Shopping Alternatives
Posted: 2009-07-01. Categories: Georgia, Kroger, Wal-mart

With four children 9 and under, I feel that the best deals for groceries and non-food items are at Wal-Mart, not to mention one stop shopping with limited time.

Seeking Shopping Alternatives to Wal-mart

I have tried to not go there and shop at Publix or Kroger but the grocery bill by itself is outrageous. Unfortunately, I have really had some bad customer service experiences at Wal-Mart.

I live in Gainesville, GA and shop at either that Wal-Mart (Wal-Mart Supercenter Store #510) or the one in Dahlonega, GA (Wal-Mart Supercenter Store #2513) only 25 minutes away. We moved back to Georgia in 2006 so I have been shopping at both (mainly Dahlonega due to the store being less crowded) every 2 to 3 weeks drop between $500 and $600 most of the time.

Shopping for Nothing

Around 3 years ago, I was in the Gainesville Wal-Mart with my youngest (he is only 3½ now). I was under the gun as usual to get finished shopping and get to the school to pick up the other three kids. I normally get non-food items first and have the customer service desk hold the cart for me while I finish shopping.

That day, I went to checkout and get my other cart and they had used it for go-backs. I was so upset that I vowed to never go there again. Lord knows, I didn’t want to go back another day after spending around 3-hours (average time) to shop.

I literally cried because they had put back and/or mixed up almost all of the things from my cart. I had a baby with me, who had been in the cart too long, and of course I was under the gun to pick up the kids from school.

Not My Bread

Seeking Shopping Alternatives to Wal-mart

I decided to check out the Dahlonega store after that. It was less crowded and appeared to have better stocked shelves. One day, I took my kids with me (all adopted from China and Korea) for just a few items and the cashier apparently didn’t like the way my family looked. She had the meanest, glaring look on her face.

Just behind me in line was another family (with dirty looking kids who weren’t wearing shoes on their feet, etc.) glaring at me as well. When the cashier had finished ringing up my order, I realized the she had rung up their loaf of bread with my order. I had placed a divider between our orders but their bread had fallen onto my stuff. No big deal, however, when I said “that is their bread” to the cashier, she literally said “It’s yours now!”

Talk about stunned silence. For a moment I stood there trying to take in what she had just said to me! That family didn’t say one word either. I told her that it surely was not mine and she said that yes it was and that I had to go to the customer service desk to have it refunded.

I still to this day cannot believe that she acted that way. Of course, I ranted to the Store Manager and that is how I got to know the nice CSM that day. We still laugh about that. Of course, she is still employed there and I wonder what they really did, if anything, to her for that.

Last night I went alone to the Dahlonega store for the first time, in the evening. The hubby came home early so I could go alone. The visit was fine and I thought — Wow!

Should It Take An Act of Congress?

Tuesday evening (or any evening during the week) is very pleasant. After I filled one cart with my non-perishable items (so that my cold stuff won’t stay out of the fridge or freezer too long), I took it to customer service and asked that they hold it for me.

Now, mind you, I have learned that you do not listen to them when they say (and a CS person tells me this every time) “Just put it over there, I will watch it for you”.

I learned over the past 3½ years at both stores to ask for a piece of paper to write my name on and tape it to the cart so that it won’t be put back. It also happened once at this store as well as the Gainesville store. They roll their eyes when I insist on doing that.

Well, not only do I write my name, but I write, “Please don’t return, still shopping” along with the date and time. What more do these people need? When I got up to the checkout last night, my stuff at “Lack of” customer service had been separated and some already put back. I was livid!

Let’s Play the Blame Game

It was 8:00 p.m. and I had been in the store for 3-hours. I lost it! Those employees (including the one that told me just to put it over there and she would watch it) started blaming me! I was in tears. Manager Tom came over and I was pointing and yelling because they actually had the nerve to tell me that I should have gotten one of their signatures on that piece of paper! How absolutely ridiculous!

They opened another register, thank God — because they only had two open — to check me out. I was furious and just wanted to get out of there. If only I could stand to walk away and leave everything, but that is so hard to do with my limited time as a mother and the time I already invested in shopping.

Then the cashier, who checked me out, told me that I should have had them put it somewhere else, that people for camps, etc. have multiple carts all the time. So I said “you mean to tell me that there is a ‘SPECIAL’ place for multiple carts.

I wanted her to understand why I was so upset.

She was mad and said she didn’t want to argue with me. There was no argument that I am aware of. None of them wanted to take responsibility, they were all attempting to put the blame on me! I was shaking. She gave me the receipt and never bothered to say thank you. The manager really didn’t know what to do.

I don’t remember hearing anyone say they were sorry. Customers were staring. It was sick! I drove up for my $600 worth of stuff and the cashier that rang me up walked out with me, helping with the two carts and asked if I needed any help. I told her she didn’t have to and she turned around and walked away. I really didn’t want her or anyone else around me while I loaded my $600 of stuff. I just wanted to get out of there as soon as possible!

I called the manager from my car as I was driving off, after I had calmed down a little. I wanted him to understand why I was so livid.

He was very apologetic and said there was no such thing as getting their signature on my piece of paper etc. He said that he hoped I continue to shop with them. I told him how embarrassed I was and that I was sorry that I got so upset.

I let him know that his lovely employees inflamed the situation by coming up with new ways to blame me for the situation. I own a business and also worked at Winn-Dixie for 6 ½ years thru high school and college and can NEVER imagine blaming a customer. Heck! I don’t blame customers to their face when it IS their fault.

The manager claimed he would go over this with employees and figure out a better way to deal with multiple cart customers. I am shaking now as I type this because it still makes me mad.

I have been overcharged or double-charged for items as well at both stores, which other posters have mentioned. It is extremely important to go over the receipt especially when purchasing so many items.

I have gotten some mileage and laughs off my Wal-Mart stories with my friends (especially the loaf of bread incident) but I feel trapped because I would LOVE to shop at Publix all the time but I just can’t tolerate the high bill! Also, I would probably still have to go to Wal-Mart for non-food stuff and that would mean two places to shop, instead of getting it over with in one visit. It is truly a thorn in my side every 2 to 3 weeks. HELP!

Thanks for listening (reading). Glad to get it all off my chest!

Rhonda Ballard

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