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I was reminded why I don't shop Wal-Mart anymore

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I was reminded why I don't shop Wal-Mart anymore

Old 03-19-01, 02:50 PM
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Today, I went to my local Super Wal-Mart because I was unable to find 39 gallon trash bags at Target (where I do most of my shopping). So I found the bags and headed to the checkout lanes. This was at 8:30am so I figured the lines, if any, would be short.

After having to dodge several employees who were stocking product and needed the entire aisle to do so, there were only 2 checklanes open. Of course they were the 2 on the other side of this Super Wal-Mart but I figured what the hell. So I have to walk clear acroos the other side of the store to get checked out and then back to the other side to leave, I probably needed the excersise.

The 1st lane had 4 people in it and each had their baskets FULL of product. At least a good 1/2 hour wait there. So I went to the other lane which was a 20 items or less lane. At least that what the sign said. Apparently I am the only person shopping the Super Wal-Mart who can read and count.

I waited 35 minutes in line. I was only the 5th person in line. The cashier found it neccesary to leave her register to walk to another employee to talk about something. I'm sure it was important, right? So I said the hell with this, I'll find another register and check out there.

The electronics registers were closed. The hunting register was closed and un-manned. They wouldn't ring out my trash bags at the automotive register because I wasn't having any work done on my car.

Needless to say, I had to march my happy a*s back up to the "express" lane and wait another 20 minutes to get checked out. I left having never caused a rukus or a scene, only vowing that It will be a long time before I shop Wal-Mart again. I think it is fruitless to call a manager or their customer service # because I am sure that this situation is well within the expected peramiters of Wal-Mart policies.

P.S., the last time I was in a Wal-Mart? Last September, pulling out some xmas Layaways. It'll probably be longer than 6 months this time.
Old 03-19-01, 03:29 PM
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I waited in line at a Banana Republic for 30 minutes on Saturday to buy cologne. There were 4 people behind the counter with 4 registers. Only one register was open, and you guessed it, only one person was working the register. The other three were discussing their plans for that night. Luckily the woman standing in front of me was very good looking and had a great arse.

Old 03-19-01, 07:51 PM
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it's funny, i see that a lot these days, cashiers, stock people hanging around, not working, talking about the nights activities to be(parties, alcohol, etc.). hey, maybe i'm old fashioned but i see this as rude and unprofessional at best. seems like the american work ethic, at least at the retail level, has gone to hell without a paddle(or some such metaphor). perhaps the waning of the fat new economy will fill the positions of retail slackers with parents etc. who really need the cash and the job, workers who actually work and want to keep doing that.

TWO CENTS MODE OFF

-coco
Old 03-19-01, 08:47 PM
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I had a similar experience recently at k-mart. I usually avoid them since they never seem to have enough people working the registers and it just takes forever to get out of there. Maybe some people have nothing better to do than stand in line but I do. After waiting for 15 minutes with barely any movement I gave up, tossed my basket of items into a nearby re-stocking cart and walked out....over to the nearby Target. Got the same items for less and waited only a few short minutes in line.
Funny thing is, the only reason I stopped in at Kmart was to use a coupon they had. My understanding is coupons/sales are intended to get customers into the store so they will buy other items on that trip and maybe come back later. This one had exactly the opposite effect.
Old 03-19-01, 10:31 PM
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Thanks for letting me vent. I know that Wal-Mart isn't going to care that I won't shop their stores. But it is great to know that some retailers, such as Target, are at least trying to keep the customers happy. Not every experience at Target might be a great one, but you know that every experience at Wal-Mart will definatly be a bad one.

Maybe in a few years when K-mart goes under, Wal-Mart will start to pay attention to the customers and realize they have some serious problems.

