Walmart: What Ever Happened to “The Customer is Always Right”?

UPDATE: After 2 calls to Corporate, a complaint to the BBB, and hearing nothing all week from the manager who was supposed to call me back, I finally met with the Store Manager.

Unfortunately, this did not go as planned. Lacking a sincere apology and care about me and other customers, the manager told me that he was here on his day off all because of $1. And he couldn’t believe it.

It didn’t seem to phase him that his employees, even the co-manager, didn’t know the corporate policies and treated a customer with severe disrespect. But because my coupon supposedly beeped, it was okay for the treatment and for them to not follow their policies. And he’d rather take his co-manager’s word for what happened that night, over mine (Because WHO would believe a 19 year old year? Oh, never mind, he told me I wasn’t discriminated against). (Does he realize that she probably didn’t tell him the truth, which could have gotten her in big trouble?)


A store’s success is directly related to the business it’s bringing in. When customers are treated with disrespect, the store loses business. So why is it that we are disrespected? What ever happened to the universal belief that the customer is always right?

The other evening I went to Walmart for a routine shopping trip, coupons and all. My problems started when my cashier told me she couldn’t accept my coupon at face value because my item was 3 cents cheaper. I told her according to Walmart’s Corporate coupon policy, “If coupon value exceeds the price of the item, the excess may be given to the customer as cash or applied toward the basket purchase.” (Walmart’s Coupon Policy here) She told me I was wrong and when I asked her to read it from the policy I had in my hand, she replied that she didn’t have time. After the floor manager agreed with the cashier, the co-manager was called over. The co-manager in a rude tone, again, told me the cashier was right. I asked the co-manager if she knew the corporate policies and she told me she did. She obviously didn’t know the policies since she wouldn’t scan my coupon at face value. Like the cashier, the co-manager refused to read the printed policy I held in my hands and ignored me when I read it to her. She wouldn’t listen to me and belittled me for no reason.

After much argument and severe disrespect from the co-manager, I walked over to the assistant manager who was watching the debate. He wouldn’t even look at me, much less stand up for a 19 year old girl being harassed in front of the entire store. The co-manager said “I’m in charge tonight, he won’t listen to you. This conversation is pretty much over.” When I finally realized this store wasn’t going to follow their policies or give me respect, I left, empty handed, after hours of planning, cutting coupons, shopping, and standing in line for this trip (I requested the coupons back, of course). This week, my family and I have had to deal with not having these items that I was planning to buy. The people less fortunate than me that were going to receive some of these items as donations are also suffering, so thank you Walmart. This week, I’ve also had to deal with being publicly harassed and disrespected by these adults, simply because they didn’t know their corporate policies. I don’t put up with disrespect and I’m tired of being taken advantage of because these employees think they can get away with treating a young girl this way. It’s not right and I’m tired of it.

To my local readers, please, (please!) think twice about shopping at our Walmart Supercenter (in Severn, off Quaterfield Rd.). Until they decide to treat customers with respect and follow their own policies, they don’t deserve our business. Parents, do you want your child being publicly harassed for saving money and following the policies? For those of you who don’t coupon, couponers do what they do out of necessity. Times are tough, college is expensive, and couponing is my hobby. By couponing, I am actually making stores money and giving them business (which they obviously don’t seem to understand). Please spread the word about this issue; this disrespect is uncalled for!

I apologize to my regular readers, as this is not something I usually post, but this is a serious issue that I have been dealing with since I started couponing and it is only getting worse. I will keep you all updated as to what happens with this case. And lastly, if you are experiencing similar problems at your local stores, do not just let it go. Customers deserve respect and employees should know their policies. Call the Customer Service numbers and make sure your issue is getting heard.

Thanks for reading,

10 replies
  1. Shannon says:

    Brandi, it makes me sick that you were treated this way and this was well written. It is a shame that we as couponers cannot rely at a minimum on some consitency from the Nation’s largest retailer. I know that I never feel secure when I leave the house with a handful of coupons heading to Walmart because at any given moment I could have a trip like this. It is great that you are speaking out about this and they better find some big ways to reimburse you for the humiliation, disrespect, and lost time. So sorry you had to go through this.

  2. Anthony says:

    Brandi, as a new reader I wanted to let you know that you are not alone out there. My girlfriend and I have just started couponing last week and have already been treated with this type of disrespect, at several stores.
    I believe that cashiers like the one you had somehow feel like you we are doing something wrong. We follow corporate policies and make sure what we do is legal, so why give us a hard time?!
    I must say, however, that there are cashiers that are completely opposite the one you had at walmart. For them, I am VERY appreciative!!!
    Sorry for ranting, I just had to reply to your post.

  3. Diane says:

    I hate to tell you this, but Wal-mart as a company has some very bad “unwritten” policies. My mother has worked there for well over 10 years and the tactics they have used with not only customers, but with their employees is disgusting. I truly loath this company…I know some employees and managers are good, but I truly feel that as a whole that company has become increasingly greedy and haa shifted so far from where Sam Walton started this company that it makes me sick.

  4. RebeccaFer says:

    I really hope you contacted their corporate office. I laugh at WM’s supposed shift towards making their stores more coupon friendly because they obviously haven’t told their staff that! So sorry this happened to you.

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