I officially said goodbye to Wal-Mart about 2 months ago. And oh the sweet, sweet freedom I have felt since!
You see, I guess it was probably in the 90’s sometime when Wal-Mart came to our county. It was scandalous! Some were excited, some were opposed. I was a teenager, I could have cared less.
However, somewhere between then and now, I grew up. And I became a Wal-Mart zombie. You know the kind. Hitting Wal-Mart for every necessity. 2 or 3 times a week.
It was a wonderful love affair for a time. I could get all of my shopping done in one trip and the prices really seemed lower than elsewhere.
But then, something started to happen. I started to resent WM. The more I had to go there, the more I hated it. But still I went. Even when I noticed prices rising. Even when the cashiers treated me like crap or rude customers ran into me with their cart without apologizing. I was still part of the WM Army.
All until 2 months ago.
I went in for my groceries and loaded up my gas card so I could go out and fill up my tank. So I load the car, pull up to the tanks and start filling. However, no gas was coming out. But the computer on the tank was still racking up the charge. I put the nozzle back on the pump. The total still kept increasing.
I complained (along with several others) to the attendant and we were all told “Hmmm. I don’t know what’s up with it. There’s nothing I can do.”
So, I pulled my car back over to the store. Keep in mind that it’s full of groceries and it’s a 20 minute drive back to my town. So I march up to the service desk and tell the lady my ordeal.
And she says, “Well, that’s a separate company. We can’t help you here.”
Oh ho ho! It was on like Donkey Kong then, I can tell you that much!
I totally get that the gas station is a separate company from WM. The problem I have is that if WM is willing to take my money in exchange for a plastic card that I will go use at the gas station out in the parking lot, then they need to be willing to help me if I have a problem with that piece of merchandise that I purchased from them. And that’s what I told the lady.
And still she wouldn’t budge.
Now, I am not a fan of confrontation. I usually try to see the positive in all situations and give others the benefit of the doubt when they are being less than pleasant. But not this time. I told that lady that I was not leaving the store until she refunded my money that was on the gas card. After at least 10 more minutes of arguing with her, she agreed to the refund.
And I thanked her and then promptly told her that I would never shop there again. And I haven’t. And I won’t.
Previously, I always went to Aldi’s first and got whatever groceries I could there and then went to WM. Now, I go to Aldi’s and Kroger. And most of what I buy is the generic brand, so when you couple that with my Kroger card and their weekly deals, it really isn’t bad. We have a Dollar General here in town, so I get my toiletries there. I make my own cleaning supplies, and have for some time, and my own laundry detergent now, thanks to my cousin, Gretchen, who helped me that first time. So, I don’t buy a lot of toiletries anyway.
The thing that ticks me off at WM, and the thing that was going through my mind while dealing with that lady was this – what if that was my sweet, little Mamaw in there? Getting bullied by a rude customer service rep. And that made me mad!
WM thinks that just because most of America is willing to hand over their hard-earned dollars every week, no matter what, that they can use and abuse us. And to be honest, I know that they are cheaper, but sometimes they aren’t and I think they raise the prices just because they know they can without having to suffer any kind of fallout from it. Just my humble opinion, of course.
I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed my 2 months of freedom from WM. I haven’t noticed a huge increase in my grocery bill either, which really surprised me. And sometimes my bill is cheaper. But I don’t really spend a lot of time on tracking every penny that is spent on each item. I do plan out every meal that we eat each week and prepare my grocery list from that, but I’m not a massive coupon clipper unless it’s something I use regularly. And I don’t do all the CVS, Walgreens, etc stuff. I think that kind of thing is really great for those that want to invest the time, but that’s just the problem for me, it takes too much of my precious time. I’ve read about people getting tons and tons of stuff for like 39 cents or something. I think that’s amazing and I admire them, but it’s just not for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good deal, but I usually stumble upon them by accident rather than stalking them in the Sunday ads.
So, while I am sure that I may be paying a little more for my groceries now (and sometimes less), it isn’t enough to make me uncomfortable. And the peace of mind I get from being able to walk through a store that I don’t feel is taking advantage of me and isn’t wall to wall people, is well worth it to me.
I do know that I will pay more for some things and that’s just the way it is. There is a canner that I want and I know that I will have to pay at least $20 more for it by getting it elsewhere (unless I can get a deal on ebay), but I’m not going back to WM and that’s a fact, Jack!