have had to call law enforcement in if I'd endured what you did.

Is the pencil box at least cute?


Nanny Deprived said...

Amen! I am happy, so happy, to pay more money than walk in a Wal-Mart. I can't stand them. I also hate hate hate those damn bag carousels.

Rae said...

AMEN! We have been over Wal-mart for like, a year. Every once in a blue moon, Chad tries to tempt me with "but it might be cheeeeeaperrrr" and I'm like, seriously? You want Hepatitis B in exchange for saving a few cents??

Everyone says Publix is more expensive, but not if you shop sales! And I'm willing to add a few extra dollars to my grocery bill to get a sweet old man chat me out to my car and unload my groceries!!