Who's right about Wal-Mart's customer satisfaction?
The retailer says shoppers are happy, but reactions to stories about its staffing and service tell a different tale.
"Bloomberg continues to pursue a story based on a sample size of customer responses that is not representative of what is happening in our stores across the country," Wal-Mart spokeswoman Brooke Buchanan told MSN Money.
Following Bloomberg's initial report on the problem, more than 1,000 readers contacted it to say they were previously loyal Wal-Mart customers who have either cut back or quit shopping there because of the poor customer service they received. This is hardly a shock.
As my colleague Aimee Picchi recently noted, the company has increased its locations by 13% over the past five years but has raised its staffing levels by just 1.4%. Wal-Mart routinely performs poorly in independent measures of customer service such as the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). The Bentonville, Ark., company scored 71 in the latest ASCI survey, the lowest of any department and retail store. Rival Target (TGT) earned an 81 rating.
Wal-Mart, which earlier this year promised to hire 100,000 veterans within five years, is in Wall Street's doghouse because of its lackluster growth. Earnings have disappointed investors for the past two quarters.
Management has blamed the company's woes on the financial stresses affecting low-income shoppers even as the broader economy continues to rebound. But as the reactions to MSN Money's last article on the subject show, there's more to the story.
"Their prices may be good, but if it's not on the shelf it doesn't matter," wrote one MSN reader. "The lines are long, and many of the employees are apathetic or have attitude problems. ... Bottom line is it's not worth the aggravation to shop there."
Officials with Wal-Mart couldn't immediately be reached for comment.
Jonathan Berr does not own shares of the listed stocks. Follow him on Twitter @jdberr.
I changed to Target. When the WalMart close to me got messy during a recent redesign and I couldn't find something, I couldn't find an employee to help either. Even when I did manage to hunt down a person, they were always 'not from this department' and couldn't help anyway.
I've known one too many workers who just gave up working there because they were not treated humanely. They would get few hours, very irregular schedules, bosses who didn't really care, or who were micromanagers, little to no hope to ever improve their work situation while there...etc.
When will employers realize that keeping employee and giving them a career path, no matter what the industry, is valuable? Oh, wait, its cheaper to just hire the next kid and start over...
The stuff sold in Walmart is cheap Chinese junk. It falls apart isn't worth buying and 9 out 10 stores I have been in are filthy with stuff usually laying on the floors. I've gone in late at night after work to buy some food item and you can see the mold and rotting food sitting on the shelves.
Support your local community grocers and retail stores over this giants cesspool of a store that has no interest in your community other then sucking the life out of it.
1. When it takes me longer to check out because there are 4 registers open out of how many they have thatn it does for me to buy 125.00 worth of groceries, Im done....
2. I do not eat scrap meat and neither should anyone else. Worst meat department I have EVER seen. I mean come on! People shop there because they like to or have to. Either way, it doesnt mean we cant or wont afford decent meat...
3. Stop stacking crap in the aisles!! you cant get down them as it is.
Shopping and the frustration of shopping at Walmart is huge!!! So big walk from one end to the next looking for
stuff. No help stand in lines for 30 to 40min trying to check out. Merchandise cheap breaks when you get it home.
I have changed to Target, Walgreen, CVS to shop for things I need. Having lower prices and cheaper stuff at walmart not worth the frustration of being treated with no respect or courtesy. I have waited 3 hrs to get a prescription after I have called it in to Walmart 2 days ahead. When i get there they still don't have the order right. Scary and they are working with meds
that could kill you if filled wrong. Walmart workers and their managers need customer service classes. I have only noticed
the last year how bad staffing was at walmart. You can't find anyone and then they don't know what you are talking about
or where anything is.. Never liked walmart anyway but really don't like it now.
The checkout lines don't seem be any worse than they have been in the past at our Walmart. Since I pretty much know where everything in the store is, lack of customer assistance is a non-issue for me.
I've pretty much given up on customer service anywhere unless you hit the store early in the morning.
Just got back from Home Depot and they were falling over each other to assist me. Go there on a Saturday or Sunday and you are on your own. Seems to be that way everywhere.
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A basic income policy can actually ensure a decent standard of living for everyone.
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