Is Wal-Mart the root of all evil?

Okay, I know that sounds over-the-top but do I at least have your attention?  Good.  I’m kind of mad at them right now, though not nearly as mad as my wife is. 

Here’s what happened.  About half an hour after my last blog post I was sitting here writing when my dog started barking and running for the front door.  The FedEx truck was outside.  The driver brought me a package, a new Sony Blu-Ray player.  It was addressed to my wife.  It’s my Christmas present.

Angela and I like to tease each other at this time of the year about what we’re getting each other, jokingly trying to get each other to reveal the surprise.  I’ll ask her out of the blue what she’s getting me for Christmas, for example, especially when she’s distracted by something else.  She’ll do the same to me on occasion.  It’s always good for a laugh.  It’s a fun little game but neither of us actually lets slip.

This is no laughing matter, though.  Angela was absolutely livid when I told her what happened.  She called Wal-Mart’s customer service and waited on hold for a while.  We lost track of how many times the automated message said that our estimated hold time was fifteen seconds.  Finally she got through to a real person who was, to my surprise, an American.  Angela demanded to know why the package wasn’t wrapped or shipped in another box like other internet retailers (Like Amazon) do. 

She was told it was because she didn’t check the gift box option on the website.  In her defense, she thought that icon meant they would giftwrap it and she wanted to do that herself.  They apologized but offered nothing to make it right.  I suppose we could take it back and she could get me something else but…I’ve been wanting a new Blu-Ray player for some time so that’s not going to happen.  I told her to go ahead and wrap it for under the tree so the kids will see me getting something on Christmas morning. 

I have to admit to being a little bummed that the surprise was ruined.  Angela was close to tears because it would have been a HUGE surprise for me and that was the whole idea.  Though I’d told her I’d wanted a new player a while back it wasn’t a Christmas request and it wasn’t really on my radar.

At the end of the call Angela told them that this is the last time she buys from their website.  The same goes for me.  Not only was a really cool surprise ruined but by not putting the box in another package Wal-Mart risked it being damaged in transit.  Not to mention stolen if we hadn’t been home and it was left on the porch all day.  All in all, a bad customer experience.

Angela is now emailing them to further express her displeasure.  It won’t change anything for us, of course, but it might prompt them to change things so that this doesn’t happen to someone else.  Will that happen?  Probably not but we can still try. 

By the way, I will enjoy the new player in about a month when I ‘get it’ for Christmas.

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