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19 January 2011 @ 03:13 pm
A Formal Letter to a Big Chain Superstore  
Dear Wal-Mart,

Being the big, poncy corporation that you are, I'm sure you aren't aware that one of your customers finds herself severely displeased on this cloudy Wednesday in January. Let me enlighten you as to just why that is.

Last Wednesday, a mere seven days ago, Wal-Mart, I was in your establishment to purchase various and sundry items. I was in need of a new iron, and so when in your small appliances section, I decided to buy one.

Looking back on it now, I see that this was my first mistake.

Some might say that my first mistake was walking in your door in the first place, but I've come to your defense on many an occasion, Wal-Mart. You have low prices. Really low. I'll give you that.

You have low other stuff, too.

But I digress.

I went through the self checkout line, a misnomer, you'll note, because I've rarely been able to check myself out without help from whatever blue-vested employee happens to have the position of monitoring those lanes. The "self checkout" lanes apparently are unable to take Wal-Mart gift cards.

This is definitely something you should look into, Wal-Mart, but not the most important issue I have to address today.

Meanwhile, I bought the aforementioned iron, went home, and set the box in my laundry room, next to my old iron. Two days later, when I decided that the pile of clothes needing to be rid of wrinkles was high enough, I opened the box, only to find that it didn't hold the $30 iron that I thought I'd purchased, but an altogether different iron, a low end brand, with nowhere near as many qualities as the one I wanted.

Oh. And the cheap, intruder iron was also damaged. Just so you know.

I was angry, Wal-Mart. But just then, I wasn't necessarily angry with you. I was angry at whatever jackwagon criminal switched the iron in the box and left the store with it. We went out of town the next day, and we didn't return until Monday. I was busy yesterday, what with having a life and all, so my return of the iron had to wait until this morning.

Fresh faced and hopeful, I made it past the geriatric employee at the door, to what you call your 'Customer Service' center. Maybe you should think about getting a new name for this section of the store, Wal-Mart. Because my experiences with your 'customer service' haven't ever served me as a customer.

I walk up to the clerk behind the counter and explain what has happened. I show her my receipt. She calls over a 'manager' because she has a question about my transaction.

Tell me this, Wal-Mart: Why have the first employee at all? Why not have the 'manager' fill that role? I've yet to have the first low-level flunky ever help me adequately, without the 'manager's' supervision. You could cut out the middle man, here. Just a suggestion.

They ask me when the transaction happened. I point to the receipt. Then they tell me they can't do anything with the interloper iron, that I have to go get a new one off the shelf. I tell the flunky and the 'manager' that I no longer want this iron, that I only want my money back. The 'manager' insists she needs another iron from the shelves.

I look around in expectation. Surely she is going to get this iron? The iron that I no longer want? No, Wal-Mart, this is not the case. She expects ME to go get it.

This was your first strike, Wal-mart. Strike. One.

At this point, I'm only irritated, you see. Not angry. So I go and get the iron, and bring it back up to the 'customer service' desk. The flunky starts the transaction, and I calmly explain, "I no longer want this iron. I only want my money back." The flunky cannot do this on her own. She flutters about for a moment, and then walked over to the entrance to 'customer service and said, "It's this lady again."

Strike. TWO.


I repeated that I wanted my money back. That particular sentence was as if I was speaking Farsi to these women. I heard the phrases, "We can't do that," and "The computer won't let us do that." No, Wal-Mart. NO. What I want to hear as a customer is, "Here's how we're going to make this right for you."

Because Wal-Mart, I was the victim in this scenario. I'm not the bad guy.

I heard "We can't do that" one too many times, and then I ask to speak to a manager. Both of your employees are horrified that I'd ask for this. The 'manager' in this case holds up her nametag. Which reads, "Maria."

I'm going out on a limb, here, but when I ask for a manager, I'm going to hope that his nametag will have a last name on it, too. I explain politely, "No, the store manager."

Maria assures me that he isn't in. I look up on the plaque behind these women, Wal-Mart, and I see that there are names and phone numbers for the managers of the store. I point and say, "I'd like to speak to one of them.

This, apparently, was enough to kick Maria into gear, because she said, "We're doing it. We're doing what you want. It's just that most people bring in something like this right away."

I'm sorry, Wal-Mart. I do not feel that I have to justify either my ironing schedule or my life to you in any way. THIS WAS NOT MY FAULT. It's some other pain in the ass that is USING MY IRON, HAPPILY OBLIVIOUS TO THE RUCKUS THAT HE HAS CAUSED. HE is at fault. NOT. ME.

Maria the Manager then asked, "Did you check the box when you bought it?"

Strike THREE, Wal-Mart. You and your little maniacal smiley face are OUT.

