Published on: October 6, 2021
Got the following email from MNB reader Steve Burbridge:
As a loyal Morning NewsBeat reader, I know you are always looking at experiences that your readers have with retailers in the market. I thought I would share an experience that I had today with Walmart.com.
I ordered a new desk lamp from Walmart last week. I decided to give Walmart.com a shot versus paying for Jeff Bezos' next space trip. While the delivery was going to be later than if I ordered through Amazon, it wasn't an immediate need.
I was informed it would arrive by 10/6, but the tracking stated that it was delivered 10/4 by USPS at my mailbox at 1:35pm. It was not. I went onto the website to the "Can't Find Your Package?" and got this message:
Sorry! If the tracking details show your package was delivered and you can't locate it, please wait two full days (excluding Sundays and holidays) for the package to arrive. We recommend checking arounds your home and asking your neighbors if they may have received it for you. If after that time you still haven't received it, contact us after 8 pm local time on the second day and we'll be happy to help.
So, I went to their chat window and asked why there would be very specific delivery information and yet they would ask that I wait 2 more days. Of course, I got a robot first. But, when I did get a human - finally - she stated she would look into it. She then came back on to say "that is a Beta order from our Beta department" and that she didn't have access to that system so I would have to call an 800# as she couldn't transfer me to another chat operator. I could also try closing this chat and opening another to get to the right group. What?
If Walmart wants to effectively compete with Amazon, they need to make the customer experience as seamless as the Amazon environment. I guess I will wait the two more days...
Good luck. All I could think while reading Walmart's response is that these are the guys who want us to let their folks into our homes when we're not around.
Don't think so.
MNB reader Steve Ritchey had a thought or two about the speculation from a consultant floating the idea that Walmart and Home Depot ought to merge:
When I read of this possible merger I couldn't help but think that it's a marriage made in Heaven or Hell, I can't decide which.
These two companies are made for each other, bot offer some of the worst customer service I've ever witnessed.
Case in point. Several years ago I was building a tool shed in my back yard. I needed pressure treated lumber and 3/4" plywood, plus concrete building blocks for the foundation, all heavy stuff. I was on the floor loading this mess up on my cart as the fat HD employee stood watching me talking to his friend. 10 HD employees must have passed me, no one offered help..
I got it up front and checked out, then had to ask for help in loading my truck.
Why did I go to HD, because they had the dimensions I needed, so I wouldn't have a lot of waste?
Contrast that with the next weekend when I went to Lowes for lumber to frame the walls. I think I needed like 40 2x4's for wall studs, an employee saw me, asked how many I needed and I told him, he helped load them, plus all the other dimensional lumber I needed for framing the walls.. Then he went and got the 80 lbs. box of framing nails I needed for my nail gun. Then he led me to a register, checked me out and helped load my truck.
See why Lowes is my first choice for Home Improvement materials.
Whenever I go to Wal Mart, I seldom see an employee out on the floor, the store is always a mess, and checkout is a joke. Plus in my dealings with them as a rep, I found their managers frequently arrogant and very condescending.. their relationship with vendors isn't a partnership, but is adversarial.
Just my 2 cents worth, for what it's worth.
I must admit that I'm really impressed,. I can do none of the things that you describe.
Responding to my criticisms of Facebook, one MNB reader wrote:
A personal observation. I'm the oldest of three (I'm now in my 50s). We were raised together. My sister and I lost our mom, brother and dad (separately) in separate instances a couple of decades ago. It was incredibly hard for us both and we drifted apart. I found her on Facebook in 2012. We reconnected very gingerly and mostly just messaged each other and/or "liked" each other's posts. We spoke for the first time in decades in 2014 and we saw each other in person for the first time in 2017.
I ignore the nonsense on Facebook (the memes, the quizzes designed to get us to give up sensitive information and such). I found my sister and from there discovered my nephews.
I'm torn by the awful things Facebook has allowed because without it I don't know if I ever would have found my sister.
I wouldn't ever argue that Facebook is all bad, or that it has enabled only bad things.
But there's an awful lot of chaff to get through to get to the wheat.
Regarding the difficulty many chains may have finding enough employees to work in coming months, one MNB reader wrote:
Baby boomers retiring by the thousands daily isn't helping this situation either.
Wait a minute. Baby boomers are retiring? How come I didn't get the memo?
We had a piece yesterday about how a number of IT departments are holding off investments, and I commented:
This strikes me as being an interesting and Eye-Opening problem. It has become a cliché to talk about the pace of change, especially since we've been living with this gathering, propulsive momentum for years now. I find myself wondering which is the bigger risk - making the wrong bet, or succumbing to analysis paralysis because the next big transformational thing may come out tomorrow or next week.
I was curious about how to avoid analysis paralysis, and came upon a blog (FacileThings.com) that suggested something called satisfying, which means "choosing the first option that you have evaluated as reasonable enough … Don’t look for the perfect solution from the start. Focus on the basics and ignore the details, at least at the beginning. Don’t waste your time in things that are likely to change later on anyway … Don’t consider the fact that you are making a big decision, but multiple and smaller decisions. Each decision that you take is not final, you can tinge and correct them with the following decisions you make."
Though it also occurs to me that this is easier said than done when millions of dollars - and maybe even the future viability of a company - are at stake.
MNB reader Phil Herr responded:
Hi Kevin, I was struck by this article. I have always been a fan of the concept (read “The Paradox of Choice” by Barry Schwartz). His argument is that we tend to be satisficers or perfectionists. And because there are always so many choices in any situation, perfectionists are always unhappy — they could always have made a "better" choice. Me, I am delighted to be a satisficer.
One MNB reader responded to yesterday's piece about William Shatner going into space in Jeff Bezos' rocket, and my posting of an old FaceTime video about a one-man show I saw in which Shatner talked about greeting every opportunity with four words: "I can do that."
“I can do that” is so simple, yet so compelling. So difficult and so easy. A tiny mantra that grows into a life force. Brilliant. So easy to add the “ ‘t “ to the can and it turns it into an excuse from an exclamation.
Glad I clicked on this today. Always happy to be schooled by one of the OG’s as I face down retirement.
Boldly go where no man or woman has gone before, William Shatner. Enjoy your trip.
Thanks for the FaceTime. You made my whole day.
And finally, from MNB reader Joe Ciccarelli:
Kevin – thanks for the recommendation of Sfoglini’s Cascatelli. Got my order yesterday and made some sauce / gravy to have tonight. The pasta cooked up really well and it was excellent – held the sauce as you said. The instructions say cook for 13 to 17 minutes but I did just 13 minutes and it was perfect – ala dente. I paired it with a Santa Margherita Chianti.
Thanks. Keep the recommendations coming.
I will. I'm thrilled you liked it.