I Hate WalMart – Part 2

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WalMart and I were only together because it enjoyed my money and I enjoyed their low prices.

And then, WalMart finally screwed me over in enough of a personal way that I thought I had dumped them for good.

It was winter of 2011, and I was very pregnant, and very uncomfortable. I was near to completing the album “Red”, and had a radio interview with Mona Rodriguez. It’s commonplace to bring the radio station an autographed head shot along with a bio and a demo or pre-release CD. I placed my photo order for the head shots in their 1 hour service, then went to pick them up at the photo lab a few hours before the radio interview. I had used a program to add my name and web address to the front of the picture in my typical extra-big font, all caps. When I went to pick up the pictures, I was told I could not have them because they were professional pictures, and the photographer’s name is right on the front. I pulled out my driver’s license and showed them that it was myname on the front. Not good enough. Apparently, I needed to fill out a form stating that I own the copyright for the pictures, they couldn’t find the form at the store, and I would need the person behind the camera to sign the form, regardless if they are a friend or family member. Swell. Just wonderful. I explained my situation to them – that I needed to leave for a radio interview, that the pictures really were not copyrighted by a professional photographer, and that I really really just wanted to purchase them….please? Pretty please? No. I couldn’t have them. They look professional. There’s a name on the front. “Yes, it’s MY name!” I was told that I didn’t need to get upset, as if I were a kindergartener. I wanted to say, “This isn’t me upset. You want to see me get UPSET?” Somehow, being very pregnant and standing there for a long time with Zoey’s head pressed against my uterus didn’t make matters much better. I secretly hoped I would go into labor and gush amniotic fluid all over their floor…then they would HAVE to give me my pictures, right? “Sell me my pictures, or I will have this baby right HERE! Right NOW!” OK, so even though I spoke with several associates, and one rather mean female manager who clearly needed dental insurance, I left without any pictures, swearing I would never return. I had my pictures printed at “emergency” speed at the nearest CVS, where they didn’t give me guff about my name being on the front, but charged me a little more.

Like a boyfriend who had done me wrong, I thought I was leaving the enticingly bright lights and deceptively low prices of WalMart for good.

I complained on their online customer service, exchanging emails with them for about 2 weeks, during which time I shopped at Giant for groceries and Target for housewares. After 2 weeks of complaining and getting automated responses, someone actually read what I wrote in an email, and WalMart’s customer service support gave me a $10 giftcard for walmart . com. We were back in business. And that easily, WalMart had NOT won back my trust or confidence, but they had my business, and that was all that mattered.

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