Saturday, January 4, 2014

WalMart's Loss ........

Now that my sewing lair is only a machine grave yard, I am at loose ends. My days seem to drag on and on. Oh wait, it just happened. But, I have to confess that I have never wanted to sew as much as I want to sew right now!

He Who tows confessed to having a stash of money he was saving for our retirement RV and offered to buy a new machine for me. He is indeed a loving husband. He says that I should up-grade and get a machine with more functions than my recently departed one. I accepted his money ....... but declined his offer to go buy it.

You will recall that I have NEVER picked out the car I drive and he bought a refrigerator for my 50th birthday. My washing machine died shortly after the refrigerator came to live in my kitchen. Let the record show that the new refrigerator was NOT the stainless I had requested, but more of a brushed nickel. You would think that he would have listened to me when I told him I would prefer picking out my own appliances after the I shared my disappointment about the fridge.

You guessed it, he bought the washer with no input from me and "surprised" me with it. He had it all hooked up and clothes in it when I first laid eyes on it. He was sincerely surprised when I got mad. Or maybe he was surprised that I expressed my displeasure in front of his mother, who happened to be visiting. The cars, I really don't care about. Maybe I should choose a tractor for him, or a dump truck, or mower. Given the track record of his choices, maybe that's not such a bad idea. Who buys a dump truck with no brakes? The "deal" couldn't have been that good.

Back to my lack of a sewing machine. I spent a good amount of time researching different ones on-line and settled on a Brother SE 400. I read all the reviews and for the price it looks like a good machine for my needs. This particular model will also embroider. The prices ranged from $799 at to $323.49 at WalMart. Free site to store shipping if I am willing to wait until the 14th.

Ten days! It took some effort, but I finally located a store that was supposed to have them in stock. He Who tows was on a run that would take him very close to that store. I called the store in question and gave them the pertinent information and asked them to check stock. I was transferred to a phone that rang endlessly. I am assuming the phone located conveniently at the cutting table in that department. Stock can be easily checked on a hand held in-store computer, you can even locate the item from another store this way. It is a pain to stop what you are doing and it is always better to actually check the shelf on bigger items before telling a good customer such as myself to come and get it. I know all this because I used to work at a WalMart. I worked in the pharmacy, but every employee is required to function in every capacity, no matter the department they are assigned. It comes as no surprise that this policy is rarely enforced. When you think about it, it is not even a reasonable expectation.

I could envision the scenario as I heard the phone ring and ring. Customers were going about the business of shopping, mildly annoyed at the ringing phone, wondering why it was being ignored. Employees heard it and were thinking to themselves that somebody in that department should pick it up and above all, wondering why the stupid customer had not hung up (because I am persistent, that's why!).

I heard the delay that told me they had transferred the call to another department. After only 10 rings a friendly WalMart associate in electronics came to my rescue. No, that is not really what happened. He sounded like he had tried to wait me out and decided that I was not going to hang up. I gave him all the information I had shared with "customer assistance". He tried to get out of it. Told me he was not in the fabric department, but in electronics. I told him the machine was powered by electricity and assured him that I would hold patiently while he meandered across the aisle to fulfill my request.

I know better, really, I do, Sometimes I just can't seem to stop myself. I know that he laid the phone down and continued whatever task he was doing when I interrupted him, then picked up the phone again and told me they were out of stock on that item. Computer said they had two in stock. What are the chances that two other people had their sewing machines die yesterday?

I continued searching and found that Amazon had the exact same machine for $294 and free shipping and I will have the machine on Wednesday. I was willing to pay more to have it today ....... Walmart lost  business today. He Who tows would have added at least 10 more items to the cart.


ellen abbott said...

I expect I might have to buy a new machine though mine doesn't need to be so fancy. The foot pedal won't start it, I have to give it a 'kick start' with my hand, then the foot pedal will keep it going. A real pain in the ass when you are starting and stopping.

Joanne Noragon said...

Brother makes good stuff, and their help desk held my hand while I figured out how to use the scanner on the township's copier. I predict the sewing machine will be a good 'un.

Val said...

I hope your new little Brother arrives safe and sound.

Kathy G said...

I buy as little as possible at Wal-Mart. Their 'customer service' is one of the big reasons.

Linda O'Connell said...

Soon you will be back in the swing of things and feeling very accomplished. Customer service is not like it used to be, any where.