Wal-Mart has poor service

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  • Steve - Re: Anonymous 9/13
    Sept. 4, 2008 1:15 p.m.

    I thought the woman HAD her checkbook in her possession at the checkstand. Wasn't the whole gist of this that she wasn't able to use her check due to lack of ID?

    You may very well be right, but you're making assumptions.

    What makes you think the "only" thing a person stealing cash is after is drugs? There are numerous other reasons a person could be desperate enough to steal cash from a person or forge checks to get cash.

    For example: what if it were some single mother about to be evicted from her appartment and she needed cash/money to pay the rent and to buy groceries and school supplies for her kids? Or what if it were a homeless person doing it just to survive? The possiblities are endless.

    Not every thief is a strung out druggie.

  • Anonymous
    Sept. 3, 2008 11:45 p.m.


    It is evedent that the person who stole her wallet was only after cash. The man went to the bank with checks writen out to himself for sevices in the notes line There are several branches of this bank in a close area. he got cash for each check he wrote.
    Anyone that is only after cash has one goal.

    The checks were cashed minutes after he stole the wallet even before Penny could report the crime.

    And to my knowlege that no credit cards were used. Another point he wanted cash. Cash=drugs

  • Steve - Re: I
    Sept. 3, 2008 2:03 p.m.

    "I" at 11:23 p.m. yesterday in these replies made a good point. A person should've forgotten about their groceries/merchandise and not spent valuable time trying to keep their food and going home with it (even just an hour or two's time can be vital) and instead concentrated fully on immediately preventing potential identity theft (canceling debit and credit cards). I too would've been on the phone doing that instead of arguing with a CSM at Wal-Mart about what I wanted to buy.

    That being said, yes it's a shame this woman had to go through all the trouble of canceling and getting new cards due to a thief (as I'm sure she's done by now). I know what it's like having lost my debit or credit cards a couple times before (each time though turning out I had just lost/misplaced them rather than being stolen... but better safe than sorry when canceling and then re-ordering cards).

  • Steve - Re: A friend again
    Sept. 3, 2008 1:45 p.m.

    You point out the person who stole her purse/wallet was a druggie (an assumption) out forging her checks and signing her name to them... in other words, identity theft.

    We're not trying to be cold hearted here, just realistic.

    Again, how was the store to know she wasn't the theif (rather than the victim)?? For all they knew SHE could be the one in possession of a stolen checkbook. If she has no ID to prove she's the person named on the check, she could be the one commiting identity theft and the store is just trying to protect themselves AND the owner of the checks by not honoring/taking the check without proper ID.

    Are they just supposed to trust someone because they look like a sweet old lady? Older people can be theives too... they can forge checks just as easily.

    Better safe than sorry for both the store AND the check/debit-credit card owner when ID is insisted upon.

    What if it had turned out this woman really wasn't a victim of theft and Wal-Mart handed over the groceries for free? How is it a good thing to just believe everyone who lacks ID?

  • Steve-Re:SamWaltonAshamed
    Sept. 3, 2008 1:32 p.m.

    I disagree. Retail companies don't exist to serve the community, they're about making money. If a person starts a business they're doing so in order to make some money for themselves and as much of it as possible in the process. And there's nothing wrong with that by the way.

    That's what we all try to do, make money. No matter if we're just the employees or the owners. Each of us needs to make a living and support ourselves and our families.

  • Mike
    Sept. 3, 2008 2:15 a.m.

    Wal-Mart is the devil.... Please shop somewhere else!!! They drain the Social Services of any community they are in... Pay a little more and shop at Target, Albertson's, Smith's, or anywhere that treats their employees with respect and gives them decent pay and benefits so they are not draining on the public services of the communities!! I'm sure Wal-Mart doesn't care as all the price zombies will still go there no matter what. I'm sure they are a little stressed with the Olympics shutting down the factories that make the majority of their products with Communist slave labour!!!

  • l
    Sept. 2, 2008 11:23 p.m.

    I'd have forgotten my groceries and immediately gone to work canceling my credit cards, putting holds on my credit with equifax and the other credit reporting companies, talking to the bank about my stolen checks to get them voided so they can't be cashed, etc.

