Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Anti-List

I have always been a huge advocate for Walmart, shopping at supercenters almost exclusively for my family's grocery needs. When others were bashing WM, I was defending them with full conviction. Well, not anymore.

Now let me just add a little disclaimer from those of you with "I-Heart-WM" on your night shirts. That was me; I've been there. But there comes a point in a shopper's life when one must say, "Enough is enough."

You've seen the ads on TV; you've heard the new logo. Save money. Live better. I say, "HA!" I am more stressed out this evening that I have been in a long, long time. And I've been home for over 3 hours from my most recent WM experience.

To start, let me provide you some background information on "The Anti List." Well over a decade ago, my college roommates and I would add things to an invisible list we commonly referred to as "The Anti List." It was designated for bum deals, gadgets gone wrong, awful movies, and so forth (sometimes even people). It was really an inside joke that we would laugh about whenever we added something to it, but to this day, once in a blue moon, I'll mentally add something to that list, smile, and wonder if Jenna or Shannan do the same.

Well, all joking aside, my recent experiences at WM have just be awful. I'm tired of fighting the "we don't take Internet coupons" when the corporate policy (click here to view) explicitly says they do, plus all the other nonsense that I have experienced lately.

I've stood my ground, and I've won before, until now. Tonight, I heard the same shpeal from the cashier, "we don't take Internet coupons." I calmly explained that the corporate policy is that they do, and tried to present a copy that I had just printed a few days ago. The cashier insisted that it was the local store's policy. Hmmm, if that were the case, shouldn't there be a disclaimer on the corporate website saying the policy is subject to variation at the local store? And shouldn't there be signs posted, like at the register, stating that they are no longer accepting Internet coupons effective "such & such" date?

I asked to speak to the store manager on duty. The cashier went to get someone, and came back with a CSM, not a store manager. The CSM said that she didn't know whether or not they accepted Internet coupons. The cashier then said that some people were being written up for accepting the Internet coupons. So the CSM paged someone on her walkie-talkie, asked if they take Internet coupons, and the person responded a firm NO two times in a row. I have no idea if the person on the other end of the walkie-talkie was the store manager, another CSM, the idea who.

But I was not a happy camper. And my budget for the groceries was based on the savings I would receive due to the Internet coupons. Nor could I afford the added expense of not using them. As I began to explain that my transactions would have to be reversed for the products that I had an Internet coupon for, I looked up and saw that another cashier was standing in front of me. The CSM and first cashier had disappeared. No explanation, no "have a nice day ma'am," no nothing! The second cashier asked me to explain what was going on because she didn't know where my groceries were in the transaction process. Some were already bagged in my cart, some were bagged at the register, some were still on the belt on their way to the register. I'm thinking, "okaaayyy, what just happened here?"

So I handed the second cashier all the products that I had an Internet coupon for and would not be buying, which she put into another cart and then took to Customer Service. Now it wasn't just a few items that were returned. I had a full cart when I went to the register. More than half of what was in my cart was taken to Customer Service. I had just a few coupons I received in the mail that I was able to use.

After paying for my now-meager purchases, I headed to Customer Service. At my last visit to WM on 5/15/09, the cashier had rung up an item one too many times, and I wanted to get my money back for the overcharge. I stood in line, waited patiently, and then the same CSM who told me that she didn't know whether or not they take Internet coupons waved me to the counter and said, "Can I help you?" I showed her my receipt from 5/15/09, explained that I had been overcharged, and ended up having to explain it to her a total of three times because shse didn't understand what I was telling her. And once she finally got it, she told me, "I'm going to the Garden Center. She'll have to help you over there," and motioned to the cashier next to her. And then she walked away leaving me with my mouth gaping open. What??!!

Shopping at Walmart, for me, has just gotten worse and worse with each visit. And I'm not exaggerating. I've been shopping more and more at other stores for my grocery needs, like CVS and Walgreens, because I can get a better deal using ECB's and Register Rewards. Today was a major errand-running day for me. I took my daughter with me and we hit Walgreens, Big Kmart, CVS, Super Target, IGA, Save-a-Lot, and Piggly Wiggly. The stores are all within a 2-mile radius, so I didn't feel like I was driving all over town. There were some deals that I knew Walmart would not be able to match, like the 10-lb bag of chicken leg quarters for $0.48/lb I got at IGA. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at each and every store! I would have gone to Food Lion as well, and had planned to do so after going to Walmart this evening, but it didn't happen since I spent 3 hours battling it out at Walmart.

The grocery stores in my area are very overpriced--even the loss leaders on the front page of the sales ads are usually more expensive than at Walmart. It makes me long for H-E-B and Meijer from when I lived in Texas and Michigan! But there are just some things that aren't worth tolerating, and I've been feeling abused, chewed up & tossed out, after each trip to Walmart for many months now.

I am willing to hop from store-to-store one or two Saturdays each month when I do my major grocery shopping knowing that I will receive better service, better deals (if I wait for the really good ones and stockpile), have a good time doing it, and they'll take my Internet coupons! (Except Kmart, still can't convince them to take the I-coupons.) And at the same time, since I usually take my daughter with me on my grocery shopping trips, I know that I'll be teaching her and setting a good example on being thrifty with my finances while having fun doing it. Goodness knows I don't want to see me "seeing red" after each and every visit to Walmart!! That's definitely not the example that I want to set.

So when I get a bit more calmed down (I'm not seeing red, but still feeling frazzled), I am going to call 1-800-WALMART (1-800-925-6278), Walmart's customer service, to explain my dilemma and see just how concerned they are at losing a customer.

Deal Seeking Mom recently posted information regarding Walmart's corporate policy regarding coupons--you can view her post here. In reading the comments, itt was very relieving to me that I am not the only one who has been frustrated with WM, and that my store is not the only one causing stress to its customers.

And day Walmart can be removed from The Anti List.


  1. I don't care how much money can be saved at Walmart. I get irritated with the service every time I walk into one. I will walk 20 miles to work every day to save money rather than step foot into a Walmart.

  2. I made a trip to Walmart for the first time in a long time a couple of weeks ago because there is one near my work. They were only going to let me use ONE manufacturer's coupon in my transaction which is wrong, wrong, wrong. I asked to see the manager. Some woman came over (I don't know if she was the manager or not) and said the cashier was right. I smiled, said I was happy to take my business elsewhere since I rarely shop at Walmart anyway, and walked out of the store, leaving all of my items there for them to put back. Some stores don't seem to realize that they get reimbursed for the face value of the coupon plus an additional fee when we use coupons and act like we are stealing from them personally!

  3. I hope you told them that you are a blogger and have blogged about your problems and people listen and it guides what they also do in the future.


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