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maybe wal mart isn't so bad...
27 aug 2003
on sunday, i found a nice black and decker 20" electric hedge clipper at
a wal mart store, but they didn't have any for sale, just one on display. 

so i axed the garden guy to call another store to see if they had one.
he tried, but gave up because his phone wasn't working. he suggested i ax
the customer service dept to call the other store. they tried, for 20 or
30 minutes, then gave up, telling me "they always put us on hold forever."

so i axed the store manager to check his computer to see if if the other
store had one of these hedge trimmers. he checked, and said the computer
said they had two of them. 

so i went to the other store and axed the garden center cashier where they
were. she said, "go straight, then left, then right." i wandered around for
about 10 minutes, then came back and explained i couldn't find them. she
tried to call someone to help, but nobody appeared. she said she couldn't
leave her post. i wandered around for another 10 mins, going straight, then
left, then left, and finally found one in an unusual place, and brought it
back to the garden cashier and bought it. 

i said goodbye to the guy at the garden center entrance and made for my car. 
a few seconds later, i hear "sir! sir!, i need to see your receipt!" we went 
round and round for a few minutes as he chased me around the parking lot
("i need to see your receipt!" "i don't care what you need. why don't you
talk with the garden center cashier?") until i showed him the receipt. 

when i got home, i discovered the hedge trimmer was used. it had some dirt
and black powder on the cutting blade, and there were no instructions nor
guarantee card in the box, which was resealed with packing tape.

i called 1 800 wal mart and talked with a customer service creature who
agreed that this particular store needed help. the next day, i got a call
from an assistant store manager. she had found a new hedge trimmer and
offered to swap for the used one, with a 10% discount.

today i picked up the new one. the customer service person offered me
59 cents, my "10% discount" for this $58.88 purchase, ignoring the tax.
i explained that 10% was closer to $6, and she went off to consult her
percentage committee. eventually, i got back the $6.24 (including tax.)

i wanted to thank the store manager. the customer service person said she
didn't know where he was, but i might try wandering round the store until
i found him. i did that, and eventually found him and told him the story.
he said they were understaffed and trying to hire another 60 employees.

he'd already gotten an email from the higherups about my call. he wanted
to make sure i was satisfied, and asked if this was my second visit to
his store to complete this transaction, and gave me a $25 gift card...


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