… experiences I can remember having in many, many years, was recently getting the two front tires on my Sentra replaced. Now, before I begin this story of my recent adventure, let me first explain I’m not bashing on Walmart in any way, just this one particular experience. Before anyone asks, I chose Walmart because of price and the fact that I get an associate discount, so it made it $34.45 per tire cheaper than the cheapest place I found. Yes, I am employed by Walmart, but not how you’re thinking, I work on the support side of the logistics side of Walmart operations. So, no, I’m not working in a store in any regards. So, yes, I am a regular customer at Walmart because that’s where we buy groceries and so forth. In reality, I give to Walmart so Walmart can give back to me. In general, I never have any concerns or complaints about our visits. But this past Monday changed all that, at least in one regard, and I will be hard pressed to go that route again.
So, what actually happened? Well, let’s go back a month or so ago when I was get the state inspection done on the car, where it was mentioned casually that my front tires are needing to be replaced. A fact I actually was already aware of since they looked worn and driving the car only made it more obvious, but it passed inspection, giving me a little bit more time to get them replaced. I have already shopped the local places and Walmart and Discount Tires had matching prices, so Discount Tires was going to be the choice simply because they are usually the lowest and I have used them for many years, in fact as long as I care to remember. But, Monday afternoon after work I realized that they were low because they were showing cords in the tread areas, they needed to be replaced now, no more waiting. After a quick price comparison, Walmart won, plus, as a bonus, it was so close to where I was at. So, yes, I made the conscious choice to go there, it was not accidental.
When I arrived I was greeted and my order was placed. I was number three in line, there was an oil change and a truck tire rotation ahead of me, neither one had been started yet, let the time begin now @ 16:55. I proceed into the store to begin a mindless meander since I wasn’t actually there looking for anything in particular, just killing time. I decided to go back to the service department @ 18:00 to see where my progress in line was and to my shock (& horror) I am still waiting behind the two vehicles which hasn’t yet been started. Making the realisation at that point in time that this is going to take a while. When I ask the very polite attendant what the hold up was, she replied, with a smile, that they are working at a steady pace to get everyone done and out. Fair enough, right? Back to wandering it is for me, except this time I went to the garden center, to sit and relax on some comfy outdoor furniture. Not that I am in the market, but I could sit and see the activities in the shop. After about 45 minutes and not seeing any movement of any vehicles, I head back to the service department to inquire once again. By now it is 19:00 and the attendant is packing up because the service department closes @ 19:00. I was assured work in the shop will continue and we will be paged when our vehicle is complete. Ummmm, okay? Back to the garden center to sit and watch and continue waiting. Talk about being bored, as well as hungry, since I have not been home yet since I left work. Finally, @ 20:20, my car is pulled in. Cool, I head outside to the smoking area they have by the entrance of the service department and see that the rear tires had been removed, dismounted, and a new tire in hand to mount.
I stood at the stall entrance and yelled at the young man to get his attention, it sounded alot like “hey mother fucker what in the fuck are you doing?” After we spoke about it for a few minutes he looks at the work order and sees he had made a mistake. He promises me proper remounting and balancing at no charge on the back two tires that he should have never touched. Well, no shit! As much as I hated to walk away, I did it, I walked away in pure disgust and a wee bit of rage, ok….. I was pissed. Back inside, hell let’s go look at televisions, why the fuck not. As I stand the, in awe of shit I don’t need, nor can I afford, I here the bastardised version of my name coming from the speakers, finally @ 21:25 my car is complete. But wait, we have to be passed off to the garden center to pay. Total payment is $112.13 which mathematically is not correct in my head when each tire is $52.69 a piece. But, fuck it, let’s roll. I was done and I wanted to just go home at this point.
I tried to not think about any of the evening or the events which transpired, because I was done with it. All week long I avoided thought about it, until this morning, when my dear loving wife asked if I would be so kind as to meet her at Walmart tonight after I got off work, and then all hell broke out in my head. So, I decided to write this post in my spare time throughout my day, before work and on my breaks because I wanted to say something to someone for some reason. Really and truly, my only complaint is the time it took to put on two new tires on the front of my car so I could go home. Do I play the blame game? Was it my fault for putting my trust in the company which pays my bills? Was it the people’s fault for being ridiculously slow? I’ll tell you what, in the end the price was right. Lesson learned, I will probably never put my faith in the service department ever again. My time isn’t that valuable, but shit people, there were much better things I could have been doing I’m sure. In the end now, I’m not mad, just disappointed because I would think that others may not give their business to Walmart which, in the end, hurts my paycheck. I don’t know really, I have mixed feelings here, torn between excellent service or excellent price, this is one occasion I didn’t get both, which is just sad in my opinion.
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