My frugal but not-so-pleasant trip to Wal-Mart yesterday

I don’t shop at Wal-Mart much anymore.  They claim to be the low price place but as we couponers know, when you stack coupons onto a BOGO sale at Publix or Winn-Dixie, or have a money-making scenario at CVS or WalGreens with ECBs or RRs back, Wal-Mart just can’t compare.

But they do occasionally have some good deals (I used Couponing to Disney’s Wal-Mart Deals under $1 list) and the do ad match so I was able to take what *few* things that were in the ads that I really needed this week and save myself a little time by matching it at Wal-Mart instead of going to 2 or 3 stores.

So in round figures, I saved about $5 in ad match items.  Subtotal was $68.  I had $27 in coupons.  Final was $41.  One item is eligible for a $3 rebate = $38.  Getting $73 worth of stuff at Wal-Mart for $38 is pretty good.

However, this feat was made into an unpleasant experience thanks to my cashier.  I normally profile my cashiers, but Wal-Mart at lunch time on Saturday is CROWDED.  Lines were backed up, I had a tired baby who had played himself silly at the park and we hadn’t had lunch yet.  I was debating between 3 different lines, one I knew I didn’t want to go through because of the cashier, so I picked the shorter of the other two.  As I was watching the cashier with the people in front of me, I had this gut feeling that I needed to back out and find another line.  But I really didn’t want to find another line and start over with waiting.  I had ad matches so I couldn’t do self-checkout (because really, if you need assistance in the self-checkout, then it’s not self-checkout.)  So I stayed in the line.

This letter that I sent to my store this morning sums up the checkout experience:

I had an unpleasant shopping experience at my local Wal-Mart (Leeds, AL) on 6/26/10. My cashier, Melody, was rude and unfriendly. 
I use coupons when I shop and I do not enjoy shopping at places that are not friendly to coupon users. Which is why I do not shop for groceries at Wal-Mart very often. The disdain that many cashiers feel towards coupon users is evident when they see my stack of coupons and ads for the ad-matching. I have run into more unfriendly cashiers and problems using coupons at Wal-Mart than at Target, Publix, Winn-Dixie and Food Giant combined.
Here are the three particular problems I had with the above mentioned transaction (aside from being made to feel as if I were a burden to the cashier and that she thought I trying to “steal” by using coupons):
She denied a coupon that I knew was valid. However, I didn’t try to discuss it with her because of her apparent bad attitude.
I have a coupon for $1 off of 3 products. I purchased the 3 products. When the coupon didn’t go through, she threw it back at me and said tersely, “You didn’t buy 3.”  Well, I knew I had but she didn’t allow me to check my cart as she totaled my order out and stated how much I owed. Since I had a cart full and others were waiting, I didn’t dig to find the 3 items to prove her wrong. When I got home, however, I had the 3 items. I reviewed my receipt to find that she only rang up 2 of the items. I was treated rudely because of HER mistake.
I had a bag of pasta that was busted and my eggs were upside down because of the way she bagged the items with little care.
Of all the problems I’ve encountered at Wal-Mart, this was by far the WORST checkout experience I’ve ever had.

If you ever need to contact Wal-Mart about a problem you can do so here.  At the end it will give you an option to pick which Wal-Mart store your comments need to go to.

Also, Walmart.com and Walmartstores.com are two different things.  Walmart.com is strictly their online store.  Don’t contact them unless you are having an online problem.  If you have a problem in an actual Wal-Mart store, go through Walmartstores.com.

I will let you know the outcome of my correspondence with Wal-Mart.  I wonder if they will be as nice as Winn-Dixie?

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