Author Topic: Truly a problem?  (Read 8478 times)

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MaryMy

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Truly a problem?
« on: December 08, 2012, 12:04:47 AM »
So tonight my husband and I went to Walmart to pick up a layaway. While we stood in line we saw 3 associates working hard to fix a problem for a customer. From what I heard she ordered something online and went into the store to pay for it.  I didn't know you could do this so something learned I guess. Anyway, an associate who had been on break returns and before she could even clock back in she is told of the issue and within 3 minutes had it taken care of. She then showed the other workers what to do in the future. So far all is pleasant.

While I waited for an associate to go in the back and get our layaway I hear a person say who wanted to see a manager? The aforementioned customer piped up and said because she had to wait for someone who could finally help her she wanted a gift card. 2 associates stepped forward and explained to the manager what happened. Customer said she was treated nicely but wanted a gift card for her wait. Manager gave her one. I do not know the amount.

My first thought is I would never have thought to ask for a gift card for my wait. It's holiday time and so many new people have been hired and may not know all the ins and outs. Is it etiquette correct to ask for a gift card for your wait when half the staff in that area is working hard to fix the problem? No one was rude to the customer. According to customer she waited 30 minutes, according to 3 workers it was less then 15 minutes.

The workers thanked the co worker for teaching them something they didn't know. I had no issue waiting while most staff helped the customer and staff was welcoming and nice to me, as they were to her.Thoughts?

Venus193

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Re: Truly a problem?
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2012, 12:07:36 AM »
I am usually of two minds about this.  If a store guarantees that these issues are resolved in a specified amount of time or your money back (or whatever) and they aren't, then they need to pay off.  However, in this particular example I think the customer was being a special snowflake.

That sort of thing truly annoys me because in the long run this ultimately drives up prices in the store.

Lynn2000

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Re: Truly a problem?
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2012, 12:17:39 AM »
Hmm, hard to say. I guess if she asked politely and was prepared to take no for an answer, it's no harm, no foul. Or if she knew it was store policy and she was just claiming her right. On the other hand one could argue that the manager might feel unduly pressured to give in to her, to avoid a public scene or bad corporate feedback or something. I have a bargain-hunting friend who is always asking sales associates for free samples (after buying something) and if it's not store policy to hand them out they seem to have no problem saying no to her. Slightly different situation, I know.

I don't think I would be bold enough to do it myself. But, it does sound like she had to wait an unusually long time for something that was simple as long as a knowledgeable person was there (which they weren't at first), so maybe that could be thought of as a customer service problem in need of resolution via gift card.
~Lynn2000

Luci

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Re: Truly a problem?
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2012, 01:06:37 AM »
You never know, and won't hurt to try if you really feel you are owed something.

I bought a printer at Best Buy. It died within the warrenty period and I wasn't able to get back to any Best Buy (we live in a shopper's wasteland) so bought a new printer the I needed immediately at a store we happened upon. My son-in-law took me and the printer to Best Buy with the box and all the documents and still within the warrenty period. First the Geek tried to talk to son-in-law and I said quite firmly, "I am the customer here," was acknowledged, and explained what had happened.

I was asked, "What do you need?", and I said my money back, but I'll take store credit. Got the credit, all was good, stocked up on paper and ink for my new printer (rumors of Best Buy going out of business were ramant so I wanted to spend it).

As we left, our son-in-law is laughing hysterically that he couldn't believe I pulled that off! That was totally against company policy. He still tells the story.

Hey. I was polite, clear, reasonable. What less should I expect?

CreteGirl

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Re: Truly a problem?
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2012, 02:45:15 AM »
I absolutely hate the fact that some people feel entitled to compensation for any small amount of inconvenience.  If the woman thought the transaction was taking too long, she could have simply left and taken her business elsewhere. 

Sometimes things do not go 100% they way we would like them to.  That does not mean someone owes us.

Raintree

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Re: Truly a problem?
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2012, 02:57:42 AM »
I absolutely hate the fact that some people feel entitled to compensation for any small amount of inconvenience.  If the woman thought the transaction was taking too long, she could have simply left and taken her business elsewhere. 

Sometimes things do not go 100% they way we would like them to.  That does not mean someone owes us.

POD. Things go wrong. Problems come up. Now if this customer had been sent to Other Branch of Store across town to pick up the item she was supposed to get at This Branch, and she got there, and they didn't have it either, and then had her pick it up at This Branch after all, and she picked it up, took it home, and discovered it was broken, then she might have a case for being inconvenienced. But having to wait while some employee figures out a procedure? Happens all the time, it's annoying, but it's life.

cicero

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Re: Truly a problem?
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2012, 04:50:49 AM »
I absolutely hate the fact that some people feel entitled to compensation for any small amount of inconvenience.  If the woman thought the transaction was taking too long, she could have simply left and taken her business elsewhere. 

Sometimes things do not go 100% they way we would like them to.  That does not mean someone owes us.
POD

I also thinks that this leads to a long line of entitlementness - no toilet paper in the restroom? I *deserve* a gc. they were oout of my brand of coke? I *deserve* a gc. there is no end to this.

I can understand that waiting 15 minutes (that may have felt like 30 to her) for them to resolve this issue is annoying. and maybe should could have asked to speak to a manager to explain that that is too long to wait. but to ask for a gc? nah...

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Millionaire Maria

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Re: Truly a problem?
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2012, 08:55:42 AM »
I absolutely hate the fact that some people feel entitled to compensation for any small amount of inconvenience.  If the woman thought the transaction was taking too long, she could have simply left and taken her business elsewhere. 

