If our readership understands anything, its fanatical devotion to one product and an almost equally fanatical need to make stores follow their own policies. That is how Tom got in serious trouble with the employees of his local Walmart. Or did the local Walmart’s employees get in trouble with Tom? Walmart promises to price-match local competitors, including the prices with loyalty cards. Except, apparently, when it comes to Pepsi. For Tom.
I have an unhealthy love for Diet Vanilla Pepsi. However, it’s a flavor that’s difficult to find. The [redacted] bottler (the area I live in) no longer makes it but a smaller bottler just outside of [my city] does. So I often find myself driving to a Wal-Mart that stocks it. But their pricing on 12-packs is typically pretty steep in order to drive sales of 24-packs. Which is fine except they don’t make that flavor in 24-packs. The end result is that I wait until a grocery store has Pepsi on sale and then bring their ad along with me in order to take advantage of Wal-Mart’s price match guarantee. Typically this goes smoothly.
The first problem I ran into was with the cashier. When I presented her with the Walgreens ad so she could honor the price she immediately told me that they didn’t price-match Walgreens. I told her that that wasn’t accurate so she went over and grabbed the stack of competitor’s ads that they keep in-house in order to make sure people are telling the truth. For some odd reason there was a Walgreens ad in their stack even though they don’t price match them.
I was then told that they’ll match Walgreens but not if the price requires using their “shopper’s card”. So I pointed out that, according to Walmart.com, that’s not true. I then read to her their own policy from their own website which says the following:
“We will gladly match the following types of ads:”
And the third item listed reads:
“Preferred shopping card prices for specific items that are in a printed ad.”
This met all of those requirements but she was still steadfastly standing her ground. So I ask for supervisor which she went and got me.
The supervisor said the same thing even though I also pointed out to her to Wal-Mart’s own website stating the exact opposite. She replied by saying that she “didn’t care what the website said” her store manager said not to. I told her that I didn’t really give a shit what her store manager’s policy was because it contradicted corporate policy. Granted, I shouldn’t have said the word “shit” but I wasn’t yelling or calling her name. And honestly, in my world it doesn’t even really rate as a cuss word. Movies with “shit” get PG ratings. But it will play a role later in the story.
At this point she goes over to talk to her store manager (or perhaps the manager-on-duty…it was unclear). After a few minutes she comes back and says that she will honor the price but goes to great pains to tell me that she’s doing me a favor and it’s a one-time thing. To which I replied, “Don’t act like you’re doing me any favors. This is your own company’s policy. I’m following your rules. You’re the one who’s ignoring them.”
Then she said that the next time I “cussed at her” she would make me leave the store. Honestly, it took me a minute to figure out what she was talking about because using the phrase “I don’t give a shit” doesn’t even rise to the level of cussing in my world. Granted, in my head she was being called names that would make General Patton weep but I kept that in check.
I asked her what she was talking about and she said, “You said that you ‘didn’t give a shit’ what my manager said.”
“That counts as ‘cussing at you’? That’s more like ‘cussing towards you’ or ‘cussing in your general’ vicinity’.”
“You said ‘shit’.”
Of course, now she had said it twice but I didn’t bring that up. I simply said, “Thanks, mom.”
Then she started yelling at me saying how I could leave the store right now. “For what?” I asked. I hadn’t done anything except expect them to follow their own policies. Now she was standing in the front end of the store, in a loud voice accusing me of cussing her out and trying to defraud the store.
That’s when I told the cashier that she should ring me up and get this woman away from me. But the supervisor refused; again saying that she could have me removed from the store.
At that point I finally raise my voice saying, “Please get away from me and let me finish my order.”
She replied by repeating “sir” over and over again louder and louder. Finally I slammed my hand down on the counter and said loudly, “You need to get away from me.”
She yelled back, “You need to calm down.”
And I yelled back, “You need to follow your own company’s policies. This is a simple price match!”
At that point she finally walked away and the cashier completed my transaction.
I then apologized to the cashier for her having been dragged into all that and I left the store.
I am furious over how I was treated. I was simply following their own rules. I had their own website on my phone and showed it to them but they ignored it, accused me of attempting to scam the store and then threatened to have me thrown out. All in an extremely public way, in an extremely public setting.
In the immortal words of Mike from Suicidal Tendencies…all I wanted was a Pepsi. Just one Pepsi.
And if Wal-Mart is so opposed to price-matching their competitors then perhaps they shouldn’t build a marketing campaign around it.
What we take away from this story is that in all commercial dealings, you shouldn’t use any words that couldn’t be said on television. To be safe, maybe go with a list of words that couldn’t be said on television in 1957. Then, take a lesson from yesterday’s post about Walmart’s corporate sibling Sam’s Club, and visit a different store down the road that doesn’t make up its own policies.