  • Anonymous
    Sept. 2, 2008 10:48 p.m.

    To, she's lucky she was not arrested.
    You do not work retail or for wal-mart and if you do you better get out and find a new job. You have no compassion. There are ways to over ride ID. This can be done by managers not CSMs. The fault here was 100% the CSM. That believes their job is above everyone else. And can handle every problem faced with without compassion with out the knowalge of a Store manager. The store manager was not told about the problem until a few days later.
    Again common with anyone that is given a little power and get's a little to big for their shorts.At that point they believe they know more than store mangers. I've seen it there and in other stores. CSM has nothing to do with Customer service when power hungery employees are in charge

  • dj
    Sept. 2, 2008 10:30 p.m.

    I have experienced a few very nice and knowledgeable Walmart employees. It's a shame too, because they don't compensate them enough for good work.

  • Anonymous
    Sept. 2, 2008 9:46 p.m.

    Sorry to be mean here, but let's be realistic... ANYone can say "my wallet was stolen". Why should Wal-Mart or ANY store for that matter believe you? Why should they cash your check without ID? >>>>>.

    A manager should have been called, tapes looked at that day, not two days later. When the tapes were reviewed they saw the man taking her wallet. Can you imagine.

    This problem is all to do with an CSM that thinks they are higher than a manager!!!!!!!!!

    Penny really doesn't need anyones approval here or have you believe her because those that matter know the truth.

    The rest of you need to take a lesson on compassion.

  • a friend again
    Sept. 2, 2008 9:33 p.m.

    But I suspect we haven' heard the full story.>>

    I have heard the FULL story. She has no family near by. Friends were not home. Church leaders also work. This was the middle of the day. I for one (one of her friends)was not home at the time.
    There is a way for Wal-Mart to over ride the ID. It has been done.
    She lives close by thinking a check would be alright she drove the few blocks home.

    But Penny has angels that follow her and many unknown made sure she had the food she needed. And her church leaders will help her until she can recover the stolen money from her accounts.
    This was a petty thief more than likely only out for drugs, writing HER checks signing HER name and getting cash.

    Watch out for the stones you throw the might come back and hit you in the face

  • A friend of Penny's again
    Sept. 2, 2008 9:19 p.m.

    What has happened to compassion and charity. Some of you need to go back to Sunday School pull your wallets out and pay for someones groceries.
    At Christmas my daughter was at this same Wal-Mart. The woman in front of her had for gotten her wallet. Was upset and under stress. My daughter a full time student at the "U" took out her debit card and paid for the womans groceries over $100 worth. She would not let the woman know who she was or phone number.
    If a 20 year old can do this with out thought maybe we all should do it sometime just because! And not even because they may have lost or forgot a wallet. Just to be kind.

  • no name
    Sept. 2, 2008 8:58 p.m.

    Frank wrote >

    You have never met my son!!!
    As Penny was not treated a she should have been by the customer service this Wal-Mart has a BIG problem with their CSMs. Penny needs to go higher than the CSM (I hope you remember their names) and if he doesn't give you the correct service go over his head and on up until YOU get the service you deserve!!!! They need to help find this stupid petty theif that is only after drugs.
    Frank to lump all employee's the same is not fair or right. My son has worked for Wal-Mart several years works hard at his job and is great when helping customers (I spy on him)
    Penny got a raw deal.

  • Officer should be reprimanded
    Sept. 2, 2008 6:33 p.m.


    "Sorry to be mean here, but let's be realistic... ANYone can say "my wallet was stolen". Why should Wal-Mart or ANY store for that matter believe you?"

    Those defending Penny's actions are as rude as she is. Anyone who has the strength to disagree with them have their character attacked and their motives impugned. Somehow we are all defenders of corporate America even though I'm a liberal who is opposed to capitalism run amok.

    "Why should they cash your check without ID? For all the store knows you've stolen that checkbook and you're commiting identity theft by trying to use a stolen checkbook."

    You are correct about that. It's one thing if they know the customer and she's a regular but it's just stupid to accept checks without identification.

    "Anyone who has had their checkbook or credit cards stolen can agree I'm sure."

