WalMart customer service

I have mentioned my less-than-satisfactory customer service experiences several times in the past, and usually met with a mixed reception. I think I have encountered a situation that most will be able to agree is unacceptable (with the exception of billionaires living in Bentonville, Arkansas…).

I was in my friendly neighborhood Wally World recently, attempting to buy some paint. Not just any paint, mind you! I wanted some paint matched to a sample I had the audacity to bring in to the store.

I made my way to the paint department, and found it lacking an available drone/Associate. I decided to wait for a few minutes, as I figured it was likely that the drone presently assigned to the paint department was helping a co-worker nearby, voiding his/her bowels, or having a cigarette. Now, I am not bothered by any of these hypothetical activities, and am willing to stand by for a period of approximately 5-10 minutes until he/she returns.

After about 5 minutes had passed and I had bored myself with idly reading the labels, I noticed a deidcated WalMart employee making his way down the aisle. When it became apparent that he was NOT headed to the paint department, I approached him and had the following dialogue:

Me: Excuse me, I need some help in the paint department.

DWME: I don’t work in paint.

Me: Is there someone you could call to come over to the paint department?

DWME: Probably.

DWME then turned around and walked away.

Now, this was not some punk kid with his pants down around his knees, trying to pass off 4 errant hairs as a goatee. This was an older gentleman who was at least in his mid-50s.

I have had problems with Wal Mart customer service before, including the criminally slow cashiers and the barely literate customer service desk. However, they are a lesser breed of menace - if I worked at Wal Mart, I would probably hate myself as much as they surely do and take it out on customers by maintaining a laughable level of competence. But this guy was downright RUDE!

Since Wal Mart had decided to add itself to my list of companies for which my money is apparently not good enough, I took my business up the street to Lowe’s (they don’t avoid customers as actively as Home Depot employees). There, someone was able to assist me quickly and competently. They even smiled at me (I think smiling is forbidden for Wal Mart drones).

Granted, the nearest competitor is almost 5 miles away (WalMart is 1 block from my apartment) and more expensive, but I now gladly go there, or even an additional 5 miles to Trader Joe’s, for as much of my purchasing needs as possible.

Fuck Wal Mart.

You should buy paint at Lowe’s anyway; there’s no excuse for tainting your home with CheapCrap ™ brand.

Some people never learn. Several times means at least twice. Third time or more you need only pit yourself.

You shop cheap,then cheap service is what you get.

I would tend to agree, but I’ve been in bix-box stores before where the employees were not rude at all, and in some cases they even facilitated my purchases!

Considering Lowe’s is part of Walmart it would not shock me to find the same brands stocked.

That store is probably so short-handed that there’s one person covering three or four departments at once, or at least trying to, and is given not enough hours to even cover one. I used to work for Wally World. I’ve been there, though for me it was trying to cover all of softlines (clothing) singlehandedly. It’s impossible!

Not that I’m excusing the guy’s attitude, but I suspect him asking the operator to call for somebody to paint wouldn’t have gotten you anybody either. I don’t know how many times I made such calls not knowing whether anybody would show or not, since there often wasn’t anybody there to call, or if there was they were too busy trying to do six other things at once.

If you are unhappy with the store, don’t go back. Don’t be one of those people who tells the store you won’t come back but show up again next week. Just don’t go there anymore. You admit there are better options where you live, so go straight to them next time.

I don’t see it happening anytime soon, but I’d love to see Wally go under. The only way that’s going to happen is if people who are unhappy don’t shop there.

ETA: Lowe’s isn’t part of Wal-Mart.

I found that after moving to an area with a greater variety of places where I could shop for groceries and other items I no longer frequent Wal-Mart as often as I did. Kroger might not have a selection as good as the Super Wal-Mart but the groceries don’t cost all that much more, the produce looks better, and it doesn’t take forever to get through the checkout lane.


You can not expect good service or enough employees in a company that is barely making enough profit.

