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Dear Mr. Alvers

My family had the very unfortunate experience this weekend to interact with members of your Asset Protection Team, and based on that interaction can assure you no member of my family will ever set foot in your store again.

On Sunday August 19th my 18 and 20-year-old sons stopped into the Riverdale Wal-Mart to pick up some items for their new car.

They shopped for the items and decided to do the self-checkout to get out of the store faster. They had trouble with the scanner during which time an associate came to assist and punched in the over-ride code to reset the machine. They paid by credit card and again the machine had an issue and would not print the receipt. Again the associate came over and assisted, dealing directly with my son.

The final total for the purchase was $90.82.

Apparently when they had scanned the items an associate noticed that one of the items did not scan. Instead of approaching the customers and correcting the issue right then and there, they pushed their secret panic button and my sons were followed to the parking lot. As they stood in the lot for 30 minutes putting the newly purchased car seat covers in the vehicle a crack member of your team was writing down their license plate number and alerting the local authorities.

They arrived home to a Kinnelon Police Officer who told them they were required to call the Riverdale Police Department, where your store is located. When they made that call they were told they were being accused of shoplifting and needed to call the Wal-Mart store.

Since they are honor-student athletes who have never been in trouble they panicked and drove straight back to the store where they met with Justin. Justin reviewed the video and told them that he believed it was an honest mistake and that the matter was over.

Imagine my wife and my surprise when we came home a few hours later to three messages from the Riverdale Police Department demanding that they appear "ASAP" for their offense.

Not understanding how this could happen I took my son and we went to the store on Monday morning. I called before leaving my home and was told the Asset Protection Associate who file the report (which I assume is Justin) would be in the store and available at 12:30 for a face-to-face discussion. I arrived at 12:30 and was met instead by Steve (who I later found out was the new manager) and a woman who would not reveal her name to me.

I was not very happy that the person who called the local police and falsely accused my sons of shoplifting did not show up as he was supposed to. Apparently his boss Steve was confused about who was working that day and didn't realize he wasn't there. The next 45-minutes were filled with "It wasn't me" and "I don't know" and "since I wasn't here yesterday I am not sure" and "I don't know the accuracy rate on our readers", so it became clear to me very quickly that these two individuals were only interested in sweeping this under the rug and had no interest in explaining, or more importantly apologizing for this accusation.

The fact that your store associate had 2 interactions with my sons during the 90 seconds it took to make a purchase, yet did NOTHING but report it to the police when there was an error, is either malicious or incompetent. My guess is that your Asset Protection Team has a lot more fun playing "cops and robbers" and reporting crime, than actually preventing it. Even better a simple conversation with two honor-students would have solved the mystery in minutes and not forced me to take a half-day from work to get involved with two police departments.

Oh by the way, the "stolen" item was a $10 light kit for a car – the largest and least expensive item selected, clearly the one that a person would try and steal.

I heard all about the Wal-Mart procedures and protocols, which in my experience is a great cop-out for people who aren't interested (or smart enough) to do the right thing, at the right time. If your team had the slightest bit of training they could have fixed the potential problem instead of creating the problem.

As of the writing of this letter my family and I have not received an apology for the waste of time and effort, and got not the slightest bit of feeling that Steve and his team felt that anything could have been handled in a better way. The woman who did most of the talking, and would not share her name was similarly not the least bit repentant on behalf of the store.

When I asked them both who had made the return call to the police to close the issue I was met with blank stares. For all of the process and procedure I heard about apparently closing the loop isn't part of it. The team did a great job of slinging mud at people to local police, and feels NO need to close the loop and call off the dogs.

Your associate Justin also told my son there was paperwork going to Wal-Mart legal and a fine would probably be coming his way. He told my son that they would work with him if he couldn't pay all at once since it could be up to $150. Wal-Mart is big but I didn't realize you now have the authority to fine customers when your machinery doesn't work – maybe a another lie told to young men who don't know better?

My perception of Wal-Mart is that your "great low prices" generally come from pushing down prices on your suppliers and by not over-paying employees. My assumption is your "theft deterrent" team is comprised of underpaid, non-experienced individuals who are trained to hit the "panic button" at any potential issue. By the way that perception was solidified today meeting that team.

I understand shoplifting and shrinkage are a billion dollar retail issue. I also know that there are those who prefer to spend their money in a place that does not assume everyone is a thief.

I am insulted, disgusted and enraged by the treatment of my family by members of your unprofessional staff. I will be forwarding this message to the Wal-Mart corporate office, and to as many online outlets as I can.

