My day started out about the same as usual. I got up late after working most of the night. I was tired and groggy and it was raining. Then I remembered that I promised my elderly mother that we’d spend the day watching movies together. It was going to be a good day!
I warmed up my soup and sat down to start watching a DVD. Then I remembered… my mother needed something at Walmart. I told her I would run to Walmart right after I finished my soup so I could get that task out of the way. Then we could watch movies the rest of the day. She said her purchase could wait. But I assured her I’d only be gone about 20 minutes then I could relax the rest of the day, the rest of the weekend even, because I would not have to go out again.
Our Super Walmart is brand new. It just opened several weeks ago. I’m still not used to the store. I knew where my mother’s item was but I also had a few more things I could pick up while I was there. It would not take long. So I quickly grabbed my husband’s vitamins and my sleep aid. I also found the broth for my next batch of soup without much effort. Finding the static spray was a bit more difficult but I managed. Then I dared to venture to a part of the store I had not seen yet… kitchen stuff. My mother needed a new hot plate burner.
After spending ten minutes looking for anyone who could help me find that stupid burner I decided to just go up and down EACH AISLE AGAIN and maybe this time I’d magically find it. And I did. But is was $16.00. The last one I bought was $9.00. But the last burner didn’t last too long so maybe this new one would be better. Still, $16.00 is a lot of money for a single burner. But I had already wasted enough time looking for it so I was not about to waste more time wondering if I should buy it. In the shopping cart it went!
I was wet from the rain and hot from all the walking I did in that huge store. All I wanted to do was cash out and get out. All the check out lines were long. That’s because the store was full yet only four registers were open. I spotted one register at the other end of the store with a light on. And the line looked short too! By the time I got there it was a very long line. I could not walk any more so I waited my turn.
I watched the total of my purchase increase with every beep. Then the burner got scanned… wait! It said $17.88. I told the girl it was supposed to be $16.00. She made a call, finished scanning my other items, and we waited. And waited. Finally, she asked for help and that woman made a call and we waited and waited some more. Then a manager or someone finally came over and I think the look on my face said it all. She told my cashier to just give it to me for $16.00. What??? I waited all this time just to suddenly be trusted to pick the price of my choice? Wasn’t my word good enough 15 minutes ago when it first got scanned at the wrong price?
Now that I saved $1.88 I started to wonder… what if I was wrong? What if I was just seeing things. After all, I was quite fatigued and somewhat dizzy after searching endlessly for help. Maybe I had read the price wrong. So I headed off to the kitchen section. I had a hard time to find it again because I don’t know the store. And there was no one to ask for directions along the way.
There it was. A yellow sticker that read $16.00. I went on yet another hike to find someone, anyone, who could reassure me that no one else would be charged $17.88 for a $16.00 item. I found no one. I decided to take the burner to the customer service desk and explain it to them. Along the way I found an employee (I mean a Walmart Associate) and I started telling her my story. She wanted to see where the burners were so we walked back to the end of the store. I showed her the burners and the price and she told me I could get a refund at customer service. I explained once again that I ended up paying only $16.00 and didn’t need a refund. So she wanted to know why I was complaining. I wasn’t! I just want to be sure the price got fixed so no one else would have to go through what I went through. And she told me again if I over paid, customer service is where I needed to go. I almost told here where she needed to go, but I didn’t. Instead I headed off to customer service so they could be informed about the boo boo in price.
There was no line at customer service! What a treat. This ordeal was coming to an end soon. The girl behind the desk was nice. After I told my story she wanted to know why I was telling her all this if I didn’t over pay. What could she do for me? I told her she could make sure no one else would be charged the wrong price. Another employee walked by and in the middle of my speech the girl behind the counter called her over. Finally, someone would know how to fix this mess!!! But the words that came out of the mouth of the customer service girl had something to do with water beds and a heating pad. She wasn’t talking about my very important burner price problem.
They chatted for a bit then I was asked once again how I could be helped. I yelled (and when I say yelled, I mean yelled) “does anyone in this store care that this item is scanning at the wrong price!!!?” She said words I’ll never forget. She said “yes, I care.” She said she’d have someone look into it. I didn’t believe her then and I don’t believe her now. The next person will pay $17.88 unless they are paying attention. And then they will also go through hell.
It was pouring when I left the store and all my bags got wet. The burner I was so concerned about was not even back in its bag and the box that I half expect to return ($16.00 really is too much) was already bubbling under the big drops of rain. Then my mother, the mother who I don’t think has ever once called me on my cell phone, called. She was worried sick. I had been gone for so long and she was worried that something horrible had happened. I told her she was right. A horrible thing did happen. I shopped at Walmart.
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