Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wal-Mart's Systemic Thievery

On July 11 I blogged about Wal-Mart's price scanner malfunctioning, adding a scanned item twice. I had to go to customer service to get my money back.

Which I found highly annoying.

Today it happened again. I'd been to ALDI where a couple dozen items were super quickly scanned, with nary a problem.

Then I crossed the street to Wal-Mart, intending to get a new Popcorn Air Popper, because mine had blown up.

By the time I got to the checkout I'd also picked up a bag of chick peas, garlic powder and a pair of cargo shorts.

As you can see on the scanned receipt, I was charged for two jars of 5th Season garlic powder. I pointed this out to the checker. He, just like the previous instance, apologized profusely and told me to go to Customer Dis-Service to get my money back.

I told the checker I did not care to wait in the long Customer Dis-Service line to recover the 50 cents that Wal-Mart stole from me. I told the checker I'd just go get another jar of garlic powder. That'll work too, he said.

I decided to assess a fine for Wal-Mart stealing 50 cents from me and wasting my time, so I took an extra jar of spice, lemon pepper. It made the potato salad I made for lunch taste good.

This systemic thievery has now happened twice. I was buying only 4 items. I saw them scanned and saw the scanned item show up on the screen. The garlic powder did not show up twice.

And yet it was double-billed. I assume, just like the previous instance, the checker did not see the garlic powder show up twice, either.

So, clearly there is a major malfunction happening with Wal-Mart's check-out system.

Like I said, I only bought 4 items. What happens with those people with a cart full of dozens of items? How many of those people bother to look at the receipt? How much extra income does this add to Wal-Mart, systemically double-billing customers?

Why is it the store where I buy the least has problems like this? I've never had a checkout problem at Town Talk, at Sprouts Farmers Market, at ALDI Food Market, at Cho Saigon Market, at Central Market or Whole Foods.

I remember years ago the State of Washington's, I assume Attorney General, sent out teams of undercover agents to investigate complaints about K-Mart's pricing errors. If I remember right this ended up costing K-Mart a large fine.

Is it because Wal-Mart is operating in the ethics challenged lawless zone of Fort Worth and Tarrant County that it knows it can get away with some shady stuff that they can weasel their way out of, if caught?

It's all very vexing. And perplexing. And what is also perplexing and vexing is why do I still shop at Wal-Mart? I think the sad truth is, it's the entertainment factor. The well-documented "People of Wal-Mart." I saw a few doozies today.

So, bottom-line, if you shop at Wal-Mart, watch them like a hawk and check your receipt.

I just realized I forgot to mention another aspect of today's bizarre Wal-Mart experience. Today is the first day in a long time it has not been HOT in North Texas. The Hurst Wal-Mart was pumping HEAT into the building. Finally their A/C could get a rest, and while the rest of North Texas was opening their windows, the Hurst Wal-Mart cranked up the furnace! I tell you it was HOT in there.

Just one more thing to be perplexed about.


Betty Jo Bouvier said...

So you actually stole a bottle of lemmon pepper spice?????

Durango said...

Betty Jo, it is what is known as poetic justice. Why should I waste my time waiting in Wal-Mart's long Customer Service line to get the 50 cents back that Wal-Mart stole from me? And why should I not be compensated for taking the time to walk all the way back to the spices? Two incidents like this within a month further motivated me. But, what would I have done had the double billing been done on the popcorn popper? I likely would have realized the total was too high and not pushed the OK button on the debit card transaction, making the checker do it all over.

Betty Jo Bouvier said...

Oops, I went heavy on the 'mmm' in lemon.
So if the checker would have charged you double for the popper, and you HAD pushed OK, then would you have went back and gotten another popper for your time and suffering?

Durango said...

Betty Jo, that would have presented a bad dilemma had I pushed OK when it was not OK. I got the last air popper off the shelf. The long line at Customer Service would have severely vexed me. I don't know what I would have done.

Mattydigs said...

Your stupid blog 'vexes' me. You come off like a whiny old curmudgeon.

p.s. No one wants to read your weather reports