Walmart Launches "Customer Contact Reduction" Program, Disconnects Phone

Walmart.com doesn’t want to talk to you, so they’re disconnecting their phone as part of their new “Customer Contact Reduction Program.”

No, that’s not an awesome joke we just made.

That’s the actual name of the program, according to the New York Times.

We’ve made a significant investment in the enhancement of our online customer “self-help” tool at Walmart.com to better serve our online customers,” said Amy Colella, a Wal-Mart spokeswoman.
Ms. Colella said the customer service phone number was being removed because “a significant number of calls are related to order tracking,” and the improvements to the Web site will make the tracking easier.

How very Amazon.com of them. Oh, wait. Amazon has a customer service number: 1-800-201-7575. They’ll even call you back if you use their click-to-call feature.

Offline customers can still call Walmart to discuss their customer service issues at 1-800-WALMART. Will they hang up on online customers? We can’t wait to find out.

Walmart.com to Customers: Stop Calling [NYT] (Thanks, Dan!)
(Photo:jwalsh)

Comments

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  1. blue_duck says:

    “Thank you for shopping at Walmart.
    Here’s a smiley sticker. Now go f*ck yourself.”

  2. ChrisC1234 says:

    Hmm… I can’t imagine anything called a “Customer Contact Reduction Program” would be good for any customer.

  3. timmus says:

    This story is awesome just to hear the pathetic corporate mealymouth excuse for disconnecting the phone. I’ve just added Wal-Mart.com to my list of businesses never to patronize again. I have a raw sore spot for crappy customer service these days, especially from megalithic corporations.

  4. goodguy812 says:

    well i doubt their customer service representatives actually helped anyone in the first place. at least theres no false sense of hope now.

  5. What, did the corporate doublespeak generator terminal have a BSOD that day? They let the intern run the machine?

    You really have to cloak these anti-consumer programs in friendlier terms.

  6. FLConsumer says:

    Well, this is no different than a Mal-Wart store, no customer service there either.

  7. Zanpakuto says:

    If Walmart really wants to reduce customer contact they can easily, and very cheaply just keep their doors locked.

    Not only would they reduce customer contact, they could reduce all kinds of expenses: payroll, benefits (such as they are), electricity…

  8. Esquire99 says:

    I guess this makes sense to me. I’m not sure you can have bargain basement prices, and top-notch customer service at the same time. It costs alot to hire competent phone representatives, and when they are spending most of their time helping morons track a package that can be done online, why not cut the fat? The more they spend on customer service lines to track packages, the higher the prices have to go. I have never had to call WalMart, and I hope I never do. I’ll continue to shop there because they offer good prices. I say that, but I live in downtown Chicago, where there is no Wal-mart. But, when I’m near one, I surely will patronize it.

  9. starrion says:

    Want customer service?

    Don’t shop at WalMart then Dumba**!
    What part of bottom-of-the-barrel quality, no service in the store OR on the website do you not get? They Don’t Care. As long as they have everything priced below what stores that provide better service charge, people will shop there.

    Of course the 1/2 off dog food may kill your beagle. The Flip/flops may burn your feet. The toys may poison your children. But you’re saving money!

    Their vendor relations may drive even more US companies to ship what little US manufacturing that is left to China- but you’re getting lower prices!

    Their employees may qualify for welfare benefits, get wretched medical benefits, and have a miserable outlook- But you got 1/2 off!

    Someday we may learn that lower prices cost too much.

  10. jeffjohnvol says:

    Shouldn’t the smiley faces have asian eyes instead of round ones? Hell, thats where all the stuff comes from. I’m surprise the employees don’t have “made in China” stamped on their a$$es.

  11. j-yo says:

    You get what you pay for. ‘Nuff said.

  12. zentec says:

    I’d like to welcome Wal-Mart to my contact reduction program; I continue to refuse to shop there. Not that I have a hankerin’ for NASCAR inspired merchandise anyway.

  13. SaveMeJeebus says:

    Well this is convenient because not too long ago I enacted my “Walmart Contact Reduction Plan.” In this plan, I will avoid the clogged firelane havin’, chicken brain fryin’, misspelled sign hangin’, Nazi shirt hawkin’, messed up cake frostin’ place we all know and love that is Walmart.

  14. nffcnnr says:

    @SaveMeJeebus: Amen, Jeebus!! :o]

  15. Apparently they must also we working towards a “Customer Reduction Program.”

  16. MatthewVA says:

    I second starrion’s comments. Seventy percent of the stuff that’s sold in wal-mart is made in china. It’s like they’re in cahoots together and we all get screwed. Sure, cut costs by not talking to us but don’t sacrifice product safety in the name of low prices.

  17. dantsea says:

    What Starrion said.

    What is it about U.S. consumers*, anyway? It seems that the cheaper an item is, the more vocal and demanding we are about getting a personalized customer service experience.

    Related old fart tangent: Back in the days when middle class teens were expected to work if they wanted spending money, I did my time in the hamburger mines of a national chain. They often ran a 2-for-$1 specials on burgers and those things had so many damn special orders and modifications that the manager had us make them “naked” and allow the customer to add their own condiments after purchasing. Oh, 23 years later I still remember the drama that generated.

    *This may apply to consumers in other countries, but I haven’t observed them.

  18. ludwigk says:

    Sometimes the products at Walmart are astonishingly cheap. If you really track prices from store to store, you’ll find stuff there that’s just a bit cheaper than other stores, but they discount things that are never below MSRP elsewhere.

    Depending on how you shop, you can usually find a loss-leader sale elsewhere that is less for a particular item.

    What’s crazy is how Walmart can drive down the cost of every day items, such as pants, lightbulbs, and other goods that have plummetted in price due to Walmart’s influence over manufacturers.

  19. Extended-Warranty says:

    As much as Wal-Mart is evil. This is no big deal. Instead of calling, you can check online to find the majority of your answers. Welcome to having business sense. If you don’t like it, thank all the cheap consumers and greedy stockholders.

  20. Anonymous says:

    My girlfriend is an HR person at a walmart.com callcenter in our town…

    she told me about this and it was unbelievably laughable

    she even made mention of it providing bad customer service and was all but scolded

  21. jgodsey says:

    yes they do hangup.
    on hold 26 minutes and click.

  22. Anonymous says:

    That makes perfect sense. Now that they’ve bought Target, there are no competitors. Your choice in the field is narrowed to Sears or Walmart. They don’t have to listen to you anymore because you have no place else to shop. Suck it up people – that’s your unregulated capitalism at work!!