Walmart: How to gain and lose a customer.

2017, Mar 21    

I decided that I wanted to try out Walmart's online store this month.  I've never been to a physical store of theirs or used their online store. The first thing I noticed was the high minimum free shipping at $50 which is quite expensive for a company of this size.  There was no option I could find to ship all items in one shipment; this is a huge downer.  I was curious to see how this would arrive, I figured I would get one package per item.

The order was placed online on March 8, 2017.  All four items were in stock and ready to ship immediately.  A pending charge was immediately placed on my credit card for the full amount of the purchase.  Not acceptable.  I've never seen another company ever do this before.  A charge is placed at the time of packing/shipping and that's it.  This is not the case with Walmart.

I receive two receipts via email that include shipping information on March 9, 2017.  They seem to be shipping two products in two packages.  Sigh.

The packages arrive on March 10, 2017 in two separate packages but delivered at the same time.  Of course, these are the filler items to bump me up to free shipping.

Another pending charge is placed on my credit card on March 12, 2017.  Sigh.

I wanted to know what was the holdup on the two remaining items and why I'm being charged again on my credit card. A search for the online chat support for Walmart commences.  I soon discover they have none.  Sigh.

A call is placed on March 13, 2017 to discuss the second charge and why in stock items have not shipped.  Fifteen minutes on a hold queue finally gets me a human.  I'm told that multiple pending charges are normal business practices for Walmart.  They cannot give me an explanation regarding why these products have not shipped.  The word "vendor" is repeated multiple times as they do not seem to sell any products themselves.  They simply want the customer to wait.

Another pending charge is placed on my card on March 15, 2017.  I decide to try another means of contact via their online form ie. email.  An automated reply is quickly returned stating that I should receive a response in 24 hours.

The 24 hours pass of course with no response.  So I decide to give Walmart a ring again later that day.  This time I'm told that the reason my two remaining items have not shipped and are in pending status are because of "weather issues".  There must be some interesting weather in your picking/packing warehouse.  I immediately ask to cancel this order and ask to return the products that already arrived.  I'm told that they will cancel the pending two products and send me the details via email along with a printout to return the order.

Yet another pending charge on my credit card on March 17, 2017.

I receive a receipt and shipping notice on March 19, 2017.  The items that I cancelled are now being shipped to me.  Interesting to note is that they submitted the electronic details to the shipper the day after I cancelled. Sigh.

The unwanted items arrive on March 20, 2017.

I haven't seen such bad customer service by an online retailer in quite some time now.  The email ticket still sits unanswered after a week with no signs of communication.  As previously mentioned I was a first time customer of Walmart's online store.  You've just lost a customer.