Poor Processes

“You Ain’t Never Gonna Catch Amazon That Way”

I just dealt with an order for a “set of 2 tires” from Walmart.com.  They’re wheelbarrow-size tires that were supposed to replace tires on a cart that hauls stuff.

Instead I received one tire.  Mistake #1.

I contacted Walmart.com customer service, and they said I should accept a replacement order for the same product.  Against my explicit admonition that this could quite probably lead to the same problem again, and that I would be further entangled in a Walmart problem that I didn’t want to deal with, they said “don’t worry”.

I received one tire again.  Mistake #2.  That’s now two mistakes in a row against me as the customer…

Of course I now had two tires, but the first representative had told me that I would be charged again if I didn’t return the first order… I contacted Walmart.com customer service again, and after wasting time with the 1st-level representative, I asked to be transferred to the supervisor on shift.  Believe it or not, this final conversation was the only thing in the whole affair that truly disgusted me.  The supervisor said I would now need to re-package up their two incorrect orders, and then take their merchandise over to a UPS store to make a return.  Otherwise, I’d be charged for two orders!  Apparently because I should have mystically known that the product description was wrong, even though twice it said it was for a “set of 2 tires”, and there was nothing anywhere on the product page that seemed to contradict that, even to the point where the very first representative thought it was a shipping department problem.

Here’s the thing that disgusted me.   The supervisor was still acting like this was all business as usual!  She was still in that business-as-usual mode.  She acted like it was my distinct responsibility to clean up the mound of problems that had been saddled upon me, even against my own warnings and recommendations… When you commit one mistake against the customer, it’s certainly bad, but I suppose it could occasionally happen.   But when you commit two mistakes in a row against a customer, in the same transaction, there is one and only one mode to be in:  RED ALERTRed flags and alarm sirens should be going off inside your head!!

That’s not something I can teach anyone at Walmart.com.  It’s not something that can be instilled into that customer service supervisor.  It’s common sense that you either have or you don’t have.

We’ve all heard that Walmart wants to compete with Amazon, and even dethrone Amazon.  The only thing I could possibly tell Walmart is that there is no universe or reality in which that will over occur with employees and especially supervisors like that.