Sometimes things do not go 100% they way we would like them to.  That does not mean someone owes us.

I agree. Back when I was bartending I had a policy. I never, ever gave free drinks to people who asked for them. Only people who experienced a problem and didn't ask for extra compensation got one.
People everywhere enjoy believing in things they know are not true. It spares them the ordeal of thinking for themselves and taking responsibility for what they know. –Brooks Atkinson

Sharnita

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Re: Truly a problem?
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2012, 09:04:05 AM »
I absolutely hate the fact that some people feel entitled to compensation for any small amount of inconvenience.  If the woman thought the transaction was taking too long, she could have simply left and taken her business elsewhere. 

Sometimes things do not go 100% they way we would like them to.  That does not mean someone owes us.

Actually, I think she probably paid online and was picking up what she bought online.  Just leaving and taking her business elsewhere might noet have been all that easy.

SleepyKitty

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Re: Truly a problem?
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2012, 09:46:19 AM »
For what it's worth, the last time I did this (last Christmas I ordered a large gift from Walmart.com and had it shipped to the store), you had to go to the layaway department to pick it up. At the counter, they had a computer screen up that had your name and what time an employee had gone to retrieve your item for you, so you could track how long it took to get it. There was a promotion going that if you waited longer than X amount of minutes, you got a $5 gift card. (I don't remember how many minutes it was now - 10 or 15.)

Probably not ever Walmart does it, but my local store did.

Maggie

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Re: Truly a problem?
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2012, 09:54:02 AM »
I know that you can purchase something online now and then pay for it in the store within a certain amount of time.  That was probably what she did and then since it is a new policy the associates may not have known how to handle it yet.  Sometimes things happen every day and some situations come up once in a lifetime.  This could have been of the once in a lifetime variety in which case I do not think she was owed a gc. 

CluelessBride

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Re: Truly a problem?
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2012, 12:13:01 PM »
I think it's fine to ask, not okay to demand. This wasn't a long holiday line. This was 15-30 minutes wasted because a store didn't know it's own policies. Just because there is no malice from the store, doesn't mean it wasn't an inconvenience.

I've never used pay at the store for Wal-Mart, but I did use site-to-store delivery once. And only once. I use it all the time at other stores (I get extra credit card points for ordering online and then in store pick-up makes the shipping free and is often same-day). But Wal-Mart's was run so inefficiently. The workers were clueless (although polite), they couldn't find the order, they didn't really know what to do to find the order and it took about 30 minutes despite being off peak hours in off peak season. It would have been worth the extra $3 to order the same item elsewhere. Therefore they lost my business, at least in terms of site-to-store. Had they acknowledged the inconvenience by offering me a gift card, I'd probably be willing to try it out again. But the fact that they didn't apologize for the wait says to me "they didn't make a mistake, this is how their service operates". I didn't ask for one, because that's just not my personality. But had someone else in my position asked the store to make it right, it would have seemed reasonable to me.

So in a way, the woman asking for a gc may have been her way of giving the store a second chance. Because even though 15-30 minutes isn't a lot, when a service is advertised as a convenience and becomes an inconvenience it makes you not want to use it anymore.

Deetee

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Re: Truly a problem?
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2012, 12:27:42 PM »
For what it's worth, the last time I did this (last Christmas I ordered a large gift from Walmart.com and had it shipped to the store), you had to go to the layaway department to pick it up. At the counter, they had a computer screen up that had your name and what time an employee had gone to retrieve your item for you, so you could track how long it took to get it. There was a promotion going that if you waited longer than X amount of minutes, you got a $5 gift card. (I don't remember how many minutes it was now - 10 or 15.)

Probably not ever Walmart does it, but my local store did.

That is interesting. With this background I can't find the woman rude. Also in a commercial transaction it is nice if people are nice but they are generally paid to work.

I think Walmart has been losing quite a bit of business to amazon and the two day shipping so are trying to set themselves up as just as convenient. I think a 15 minute wait for something that is marketed as super fast and convenient is unreasonable. A 15 minute wait in regular retail is longish but not unreasonable.

jpcher

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Re: Truly a problem?
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2012, 02:39:54 PM »
For what it's worth, the last time I did this (last Christmas I ordered a large gift from Walmart.com and had it shipped to the store), you had to go to the layaway department to pick it up. At the counter, they had a computer screen up that had your name and what time an employee had gone to retrieve your item for you, so you could track how long it took to get it. There was a promotion going that if you waited longer than X amount of minutes, you got a $5 gift card. (I don't remember how many minutes it was now - 10 or 15.)

Probably not ever Walmart does it, but my local store did.

That is interesting. With this background I can't find the woman rude. Also in a commercial transaction it is nice if people are nice but they are generally paid to work.

I completely agree with this. If the store has such a policy it was smart of the Customer to ask for the gift card (I probably would have forgotten about the deal and left without asking for the gift card ::))

Customer did not complain about the service or any of the employees. So politely asking about a gift card promotion for a long wait? I think she was well within her rights to do so.

SleepyKitty

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Re: Truly a problem?
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2012, 05:15:55 PM »
Just popping back in to note that I am not the OP, I just happened to have that experience at my local store. It may be that OP's store was not participating in the promotion, I just would not be surprised at someone expecting a gift card for waiting at a Walmart because my store does it. Sorry for any confusion!