Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Universe has Spoken ... (What I Don't Love Wednesday)

The Universe Spoke to me and I am really going to listen this time! I am not going back, never, ever again, I PROMISE!!!
(unless it is seriously a case of life or death)
I do not love you Walmart, I never did. I would even go so far as to say that I am really disgusted not impressed with the management of your establishment for many reasons, and had always planned on keeping my distance.
This recent experience, however, takes the cake and I am drawing my line in the sand!
After a little research this summer when I received my Digital Converter Box coupons, Walmart hands down had the best deal, and for a family on a budget, I bit the bullet and went in to get the boxes. And that was it ... I thought.
A few months ago, the first converter box bit the dust - it functioned all of 4 months. Yay.
A few weeks ago, the second one followed suit and that's it, no more TV. Now, right here many of you could give me great arguments for why that is a good thing ... but seriously ... I need some access to the Price is Right, local news and The Amazing Race (which just started up again - Wahoo) and, then I quickly fell in love that Create channel that just started coming into my home with the digital switch.

Due to my lack of confidence in Walmart, I wasn't even going to approach them about the failed converter boxes. I was trying to get my mojo up for a phone call directly to RCA. However, my stepdad, who is much more consumer savvy than myself, called Walmart, talked to a nice fellow in electronics and was told that the boxes just needed to be returned and they would be replaced with a different brand box.
Okay - I can do that.
So, I go home, grab the two boxes and head to Walmart. I go to electronics, pick up the new boxes, and then I go to Customer Services for the exchange.
I don't have the remotes ... Why remotes are vital to this exchange, I'll never know, the converter box is FRIED ... and no remote on the planet can change that.
He wouldn't budge.
So, I went home!
I returned the next morning with one of the remotes, and the coax cables (the other remote has long since gone the way of the wind as far as I know).
I am then told that there is no recall, there will be no exchange.
I inform the lady that I could have made the exchange last night if I had had the remotes with me!
She then lays a guilt trip on ME that whoever would have made the exchange would have probably lost his job then!
Walmart is training their managers to lay guilt on the consumer???
Seriously, soooooo pathetic.
That got me out of the store pretty quick - you can't deal with that kind of reasoning.
So, I decided I had better let it go.
And I did!
Until my step dad stopped by yesterday and saw the old converter boxes on the table by my front door - oops.
I related the experiences I had had and left it at that.
This morning he calls me to let me know that he has just spoken with Mr. Last Nice Person Working at Walmart in the Electronics Dept. and that I really can exchange them. I just need to go to the department, find this gentleman and he will help me get the new boxes and personally walk me through the process with Customer Services.
Okay - he'll stick with me, eh?
I'll give it one more go!
So, we load up and on our way out the door, The Boy trips and falls on his face!
I grab him up to give him kisses and check him out and Thing 2 grabs my purse - The Boy checks out okay and cheers up and we proceed to Walmart.
Was that not warning enough for me or what???
We get out, grab the diapers we needed to buy, go to electronics, find Mr. Last Nice Person Working at Walmart and go up to the front of the store.
I pull the converter boxes out of my purse, and guess what ...
We go out the car, hoping it had fallen out there ... no dice.
It's at home, laying on the floor after having fallen out when Thing 2 grabbed my purse!
Is this not omen enough?
By this time, I am home again, I have the remote and am considering just calling it quits when I realize that I left everything else back at the front desk.
So, dang it all, I have to go back.
When I arrive there is a completely new person up at Customer Services and she is on the phone with someone needing assistance.
I hear her put the customer on hold while she calls "a manager" and then explains in a very flippant tone to the manager, that this lady on hold is giving her a sob story about her computer not working, she just bought it after Christmas, she doesn't have the receipts ... blah, blah, blah ... and, oh yeah, she's dying of cancer!!!
The hairs on the back of my neck are now standing STRAIGHT UP at this point in time.
That little smiley guy that Walmart uses ... where is he now?
And why is this Customer Service person talking like that in front of other customers who are going to need help???
Holy Cow ... am I the only one that has a problem with this?
She gets back on the phone with the lady, explains there is NOTHING they can do and that if they took the computer back they would have to eat the losses (oh, sorry Walmart, I didn't realize that eating a $600 loss for a lady dying of cancer would break you....grrrrrr) and that most likely, the clerk who took it back would lose their job!
Really - that line AGAIN????
Anyhow, I am completely dumbfounded, I don't know what to say or do.
I am able to grab my new boxes and the rest of my stuff and get out of dodge, but I feel like I need to say or do something about the phone call that the clerk had right there in front of me.
My story ended okay ... (after 4 stupid visits to the store) ...
but I am seriously disturbed by what I observed.
And I am incredulous that Walmart is trying to "guilt" customers into not demanding their consumer rights.
Yeah ... I won't be going back.

Yes, really, the Universe has spoken to me and I am listening this time!


Karlyn said...

You knew you would get a comment from me...right?

I have never been and never will and unfortunately, your story doesn't surprise me! It is sad that they are trained to treat customers like this. I worked retail for years, both as a manager and other. I was always taught and always trained... "Customer satisfaction is the most important." In one store we taught "The customer is always right!"

I'm sorry you had to go through this. It is unacceptable. And, if I were you, I would be calling about the phone call you overheard.

Julie said...

Oh jenny, that is so lame. I love walmart even though I shouldn't. I am glad you stuck to it, and got the new box. I swear they make it hard for you to return things knowing you will give up. I would have been so angry also, I would have fumed for days!

Zombette said...

Hi hun! I so understand this!

My dearest Zombie calls them "the axis of evil".


Deb F said...

Not sure how you really feel about WalMart, can you elaborate a bit more??

Tabitha Blue/Fresh Mommy said...

Wow, that is just crazy. I feel the same way about Walmart... not my favorite place to go, ok, I just don't like to go there. Any of those experiences would've put me over the edge as well. Thanks for the warning!


Tia Langston said...

lol Deb F!!!! Jenny you are so sweet and kind...I bet if you'd talked to the customer service people via totally would have triumphed from the beginning. I guess when I have issues....I'm just not that nice. I start out nice, but if nothing happens...well, I'm just not that nice.

Amber said...

This story of yours has been good for me. I was so a part of the "roll on out of here" group trying to hinder this corporation from trying to take over the world. Evil, I tell you, they truly are! I went through a phase where I lowered my standards to shop there to help me stay on budget. So not worth it!! The thought of getting kids in and out and in and out of carseats, the way they thoughtlessly bad mouthed a customer in front of you,...I could go on and on! I'm so sorry, how frustrating!