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I am not paid or compensated in any way to write product reviews posted to this blog. There are affiliate links posted throughout this blog. So, when you click through on links and buy something, I may receive a commission. I pay for the products with my own funds. Product reviews always reflect my own experience with and honest opinion of the product as a consumer.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Walmart is Ghetto and Their Customer Service Sucks

I  have a question for people who are reading this blog post:  Are you a customer service shopper or is getting a bargain the most important thing to you? This question is directed towards those people that do heavy shopping for grocery and personal care items at mass market retailers, such as Target, Walmart, and Kmart.  I consider myself to be a combination of both, leaning more towards a good customer service experience.  I like a good bargain, and I am frequently looking for ways to save money off my grocery bill, but the way that I am treated at a retail store is very important to me. 

The main reason why I write this article is because Walmart has a major advertising campaign going where, the retailer compares its prices to other retailers, mainly Publix.  The premise behind the commercials is that Walmart has everyday low prices and saves consumers alot more money than shopping at Publix and other comparable retailers.  I think that it is partially true, because I have found many good deals on merchandise at Walmart without catching sales there.  

That's not always the case, because I have also been able to find certain items at other retailers, at pricing much lower than Walmart.  Plus, if you know how to shop strategically with coupons and sales, you can get many things for free at Publix, CVS and Walgreens.  A few days ago, I purchased a couple of cans of soup at Publix, BOGO and used a coupon for $.50 off.  Therefore, I came out ahead buying the soup at Publix, instead of Walmart.  

The main thing that I want to get at here, is this:  Walmart is always emphasizing how low their prices are, without giving much attention to the overall customer shopping experience.  Walmart really does need to work on improving many aspects of the shopping experience, especially their customer service.  They are definitely driving away prospective customers.  

I can't tell you how many times I have been to a Walmart and waited 15 minutes or longer to checkout.  Their lines are usually very long at certain times, but you would think that Walmart management would understand this, and schedule enough personell to better serve the customers.  

Another bone that I have to pick with them is that their shelves are either empty, or poorly stocked and disorganized.  You better pay very close attention to the signage, becuase merchandise is quite often placed in the wrong location.  For example, I went there looking for Brinks pad locks and the locks were stocked in a juxtaposed position.  The cheaper locks were placed under a sign where the more expensive locks should have been placed and vice versa.    

Walmart has the most horrible produce, anywhere on the planet.  Yes, their prices are normally lower than any other retailer that I have visited for produce, besides a farmer's market.  However, it has been my experience that the produce goes bad quicker.  Once, I was in the produce section at a Walmart, and found a bag of rotting potatoes.  The stench was worst than a rotting corpse smell. 

There was one situation at Walmart, where I went to the Money Center to cash a check.  As I approached the counter, I noticed that the cashier had his head down on the counter, taking a short rest. I said "Hello." to him and he didn't respond and raised his head in a manner which suggested that he wasn't too happy about me disturbing his short rest.  

So, I told the cashier that I was there to cash a check and then add the funds onto a Walmart Money Card.  I handed him the check and the Walmart Moneycard.  He proceeded to cash my check, and laid my card down on the desk, asking, "Why did you give this to me?".   He cashed the check, but didn't load the funds onto the Money Card.  So, I started wondering if dude was on crack or whether he was sleep deprived.  I kept my cool and repeated what I was there to do and he cancelled the transaction and started over.

He screwed up yet again, by charging me a load fee, when it should have been waived.  To throw salt in the wound, he tried to argue with me about how I should be charged the fee. By that time, I was wondering how he managed to slip through the cracks during the hiring process.  A CSR ended up straightening the situation out for him and waived the fee.  

He cashed my check, handed the check back to me, gestured to hand me the cash, and loaded the funds onto my Walmart Money Card!  I had an expression on my face that said, "WTF!".  He realized his mistake and said, "Oops, my bad", in a goofy voice.  It took about twenty minutes for me to get through a process that shouldn't have been more than a few minutes.  

I feel like most of the people that Walmart hires in their retail stores, to put it bluntly, are socially retarded and ghetto.  It seems to be part of their retail culture to hire ghetto and immature people.  Now, I am not saying that all of their retail employees are like that.  But, the problem is that when too many people with those sorts of attitudes are present, the attitude seems to spread like a virus and cast a dark cloud over the atmosphere.  

Apparently, there are residents of Midtown Miami, an upscale community in Dade county, Florida that have ideas similar to mine.  The city planning department approved a plan to build the Walmart in Midtown Miami , August 2013. Several opponents of the plan have filed appeals to the decision with the city.   Some of the opponents say that the plan doesn't conform to the building code.  Others feel that a Walmart will crush the competition and ruin the character of the neighborhood. 

This is all good and well, but what they aren't saying is that Walmart is too ghetto for the area.  They don't want the mentality of some low-class and ignorant people to pervade their neighborhood.  This  sounds classist and elitist, but I can't say that I blame them.  I had a complete stranger to walk up to me in a Walmart store and ask me if I wanted to buy food stamps from him.  When I declined, he glared at me as if I were the crazy one!  Not only is this very ghetto, it is also very illegal.  

I understand  the benefits of brining in a new Walmart into that community.  It would mean hundreds of new jobs and an alternative shopping venue for the residents.  At the same time, I can sort of see where the opponents of the Walmart building plan are coming from as well.  

I don't live far from a Super Walmart, but there are times  that I prefer to stop at Winn-Dixie, Publix, or CVS.  Sometimes, better customer service and less stress far outweighs lower prices.  I am sure that the founder of Walmart, Sam Walton intended lower prices and good customer service as part of his legacy. 

© Copyright 2013  Susan Broadbelt

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