My Nightmarish Walmart Experience

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I wasn’t going to rant about it, but then I read an excellent Free-quent Flyer’s analysis of the newest Walmart’s Point of Sale System changes and decided to share my experience too. I’ve had my share of problems with Walmarts, but my today’s tour de force takes the cake. That’s two and a half hours of my life I will never get back.

Plus gas! Grrrrrrr!

But first, if you haven’t read the new Flyertalk MS Walmart Wiki, do it now. Will save you a lot of aggravation later on.

Location: Western Long Island, NY.

Objective: Liquidate ten One Vanilla cards.

Result: Partial success.

While I live in an MS desert AKA NYC, I drive to either North Jersey and Long Island on business a few times a month. When I do, I try to be armed and ready, as in OV-ready. Today (well, yesterday) was no different. I bought my OV cards at my favorite Long Island CVS almost without a hitch. Almost, because the new manager tried to convince me it was cash only, to which I expressed a strong objection. 🙂 It all went well, eventually.

Please note, that the first three Walmarts in this story are the ones, I’ve visited before on many occasions without a problem.

Walmart #1: Loaded Bluebird at the kiosk, then went for the MOs. Tried the transaction. When I failed to hit cancel fast, the cashier called the manager. The manager came over, told me to show the card, said, it had to have a name on it. I asked them to try again to no avail. She gave me: it’s not us, it’s the Moneygram, I said bulls…

No, I didn’t.

Walmart #2: That idiot clerk told me right away to show her the card, then said it had to have a name. When I asked her to try anyway, she said it wouldn’t go through. Another clerk who had sold me MOs before on several occasions, joined her with the same crap about security issues.

Walmart #3: Printer broke down.

Walmart #4: After a long, long wait, bought 2 MOs eventually. The cashier made a mistake, then I failed to hit cancel quick enough, but she was cool about it and let me retry. My goodness! Needless to say, I was quite exhausted at that point and went back to Brooklyn. What was supposed to be a 30-minute, 2-store quickie turned into a full-blown drama. And I’m still left with four cards.

A couple of observations.

Free-quent Flyer recommends using the yellow button to change the transaction back to Debit. Worth if it’s working, but on two occasions when I tried that (not today) it didn’t work.

The on-screen cancel button can be like a phantom. You click on it when it first appears, but it goes away, and reappears a second later. This is when you have to hit it again. Make sure you don’t miss.

Gee, what a day!

Photo By: Mike Mozart

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