Thursday, September 2, 2010

Walmart Chronicles part 2

I'm a coupon-clipper. In fact, recently, I have become one of those mega coupon-clippers. Yesterday, I bought toothpaste and two 8-packs of Aquapods for 25-cents each. (I don't normally buy Aquapods, but we often drink what we bring with us when we play at the park. It helps to have something I can keep in the van all the time. And for 25-cents for 8 bottles of water, I wasn't about to walk on by! Did you get that, 3-cents per bottle!) If the stores near me offered double-coupons, I'd be getting paid to grocery shop!

But that was all just to tell you how much I love my coupons and how much I use them. One day I was at Walmart buying paper towels with a coupon. The cashier scanned the coupon and nothing happened. She scanned it again and again and again. It just wouldn't scan. I guess, if it won't scan, it's not accepted. I personally think that's laziness and poor service. The manufacturer will still reimburse for it as long as it is completely in tact, and it was. But this particular cashier wouldn't do anything. She looked at me like I was supposed to come up with a solution, so I told her if she wouldn't take my coupon, I didn't want the paper towels. And I want my coupon back! I did tell her that she could enter the code on the coupon and it would still work, but she said she could only scan coupons. So, intending to write a letter, I asked for her name because her name tag was turned around backwards. She told me her name and that she was a customer service manager and not politely, I might add. Did I tell her she could use some additional customer service training? Yep, sure did. Did I ever write that letter? Not this time.

But I remembered who she was. Not that it mattered much, but I avoided her lane. I don't think it was personal; I had never even met her until that day. I just think she was lazy and not wanting to do anything out of her way.

One day I was buying canned cat food. My old man cat who passed away earlier this year at the nice age of 18-1/2 had to be hand fed for quite some time, so I bought his favorite: Nine Lives Super Super, in a combo pack that was shrink-wrapped. When I got it home, I went to open the shrink-wrap and one of the cans exploded. Yuck. It was still all contained in the shrink-wrap, so I just put it back in the bag, tied it shut, and hung it on the front door knob for next time I went to Walmart. Yes, I was going to take it back. I honestly can't tell you how long it was there. Not days, maybe a couple weeks... I couldn't smell it, but the bag seemed to inflate a bit. I was not about to open that bag, but it was still going back to the store.

Finally the day came that I was taking it back whether I had another reason to go or not. Child A and I hopped in the van and went to Walmart. I said I couldn't smell it in the house, right? Well, I had to open all the windows in the van and we still gagged all the way there. Fortunately, Walmart is only a few miles away.

When we walked into Walmart, I expected people to clear the way to avoid the contents of the bag. I wouldn't have been surprised if they had called the haz-mat suits. But no one seemed to notice. We were about the 27th person in the customer service line when someone told us that we could go over to Register #1 to be helped. Sounded great to me, until I got halfway there and saw who was opening up that lane. It was her. The same customer service manager (CSM) that refused my coupon. I looked back at the service line to take my place back and saw that my spot was gone and there were now about 40 people in line. Great. Oh well, here goes. This is the conversation that ensued:

Me: "In this bag is a 4-pack of cat food that exploded. I'd like to return it. Here is my receipt. I wouldn't open the bag, if I were you."
CSM: "Why would you like to return it?"
Me: "Uh, because it exploded when I tried to take it out of the shrink-wrap. I'm not going to feed it to my cat."
She's opening the bag.
Me: "I really don't think you want to open the bag."
She just looked at me and opened the bag.
I actually backed up two steps and pulled Child A back with me. I thought the CSM was going to lose her lunch! And the look on her face!!!
Then she says, "What am I supposed to do with this?"
What, I have to tell her how to do her job?
I just looked at her. So she repeated herself.
Me: "Give me a refund?"
CSM (gagging): "Well, how am I supposed to scan it?"
Me: "I don't know. What do you think?"
CSM: "Well, I need to scan it."
She's really stuck on this scanning thing, isn't she? Why does the customer have to come up with suggestions for the customer service manager?
I let her stew about it for a minute or so, during which time she gagged a few more times. {giggle}
Finally, I offered to go get another off the shelf and we'd just exchange it - she could scan the good one for both transactions. And she was OK with that.

But I sure enjoyed watching her gag a few times after I had warned her.

But, really, she couldn't have come up with the idea to go get one off the shelf?

Disclaimer: I really do love Walmart. I know not everyone does, but I do. I get some great deals at Walmart, save a lot of money, and can find so many useful things there. My only problem at my local Walmart has been with customer service managers who really should receive some additional training if they are going to carry a title with "customer service" anything in it.


  1. Wowwww, isn't it crazy what "customer service" means these days (or doesn't mean)?? So discouraging. In her defense, she probably did have to open the bag so she could see the product. You weren't lying, of course, but she would have to look at it. But she can't say you didn't give her fair warning!!! :-) Coupons can be entered manually, lady!!!! If you don't know how to do it, FIND SOMEONE WHO DOES!

    I have had good dealings with CS people in person @ our local WM, but I have had spoken to a very apathetic WM CS person via phone before. I'm sorry... I don't expect people to be as enthusiastic as Flo the Progressive lady, LOL, but I don't expect them to be all shoulder-shruggy and "I dunno" when I ask questions - or worse, acting like I'm wasting their time!

    I had something happen @ a local shoe store a few months ago wherein I wrote this really long, detailed complaint letter, asked C to read it and give his opinion about it (he was the one who said I should write one); he gave me wording suggestions and I made revisions. He even gave me suggestions on who to direct the letter toward. When I asked for his final input before mailing it, he told me, "Well, what do you want to accomplish with this? Do you want her to get fired?" Well, of course I didn't really, but when I questioned what he thought I was doing with my time drafting, correcting, and letting him read it, he just said, "Well, I thought it might make you feel better to get it out in writing." WHAT??? Well, it DIDN'T!!! I never sent it, but I'm still boycotting the place.

  2. Oh my goodness, that is hilarious! I have run into a few cashiers that aren't coupon friendly but none that just flat out wouldn't take it because it wouldn't scan. That's ridiculous! I'm glad you got to get a little revenge with the stinky cat!

  3. hilarious. i hate it when i have to tell the cashiers how to do their jobs..ggrrr.

    i would NOT have been brave enough to return the cat food. i do love coupons!!

    have a great weekend :)

  4. I have worked at Walmart a couple different times and it's no big deal to just punch the UPC code off the receipt into the register and it brings up the product right away. That way, you don't even have to touch the product. What did we do before scanners?