How Much Would You Put Up With to Save Money?

how much would you put up with

how much would you put up withThree weeks ago, I ordered a pair of tires on When I created the order on January 5th to be shipped to the store, I was surprised when it said it wouldn’t be there until the 16th. A week and a half sounded like a long time for a company that has such efficient logistics.

Apparently, it wasn’t long enough though.

The 16th came and went, and nothing happened. I don’t like to be a high-maintenance customer, so it wasn’t until 6 days later that I sent my first email. The response came the next morning:

We truly apologize for the delay of your order. We have escalated this issue to the proper department…We ask you to please wait 5 business days for a response.

5 business days for a response?! That’s unacceptable. So I took to Twitter, because obviously these companies care more once you start talking to other people.


I got a much quicker response this time, and actually got three phone calls in the next two days, one from the “escalation specialist” letting me know they’d get the tires there ASAP and one from the store manager saying the tires had been delivered. I didn’t understand why it takes me tweeting out to a couple thousand people for them take it seriously, but I was impressed.

That is, until my wife, who is 8 months pregnant, took the car to the store yesterday to have the tires installed.

Be glad my wife isn’t a scary pregnant lady

When she got to the tire center, the lady looked at her like she was an idiot and told her she had to get online orders from the online pickup counter. When my wife asked how she was supposed to get them back over to the tire center (obviously referring to the fact that she’s not really up to lifting two tires into a shopping cart), the lady just looked at her and said, “Um, with a shopping cart.”

So, my wife walked to the online pickup center to pick up the tires. She pressed the button for assistance, and after ten minutes of waiting, she had to walk around the store to find someone who could help her. When that store associate looked up the order to get it from the back, he informed her that the tires weren’t available. She told him the order has been a hassle all month, and explained everything. He couldn’t do much at that point, so he got a manager to come help. When the manager came (who, as it turns out, was not a store manager but the Auto Center Assistant Manager), she helped look for the tires, and (surprise, surprise!) they weren’t there. She then asked my wife why we would order the tires online when we could come into the tire center and they could order them for us and get them the next day.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure why their order would only take one day to get there while a customer’s would take two weeks…I’m also not sure why anyone would instinctively go to the store to order something online when they can do that in their underwear at home. Besides that, earlier this month, after we received a faulty crib mattress that we ordered online, and tried to go to the store to return it and have them do an exchange and place a new order (we had bought it on Black Friday, so the online price was different now), we were informed that they can’t do orders from the store and that we would have to go home and do the replacement request ourselves. But that’s another Walmart customer service story.

What would you do?

So…do we just cancel the order and go with someone else and pay more? Or do we just wait until they have them in the store. At first, I just told my wife to cancel it. We were both at our wit’s end and I felt horrible that my wife had to go through all that stress to add to the discomfort she’s already feeling being pregnant.

After a few minutes, my wife called me back. The tire center actually had that size of tire in stock–which was not the case when I ordered them three weeks ago–and they’d be more than happy to install those ones. How did they get the tires in stock, but they couldn’t get our order shipped there? Good question.

At that point, we had a decision to make. We were both so angry about everything we had to go through when it would have just been simple for a caring associate to look beyond the problem and see a customer who needs a solution to a real problem. Deep down, we both wanted to just tell them we’ll take our business elsewhere, but even a quick search for the same size elsewhere came back showing we’d be paying more–not something we want to deal with right now with a baby on the way.

What we did

Ultimately, after an hour of my wife being directed around and waiting for answers, we decided to pay less. What happened next, though, will likely preclude any further Walmart shopping for us for a while. When my wife got to the tire center in the beginning, there were no other customers. She actually went in early so she wouldn’t have to wait for a long time. During the hour she was getting no help, four other customers showed up to get work done (one of whom, I might add, came in while my wife was finishing up her transaction in the auto center and had made a brief phone call to me to ask if I wanted to pay for the Road Hazard Warranty. During that 10-second conversation, the woman helping her decided to put her transaction on hold and add another customer to the list ahead of her).

Rather than doing what I feel would be the right thing and making my wife a priority, the lady unapologetically told her she was the fifth in line and would just have to wait. It took another hour and a half of waiting to finally get the car back with the new tires.

Update: And on top of everything, we had to buy the tires at the auto center separately from our original order. But when I went online to cancel the original order of over $100 and get a refund, it said I couldn’t cancel it because it’s still in “Shipping” status. Odd since they told me it was delivered to the store. Anyway, my wife posted something on their Facebook page yesterday morning and they told her to contact their Help Desk. She did that, but neither of us has received a response since.

So my question is this. How much would you put up with to pay less? Would you keep shopping somewhere because it’s cheaper, even though they treat you horribly?

(photo cred)


27 thoughts on “How Much Would You Put Up With to Save Money?

