If you follow me on Facebook you may have seen my Walmart drama last week. I had a customer service experience that was insanely bad.
I mean, we all know that Walmart customer service is bad. None of us shops at Walmart because we want good customer service. But the experience I had last week was worse than “Walmart bad”.
FYI: I know how retail works. I was a department manager in one of those big box type of mass retailers. I know how corporate cuts hours and management has to make it work. I know all about employees fighting for hours and customers being left out because of it. This isn’t about THAT. This is about a massive communication problem between Walmart.com, Walmart stores, and a very rude manager.
On February 9, 2014 I ordered the following set of Rubbermaid storage totes from Walmart.com, using site-to-store shipping:
On February 9, 2014 I received this email stating that my order was processed and ready to be picked up. Note how the email contains the address of the Walmart I sent the order to, this is important and will come up again later…
Here is another view, from my phone, saying that the item is ready for pick-up:
Do you see how ALL of the above photos state “SET OF 5”? and how the ad page has the bright starburst graphic that reads “5 Pack”?
On February 10, 2014 I packed the kids up and we drove the 11.2 miles (yes, I mapped it, LOL) from our home to this Walmart. Upon arrival I immediately walked to the site-to-store pick-up location in the back of the store and handed the employee the print-out of the email above. She scanned the barcode and disappeared into the stock room.
She came out 3 minutes later with ONE tote. And the kicker, it wasn’t even the right tote. I asked her where the other 4 were and she became confused. I explained that I had ordered a set of 5 and she disappeared into the stock room again.
She came out again to tell me they only had 1 for me. I again told her that I ordered a 5 pack, showed her that on the email, to which she replied “Huh. Yeah, it says set of 5.” I told her I would take any 5 totes, even ones that were a bit smaller or the wrong color. I just needed 5 around the same size. She disappeared back into the stock room.
Two minutes later a woman by the name of Tabitha (I originally called her Laurissa, not sure why, I was stressed out!), came out and introduced herself as the assistant manager. She told me that “set of 5” refers to the “colors on the tote, not the number of totes”.
I tried to argue that the ad says “5 pack” and the wording is “set of 5, color: green”. I tried to explain that the totes are all red & green, there are no other colors on them. I tried to explain that there is no way ONE tote would cost $33.
Tabitha then turned away and began to go back to the stock room. “I want a refund!” I managed to say before she left, so she turned around and hurriedly instructed the cashier to give me a refund. The cashier genuinely seemed sorry, I just wish she would have said it.
So I went home without my totes. Not a big deal, right? I suppose not, but I was miffed! I can understand if there was a problem and Walmart.com made a mistake. An “I’m sorry, there was a mistake, how can I resolve this for you” and even an “I’m sorry, there was a mistake, let me process a refund for you.” would have been acceptable.
I got none of that and felt dismissed and slightly embarrassed because the debacle was witnessed by several people. So I sent Walmart a series of communications, ending with an email sent via web form explaining the situation.
I could tell this was going nowhere so I went to Twitter.
So I sent an email to Walmart’s twitter support team explaining the whole thing over again and sharing all of the screen shots above.
On February 13, 2014, at 7:19pm EST I received a phone call from a local number. It was Tabitha, the assistant manager of the Walmart I had dealt with earlier.
She told me, again, that “set of 5” refers to the colors on the tote and that she couldn’t access the Walmart.com ad because of my last “complaint”, which leads me to believe she wrote the wonderfully well-thought-out email (not) above.
Other things that she had the gall to ask or say to me:
“The dot com ships to you, not the store.” (Yes, but I had it shipped to store)
“Are you sure you went to the XYZ store?” (Yes)
“Are you sure it was delivered to the XYZ store?” (Again, YES, because you had my order there, you just filled it incorrectly!)
“I don’t see the order in our system.” (WHAT?)
“We don’t sell the same things as Walmart.com” (I didn’t buy it from your store, I bought it from the dot com and had it shipped to your store!)
“What do you want me to do? I’m not responsible for the dot com!”
At this point I realized there was no going back. I thanked her for her time and said that I “am done with Walmart”. I also assured her that I would be telling all of you (about 30,000 of you a month!) what happened and that I will not be going back to Walmart, ever.
This is the third time I’ve used Walmart.com site-to-store AT THIS STORE and the third time I’ve been disappointed. The first experience was when it was new and the associates couldn’t find our order, but after arguing with them for 20 minutes they filled my order from the floor. The second time the same thing happened but they wouldn’t fill my order from the floor and honor the sale price of Walmart.com.
I won’t tell you not to shop at Walmart because I know that for a struggling family shopping there can mean the difference between eating and going hungry. I will tell you that I am done with Walmart.com, and probably won’t be returning to a Walmart in the near future.
On February 14 I received a “how did we do?” email from Walmart asking how my customer service experience was. I didn’t take a screen shot, but I wish I had. So far, no response.
Guess what folks, Walmart really doesn’t care about me, or you, or anyone else who shops in their store.