Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Wally World Atrocity

Yesterday Squeaky and I took off for Wally World... you know the store chain I mean... to buy a new camera. I know nothing about them. Squeaky makes these choices for me. He knows what he is doing when it comes to pixels and sensors and what works with our computer and it's software/hardware.

(I took photography in high school and got an "A" using a Kodak Instamatic... no f stop, no focus, no shutter speed worries. I was cute and my teacher was a pervert. (No I did not do anything more than smile.) My friend, Sal, who was Mexican... I suppose he still is... did a fantastic job using all the whistles and bells on his expensive camera and got an "F". Sal was really cute too. But he wore a shirt that looked like a flag to class and that ticked off the pervert. When I talked Sal into going in to talk to the creep, believing it was a mistake (Sal likely had a grade meant for me), the pervert actually admitted flunking Sal because he felt that Sal had disrespected the flag. I suspect it was also because Sal was Mexican and because Salvador was not a girl. )

The trip to Wally World was not too bad until the end. We found an employee who could open the case and help us fairly quickly. They were out of many of the models, typically. But we settled on one and got a nice sized memory card to go with it. I was really excited. The machine freaked out on me. Not the camera, I'm not being clear. The machine that does the credit card.
Instead of taking the money from my credit card account, it took it from my debit account. I admit I was dumb... when it asked me for my pin, I put it in. I should have known then that it was not on track to charge it. When I did notice and tried to cancel it, the guy said it was too late, I'd paid cash for it.

So I went to the dreaded Customer Service line. If I go to hell, my personal hell will be standing in Wally World's Customer Service line for eternity. Time enters some weird warp and takes a vacation. When my turn came, the girl working the line developed a splinter in her finger. She put us all on hold while she sent the other girl working the second line to find tweezers. Then they worked on her finger together for a time. I had some sympathy. But you know, you don't die of splinters very often these days. How much time is okay to spend on it? I did not know the rule for that, so I continued to wait quietly. She never did get it out. The other girl decided to take her break.

My turn. I explain that I just got this... and the machine took money from my debit account, not my credit account. First she had to search the box and make sure that nothing was taken out of it during the walk from Electronics to Customer Service. She tries to tell me that I cannot have both credit and debit on the same card. I said that is not true, I use it all the time and I know what my card does... no offense. I always try to be polite. This is not a job with many perks but probably has a lot of jerks who blow up. I did not want to be a jerk. She then tells me that she has to put the money back on my debit card and it will take "like a week". I said no, they just got my cash and they can give me my cash back, then charge the camera. It took some wheedling but she finally did it. I think she thought I was doing a scam of some sort.

Then she tried to charge the camera. The card machine would not accept my card. So I use my cell phone and call my card company... who tells me that there is no reason at all that they would not accept my card, that my card company is not the one denying the credit card, that Wally World is refusing it and not even checking with them for approval. Has anyone else had this problem with Wally World? I ended up telling her to forget it and leaving without the camera.

I had the money and could have paid cash. That is not the point. I wanted to use my credit card, not get into my debit account. That's my choice, not Wally World's choice. But my friend tells me that that is what they... "Wally World... do and they do it on purpose to keep down the credit card sales. Cash in hand is better than waiting for the credit card company to send the bucks I guess. Does anyone know if that is true? Is that legal?

Squeaky and I will go into the big city of P'land for our camera needs this weekend. It can wait, though I am anxious to get clicking.


  1. credit card companies charge the merchant a fee, usually over 1% but i'm sure wally world squeezes the credit card companies much like they do to their suppliers.

  2. I look forward to seeing your blog being filled with photos.

  3. I believe the store has to pay a fee to run a debit or credit card. Some stores only take cash so they don't have to deal with the extra fees. Well besides being in Wally World hell, are you happy with your purchase? Hope you enjoy your new camera.

  4. Billy boy- maybe it was just an electronic fluke. I'm sure you're right about them wanting to make money off my card.

    dmarks- I do too! I am really excited about it. The blog needs growth.

    Mr. Shife- I didn't bring it home. I left it behind. I'll go back tomorrow and get it. I guess my face needed to have it's nose removed for spite.

    all- Thanks for your comments and support!

  5. This is why I avoid WalMart if humanly possible.