  1. Wow I can’t believe that!!!! I’m so sorry you had to deal with that! Given how far along you guys were in the process with the tires, I would have had Walmart do it too, but I would definitely never go back there for tires again!! I get really frustrated when my time is at sake, to say the least, so normally I would rather just pay a little bit more and not have to wait (one of the reason’s I’ve never understood Black Friday shopping (except online), I would rather spend a bit more money than wait a few hours in a long line!).

  2. Oh. My. Gosh. That all sucks, all over.
    I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who starts flipping out on twitter at companies. (I do try to say nice things to companies that have made me happy, too.)
    I can basically guarantee that you (and several other people) won’t be buying tires from Walmart after this disaster.

  3. Wow, that is some horrendous service! I’d probably have stayed just because of the financial aspect, but I definitely wouldn’t be shopping there again. Shame on Walmart–I’m still floored that they had the tires in stock in the store but “didn’t have your order.”

  4. I hate Walmart with a passion. There is one about 5 minutes from our house, but I am determined to not shop there at all this year. Cheaper or not, the stress of dealing with that place is not worth it to me anymore.

  5. Had my namecheap account hacked few weeks ago. Was lucky enough to notice that my portfolio site (which I was actually working on), didn’t load. So I tried to see if my other sites loaded: they did, so it wasn’t the server. I then did a whois and was shocked to see that MY domain name had other name servers than the ones I set for it.

    Long story short, I contacted NC and it took them 2 DAYS to reinstate my domain. I could have lost tens of domains (mine and my clients’). Any email got a response in about 14-18 hours, which is shocking, especially since I would chat prior to this, so that they knew what I need.

    Let’s say that I’ve been dealing with customer support for years (am doing administrative work for my web design clients, so I had to deal with customer support on domain name registrar sites, hosting providers, script developers etc.) and NEVER in my life was I having to deal with such crap support. I just twitted to them about it and was able to make it move faster.

    Phew, good it got solved anyway. And good we have Twitter 😀

    1. Stuff like that drives me insane! Having done CS for a few years, I can understand not wanting to deal with a difficult customer. But we weren’t difficult at all. Glad you got your issue solved, that’s definitely much worse than a couple tires!

  6. I already don’t shop at Walmart because I think their policies are atrocious, but in terms of customer service, I had a similar experience at IKEA and will NEVER shop there again and I urge others to do the same.

    1. Dang. We just bought something at IKEA, but I’ve never had to deal with their customer service before. I’m hoping to not have to shop at IKEA ever again because the furniture is garbage, but alas, we’re poor.

    1. I’ve spent the last couple of summers in the south (Arkansas and Texas) without air conditioning in my car, which I’m fine with. But I’d probably wimp out and get the heater replaced if I were living up north. Cold is my enemy.

  7. Sounds like the tire center nabbed your order! I try to order from other places first, just because WalMart itself ropes me in with under $5 everything until I walk out with an $80 order and I don’t know what happened. I’d prefer to go quality, whether that be for the item or the service, but sometimes we cave. I was amazed at how little courtesy people have for pregnant ladies when I was pregnant myself. Sorry your wife (and you!) had to go through all that!

  8. What a nightmare!! We generally pick the low cost leader for most of our purchases. But I am a fan of taking my business elsewhere after a bad experience. After a sales associate at a large sporting goods store refused to sell three of the exact same item for the low price marked on one (obviously mis-marked), we didn’t go there for over a year. And we don’t go hardly ever now that we’ve cut out all of the extra spending 🙂

    Hope your wife is able to get through the last little bit of pregnancy without too much difficulty… I’ve been there twice. Not exactly my fondest memories.

    1. Yeah we may go back sometime, but it’s not going to be anytime soon. In the end, it doesn’t hurt them because they have millions of other customers. But that doesn’t mean we have to open ourselves up to that kind of treatment again.

      And thanks! 🙂 Overall, she’s doing pretty good considering…everything…haha

  9. Walmart is far from perfect and clearly screwed you guys in this case, but man, I love shopping at Walmart. I do work for Walmart, but the reason I work for Walmart (aside from the paycheck) is because it is a one of the best companies out there. It is one of the best stores out there! For every story of bad customer service I’ve experienced at Walmart, I have 10 awesome stories that far outweigh them. I’m sorry for your experience. That sucks! But you’ve only told one side of Walmart’s story.

    1. You’re right. I’ve only told one side. But as I mentioned in the post, I don’t consider myself a high-maintenance customer at all. I’ve done customer service. I know how horrible customers can be, so I always give them the benefit of the doubt. So when we go through what we’ve had to go through over the past month, and we waste all this time and energy, only to get a “oops, our bad” in return, I don’t feel like I’m obligated to give them a fair shake. It also doesn’t help that I’m not a big fan of corporations anyway 🙂

  10. Hi I m based in India and came across your site . Loved it.
    I have been to Walmart and it sucks . You get what you pay for. Walmart is not worth it. Buy what you need from there but don’t have any expectations. Definitely not online.

    In india for online we do COd cash on delivery. No one trusts the online folks if they will or not deliver. Keeps them on their toes.

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