The Truth about your “All American” Store (Wal-Mart and Sams Club)

Just a warning:  This is a long one.  It’s the first “soap box” speach of many more to follow on the same subject.

How often do you go to a Wal-Mart and leave with a less than satisfying experience? Now, I will give you this much, their prices are pretty great most of the time. However, a lot of the time, the quality is reflected in that price. Most of their items fall apart very quickly or are poorly made in the first place. Wal-Mart is the one place where I must agree with my ‘brand name is always best’ husband – you get what you pay for, or don’t pay for in this case.

But think back on your last three Wal-Mart shopping trips. Did you find everything you wanted? And I don’t mean what you have accepted that you are going to find, but what you actually wanted? Were the aisles clean and well stocked? Was a sales associate easy to locate? Once you found one, were they knowledgeable and helpful? Or were they a pants sagging, sassy mouthed, less than respectful teenager? Or for that matter a less than respectful fully grown adult?

Did you see anyone smile? Wait, let me rephrase that. Did you see anyone smile WHILE serving you? Not the smiling they do when they are hanging around gossiping with one another and NOT doing their job. Now, most times when I go into Wal-Mart I do not get downright horrible service, sometimes, yes. However most of the time I get bare minimum service. You know the kind I am talking about, but you probably aren’t aware that it is even happening, or that there is something substandard about it.

When it comes time to check out of Wal-Mart, this is the typical service I get:

     I place my items on the belt.

     The cashier rings them up.

     I slide my card and enter my pin and hit the various yes/no responses to the mindless questions.

     I get my receipt handed to me; I grab my bags and leave.

     End of story.

Now, you might read that and be wondering what in the world my point is.

My point is that this is what it SHOULD look like:

     I place my items on the belt.

     “Hi! How you are today? Did you find everything you needed?” (Associate speaking WITH A  SMILE AND EYE CONTACT)

     “I’m doing well, thanks. And no, actually I didn’t find everything. I was looking for streamers.”

     “Oh, I am sorry that you couldn’t find those. I’ll put on my light and have a manager come over and we will find out about that. “(Or simply tell me the answer if they TRULY know the answer)

     “Thanks. Other than that, everything is fine.”

     “Great. Your total is $15.75.”

     I swipe my card and answer various questions, blah blah blah.

     “Here’s your receipt. Thanks for shopping with us, have a great day!” (And the manager would be here by now WITH A SMILE and a POLITE attitude with an answer for my question.)

Now that’s HOW ITS SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN. Tell me, can you honestly say that you remember whether or not that happened? And if you can’t remember, pay attention the next time and find out if the reason you can’t remember is because it happens all the time or because you have become desensitized to substandard bare minimum service.

Also, in answer to my question about the streamers I actually had that question. My VERY last trip to Wal-Mart almost 6 months ago took us 20 minutes and we walked out with nothing. It took the manager, who was not very polite in the first place; 20 minutes to find out that this particular location no longer carried streamers. REALLY! You’re Wal-Mart. You carry 15-20 different licensed character plates, napkins, cups and useless party favors but not streamers!! That was the last and final straw for me. I walked out and I have not set foot inside a Wal-Mart since.

And now I get to the part about the truth behind your All American Store. Two weeks ago, however, my cats needed food and Sam’s club has by far the cheapest price. So, since I had not done any research to find another place to buy their cat food, I folded and went to Sams on the way to my parents’ house. I put the cat food in my cart and got a few bottles of Bolthouse Farms fruit juices, which are also a phenomenal buy. When I checked out, the cashier asked me why I was not a Members Plus member. I told her that I had no clue since it was primarily my parents’ account. She rattled off some stuff about it saving money, loading coupons onto the card, saving such and such percent off prescriptions and optical. Don’t remember exactly what she said; only that later research on the subject determined it all false. The main part that I remember, which is the part prompted the research in the first place was that she told me instead of my membership costing $100, it would only cost $19.76. I thought this extremely odd, since the number was not a round number, but regardless I could not make a decision because it was not my account.

