Goodbye Wal-Mart…and Good Riddance

image by art.com

image by art.com

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!

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15 thoughts on “Goodbye Wal-Mart…and Good Riddance

  1. Christy August 26, 2008 at 8:51 pm Reply

    I’m with ya, sista!!! Walmart has made me mad so many times…but I haven’t officially boycotted them….YET. Kuddos to you for taking the plunge!!!
    By the way, I’ve seen lots of canners at flea markets. Have you tried that?? That may save you some money!!

  2. klutzymama August 26, 2008 at 9:27 pm Reply

    I never even thought of flea markets. I will have to keep that in mind. Thanks, Christy!

  3. Beckynsc August 26, 2008 at 10:38 pm Reply

    I have boycotted them before for other reasons, but I eventually go back. But I have begun leaning toward other places lately. You have refueled my boycott!

  4. Grammy August 26, 2008 at 11:59 pm Reply

    I’m proud of you Amos, Love Dad

  5. klutzymama August 27, 2008 at 12:39 am Reply

    Hey my dad has made an appearance on the blog! Welcome Daddy! Come back often!

  6. Kristi August 27, 2008 at 12:50 am Reply

    Well, no one is going to like me on here, BUT Wal-Mart pays our house payment and has paid our bills for 17 years and the company has been good to us (Matt was a manager of a store, co-manager of a supercenter and now is a Market Electronics Manager over 11 stores).

    When I read this, I told Matt about it and he said the gas station should have taken care of it and he had never heard of something like that happening before. I can understand everyone’s frustration as I have been frustrated many times with Wal-Mart and Wal-Mart employees. I think any larger company is going to have some rude employees, just like any place you work, there is nice people and not so nice people. And I am not trying to make excuses, I have worked a lot of places and lived in a lot of different towns (small and large), I have just found this to be true.

    I do know that Wal-Mart did put a lot of small businesses out of business and I can understand why that upsets people. But Wal-Mart employees a lot of people and I think they are a good company.

    And Matt is super nice, he would have helped you. 😉

  7. klutzymama August 27, 2008 at 1:05 am Reply

    Kristi,
    I agree with you in that you have this problem with any large company, it’s just that this particular company was getting a lot of my money every week and I have been fed up with them so many times in the past over other issues. And I also agree that WM employs lots of people, that’s very nice. I’m not trying to tell others not to shop there, I just choose not to anymore.

    Frankly, I’m kinda surprised that more people haven’t spoken out in favor of WM.

    My best friend worked there for years and she now works for Sam’s Club and I’m constantly griping to her about how much I can’t stand WM. She just rolls her eyes laughs at me.

    Also, I get it that the gas station should have corrected it. The problem is that they didn’t and quite frankly I wasn’t going to stand and argue with the attendant, who I am sure had no clue how she was supposed to help me. My point in that whole matter was that they shouldn’t sell the cards for gas use if they aren’t going to provide customer support when there is a problem. Let the gas station be separate from you if you don’t want to deal with it, in other words, don’t sell the cards in your store.

    No offense meant to your hubby – I’m sure not all WM’s are the same. Ours just sucks! 🙂

  8. klutzymama August 27, 2008 at 1:15 am Reply

    Oh and kudos to you, Kristi, for going against the grain here! I always welcome everyone’s comments, even if they don’t agree with what I’m saying. 🙂

  9. 50s Housewife August 27, 2008 at 1:57 am Reply

    I’m a regular Wal-Mart shopper, but I’ve thought about changing to another store. My Wal-Mart is always so crowded and they usually only have 2 or 3 lanes open so I have to wait forever to check out. I don’t have an Aldi or a Kroger nearby so my shopping choices are limited. My favorite place to shop is a regional chain grocery store that always has excellent customer service, PLUS the checkers get everything out of the cart (no putting everything on the little belt yourself) and the sackers take it to the car. That service sure is nice, but it’s a little pricey.

  10. mel August 27, 2008 at 12:33 pm Reply

    Well… I do have family that works for walmart. i love them. I do not love walmart

    I work in a specialty toy store and I get a lot of folks coming in complaining about toys made in china. Then when they see the prices of toys made in Germany, England and the USA they sniff and say they will go to walmart.

    That is fine by me. However they then have 2 problems. 1) walmart probably won’t have a similar item (some of our suppliers refuse to even talk to walmart buyers) and 2) if you are tired of cheap china junk then you need to quit going to the cheap china junk distributor and paying for it. As a teacher for 20 years, I learned you can go buy 20 toys that are cheaply made every 6 months or go spend a bit more and buy solid good quality items that will last for generations.

    As for me, I have not shopped in a walmart by choice (Beloved goes in now and then for movies) for about 3 months. I DO compare prices, and truthfully, my local HEB has the same or better prices. HEB is a TX owned store, and I am not sure where they are, but they are the best for awesome quality and decent prices here in my town.

    Walmart is going down hill. It is sad to see but it is happening. It usually does when one decides they are powerful enough to do what ever they want to and forget about anyone else.

  11. heathermiller August 27, 2008 at 1:18 pm Reply

    You go girl! I love my Meijer! Rarely shop elsewhere!

  12. klutzymama August 27, 2008 at 1:55 pm Reply

    Mel,
    We don’t have a HEB around there that I know of, but I’ve heard about it on other blogs. I wish we did. And I also wish we had a Meijer close by too.
    I agree with you about the cheap toy thing. We don’t really buy the girls toys except at Christmas and birthdays, so I like to try to stay away from the cheap junk if at all possible. Unfortunately, my kids don’t have a keen eye for distinguishing between junk and quality, so sometimes they end up with junk if that’s what they ask for… 🙂

  13. Gretchen August 27, 2008 at 2:06 pm Reply

    I have been waiting for this post. I won’t go to Wal-mart either. I have (in slight desperation) went there a handful of times since my boycott began earlier this year. In fact, the first post I did on my blog was about Wal-mart . I mean, no customer service – at all! I also shop at Aldi and Kroger or Mejier. So, I am so sorry I told you about the canner at Wal-mart. I also paid $20 more for mine, but it was so worth it not to have to step foot into that place!

  14. Kristi August 27, 2008 at 2:26 pm Reply

    Stop talking about my sister like that!!! lol

    (sorry, that sentence is just for klutzymama) 😉

  15. klutzymama August 27, 2008 at 2:31 pm Reply

    Ha ha ha ha! That made me chuckle out loud, Kristi!

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