Friday, July 14, 2006

I took a stand!

There are all sorts of quasi-political reasons for not shopping at Wal-Mart. They've had union trouble, they've been accused of various prejudices, they tend to find their way around zoning laws whenever they set their mind to building a new store, etc. I've seen small businesses shut down by the introduction of a Wal-Mart to a rural area. But that's not my fight. My reasons are much simpler.

Yeah, you can go to one store and buy fresh watermelon, new socks, Playstation games, engine degreaser, a swing set, and a dozen goldfish in one swoop. And often for several cents cheaper than the other stores. But you know what? I got really tired of spending any money at all for products that fall apart, malfunction, fade, die, and generally disappoint. Plus, the added bonus of going through check stands (slowly) only to be "greeted" by a surly clerk (after she was done chatting about her no-good boyfriend to the clerk at the next stand who was filing her nails) who obviously didn't want to be working there any more than I wanted to be shopping there. I was usually lucky to get a "hello", even luckier if I could understand the mumble coming out of her mouth. And God forbid that you ever have a question. Blanker looks you never did see.

So I stopped going. As of today, I have been Wal-mart sober for one year.

I'm not against big business. I will sing the praises of Target until you forcefully remove the vocal chords from my throat. I am against poor customer service, shoddy products, and the assumption that just because you have a big name, you have the right to be and do wherever and whatever you want.

I urge you all to join me in my fight! Not that it will possibly make a difference, I'm not that deluded. But, really, it is amazing how wonderful it feels not to struggle your way through that accident zone of a parking lot. To go to stores where you are smiled at and *gasp* offered help! To pay your money, knowing that you may actually be able to use that set of Ginzu knives for more than a week!

Come on!! I'll see you all at Target tomorrow morning!


Elizabeth said...

OOOOHHHHH, i am so with you! i gave up walmart a few months ago for many of the same reasons--crappy customer service, shoddy quality, etc. a friend came into town recently and she wanted to stop in to the local walmart to pick something up. as soon as i stepped into the place, i remembered why i don't go there...i may pay a few cents more, but it is worth me not being angry with my fellow human beings, which is how i felt every time i went! :)


Tink said...

Way with you too. I think I have only been in Wallyworld 4 times since the chain opened and I have never, ever bought anything from them.

Dave said...

These stores you speak of, the mythical places where "you are smiled at and *gasp* offered help." Forgive me, as I must be a stranger to your land. These are things with which I am not familiar. Please tell me where I might find such earthly delights, since LA seems to be completely void of such wonderful places.

Oh, sure, I know the answer: Oregon. Even Cheryl looks forward to Fred Meyer now.

Rusheika said...

Great entry... I used to be a customer service trainer at a bank... so poor customer service anywhere really annoys me. Good for you for taking a stand... and I will remember this when I am visiting the US again..although I usually go to Target anyway.

glynis said...

I'm ready, and now I "save" my wal-mart trips to when I absolutely, can't-pay-the-prices-anywhere-else have to. I love Target and there were rumors that we might get a SuperTarget nearby...I'm ready!

heather said...

Indifferent service is so commonplace these days, I hardly even notice it any more - isn't that a shame!! We don't have Walmart (maybe your description explains why!!)

Bethy said...

I've been wal-mart free FOREVER! I've only been in the stores a handful of times and find it so appalling that I quickly leave without buying anything.

I don't go there for the "political" reasons but the stores (all I've been to and that's in several different areas) are disgusting. Falling apart stores filled with falling apart merchandise.

Great post.
I have several rants and I hope to find time this weekend to voice them!!

Love your prompts Meg - you get my head thinking is such different ways!

loonyhiker said...

Customer service is important to me too! I can't stand getting bad customer service! I also hate long lines at the only 2 cash registers open when they have 15 possible lines!

Karen said...

Meg, history has shown that the only thing that has ever made a difference in this world has been individuals takeing a stand.
And why would you want to buy your engine degreaser and your watermelon from the same place anyway!

Dad said...

Ah, Megan, you do a father proud! Not patronizing Walmart is just a natural part of my life and I don't associate any suffering or inconvenience with it. And your position WILL make a difference -- not so much in terms of causing any reform within Walmart, but in "Targeting" your dollars toward other merchants so they may be competitive, perhaps even gain ground on Walmart. Whatever your reasons, I applaud your decision!