Customer Service: Walmart

Now before you go and say, “Walmart doesn’t provide customer service.” I’m going to stop you right there. There are some REALLY great people who work at Wally World. I should know, I shop at Walmart pretty frequently, feel free to judge me for that. My friend and I probably go there more than once a week. It’s convenient and when you’re bored, it’s a good place to find things you never knew you wanted.

I actually didn’t experience this event so what I’m relaying to you is from a friend who decided to use Walmart’s Optical Department at the 82nd Avenue Location:

Now, he’s already agitated because he has to get an even stronger prescription for his glasses and he has purchased a couple of sets from Walmart. So he has only mediocre expectations at best.

So he got the prescription and his other pair of frames and sent them off to be fixed. They should have been done in a week, they say. The second week, he calls, “No, sorry, there was a delay, we’ll have them next week and we’ll call you when they are done. Sorry” – He waits another week and calls – and the woman he got on the phone didn’t seem at all interested in helping him. This is where it goes bad. His conversation started with “Are my glasses done?” to which the woman replied that the lab made another mistake and he should have done something different so there wouldn’t be a question on his glasses.
Now – Wait – What?
The prescription came from their optometrist to their lab. What could he have done differently, we ask. Her reply was that he didn’t fill out the form correctly.
Now – Wait – What?
There was no form to fill out and at this point, my friend was certainly not having any of this, so he asked for a Manager. The representative said there were no managers on duty right now. Wait, I’ve been in Walmart MANY times. There are always managers on Duty, sometimes, more than they have staff.
My friend’s response to that was that he would like his frames, his prescription and most importantly, his money back. This set the customer service representative off. Well, you’ll have to come in for that and we’ll see, Was her reply.
Now, I’m never one to advocate any sort of raised voice to a customer service person, but I would have been livid at that point. We’d hope this would be the end of it. But no, it gets better, or worse…

When my friend got to the store, she was working and insisted that “I got this” to her co-workers. While processing the order cancellation she had to walk between 3 different machines. Strange. Then to the register. Now, my friend purchased this on credit. Should be super easy, Credit, Refund, Enter. Right?
Wrong. This rep tried 3 times and kept telling my friend that he needed to enter his pin number. His credit card doesn’t have a pin number. It’s a credit card. So again, he asked for a manager. The girl left and got another person who must have just turned 18 who said she was the manager. Though, her nametag said associate. We can read people.
So again, he asked for a manager and finally got a real manager who was able to process his refund and get him his frames. He informed the manager of his ordeal and left the store. Livid.

Now, this is where the story usually ends and we all create a thread about how horrible the service was, and that’s what should be expected from Walmart. But this is where you’re wrong.

About an hour after my friend left the store, he got a call from the store director. The head honcho, the big cheese, the main dude. Although it was extremely frustrating, he relayed the who situation from start to walking out of the store to the guy. The Director apologized profusely (The first person in the entire chain of people to do so) and said this: “We don’t want to lose you as a customer, nor do we want our reputation tarnished by this. What I would like to do is get your glasses created and provide them to you at no charge, we’ll also put a rush on the order so that you’ll have them in a couple days. I know it doesn’t correct your experience, but it’s the least I can do for all your trouble”

Now that’s service. Even though it took a while to get there. Why is it that most companies/people have an extreme problem saying they’re sorry for the inconvenience – and meaning it? It’s CUSTOMER service. Not “I didn’t make a mistake” 🙂

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6 responses to “Customer Service: Walmart

  1. Having worked for WalMart (albeit in the middle of the night stocking the shelves), I can tell you there there ARE Associates that care and that will do anything to satisfy the customer errrr well not THAT lol

    While the store gets a bad rap most of the time, you RARELY see them going out of business, they are growing and building.

    Kudos to the Store Director for taking care of your friends issue, my guess is that the Associate(s) involved is either dealing with write-ups in her file and/or unemployed now.

    • Thanks for your comment. I think places like Walmart get a really bad rap because of some of the Bad eggs. I know there are bad people at every place. I just wanted to call attention to one incident. Though, I’ve found most people who work at Walmart are willing to help.

  2. I have yet to have a ‘satisfying’ experience at ANY Wal-Mart. Period. The optometrist is a leased space at the store, just like Sub-way and McD’s. It does amaze me that that guy responded to you, but on the same token, not so much. You see; they have everything LINKED. It’s the most advanced customer service network ever created. And it’s all automated.
    The last time I went to Wal-Mart, I had to wait 15 minutes in the EXPRESS line. Why? The employee was counting her drawer. Shift change. She took 10 minutes to do it.
    I have experience in this having worked at K-Mart during the holidays. You make the people in your line, waiting, feel good. Make a joke, smile, apologize… do whatever. She was the WORST . No apology, nothing. I made a comment about her lack of customer service, and she just snorted and said next. Fuck Wal-Mart. When they stock more AMERICAN MADE products, I may go back.
    I, however, will not judge all Wally World employees by this experience. I have had some good times as well. But it has only happened once.
    Once. Out of hundreds of visits. I’m going local.

    • When they stock more AMERICAN MADE products, I may go back.

      Unfortunately – We better stop going to Target, Fred Meyer, Dollar Tree, Sears, Nordstrom and many, many stores that we shop at every day. Walmart just gets singled out more often because they’re the SUPER Mega Mart. I can’t fault them for having a successful business model. In fact. I kind of applaud it.

      But I wasn’t making commentary on whether they are a Good place or a Bad place to shop. Just making commentary that, yes, they look at customer service too.

  3. Oy vey … the “Made in America” argument. We “Americans” need to realize that if we ONLY purchased products that were made in America, there would be few retail stores we could shop in! The reality is that OTHER Countries can mass produce much more efficiently at a lower cost to Business, we couldn’t afford Nike, most clothing lines, most household lines etc if they were Made in America. It’s the harsh reality.

  4. My favorite part of Wal-Mart is waiting to see what people wear there. This week I saw a gigantic blond lady wearing a CSI sweatshirt and big fluffy red fur boots. She was probably 50.

    :^)

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