    Of course she would be crying if she had to deal with signing affidavits of forgery and verify that she didn't write forged checks.

    "Also, what was the sheriff thinking asking "can this woman just have her groceries now"? What? Let her have them without paying for them?"

    I can't believe he asked that either.

  • Penny, the one
    Sept. 2, 2008 5:18 p.m.

    To all of you who think it is my fault, my wallet, along with my debit card had just been STOLEN at THEIR store!!!! Duh. I talked to the manager today, and he was VERY upset, and said that the manager who was supposed to be helping me when the S.L.Co. Sheriff was there with me, said that she could have, and should have overidden that check and let me take my groceries. Be careful what mean things you say about others, for what comes around goes around. Have a nice day!

  • Sam Walton would be ashamed
    Sept. 2, 2008 4:51 p.m.

    I suspect that if Sam Walton were alive today this letter would have never seen the light of day. This lady would have left with her groceries with no ID check.

    And I beg to differ with the corporate god worshipping group who think that the little people exist for this company to make a profit. Quite the contrary, this company exists to serve customers who if they do so in a satisfactory manner according to the judgement of the customer, can be expected to make a profit. Monopolistic forces coupled with slave labor will keep this ship afloat for a while, but their days are numbered.

    Wal Mart is the GM of yesterday. The customer is king will always prove itself to be true in the end.

    I've been to virtually every Wal Mart along the wasatch front and they do have without question the worst overall customer service out there especially considering the resources they have to remedy it. Having said that, if you push and assert yourself they will honor the customer satisfaction guarantee but most of the time you have to call management, and they do have the authority to make those judgement calls.

  • hey Mike richards
    Sept. 2, 2008 4:52 p.m.

    Shopping at WM I find the General Mills and Kellog products from the good old USA are 1/2 as much for a bigger box of cereal than at the other stores. I try to avoid Chinese products whenever possible at any store. All the food which is the same at every store is much cheaper at WM. Check your facts.

  • longtimereader
    Sept. 2, 2008 4:33 p.m.

    I feel badly for the shopper who had her wallet stolen. Walmart should have been more responsive/compassionate/customer service oriented than to refuse her check. Surely they could have done more to help her out. Was is worth it to the store to have the possibility of a bad check (remote) or have a customer who will tell everyone that she was badly treated? I shop often at that location (it's close to my home and the prices for groceries is good etc.) but lately, I am becoming irritated at the long lines and the lack of cashiers on registers - but an excess of employees "greeting" stocking and otherwise occupied with other tasks. Time to go to Alberson's or Smith's.

  • Steve - It's about security
    Sept. 2, 2008 4:27 p.m.

    Sorry to be mean here, but let's be realistic... ANYone can say "my wallet was stolen". Why should Wal-Mart or ANY store for that matter believe you? Why should they cash your check without ID? For all the store knows you've stolen that checkbook and you're commiting identity theft by trying to use a stolen checkbook.

    Might be sad and unfortunate for this woman we're all responding to, but that's how it works and we should all be thankful for such villigence. Anyone who has had their checkbook or credit cards stolen can agree I'm sure.

    Also, what was the sheriff thinking asking "can this woman just have her groceries now"? What? Let her have them without paying for them?

  • Julie
    Sept. 2, 2008 4:19 p.m.

    To anonymous and others who said Penny should have used a debit card. Her debit card was stolen along with her checks. I am a friend of Penny's. This is the only time WalMart has asked for her ID. They almost never ask for mine. So there Penny is crying because her wallet has been stolen and they suddenly decided they need identification? I tried desperately once to have it put in their computer system that they should ask for ID when accepting checks on my account. They told me it couldn't be done. With a crying woman standing there they suddenly decide to need ID. Did they think she was just a very good actress and was actually the person who stole the wallet? If she was she would have just gone through the line without causing any attention the way the thief apparently did at another location when he spent 600 of her dollars.

  • Confused
    Sept. 2, 2008 3:41 p.m.

    You guys that put the lady at blame and that Walmart must protect itself from Fraud:

    You do realize that the amount of the ladies groceries get written off by Corporate Wlamart almost every day?

    The Manager did not put a Multi Billion Dollar company at risk.