No, Wal-Mart. I was unaware that I needed to check inside the box that I was buying to see if some unnamed criminal element had switched the products. I didn't know that was MY job. I thought perhaps that was YOUR job, that YOU had stock employees and security cameras and whatnot, in order to prevent this sort of thing from happening.

In short, due to the three strike rule, I will no longer be shopping in any of your establishments. I can't spend my money in a place where the customer service department treats everyone like a criminal.


In closing, Wal-Mart, it's going to be a very cold day in hell before I darken your door, again. I'm done. Finished. I hope for your sake that you don't anger others of your customers in the same way. Because if you keep doing that, WAL-MART, YOU'RE GOING TO RUN OUT OF PEOPLE TO PATRONIZE YOUR STORE. For my part, I'll be going to Target or to the hometown grocers, or ordering things off the internet, just so I don't have to deal with you anymore.

You no longer have my business.



Carrie Leigh
Amarillo, TX
matties_mom on January 19th, 2011 09:34 pm (UTC)
I've never had a problem with Wal-Mart customer service, although I can easily see this happening. It is the reason I refuse to shop at Best Buy unless ABSOLUTELY necessary.
tracyj23: Cartoon - cat - bad daytracyj23 on January 19th, 2011 10:56 pm (UTC)
Are you going to send it to them? You should. I refuse to darken a Wal-Mart's door myself for the same reasons. The "discounts" aren't worth the crappy service.
slitherhitherslitherhither on January 19th, 2011 10:57 pm (UTC)
I love Target, FYI. You'll be so happy shopping there!

And I totally support and share your contempt boycott of Walmart.
Katemugglechump on January 20th, 2011 12:21 am (UTC)
I recently had to return a gallon of milk that hadn't been sealed properly and leaked all over my car, parking lot, and floor. They could not give me a refund for the clearly unopened (but for the warped seal), clearly fresh (it was well before it's expiration date), STORE BRAND milk jug because I'd lost my receipt. Obviously $3 is way too much money to hand out willy nilly. Who knows what other stores are now carrying Great Value brand milk? They did, however, allow me to do an even exchange, which was all fine and dandy except I had to wait in the customer service line twice, and then hold it up while I made them ring up my other purchases because I'll be damned if I'm going to go wait in a third line where they'd try to charge me for my milk again.

Unfortunately, they save me a lot of money on groceries so I will continue to shop there. One day I will be more affluent, and I'll be able to afford Wegman's all the time. (Wegman's prices are actually really good, but it's 15 minutes away vs. 5.)
Jessica K Malfoyjessicakmalfoy on January 20th, 2011 01:33 am (UTC)
that is INSANE! walmart is usually so good about just giving you your money back, no matter what. you probably would have been better off taking it without the receipt! bastards. i like your location, btw.
Brendan: Buffy - Giles - Crowning Moment of Awesobrendanm720 on January 20th, 2011 01:54 am (UTC)

I have hated Walmart for quite some time.

I went to get a job there when I was 17, and was so turned off by the "we only hire sheeple" video they made me watch that I don't figure I need to be waiting on cashiers who are just in place to be friendly and chat to ring up my four items while taking 20 minutes to wring up the stinky lady in front of me's four items.

You should totally send that in. District Manager would be an excellent start. Corporate would be great too.
Elle Blessingway: Animated: *headdesk*elle_blessing on January 20th, 2011 02:04 am (UTC)
You should totally send that in. District Manager would be an excellent start. Corporate would be great too.

Agreed. They'll probably GIVE you a new iron.
Mala13oct on January 20th, 2011 04:25 am (UTC)
I second this! Send it to the local paper while you are at it!

PS: I hate Wal-Mart too.
filia_umbrae on January 20th, 2011 03:35 am (UTC)
It's things like this (among many, many others) that convince me I made the right decision to not shop at Wal-Mart.

Think of it this way, you're also boycotting a truly despicable company who's business practices are deplorable, and who actively seek to screw their employees out of things like retirement and workman's comp.

Any big corporation is going to be kind of a jackwagon, as you put it, but they're kind of king of the jackwagons.


*cough* I'm sorry you had a bad experience. This kind of thing can really sour a day /:
O Demanding One: Express: You Suck!heyurs on January 20th, 2011 05:23 pm (UTC)

You should've told them, "Don't make me go ALL MOM on you!" xD

This is perfect to send to the main office, and the head office, and the corporate office, and to any other office that should be interested.

silburygirl: amanda fucking palmersilburygirl on January 21st, 2011 09:46 am (UTC)
I own two things from Wal-Mart: a plunger (because it was late at night and I live in a city where everything closes at six) and (so ironically) a yoga mat (because lululemon annoys me almost as much as Wal-Mart). Otherwise, the concept of Wal-Mart disgusts me and may as well not exist.

Such a hipster snob for the small, local businesses. I applaud your boycott.