I don't know about you guys, but there are now 3 Targets within a 15 mile radius of my house, and they are breaking ground on a 4th soon.
Old 03-19-01, 10:41 PM
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Originally posted by POWERBOMB
Thanks for letting me vent.
If you feel additional need to "vent" you should try sending an email or letter to the company. It doesn't always result in direct compensation from the company (sometimes it does) but it is a good way to get your frustrations out in a positive way. In some rare cases the compaies actually listen and will try to improve things.
You can usually find an email address on the company webpage or try Planetfeedback.com.
Old 03-20-01, 12:13 AM
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Originally posted by photo_guy
I had a similar experience recently at k-mart. I usually avoid them since they never seem to have enough people working the registers and it just takes forever to get out of there. Maybe some people have nothing better to do than stand in line but I do. After waiting for 15 minutes with barely any movement I gave up, tossed my basket of items into a nearby re-stocking cart and walked out....over to the nearby Target. Got the same items for less and waited only a few short minutes in line
In the beginning, Wal-Mart was a class act for that "level" of store. They were clean, orderly and helpful. Then Sam Walton died and the place went totally to pot. Go in a dressing room and it's like land mines trying to get around the hanger, pins, etc. on the floor. Target is certainly the class in the field at the moment.
Old 03-20-01, 01:07 AM
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While I don't think Wal-Mart runs as well as it did when Sam was still alive, I have to say that my Wal-Mart experiences are usually quite pleasant. There are usually plenty of lanes open, and during busy times, they often have other workers directing traffic toward certian lanes in an effort to shorten the wait time all around. The place isn't perfect, but it's actually as good as anywhere I shop (and better than many).

I don't think problems with customer service (in general) are a recent event, though. I can remember going to stores when I was in high school (which has been about 12 years ago) and seeing workers sitting around and the store having only one of five registers open (or whatever) and things of that nature. In fact, I would say that I get better customer service overall than I did ten years ago. There are still some bad experiences here and there, of course, but not as much as I used to see.
Old 03-20-01, 01:10 AM
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Originally posted by photo_guy
...If you feel additional need to "vent" you should try sending an email or letter to the company. It doesn't always result in direct compensation from the company (sometimes it does) but it is a good way to get your frustrations out in a positive way. In some rare cases the compaies actually listen and will try to improve things.
You can usually find an email address on the company webpage or try Planetfeedback.com. [/B]
A couple of times a year I write a letter to a company or store telling them that they suck (I swear, some people just don't know it!) or about a bad experience I had. I would recommend writing to the store manager and cc'ing the corporate office. Be sure to use names if you have them, if not use desriptions of employees who were slacking. Don't make threats, don't make personal attacks, don't ask for anything, just state the facts, tell them that you were disappointed. Don't state that you will never return to the store (unless you are writing a hate letter).

Now, and this is important, when you write a nasty letter to a store write another nice letter to a different store within a week or so telling them that you received good service and you just wanted to thank them (again, use names).

And no, I never hear back from the stores.
Old 03-20-01, 01:19 AM
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Originally posted by Heat 1


Now, and this is important, when you write a nasty letter to a store write another nice letter to a different store within a week or so telling them that you received good service and you just wanted to thank them (again, use names).

I agree. Same guidline should be followed for postings as well. Most people can complain very well but often don't praise to balance it out. I try, but must admit I often say I will more than I actually follow through.
Old 03-20-01, 10:24 AM
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I guess that is why I don't write letters to anyone. I can't find the time to give praise so I don't find the time to criticize either. I like to think that by not spending my $$ there I am having more of a direct effect on thier business. Or maybe by spending my $$ elsewhere I am also affecting their business.