Wow, when I need to buy paint the last place I think of is Wal Mart. It just occurred to me now that they have a paint “department” and also I have never seen a person behind the paint desk. Did you really expect to get good paint?

Wal Mart did you a service by pissing you off and making you go to a place that sells real paint.

As **whiterabbit **mentioned, no it isn’t. Where’d you get that idea?

It’s a popular myth, apparently.

I heard that Lowe’s and Home Depot were one and the same. IIRC, I looked it up once, and it was not true.

Consumer Reports ranks the Walmart paint brand as the #1 low luster interior paint in their most recent review. But don’t let that get in the way of mocking something you know nothing about just because it’s Walmart.

I only needed a tiny bit to cover a hole I had made in the wal of my BRAND NEW apartment, before the wife found out.

I have probably but more gallons of paint on walls than you have run gas through your car. I’d trust Consumer Reports for an unbiased rating of paint right after I consult the PETA website for a good steak dinner.

Care to tell me why? (Serious question, I want to know why you think Consumer Reports is “biased” about paint.)
BTW: In fairness, I shouldn’t have included nametag’s quote in my post, as he didn’t suggest that he didn’t know about WalMart’s paint department, unlike ZipperJJ.

And likely you’ll get cheap goods as well. WM does not advertise its excellent service, it advertises its low prices. WM is targeting the customer who considers price above everything. Anyone who goes into a WalMart should expect to find inexpensive goods of varying quality (I’ve found some pretty good bargains there) but should not expect much in the way of service. If I needed a few cans of spray paint, I’d probably pick some up if I was in WM anyway (I rarely shop there), but I certainly wouldn’t expect a well-trained associate behind the paint counter.

I’ve mentioned this before, I’ll pay higher prices to get excellent service for some items. If I don’t know what, exactly, I should buy for a particular need, I’ll go to a higher-end store, describe my need, and listen to the associate’s advice. Having done that, I will then buy from that store, since they provided me with a service as well as a good.

I’m thinking like whiterabbit, don’t go back if they have crappy service.

We have several WalMarts in our metro area, and the customer service is different at each one. I do have one particular one which I patronize for my paint. The service is good and I think the paint is a good bargain.

On the whole Lowe’s/Wal-Mart thing, I’m not surprised that people are under the impression that Lowe’s is owned by Wal-Mart.

I’ve seen this lay out many, many, many times in shopping centers (you know the big ones that sprout up in the middle of nowhere off an interstate.) The center will have a Wal-Mart, Lowe’s, and Sam’s Club all right next to each other. They all have the same general look/appearance on the front of their stores.

I’ve seen this enough that it would not surprise me if Wal-Mart/Lowe’s has some sort of strategy in which they work together when deciding on store locations. Lowe’s and Wal-Mart do compete somewhat but a huge section of Lowe’s goods aren’t sold at Wal-Mart so they actually don’t compete directly for that much business.

Lowes is no better.

I bought several thousand dollars in Pella windows and asked them to match some paint for me to use on trim.

The guy who just made a fat sale was done with me. He pointed towards the front of the store and said “Paint”. Nice.

So I went up and asked the paint person for a gallon of Pella gold or whatever they call it.
She wanted to know if I had a code. Why would I have a code? Wouldn’t the store that sells two jillion bucks worth of Pella products have a code? No.

They have a scanner type device into which you can slide those paint chip sample things and get a color mix off of that but we didn’t have a paint chip. So she called two other guys up and had them hold one of the windows up to the machine. When I stopped laughing I held up a screen and asked if that might not be easier. It didn’t matter because it was still 3/4 of an inch from the scanner lense with all kinds of ambient light.

By this time they’re getting kind of irritated with my irritation and I’m catching some snide remarks so I leave before I lose it and we have a big scene in Lowes.

I went over to Home Depot and asked for Pella paint (they carry Anderson windows), the guy looks in the computer and asks “white, gold, or green” Done.
Not to worry, on any given Sunday Home Depot sucks just as bad. Or Walmart.