Walmart woes

I am truly my father’s daughter, since I have a hobby of writing my feelings to companies when I feel they have mistreated me in some way. Being that this is new to me, I can only assume it’s a trait that crops up in the May family after the age of 30. I remember making a remark to my dad once that I hadn’t been able to find the Pepsodent tooth powder we both favored; he took it upon himself to find the answer, going so far as reaching the vice-president of marketing at Unilever. As this was several years ago, before the Internet was as popular as it is today, this was no small feat. (They don’t make it anymore, from what I remember.) I always teased my dad about writing to these companies, because honestly, do they really care? From my recent experiences, the answer is ‘no.’ They don’t. But it doesn’t stop me from venting.

It started innocently enough with an email sent to my local Sonic Drive-In.

This location is TERRIBLE. Absolutely awful. I am a regular Sonic customer (at least three times per week), and I dread going to this location nearest my home. I have been visiting this location for more than a year and a half, and I have had TWO occasions when my order was actually correct.

 When I stopped this morning, it took more than TEN MINUTES to get a soft drink at the drive-thru. When we asked why it took so long, the employee informed us that she was the only person on duty. That has been told to me before, too. WHY ON EARTH would there be ONE employee running the entire restaurant EVER, especially during the morning rush, when people stop for breakfast and .99 large drinks? I can’t imagine that anyone has plenty of extra time to wait around when they’re on their way to work. Not to mention, it seems like a safety violation, as well. Also, this is the second time that I have had to take my soda to a different Sonic to trade it for a new one. This morning’s had absolutely zero syrup or carbonation. Luckily, another location that I passed on my way to work swapped it for free. Seems pretty difficult to mess up a plain Diet Dr. Pepper.

 As I mentioned, I frequent Sonic a lot for Diet Dr. Pepper and lime water. This location is absolutely the worst I have ever experienced. The order is always wrong, the soda is bad, the service is ridiculously slow. Also, I’ve included a link to the Google reviews I found for this Sonic, too. Thought you might find it interesting.

https://plus.google.com/105306364346465649456/about?hl=en

If you even read this, thank you. 

Know what they said?

We are very sorry that your 08/29/2012 visit to the Sonic Drive-In in Owasso, Oklahoma did not live up to expectations and are grateful to you for telling us about it. If people like you did not bring these matters to our attention, we would never be able to fix them. We have forwarded your comments to the appropriate drive-in supervisor for the location that you visited. If you have any further concerns in the future, please share them with us. Our goal is to continuously improve the Sonic Drive-In experience and to keep you as regular guest.

 Sincerely,

Sonic Drive-In

In other words, go jump in a lake. That was the last I heard. They didn’t even send me any coupons.

I have been back to that particular Sonic exactly once since then. Here’s what happened:

Last night, I caved and went to the terrible Sonic that I have complained about in the past. I ordered two waters with lime. She repeated the order back correctly. When I pulled up to the window a good 10 minutes later (two cars ahead of us, both ordered just drinks), I was handed two waters….with lemon. I said, “Excuse me, I ordered limes.” The employee said, “It said lemons” and stared at me. 

(Does it really matter? I KNOW what I ordered, and I’m telling her it’s wrong. Isn’t it her job to fix it?) I finally convinced her to give me some damn limes, during which time I looked at the receipt. I felt obligated to show her that she was wrong (and rude) and she gave me a dirty look and slammed the window. THIS PLACE MESSED UP AN ORDER FOR WATER!!
And just to prove my point, I took a photo of my receipt to show that in fact, it DID say limes. Because I’m kind of a bitch like that.
Yesterday I had an experience with Walmart.com that I felt the need to share.
I was a recent victim of identity fraud. When the incident first occurred, I applauded walmart.com for your swift actions in freezing my account and preventing any further action from being taken, as well as your advice on how to file a report with law enforcement. Fast forward three weeks, to yesterday morning. I had been hunting all over the web for two particular items, and my goal was to purchase them both from the same place. Much to my surprise, walmart.com had both items in stock. I was so pleased…until I placed my order.

The first time I placed it, I received my confirmation email. A few moments later, I got an email stating that my order had been canceled due to a payment issue. I had to do some serious online searching to find a phone number to reach a REAL, LIVE PERSON at walmart.com, but I finally found someone. She told me it was a bank issue, and that I needed to call my bank. After another half hour was wasted getting through to a REAL, LIVE PERSON at my bank, I was told that it was a walmart.com issue. (You’d think the associate I spoke with at walmart.com could have told me that instead of redirecting me to my bank.) The bank thought it was some kind of electronic disconnect, and I should try placing my order again. I did, with the same results. Now, I was using my brand-new debit card, so I tried using my husband’s card. Same thing. A second call to walmart.com finally shed some light on the issue that it’s due to my recent fraud experience. I asked if I could place my order over the phone, and was told the same thing would happen. Basically, there is no possible way to order from your company, because MY information was stolen, through NO FAULT OF MY OWN. I asked if I could open a new account with a different email address, and was told that wouldn’t work, since my billing address would be the same. So I can’t order from your website unless I move. Fantastic.