I made it to my mom’s house and asked her about our membership prices. She confirmed what I already had figured out on the drive up. Our membership was only $35 per person or household. Either way, the total was not $100, it was either less than or more than. So what $100 was she talking about and how would she have known how much we spend all together anyway? Since we were now thoroughly confused, my mom got online and started researching. I won’t bore you with all the fine details. But I will say that after 2 ½ hours of searching, we were NOT pleased with our findings.

  1.      *Membership Plus is $100 PER PERSON.
  2. * Membership Plus does offer coupons that get loaded onto the card at your choosing. However, the savings is only $300 a year IF you use ALL the coupons. Most of the coupons are useless to the average household. Some months you only get $11 worth of savings. This means, your high dollar savings is going to be on high dollar items you probably aren’t going to buy anyway.
  3. *There are no prescription savings unless you are on Medicare, and even then, it is minimal. The only benefit for prescriptions with Membership Plus is that you get pushed to the front of the line. Which, while that may sound fine, I am sure ALL of you remember elementary school and NONE of us liked it when people cut in line simply because they thought they were better than the rest of us.
  4. *The savings in optical is only if your insurance plan will allow a discount, and it usually gives THEM the discount and not you. So there is no saving there either.

So all in all, Membership Plus is a rip off. Now to answer the question I am sure you all are having. What happened to the $19.76 that I mentioned earlier? The amount that I would have been charged at the register had I upgraded right then? Well…that’s the fun part. Sam’s club does this thing called pro-rate membership fees. Which means that if my membership started in January but I don’t shop there until say April (04), I do not pay for the 4 months of membership that I did not use. They only charge me for next 8 months. This in and of itself is totally honest and upfront, nothing weird about that in particular. But that is where the $19.76 comes in. We had already paid for our membership for the year, plus there were only 3 months left. So the $19.76 is what is LEFT for the year, not the TOTAL price of the membership. The TOTAL membership price is what the cashier was trying to get me to believe I would be paying for. She basically lied to me. In my house, and pretty much any truly honest house, purposefully only telling part of the information to get what you want – IS LIEING!

By the time we came to this conclusion, my mom and I were smoking mad. Not ready to let this thing go, my mom clicked on this little button on the Sams Club website labeled “Complaints”. Looking for it myself I cannot find it. I was however able to find the website that the “complaints” button took us to. This is the link

Then this is the link to the specific complaint and comment thread for the subject I am blogging about: http://link

If you read it for yourself, I think you will be just as appalled as I was. In case you don’t have time at the moment, or don’t care to go look, I will summarize for you.

Membership Plus isn’t really Plus anything. (Customer review) You are supposedly able to get 2% cash back if you use a Sams Discover card. FINE PRINT—only AFTER you spend $10,000!!!!

Then two employees of Sams commented and confirmed that it is all true. Apparently the employees aren’t even told about the $10,000 fine print. They also go on to divulge that they are trained to LIE TO US! They are told to ONLY offer Membership Plus to new members and that the regular membership is to be spoken of as a “low income membership” and not available to the general public.

Their job security is based on how many Plus Memberships they sell. I am sorry, aren’t you just a cashier? Since when was it your job to push product on me? Why would a company do that to their employees? Why would a company do that to their customers??

SO – In conclusion……..drum roll please…..

The store that has taken over nearly every major city in nearly every state, and that is in the process of invading every minor city in every state is in it for….THEMESELVES!

They are not coming into your town to provide you with jobs.

They are there to screw you over and rob you blind. They want you to think you can’t survive without them, that you aren’t a “place on the map” until you have a Wal-mart and a special off ramp built just for them.

They want you to think that you are un-American if you don’t shop there, because they supposedly “support America”.

But I am no longer falling for their lies.  I will NEVER knowingly purchase products from a Wal-mart or Sams Club again.

Your All American Store (Wal-mart/SamsClub) does business the NEW “American way”.

Screw ‘em whenever and however we can.  Make as much money off of ‘em as we can, cause their too stupid to figure out what we’re doing.  Or they are too lazy to do anything about it even if they did find out.  And even if they aren’t too lazy, their wallets are stretched so thin, they’ll feel like they have no choice and keep shopping here anyway.  It’s a win-win, for us anyway.  Thanks for your cash SUCKERS!


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