    They would have asked for an explaination, then they probably would have given him a "Atta Boy" for the positive press Walmart would receive instead of the comments found on this opinion.

  • Personal Experience
    Sept. 2, 2008 2:09 p.m.

    I remember my last customer service experience at Walmart. I was looking for a specific $20 airpump only Walmart carries. The rep found me and asked:

    "Can I help you find anything."
    "I'm looking for a Model 400 airpump."
    "There right over there."
    "Those are the 1200 Models(over $100), I think your out of the 400's".
    "There right over there in ailse 8."
    "No those are the deluxe models"

    The rep just kept walking, no another peep or suggestion out of him.

  • Kevin
    Sept. 2, 2008 2:06 p.m.

    This is partially why I buy my groceries at Whole Paycheck... I mean... Whole Foods.

  • Anonymous
    Sept. 2, 2008 2:04 p.m.

    special exception to the "ID rule" could have been made in this case...with management approval...

    As to WalMart's reputation...we have found that the WMs here in Zion...are horrible....empty shelves, uncaring employees, overall dirty stores.

    However...the WalMarts elsewhere...such as, Ontario, Oregon, and Burley, Idaho are nothing like those here in SLC area. These two specific stores seem to have employees that CARE about their store and their customers. We have only had good experiences at these two locations and just this weekend passed through Burley and were left with our jaws agape at the excellent customer service provided there.

    Its a shame that good customer service is now the exception instead of the rule.

  • She's lucky she wasn't arrested
    Sept. 2, 2008 1:42 p.m.


    "Several people seem to think that she had the option of a bank card instead of the check. Folks, her wallet was stolen. She had to go home to get a check. It seems like Wallmart could have been more understanding and patient with this woman."

    They did everything they could for her. They held her groceries until she returned and even took the extra time to wait for the police to arrive and to talk with them in the hope of finding a solution.

    They could have easily asked the officer to remove her from the store and charge her with trespassing but they didn't because they were trying to be as helpful as possible. If she wasn't elderly they would have ordered her to leave and if she refused had her arrested for trespassing and ban her from returning.

    It seems to me that you think that the only thing they could have done to show understanding was to allow her to leave the store with their goods without proper identification for a check or cash payment. That wasn't going to happen. The only way she was going to leave with the groceries was full payment.

  • Chris Plummer
    Sept. 2, 2008 1:41 p.m.

    RE: A totally unreasonable customer

    You have it right on the money. I get asked all the time at my job to do the person a favor and ignore procedures that are in place to stop fraud. I won't do it. My job is on the line.

  • No store will do it
    Sept. 2, 2008 1:06 p.m.


    "Penny, I would suggest you see what other options are close by for shopping. Associated Food Stores, Smith's, Albertson's, etc. They will appreciate your business at least as much as Wal-Mart did, and they may even treat you like a human. I would hug you if I could, Penny."

    Albertsons, Smiths and other grocery stores aren't going to accept checks without ID's either. I don't know what your problem is but Wal-Mart went out of its way to hold her groceries until she returned and were patient throughout the entire process yet they have loss prevention policies which are absolute.

    If they allowed her to leave the store with their goods in exchange for accepting a bad check they could easily be out of luck since all they can really do is send the check to a collection agency but people who need food don't care about being in collections.

    It's clear to reasonable people that she could have found a way to pay for her groceries. She could have easily called a family member, friend, neighbor, or religious leader who would happily come and pay for her groceries.

    But I suspect we haven' heard the full story.

  • Mike Richards
    Sept. 2, 2008 1:00 p.m.

    My sympathies to you Mrs. Murphy. Loosing a wallet would ruin anyone's day.

    Wal-Mart has found a way to hurt everyone. Do some work on the Internet and find the prices Wal-Mart pays for items. Find the markup. Check that against the prices other stores pay and the markup.

    In retail, it's not uncommon to see 100% markup. The store buys a widget for $10, ships that widget to a warehouse, stores that widget, ships that widget to a store, marks the widget with a price tag and then sells that widget. After transportation, storage and handling, a well run store might make 10%, or $2 on a $20 sale.

