The American Customer Satisfaction Index has released its latest scores of retail businesses, so we thought we’d take a look at the department store rankings by constructing a handy graph. When it comes to customer satisfaction, apparently Dollar General is doing something right—and Wal-Mart, as usual, is doing lots of things wrong.
John wrote in yesterday to tell us, “I just got back from Wal-Mart trying to buy stuff with my gift cards, but the employees told me that they gift card servers were down across the country. I waited for about 15 minutes as cashiers and managers tried to get my gift card to go through and nothing occurred.”
The War on Christmas has taken a sneaky left turn, with Coke and Wal-Mart mounting an entirely unanticipated attack on one of the world’s most beloved phrases! A reader, Josh, was shopping and/or protesting in his local Wal-Mart recently when he saw this in-store display for soda.
The odds aren’t in her favor—in recent years, only 16% of employees who filed complaints with the Labor Dept.’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration won—but OSHA has agreed to open an investigation into Chalace Lowry’s claims that after she reported suspicious activities at her Wal-Mart headquarters job as she’d been trained to do, she was outed to her boss as the whistleblower, and when she asked to be moved to a new position she was told to look for one herself and that Wal-Mart would make no guarantees about her job security.
A CPSC spokeswoman said this week that Wal-Mart’s independent recall of lead-tainted toy animals on October 19th was all well and good, but that they should have included more information that consumers need in order to act quickly—including how many products were sold, when they were sold and at what other retailers, and the name of the manufacturer. Said the spokeswoman, “We are not big fans of when companies handle recall announcements independently of the agency. It can cause confusion and doesn’t always provide consumers with the information they need.”
Up until last week, Victoria Smith was a Customer Service Manager with at a Wal-Mart in New York. Then she intercepted a shoplifter, released her to the wild (as is legally required), and then got punched in the face when the shoplifter snapped and ran back into the store. Three days later, she was fired for touching the customer.
When Chalace Lowry reported her suspicions that her boss was possibly engaged in insider trading, it set off a four-month-long ordeal where she was questioned repeatedly by various departments within the company, outed to her boss as the snitch, and—when she subsequently requested a transfer—told she had 60-90 days to find a new position on her own or get out—not the most supportive response from a company that only a few months earlier sent her to a training seminar on corporate ethics.
Today, Wal-Mart announced that it will start re-selling HughesNet satellite broadband Internet access, starting at 700Kbps for $59.99 a month, through 2,800 of its stores “including locations throughout most of rural America where terrestrial broadband services, such as cable and DSL, are often not available.” To help spur initial sign-ups, Wal-Mart will give new customers $100 RFID-enabled “ExpressPay” cards to use while shopping at the retailer.
Business Week sent a couple of its own “secret shoppers” to some Wal-Mart stores to see how their new customer service initiative was faring, and found that the employees they spoke with not only didn’t care, but really wanted customers to know this. Said one employee, “If Wal-Mart doesn’t care for me, why should I care? There was this horrible smell in the store the last two days from some overnight spill. They did nothing about it. It got so bad that on the second day the fire department came by and we all had to wear masks.”
The inflation rate for prescription drugs—currently at 1 percent for the past 12 months—is at its lowest ever recorded in the past three decades, and some are speculating that Wal-Mart’s popular $4 generic drugs program is helping drive the costs down across the market.
Wal-Mart’s rehabilitation continues, possibly: beginning in January, it will offer its employees a revamped insurance package designed to cut costs, expand coverage, and reduce the price of prescription drugs. Even past critics of Wal-Mart, such as health care advocacy group Families USA, are hopeful: “On face value, this looks like a very significant change and improvement.” Some of the plan’s details: a $100-500 grant to defray costs, premiums as low as $5/month, the “elimination” of expensive hospital deductibles, and an increase in the number of $4 prescription drugs to 2,400.
A pregnant woman and her cousin used a U-Haul to steal clothing, baby goods, groceries, and Halloween decorations from three different Wal-Mart stores over the course of a single afternoon.
, but the closest New York City residents are going to get to the Wal-Mart experience is… a musical! Yes, with singing and dancing! After a year of retooling to transfer it from its semi-professional beginnings in Wisconsin to its latest incarnation Off-Broadway, “Walmartopia” opened this week to mostly poor reviews.
I just love sticking it to Wal-Mart. What crime hasn’t this mega-corporate SPECTRE-wannabe been accused of? Anyway, they may not have even done anything wrong in this case; after all, the accuser, Chalace Epley Lowry, is not yet entirely out of the company and the accused might actually be innocent. Nonetheless, shouldn’t companies be required to allow anonymous reporting of ethics violations?
The recent wage caps on veteran employees are supposed to encourage employees to advance through the ranks rather than staying in the same job, year after year.
More from the Walmarting Across America website that had to be pulled.
Before the Washington Post made Jim Thresher take down the pictures from pro-walmart blog, Walmarting Across America, BusinessWeek noticed the effort and cried foul. But how did Jim and his girlfriend Laura St. Claire get roped into the affair?
Walmart’s minions may have pulled down the photographers blog that was a blatant front for Edelman PR. But that doesn’t stop us or you from using the magic of Google cache to see what flackery filled the pages of Wal-Marting Across America.