Free Ebook.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

« Seven Termites That Eat Your 401(k) | Main | Free Money Finance Recognized by the Wall Street Journal »

July 30, 2009


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

A good example of one of the many reasons I avoid shopping at Wal-Mart.

This is a common question I often get at Trader Joe's during check-out. In every instance the clerk that I've answered "no" the checkout clerk has gone running off into the store to find what I was looking for. I'm not sure how much I like this response either. You get what you wanted but it can be a bit uncomfortable if you've got a line of people standing behind you.

I'd really like an "edit" button about now. Must. Reread. Comment. Before. Hitting. Post.

MonkeyMonk - I too have found the staff working the check out at Trader Joe's to be very responsive. Moreover, they are personable and friendly - you get the feeling like they own the place and actually care about the customer. Not sure if it's universal but it's the experience at the store in Wayne, NJ (we drive about 7 miles to visit this's the closest one!)

When I go to WalMart I try to use the self check out...I try to avoid contact or conversation with any humans there...

The few times I've stopped in the Walmart near my house (close enough to walk) they have NEVER had what I was looking for. It's usually a case where I need something fast (like a school project), but the store always disappoints. We have gotten the weirdest looks walking out empty-handed!
I guess I will never understand folks fascination with Walmart - honestly, if you actually compare prices, they aren't as good as the deals I get.

So don't go to Wal-Mart. I don't.

It's even worse at Home Depot and Lowes. Just about any store personnel wandering through the store will ask if you're finding what you need. More often than not, I'm not finding it and neither can the employee. It's a case of the store personnel not really knowing about their store's merchandise or customer base.

I used to work at Trader Joe's in southern California. A few years ago the company decided to revamp customer service. Instead of telling customers to call customer service at a corporate location it was up to the individual stores, with a lot of responsibility falling on crew members, to resolve customer service issues.
And it's usually pretty easy to talk to the assistant manager if the manager is not present.

Kudos to my local WM SC in Vancouver, WA, if they are "out" or I can't "find" I always get help immediately w/ a smile and can even get a floor person to open a closed checkout, SUPER service! My favorite place to shop! Seem to have even MORE people "on the floor" than local Fred Meyer store...go figure! (Though WM haven't been able to get any ammo since the election - continuous open shelf space for it and I ask 2x a week - when small stores do get it here and there)

I dunno. I've heard it so many times that I think it must be some kind of "script" that they make all the Walmart employees say. Scripts are normal.

If Seth is talking about a retailer I'd put my money on Target.

Personally I think Seth is talking about Microsoft. But back to this post.
Isn't that the problem with most business' today? You pay low wages, sell inferior product, put your eggs in the marketing basket aka 'We are the lowest price around' and then rake in the bucks.
Its not about the Customer. We just happen to be the vehicle.

Think GM
Think Microsoft
Think Walmart

Lurker carl, last Monday I left one of my most used tools at a customer's business and drove 45+ miles to my next account before realizing it. Rather than spend an hour and a half going to retrieve it, I stopped at the local Home Depot for a cheap replacement. Not only was the gentleman in the Tool Corral helpful, he walked with me to the correct isle to find what I needed.
Locally both the Lowes and HD have better customer service than I have EVER had at a Walmart.

MonkeyMonk, I too find Trader Joe's customer service to be superb. Any retail store could take lessons from them.

Wallymart Lowes HomeDepot service personnel varies GREATLY. From Idots to Supreme, as for Wmart i find their online to have more info than in store and use it as such.

Customer service can be pretty bad in Thailand as well. Usually in the department store they are literally dozens of people working, often standing around, quietly talking into their mobile phones or just chatting while leaning on the walls, etc.

When you ask them, "Where is X" or "Do you have Y" they often respond with:

-Mai Mee (Thai for don't have it)

-Mot Laew (Thai for Sold out)

Note that this is done without actually doing any checking or verification, more like a reflex like saying bless you when you hear someone sneeze.

or they will sweep their arm to some direction of the store to get you to look somewhere else. Sometimes when they say they don't have it I keep looking and find it. On the one occasion I found the person and told them they actually have it, the person just slinked off and walked away because they felt they lost face.

So I guess the Walmart experience is pretty universal. You get what you pay for and the Walmart workers aren't the most switched on people... I'm sure if someone is really good they will make the move to leave Walmart.


Don't blame the line-level employees who've deviled you with apathetic service. They're only behaving as their companies' supervisors, managers and executives allow them to.

The basis for the difference between the level of service exemplified by Trader Joe's and at the average WalMart is simple: it's employees who care about serving the customer. And they care because everyone above them cares - about their customers and their staff. They care enough to give their organization and their employees the tools they need to succeed: at all levels, they hire thoughtfully, train properly, invest fully, supervise closely, present a consistently positive example themselves, and correct - in a positive manner - behaviors that are contrary to that example. This either starts at the top of the food chain or it doesn't start at all.

So line-level staff who don't give a rat's rear end about you are a glaring indicator of top-level executives who either feel likewise or just don't get how customer service drives their operation onward. Or downward.

wal-mart serves the community with cheap prices on mostly resonably quality products. Prices are kept low because they pay the employees low wages. I am not against this. These people are generally not well educated and do not have good sales skills. Its just one thing you might have to put up with when shopping at wal mart.But overall I'd rather pay less for the product rather than more. so I accept wal mart for what it is. Good products, good price. Those who are above this...shouldn't shop there. That said. Wal mart is just like the whole big world out there. Sometimes you'll get a great person to take care of you and sometimes you will not. If you get a dummy...just ask someone else. I've found helpful people at wal mart too.

Actually, I thought Seth was talking about Yahoo!, not Wal-Mart (nor Microsoft).

Walmart is a hit or miss for me. Sometimes they are really low, especially on the weekends. I like Walmart most of the time, but what annoys me is that they seem to rearrange the store every couple of months, so if you knew where the stuff was at one point in time, it changes and you are wandering around on a scavenger hunt.
I guess it's a good way to keep you in the store longer and have you spend more.
Drives me nuts.

"is anyone at Walmart reading this?"

Ha ... they just might be!

It surprised me when the buyer for computers at Walmart commented on my laptop article (thanks for the link BTW!) Companies are reading what people say about their products, and some are responding. The response on my site came less than 12 hours after my post.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Start a Blog


  • Any information shared on Free Money Finance does not constitute financial advice. The Website is intended to provide general information only and does not attempt to give you advice that relates to your specific circumstances. You are advised to discuss your specific requirements with an independent financial adviser. Per FTC guidelines, this website may be compensated by companies mentioned through advertising, affiliate programs or otherwise. All posts are © 2005-2012, Free Money Finance.