    Different items have different markups. Some items require selling time or hand-holding time or special handling, so the markup has to be greater.

    How much does Wal-Mart markup its items purchased from China? 100%? 200%? 300%? 400%? 500%? Do some research and find out for yourself. Then, you, like me will never shop at Wal-Mart again.

  • A totally unreasonable customer
    Sept. 2, 2008 12:56 p.m.


    You seem to forget that Walt-Mart is a business and has policies that protect itself and its customers from fraud. They were willing to hold your groceries until you returned but they weren't going to let you walk out of the store with their goods without first obtaining proper ID for a check or cash payment.

    It is selfish to ask a cashier or customer service employee to risk termination if they are wrong and allow you to leave with Wal-Mart goods only to have you be a criminal who is forging a check. You seem to forget that they have no way of knowing if you are telling the truth about your purse being stolen and they shouldn't have to allocate human resources to determining if your wallet was stolen in their store as you claim.

    You could have easily called a friend, neighbor, or family member to come and pay for your groceries and you could write them a check. They wouldn't require you to provide ID. The Wal-Mart employees were only following store policies, protecting their jobs and knew how easy it would be for you to find a way to pay for your groceries.

  • Robert
    Sept. 2, 2008 12:29 p.m.

    I am surprised that Penny had these problems at Walmart. This is just the opposite of my experience with the company. Walmart employees are always helpful and friendly. They work hard, are knowledgeable, and they do their best to see that customers find what they need.

    All the bad stories about Walmart were started by the unions in California as a way to keep Walmart stores from effectively entering that market. Walmart work with its suppliers to keep prices low. It pays its employees just as well or better than McDonalds, Wendy's and other large employers. The truth is that Walmart has saved Americans billions of dollars over the years it has been in business. No other company is as efficient or sells goods as cheaply as Walmart.

    Penny, I'm sorry about your experience at Walmart, but the actions of two or three Walmart employees in trying to abide by the company's rules about accepting checks without ID, does not reflect on the vast majority of Walmart employees or the company itself.

  • LisA
    Sept. 2, 2008 11:31 a.m.

    Walmart is awful and I only go in as an absolute last resort.
    To the person that said no other store would have taken her check either: I was at Harmon's last week and had left my wallet in my car. I did have my checkbook with me though and they let me write the check and take my groceries without seeing my ID. Harmon's has the best customer service anywhere.

  • Willbur
    Sept. 2, 2008 11:04 a.m.

    Re: Wal-Mart has problem-- While I feel Wal-MArt is sometimes unfairly bashed, I agree its hiring standards are not always very high. I also agree Macey's has good employees. They are helpful, friendly, and clean-cut. Albertsons is also generally good. Smith's standards seem to be a little lower. I have seen a handful of grungy-looking employees at some Smith's.

  • Hatuletoh
    Sept. 2, 2008 10:50 a.m.

    FRANK!! I was deployed for a few months in San Antonio and I stayed in a hotel located right across the highway from the HEB. It was wonderful: everything one could want from a supermarket and their house brands were as good or better than the national brands, usually for half the price. I miss that store every day. And also flautas. And sweet tea from the Bill Miller BBQ drive-thru. Man, I'd kill for a proper sweet tea.

  • re: hmmmm
    Sept. 2, 2008 10:44 a.m.

    read the entire comment initially stated.... if she had a check card she could have kept it in her pocket and it would have never been stolen.

  • hmmm
    Sept. 2, 2008 10:34 a.m.

    Several people seem to think that she had the option of a bank card instead of the check. Folks, her wallet was stolen. She had to go home to get a check. It seems like Wallmart could have been more understanding and patient with this woman.

  • Never leave my purse unattended
    Sept. 2, 2008 10:29 a.m.

    I am sorry to hear about your wallet being stolen. I would suggest that regardless of where you shop, DO NOT leave your purse unattended in a shopping cart. Perhaps you can try a backpack style purse. That type is so much easier to carry.

  • Frank
    Sept. 2, 2008 10:28 a.m.

    As a financial worker I can agree that the check system is a dead horse, anyone with checks can get a check card. However about 50% of check card fraud I've seen comes from, guess who, Walmart.