I just don't think that they will care. As long as they are making a profit, it must not be that bad. But they will learn, when they start that road that all K-marts are going through right now. Once you have as bad a reputation as K-mart does, nothing can fix it. K-mart will be closed or sold within 5 years or less.
Old 03-20-01, 11:01 AM
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Originally posted by POWERBOMB
I like to think that by not spending my $$ there I am having more of a direct effect on thier business. Or maybe by spending my $$ elsewhere I am also affecting their business.
Not spending your $$ there may have an effect but it is better to also tell them why you are not spending your $$ there. Don't expect them to figure it out for themselves based on your actions. They just can't see it.
If they notice sales going down they will take actions that they think have worked in the past and may not hit on the real problem. But, if they see sales going down and they have a fist full of letters and complaints about something they may, just maybe, put the two together.
I 'vote with my $$' all the time. I think just not spending your $$ there without letting them know why is a 'dimpled chad' vote. You placed it but it may not have registered where it counts.
Old 03-20-01, 01:54 PM
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You forgot to say that Wal-Mart's DVD selection is pathetic at least the ones in Fairfield & Vacaville,CA(where I live!)Are they this pathetic nationwide?Even Circuit City & Best Buy have a far bigger/better selection of everything in their electronics dept than Wal-Mart and Target too!Better prices too!!
Old 03-21-01, 04:23 PM
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I have never bought a DVD at Wal-mart before. I can't really recall even looking at them there. But it does seem that their selection is rather small compared to other B&M's.

I just don't know that anything, even letters or calls from angry comsumers, will change their business practices. It seems they are totally behind a grab and go stance, with little emphasis on customer interaction.

I used to hear the stories of Sam Walton visiting as many of the Wal-Marts as he could. I don't even know who runs Wal-Mart now. I think it is his kids, but i'm not sure. I bet they don't shop Wal-mart.
Old 03-21-01, 05:57 PM
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While there is still a Walton in the Chairman's seat at Wal-Mart (and on the Board), the day-to-day operations of the store are run by Non-Waltons now. David Glass (who also owns the Kansas City Royals. There are quite a few sports team owners who got their money through Wal-Mart in one way or another) is chairman of the Executive Committee and H. Lee Scott is the CEO.
Old 03-21-01, 06:04 PM
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I absolutely hate Walmart, along with K-mart and Target. But, by far, Walmart is the worst. I don't shop there, unless I absolutely have to.

What I have noticed when I was there shopping for something last Christmas:

The DVD section rocked. Their prices were very cheap on some things too. Scream boxed set for $54, many new releases going for $16.99 A lot of DVD titles, but usually only 1 copy of a title that wasn't a new release.

What I do if I'm at one of these stores and don't feel like waiting 45 minutes in line behind 3 hobo's, 18 screaming kids, and 7 people who need to take a shower:

Go to Sporting Goods. Walk over there, put your item on the counter, it's done with. Walk out. If no one's there, wait or ring the bell, etc.. By the time someone comes to help you, you'll still have saved a lot of time.
Old 03-21-01, 09:43 PM
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I would be weary of ringing a bell near the hunting register...
Old 03-23-01, 10:11 AM
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Originally posted by POWERBOMB


The electronics registers were closed. The hunting register was closed and un-manned. They wouldn't ring out my trash bags at the automotive register because I wasn't having any work done on my car.

Needless to say, I had to march my happy a*s back up to the "express" lane and wait another 20 minutes to get checked out. I left having never caused a rukus or a scene, only vowing that It will be a long time before I shop Wal-Mart again. I think it is fruitless to call a manager or their customer service # because I am sure that this situation is well within the expected peramiters of Wal-Mart policies.
Since I'm in Wal-Mart country (as I write this I am about half a mile from their headquarters), I'm always interested in these type of threads.

First off, the automotive counter person is supposed to check you out whether you are having your car worked on or not. That's just plain silly that they wouldn't help you. I could almost understand if they were really busy, but there is no excuse for this.

Anytime you have a problem as Wal-Mart, you have to get management involved, or you will get no results. Ask to speak to the store manager, and if he doesn't take care of you, ask for the name and number of his District Manager. If that doesn't get him in line, nothing will.

I have had much experience with Wal-Mart management, and I can tell you for a fact that they rule based on fear. You can't get any of them to do anything unless they are fearful of their upper management coming down on them.

