Thursday, December 24, 2009

Items Left Behind at WalMart or Where are the bananas?

My wife just asked if anybody had seen the bananas she had purchased last night at Walmart. That is when we realized that she  had left them behind last night with several other items.  The ironic part of this is that she had gone back once already earlier today to claim a cartoon of eggs that had been left behind on that crazy carousel system for bagging they use.  The lady at the "customer service" desk consulted a list of items she would not let my wife see.  A list of items left behind by customers.  So we got the eggs we left behind but instead of saying, "Oh, here are the other items you left behind." and giving them to us we got silence.  There was a list and I am sure our bananas as well as other items we have not yet discovered missing were on it too.  What else was left behind?  We have no idea.

Enough with questions I cannot answer.  Here is a question I can answer:  What does Walmart do with the items that customers pay for and leave behind and do not claim?  They put them back on the shelf and sell them again. I would feel a little better if those items were donated to local charities instead of enriching the pockets of multinational corporation which is already doing fine in a tough economy.  Heck, they do well in a good economy.

This is a dishonorable business tactic.  It is a mitzvah to return an item back to its proper owner and the practice as executed by Walmart is dishonest either through policy or oversight.  Either way it is wrong.  If a customer comes back with a receipt, and if the Walmart system works correctly and the left behind items are logged the way they are supposed to be (which does happen a reasonable amount of times) then the customer should get all their things back with no games.

There is a huge problem with items being left behind at Walmart.  They are taking advantage of a confusing checkout system, the fact that most people will overlook forgotten items when they put their purchases away, and the fact that most people will not bother to put themselves through the ordeal of having to go back and hassle with them over a one or two dollar item. But, one or two dollar items ad up.  The internet has many stories about this being a problem and our family looses dozens of items each year because they have a checkout system which is prone to error.  I would estimate that we leave something behind 1 out of every 5 visits we make.  Although some checkers are conscientious, and we have learned to check ourselves, it is still confusing - it is a system that needs to be fixed. 

We have many friends who out of principle do not shop at Walmart and I think it is time that our family reconsiders our own shopping habits.

1 comment:

LittleoftenAnnie said...

yeah mike sadly i left items of about worth 20 dollars..i called and this rude lady scoffed "you THINK you left stuff?" how unprofessional.

i read that they need to give you either your money back or the same items back. you need to demand to speak to the manager to have footage of the incident happen so they can review their cameras.

the cashier put my stuff in 3 different bags, how absurd. i bought less than 6 items.