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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Customer Service at Wal-Mart

I went into Wal-Mart the other day to get garden soil for my yard. It seems like a routine thing that happens every year about this time and I don’t give it much thought…that all changed this year.

This year, as I am in the line with my other purchases, I tell the clerk that I want to get 4 bags of garden soil, which is located outside the store. She rings me up and as I go outside to get what I thought was my purchase, I discover that the purchase price is nearly double what I thought it was. I really look over my sales receipt and found out that I have been charged for potting soil, which won’t work for my needs. Oops! I see what has happened and go back to the same clerk and let her know what has happened…she is very nice an apologetic and sheepishly says, “you will have to go to customer service to get it taken care of”…I smile and say, “ I figured that was going to be the case.” I laugh as I am leaving as I just know this isn’t going to go well.

I wait patiently at the customer service line which is 18 people deep at this time of day and located at about half the length of the store. After about 15 minutes, it is my turn to explain to the clerk my issue. As I am explaining to the clerk, she interrupts and says that a manager has to approve…I half expected that so I wait in a line I have formed on my own, for the manager. I am frustrated but still willing to go with the procedures.

The customer service manager arrives about 5 minutes later and goes directly to the clerk so she can explain why she has called such an important person over to mingle with the lowly customers of the store. After the manager is done listening to the clerk and comes to my line (which is only me), I explain my issue all over all over again…I feel like an echo or a parrot.

The manager explains to me that I have to go to my car, get the correct bag of garden soil (which had to be wrestled in my trunk), bring it back in the store, walk one half the store AGAIN so she can see the correct bag…I pause for a moment then ask why she can’t go out to my car with me which is parked just outside the garden area and she can see for herself? She says, “I am here by myself .” I am not sure exactly what that means but I explain to her that I too am here by myself and so we can do this together. She finds no humor in that statement and I quickly find that she lacks more than a sense of humor…I end up walking the store once again to get a bag of garden soil from outside in the parking lot so she can get the correct bar code. At this point, I am not sure why she or a clerk cannot look up a bar code for the garden soil but figure I am wasting my own time if I don’t get a bag so she can have the bar code. I get the bag off the top of the stack in the parking lot (at which time I almost grab a bag that is opened so it will make a mess all the way through the store but decide it will only be all over me in the end) come back in, walk half the store one more time AND have to wait in line yet again. I am getting to be good at waiting by this time. I have to explain my story again to the new clerk, which I also add that this is almost comical. He comes and gets the bag out of the cart, takes it back behind the counter so he can get the bar code. WHEW! That is done! The nice young man apologizes as he hands me my cash back for my purchase and I gladly leave the store.

Next time I will entertain the notion of just putting twice as many bags in the car and calling it even! Next time I will entertain the notion of just putting twice as many bags in the car and calling it even! Oh, did I repeat that again? I am getting use to that too!

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