The Wal-Marts in my area (5 supercenters and 2 Neighborhood Markets) are great simply because they are so close to the headquarters. I have been to Wal-Marts in other areas tho, so I feel your pain.

At least you have a Target!
Old 03-23-01, 04:53 PM
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I have had a bumper sticker on my truck for the last 4 years, and it says "Walmart Sucks". I was mailed this by a company here in Rochester NY, back when Walmart decided to dump Kodak in favor of Fuji. Being Rochester is the home of Kodak, hence the sticker. But in reality, they really do suck, gawd awful customer service.


Sam
Old 03-23-01, 11:31 PM
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Originally posted by POWERBOMB
I guess that is why I don't write letters to anyone. I can't find the time to give praise so I don't find the time to criticize either. I like to think that by not spending my $$ there I am having more of a direct effect on thier business. Or maybe by spending my $$ elsewhere I am also affecting their business.

I just don't think that they will care. As long as they are making a profit, it must not be that bad. But they will learn, when they start that road that all K-marts are going through right now. Once you have as bad a reputation as K-mart does, nothing can fix it. K-mart will be closed or sold within 5 years or less.

I really, really hate that all of you seem to be so down on Wal-Mart, but I don't guess all of these complaints could be addressed by lil ole me. I worked at Wal-Mart in high school, and up until a few years ago, so I know how things work. Just so you know, Wal-Mart does take customers' letters very seriously. The letters are posted in the back(whether they are personal attacks or not), and the guilty person(or group) is either coached or written up(three write-ups equal termination). Special meetings have been called for the groups causing problems, including cashiers and floor associates.

As for the complaints about the long, few and far between lines, the management cannot help that. Anytime you have a large company working with myriad employees, it is hard to govern each part closely and appropriately. I have been called up to the front to check people before when there have been a shortage of lines. This help shortage is due to the call-ins of irresponsible employees. You may say, "get rid of them, then," but this is hard to do, as well. It takes anywhere from a week to a month to train new employees, and there seem to be more irresponsible employees than faithful ones. AND... the faithful ones have a tendency to look elsewhere for work due to rude and non-understanding customers. Please try to understand the person on the other side of the counter when you're in these situations. Many of them are trying to make a living just as hard as you are, and things can get very hard when you're working with the public so closely.
Old 03-24-01, 12:07 AM
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Originally posted by Penny Lane
. Please try to understand the person on the other side of the counter when you're in these situations. Many of them are trying to make a living just as hard as you are, and things can get very hard when you're working with the public so closely. [/B]
I spent 6 years doing low-end retail jobs to pay for school, though I finally switched to waitressing a few months ago because I couldn't take retail anymore. I know full well how terrible it is to work at places like Walmart, but that is no excuse for the conduct at the Walmarts in my area. I absolutely do not buy anything there. I usually get suckered into trying it out about once a month, and I always get so angry there that I walk out and go to KMart or a similar place. Long lines are one thing, but the people behind the register are obviously very poorly trained. They go slow, they don't care, they think nothing of stopping in the middle of ringing out a customer to walk over and do something for another cashier. And it's impossible to get help from anybody. The associates just do not care.

Stores can't expect great help with almost-minimum-wage workers, but the Walmarts in upstate NY that I have been to all go far below a reasonable standard. I was always very polite to customers at my job, no matter how degrading it felt. It was mainly to protect my job, but I also like to make a good impression on people. For Walmart to ultimately succeed, I think they need to rethink their customer service training. I know a good number of people who have given up on them.
Old 03-24-01, 02:02 AM
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Virginally posted by Jabx
[QUOTE
Since I'm in Wal-Mart country (as I write this I am about half a mile from their headquarters
I think I see Why you get the service and responce that you mentioned in your post. I too have worked in retail and know first hand that people who complain or send letters are generally thought off as a second class customer. Most managers blow it off as people who have nothing better to do in their life than to complain about something.

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