Monday, December 20, 2010

Adding Walmart to my Boycott List

For years I've shopped at Walmart for my groceries to save money. I'm usually shocked by the prices at other stores, charging usually twice as much as Walmart would charge. I've hated Walmart all along. Anytime I step foot in that store, regardless of the location, I have an extremely stressful experience! The other shoppers are rude and inconsiderate, the employees are rude and slow, stockers working in the middle of the day leave their carts in the center of the aisle making it impossible to move around through the store, they're often out of particular items that I need.. I probably could go on forever! I still continue to shop there however, to save money, which is far more important than my stress level!

Well, no more!

It started off as a typical Friday, I go to the gym, leave there about 10:30 and head over to Walmart to do my grocery shopping. Rarely do I ever leave Walmart later than 12pm, which gives me plenty of time to get home and even put away the groceries before my preschooler's bus comes home at 12:45.

Well, this time I guess I took a little too long at Walmart because I was attempting to finish my Christmas shopping. The store was packed, they were out of a lot of the items I was looking for, and it was just an all around bad experience, as usual.

I finish the shopping and get to the register and realize it's now 12:25 and my house is about a 20 minute drive from this store!! Well, I picked a short lane so hopefully I can get out quick and make it home in time...

Wrong! I managed to pick the slowest cashier in the store! But I had so much stuff ($300 worth) I didn't want to have to come back and reshop for it all.. and much of it was my groceries, so milk and meat.. it's not like I could just leave it there waiting for me to come back for it an hour or so later.

So I warned the cashier I was in a hurry.. she said "I'm going as fast as I can".. then I swear she purposely went slower, and kept stopping the conveyer so I couldn't finish loading my groceries, which of course made the transaction longer as she had to stop and hold the button to make the conveyer move and she could have spent those precious seconds scanning my items to get me out quicker!

I asked her to call over a customer service rep so I can ask him what to do since there's no way I'll have time to finish this purchase and get my son on time. The CSR comes over and I tell him this cashier is too slow and I'm going to be late.. he says "There's no reason to speak like that about her." Um.. but I'm the customer and I'm unhappy! "Well you don't need to complain right in front of her.. she's been here for years" blah blah blah. Then he tells me I should have a professional attitude! Excuse me! I'm the CUSTOMER why should I have to have a professional attitude??

Now, in hindsight I can see that I should have made different choices. I could have either kept my mouth shut and let the slow cashier ring me out at her own pace, which would have actually saved me about 5 minutes of arguing with the CSR. Or I could have suspended the transaction and left my $300 worth of groceries and Christmas gifts, and come back for it all after driving the 20 minutes home to get my son. So, yes, I will take some of the blame for this.. and I'm not exactly mad at the cashier though it was annoying that she had to purposely go slower after I asked her to speed things up a little.

No, what I'm mad at is that CSR. Since when don't customers have the right to complain about poor service? Considering I was obviously already stressed out, shouldn't the CSR have diffused the situation by just apologizing and doing what he could to help me out? Did he think he was going to accomplish anything by arguing with me and telling me that this cashier I disliked was a good asset to their company who'd been there for years?

I've worked in customer service before.. I've had about every type of customer service job you can imagine! One of the first things they tell you is not to argue with a customer, especially one that appears to already be having a bad day! They'll tell you never to take it personally if a customer has a bad attitude towards you, because you don't know the whole story.. sometimes a customer just wants to yell at someone and you happen to be the one who's standing there.

I've always known Walmart has had bad customer service.. but this experience just takes the cake!

In the end I'd missed my son's bus by about 5 minutes, and he was driven back to the school where I had to go pick him up.. the poor boy! The school informed me there had been an accident nearby, so they assumed I was stuck in that traffic.. I didn't correct them!

At least there was no real harm done.. except that Walmart will be losing out on my $1,000 (minimum) a month and I'll probably be spending a bit more each week by shopping elsewhere, but at least I know I'll get great customer service and hopefully a less stressful shopping experience!

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