The associate told me that she could pass my order on to the billing department, and it would take two to three business days for them to go in and alter my account so I could order. I asked how I would know when the issue was resolved, and she told me I would have to call. Well, I’m sorry, but I don’t have endless amounts of time to sift through your automated system only to be told that the issue isn’t fixed. (The only reason I was able to spend THREE hours on this yesterday is because I was home sick from work.) I asked if I could be notified via email or phone when I would be able to order, and was told that a note would be made on my file, but no guarantees.

This is the WORST example of customer service I have ever seen. As I live in an Oklahoma suburb, I spend a lot of money at Walmart. I do at least 95% of my grocery shopping with you. I cannot believe that it’s such an ordeal for me to order online. I cannot believe that there is not a better system in place for fraud victims. Is it not possible to close my account and allow me to open a new one? Obviously not.

Don’t worry about passing on my order to billing. I placed my order elsewhere. Thank God for eBay.

I was shocked when an email showed up just a few moments later. I was almost impressed, until I read it.

Ashley, We are very sorry your order was canceled. We have escalated the matter of your account/order cancellation issue to our Billing Department for reconsideration.  We do apologize for any frustration in the matter, and ask that you allow 2-3 business days for the department to review the request.  After the timeframe has passed, please contact us to follow up on their decision on reconsideration.

Due to your order being canceled, the authorization hold will be released within 3-5 business days depending upon your financial institution.  Please contact your financial institution for information regarding their authorization policy.

 If we have not fully answered your question or you have additional questions, please reply to this email.

 Sincerely,

Walmart.com Customer Care

Well, that pretty much pissed me off. They didn’t even read my complaint, obviously.

Wait…what? Did you even read my email?

 I specifically said that I have an issue with the fact that it will take two-three days for Billing to “consider” letting me order. And what did you say?

“We have escalated the matter of your account/order cancellation issue to our Billing Department for reconsideration.  We do apologize for any frustration in the matter, and ask that you allow 2-3 business days for the department to review the request.”

 And THEN, I asked “how I would know when the issue was resolved, and she told me I would have to call. Well, I’m sorry, but I don’t have endless amounts of time to sift through your automated system only to be told that the issue isn’t fixed. (The only reason I was able to spend THREE hours on this yesterday is because I was home sick from work.) I asked if I could be notified via email or phone when I would be able to order, and was told that a note would be made on my file, but no guarantees.”

And now, you have so helpfully told me “After the timeframe has passed, please contact us to follow up on their decision on reconsideration.”

THAT WAS MY WHOLE POINT. I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THAT. The least you could do, after making me wait THREE days, is to send me an automated email telling me that my account is active again!

And then, another helpful statement from you: “Please contact your financial institution for information regarding their authorization policy.”

Uh, I already contacted my bank yesterday, and they said this is on YOU. Not them. YOU.

 I also, very specifically, said “Don’t worry about passing on my order to billing. I placed my order elsewhere. Thank God for eBay.”

YOU are the ones that have frozen my account and made it impossible for me to order from you.

 I know that my $45 order means nothing to you. Or the several hundred dollars that I spend each month on groceries and dog food and baby formula and diapers. In the grand scheme of things, my business means jack to you. But I’ve got numerous people on facebook that are keeping up with this little exchange. And a lot of them have already weighed in on how bad this customer service situation is. And the fact that you very obviously didn’t take three minutes to actually read my problem before sending me your scripted response, well…that doesn’t affect my opinion of you very much.

Thanks for nothing.

Well, that certainly lit a fire under them:

Hi Ashley,

 Thank you for contacting Walmart.com regarding placing orders on Walmart.com.

 Ashley, we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced while attempting to place your order on Walmart.com. We are happy to inform you that our Billing Department has provided us with the feedback of their research. They have advised that all issues with placing your order have been resolved and you should be able to successfully place your order. Ashley, your satisfaction is truely important to us and while we strive to deliver the best experience possible, we apologize that certain conditions sometimes prevent that from happening.   

 If we have not fully answered your question or you have additional questions, please reply to this email.

 Sincerely,

Walmart.com Customer Care

So basically, it’s a LIE that it takes Billing two to three days. Because they just did it in like, 15 minutes. Oh, and you misspelled “truly”, genius. Apparently Walmart doesn’t have spellcheck.

And the final exchange:

GEE, thanks.

Considering I already placed my order with eBay.

YESTERDAY.

Now I’m just wondering if they’re somehow going to push my order through anyway, and charge me for it. Wouldn’t that be nice? Something tells me that Canaan doesn’t need duplicates of his Halloween costume.

I know this isn’t my typical blog, but you know, sometimes a gal just needs to vent. And spread a little smack talk about Walmart. It’s time to share the wealth at Target a little more often.

Update: Now I get emails from Walmart.com on a regular basis, informing me that I’ve left an item in my shopping cart. You think? It’s going to stay there…forever.