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 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.