December 26th, 20187 To Whom it May Concern: For Christmas, my 3 year old daughter, Ella and 3 year old god daughter, Maddie asked Santa for balance bikes. Every time they saw Santa (and anyone else who would ask) they happily said this was the one item they could not wait for.
They have been being extra good in hopes of this special gift. I went to Walmart to purchase one and it was not available in the store, but a helpful assistant informed me I could order it online for store pickup before Christmas. I thought this was awesome… and right there in the store I ordered two pink balance bikes on my phone with a pickup date of Friday, December 22nd…. Just in time for Christmas!
I was so happy I had this convenient option and could not wait to pick up the bikes. On Friday, December 22nd I went to the pickup counter of my local Walmart to get their Christmas presents…. And the bikes were not there. I was informed at the pickup counter that they would not be delivered until Tuesday, December 26th… the day after Christmas.
This was of course a huge let down. I stood there and stared blankly at the man at the pickup counter and then at my phone – with the email that clearly stated “DELIVERY BY FRIDAY DECEMBER 22nd” in big bold font…. and could not process what he was telling me. What would I do for Christmas?!
Right there in front of everyone in the pickup section of the store the tears came and would not stop. How could I explain to my girls that Santa was not going to bring them what they wanted? What was I going to do? The man at the pickup counter could not care less about the dilemma Walmart put me in and informed me there was nothing I could do but call 1800Walmart.
He did not even offer an apology and quickly wrote done the number to get rid of me. I immediately called the customer service number right there in the pickup section of the store. The first women I talked to was able to offer no solutions and seemed to be trying to get through the call hurriedly. I asked to speak to her manager – and the next guy I was transferred to was a complete ***.
He had no emotions in is voice and it felt like he was reading off of a script as I sat there crying on the phone with him asking him to help me find a solution and try to help me save Christmas for my children. Finally, he was able to transfer me to someone in another department. This women was the first person I spoke to who was empathetic. She patiently listened to me as the stress of the holidays vomited out of my mouth in the form of dry heaving cries as I frantically tried to picture how I would explain to my daughters that Santa was not able to deliver their gifts.
I asked to receive a refund for the bikes for this dilemma and still receive the bikes on Tuesday. She gladly processed this and apologized for the inconvenience I was experiencing. As I sat in a bench in the pickup counter of the store ugly crying to this women on the phone – there was a Walmart employee named Bradley working at the pickup counter. He was kind enough to give me sympathetic glances as he overheard this conversation on the phone.
Unlike the first man I encountered at the store, Bradley was willing and eager to help me in any way he could. He even started looking on his phone to see if this item was at any other Walmart in the phoenix metro area. I was also frantically trying to search for anywhere that sold balance bikes in the area on my phone. Unfortunately, Walmart and every other major store did not carry this item in stores.
Bradley sat there with me and listened as I cried to him about the pressures of being a perfect mom around the holidays and how I felt like such a failure because I was letting my girls down. He came up with the great idea of having me purchase helmets, kneepads and elbow pads and wrapping those up with a printed picture of the bike so my girls knew it was coming. Christmas came and my daughters opened up their presents, including the helmets, kneepads and elbow pads and they were ecstatic when they learned they were getting the bikes they asked for. I explained to them that Santa wanted them to pick it up in the store themselves and that we were going to go on Tuesday to get them at the pickup counter at Walmart where Santa had them waiting just for us.
I received an email from Walmart.com Tuesday morning detailing that my order was ready for pickup at Walmart. I packed up my 1 year old son and my 3 year old daughter and off we went to go see Santa’s special delivery with plans to pick up Maddie afterward and test out the new bikes. When we arrived we found out that only one bike was there. I told the guy at the counter that the order was for two bikes not one.
He went in the back to get a manager as I pulled up the email clearly stating “Quantity: 2”. My old friend Bradley came out and informed me that only one bike had made it to the store and the other one was being delivered later in the day and that he would personally call me when it came. Disappointed, and trying to figure out how I was going to explain to Maddie that Santa only had one bike not two at the store – I left to go home and wait for a call to head for a third time to Walmart to pick up this impossibly challenging Christmas present. Later that day I got a voicemail from Bradley as I was putting my kids down for their naps.
He let me know that the bike had arrived, but that I was not allowed to come pick it up because it was not being released for pick up because the order was refunded. He was nice about this and even let me know that he tried to call the Walmart.com phone number for me, explaining the situation to everyone he spoke to on the phone. The people he spoke to on the phone told him I had to call and that the bikes should not be given to me if a refund was given… which is not what I was told when I called customer service on 12/22. Luckily, my children were napping, because once again the tears came pouring down my face as I tried to understand what was going on.
I called 1800Walmart and was transferred three times until I began to speak with Kiki. Who was very empathetic and understanding to my problem – but was not able to offer me any solution. She informed me that while the third person I spoke to on 12/22 – Allison – may have told me I would get a refund and the bikes - that the notes she wrote in the system only say that she processed the refund and nothing about me still receiving the bikes. As Allison was not working today, she was unable to do anything further until another manager reviewed this incident number… and that could be days from now.
I am aware that calls are recorded – so I was very frustrated that this phone call from 12/22 could not simply be pulled up and listened to so it could be confirmed that was the solution offered to me. She let me know the only way I would be getting the bike was if I went in and re-purchased them. Which of course seemed like a sick joke at this point. Currently - the second bike is being held hostage from my daughter at the Walmart pickup counter.
It seems Santa only cared enough to deliver one of my girls presents, which has been such a fun thing to explain to two toddlers as they take turns riding only one bike when Santa promised them two. At this point - Walmart has robbed me of hours of my life. I have spent 45 minutes on the phone on 12/22 with customer service and 60 minutes on the phone today. I have traveled to Walmart to try to get the bikes three separate times (with a 1 and 3 year old – that is SO easy).
I have spent hours crying over this and trying to creatively think of solutions to work around this inconvenience and ways I can still make this gift magical for my girls. The irony of this situation is that I choose to order this gift online for store pickup after hearing how easy it was from a Walmart employee.
Instead, this experience has been by far the worse shopping experience of my life. The additional stress this has caused me in an already stressful season is enough to put a person in the looney bin.
Product or Service Mentioned: Walmart Pick Up Service.
Reason of review: Poor customer service.
Monetary Loss: $79.
Preferred solution: give me the bike and some bells and tassels for the girls.