    I miss HEB(Texas version of Smiths) back in my hometown of TX. Its been fighting off Walmart sucessfully for years, the prices arent much better than Smiths in comparison, but the quality and service is unmatched. I dont expect much help here at Smiths, and even less at Walmart. Ive never met a walmart worker who knew where anything was. Ive even had some even direct me back the wrong way insistently.

  • Walmart has problems
    Sept. 2, 2008 10:01 a.m.

    Walmart has some serious problems. Their stores are dirty and the aisles are torn apart. Their employees are completely unhelpful. Their "front end manager" doesn't have a clue how to efficiently process people through the check-out lines.

    I was in the Springville Walmart just the other day and someone asked an employee where the light bulbs were. The employee first told the customer to go to electronics. Then, they said "I don't know--I just work here". That perfectly sums up the lack of customer service at Walmart.

    Earlier this year, my new vehicle was vandalized in the Walmart parking lot. When I asked the manager if we could review the security tapes he said that we couldn't because it would "violate the privacy" of Walmart customers. Once the police were called, we finally got him to admit that security had "forgotten" to turn the outside cameras on over the past several days. Big help...I had to spend my Economic Stimulus Check getting my vehicle door fixed!

    Shop at Maceys for groceries. They have great prices, friendly employees, and clean stores. I have never had a bad experience at Maceys.

  • Sad but True
    Sept. 2, 2008 9:50 a.m.

    Setting aside the fact that you experienced poor customer service, one can't blame Walmart for protecting themselves against fraudulent check writing. As one who used to work retail, we NEVER accepted checks w/out proper ID as fraudulent check writers are quite common.
    I'm sorry you were treated poorly but you may want to take the advice of Anon @ 7:41 - use a bank card.
    It's funny but I have never seen so much check writing as there seems to be in Utah - we just don't do it here as much on the East Coast.

  • Bull
    Sept. 2, 2008 8:26 a.m.

    WalMart is cheaper and the other stores are alot more expensive. The service and flash may be less but my favorite products are half as much at WM vs Smiths, Albertson, etc. You can debate the wages and benefits of WM employees but there is no debate about the lower prices at WM. BTW I don't think the other stores would take your check without ID either.

  • Kirk R
    Sept. 2, 2008 8:23 a.m.

    I only shop at Wal Mart once in a blue moon and it is despite the horrible customer service and mass crowds. Sometimes I don't think the low prices are worth the poor quality shopping experience.

  • Anonymous
    Sept. 2, 2008 7:41 a.m.

    This brings up one other point. If you have to dredge out ID everytime to pass a cheque anywhere, please do the next person in line a favour. Stop using them. It's an antiquated, fraud prone time consuming idea whose time has passed. And, you can carry a credit and/or debit card in a little tiny wallet you can keep on your person at all times, instead of the big honking writing tablet necessary for a cheque. As for wally world, well, they are what they are. Always cheaper isn't always better.

  • ceg
    Sept. 2, 2008 5:02 a.m.

    Why blame Wal-Mart? It was one employee. I have had good experiences at my local WM store. I have had some bad experiences at other stores like Smith's, Albertsons, etc.

  • Timj
    Sept. 2, 2008 4:07 a.m.

    Shop elsewhere. If you shop for the deals, you'll spend less by shopping at Smith's, Albertson's, etc.

  • JTM
    Sept. 2, 2008 12:49 a.m.

    Wal-Mart doesn't need to have good customer service because it knows everyone will continue to shop there like mindless zombies no matter how poorly they treat people.

  • Isaac
    Sept. 2, 2008 12:15 a.m.

    Penny, I'm sorry to here about your awful experience. My brother and I were once guessing how much my grocery bill would total as our friendly Wal-Mart checker (she really was quite friendly) observed. In a joking manner she said, "have fun boys, but it doesn't matter which one of you is right, because Wal-Mart always wins!" Her words were funny and haunting.

    Penny, I would suggest you see what other options are close by for shopping. Associated Food Stores, Smith's, Albertson's, etc. They will appreciate your business at least as much as Wal-Mart did, and they may even treat you like a human. I would hug you if I could, Penny.

    Have a good day.