Grocery Glitch – Online Shopping Nightmare

grocery glitch

My consolation prizes given to me by my local Walmart after they couldn’t find my online order. The local store was really helpful and genuinely sorry that they didn’t get my order. The second party call center, on the other hand, was not.

Several weeks ago I wrote passionately about my new love affair with online grocery shopping. Today I am sad to say that the affair has come to an end. Walmart grocery and I are going to have to break up.

It appears our relationship was too good to be true.

And after the customer service experience I had yesterday, I can no longer recommend this service to my friends.

My kids were home from school on Tuesday for a teacher prep day. I knew pay day was approaching and so I started to get my grocery list together. I have ordered from a few times before so it was easy for me to log in and start shopping – all while my three little boys played Minecraft on their Kindles and my baby girl played with her Fisher Price princess castle on the floor next to me.

It was magical. I virtually placed each item on my list into my shopping cart, scheduled a time to pick them up the next day (Wednesday), then checked out.

I got a confirmation email saying my groceries would be ready to pick up between 9-10 a.m.

Perfect! I could drop the older kids off to school, drive 15 minutes to Walmart, load up the groceries, run my other errands and be home before lunch.

My plan started out wonderfully. I called Walmart while I was on my way to their pickup location. That’s when the trouble began. They couldn’t find my order.

I’m not talking about the groceries that they had gathered for me, I’m talking about the actual list of items they were supposed to have gathered for me. They hadn’t received it yet. Therefore they hadn’t gathered anything yet. And I was minutes from the store.

I got there and the associates I worked with were very helpful. But they couldn’t do anything to find my order. Apparently Walmart has a second-party off-site company it uses as a call center for the program.

It is the place that receives all the orders and forwards them to all of the stores who are currently piloting this new program. I don’t know the exact number of stores trying this out but have been told it’s somewhere between 160-180 nationwide.

I sat in my van and talked to a customer service representative from the call center for more than 20 minutes. She started off by saying that my order was pending because my credit card wouldn’t give Walmart authorization. Then she backpedaled and said it was a problem with their own processing department. Then she concluded that my order was stuck in limbo.

How does that even happen?

She was unable to cancel my order, but it wasn’t being fulfilled. After a long phone conversation and several “let-me-place-you-on-hold” moments, I still had no solution – just an offer for a $20 voucher to use on my next online grocery order.

I left without my food and without any answers to when I could get it. Just a, “probably not today.”

Now I don’t know about you, but when I need to go grocery shopping I need to go grocery shopping. I don’t do it for the fun of it. I go twice a month max because I hate it. I stockpile a giant list and get it all at once to minimize my shopping trip torture.

So when I scheduled to pick up my food yesterday, that’s when I needed it. We are out of milk, butter (except for the half of a stick left over from what I borrowed from my neighbor to cook dinner last night), cheese, paper towels, chicken nuggets and apple juice, and more. We aren’t going to starve by any means – we have a mass supply of long-term food storage in my basement – but you try looking at a 1-year-old baby girl who won’t eat ANYTHING and telling her that you don’t have any of her “joose.”

I felt like the call center associates were treating me as an order number, not as a busy mother who needed food for her hungry babies.

Sadly, they didn’t care.

I asked to speak to a couple different managers who confirmed to me that they couldn’t help me. I’d have to wait until I got home and resubmit my order again as a new order. And hope that the other one would be cancelled.

So that’s what I did. I got home around 11 from running my other errands and got online to reorder my food. I’m sure you are wondering why I ordered through them again after all of this. Well, truthfully, the $20 voucher was the only reason.

But because it was so late in the day, I couldn’t select a pick-up time for that day. It would have to wait until the next day. Seriously?! They messed up my order but I was still going to have to wait to get my food. Again.

I am beyond depressed about this break up. I had high hopes for my Walmart grocery shopping relationship. I was in it for the long haul. I was willing to forgo any sales or coupon shopping and drive an extra 10 minutes to be able to have someone bring my food out to me.

But I can’t risk my order getting lost in the shuffle again. I can’t drive all the way there after getting a confirmation email saying my food will be ready only to find out the store never had the chance to put my order together.

Part of the reason why this service was so appealing was because it was going to SAVE me time and stress. Not cause more of it.

Rumor has it that other local stores are offering online grocery shopping. I think I may have to put myself out on the market again and find a new online shopping love.

Or better yet, I may have to stick to the independent life and get my groceries on my own again. If you want to make sure something is done right, I guess you have to do it yourself.


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