I will never shop in your stores again. It was a terrible day of complete incompetence at the Riverdale Wal-Mart.

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Anonymous
Maplewood, New Jersey, United States #1128157

Lies, lies lies!And you know it!

Plain and simple they exited the store with unpaid items and the only thing that the asset protection team did wrong was not Pershing criminal charges against your sons! The store gave both of you respect, which neither if you deserved , because the mother of the adult sinwas s crazy human and did not understand a word which was being said to either if you. You both aahoukd be thankful at the point I that anyone even talked to you both, considering both of your sons were adults and they are responsible for their own actions.

Point remains that the police responded to the residence of the accuse and allowed them to be given the chance to bring back the unpaid items without any criminal charges being filed against them.

Just because you both made s bunch of noise, is the only reason that the store/company conceeded to your nonsense. A theft is a theft, it's called self checkout for a reason. Your sons clearly saw that they did not scan nor pay for the items in question and yet they still chose to exit the store. They clearly knew they stole the items, they just didn't think they would get caught.

Pa.

I think the mother needs to work on her anger issues.

Anonymous
#679099

All these idiots siding with Walmart....... Never had this issue, but they are sneaky pigs. They are liars, lowlifes, and I just adore how the "security" make themselves so obvious. Too lazy to get a degree, and too fat to pass the policemans exam--- cop wannabes-- just won't ever be.

And if they were GUILTY as everyone has already said, why would they put the items on the car, and hang in the parking lot???? I'd leave and hope all was well.

Not my fault this world is filled with so many low class, ghetto, welfare Walmart shoppers!!!

***TARGET is my store of choice, and you'd know why the minute you step foot in Walmarts nasty floors*****

Anonymous
#569008

Well it sounds like it was just a mistake made by the store.It happens.

I work in retail and we can make mistakes.If you don't like our stores (I do not work at WalMart) then don't shop there :P

Anonymous
Shady Hollow, Texas, United States #569000

BTW since when did a 20 year old become a teenager?? TWENTY does not contain the word teen in it. Only your 18 year old is still a teenager.

Anonymous
Las Vegas, Nevada, United States #547848

I am surprised at the number of idiots on here who side with Walmart. The video showed that these two CUSTOMERS did run the item over the scanner--and if the scanner didn't record the purchase, it is not the CUSTOMER'S fault. It is the store's fault.

You clowns who believe that stores can treat customers however they like are destroying American business.

Question.....How many checkouts did this "wonderfully run" business have? How many of those checkouts were actually open? If Walmart cared about their customers, they would ALL be open. If they don't care about their customers, they shouldn't be in business.

Here's the key to this----let the police arrest these two if Walmart thinks they intended to steal. Let the case go to court, and when it gets thrown out, sue Walmart AND the garbage employees (who didn't want to resolve this to the satisfaction of the CUSTOMER) for 5,000,000.00. You will win that case because American customers are SICK OF GIVING OUR MONEY TO RETAILERS WHO TREAT US LIKE ****.

Anonymous
to Kell Brooklyn, New York, United States #557197

First and foremost Ms.Kell.....there is far more to the above complaint.

So ZIP IT!!! Second if ppl do not like the way the store is ran....why ship there??? Go to another store!!! But of course no one will .....

Because they all know that Walmart's prices knock out any competitor ! People complain, whine, kick and scream...... Then come back faithfully. Sue???

LOL....

You are ignorant !:)

Anonymous
to Dislikes know it all ppl! Chicago, Illinois, United States #685145

How exactly would you know what there is to the complaint? Are you from Walmart?

Anonymous
to Anonymous Forrest City, Arkansas, United States #717518

EXACTLY! :)

Anonymous
Newton, New Jersey, United States #540193

I've read the complaint.It seems like a couple of angry parents trying to cover for their kids.

Even if the event was an "honest mistake", the fact is, merchandise left the store without being paid for...and it would have been "over" if the parents left it alone! If I owned a business and had video evidence, I would call the police too! Wouldn't matter if it was $10 or $100! Its still theft.

The only thing Walmart mishandled was allowing the parents to take control of the situation.

Most of this letter sounds like some half truths told by their children(come on, when you were in trouble, did you ever tell your parents the WHOLE truth?!), then re told by angry parents.

sessa
Raleigh, North Carolina, United States #540087

Did any of you actually READ the complaint?!?"Since they are honor-student athletes who have never been in trouble they panicked and drove straight back to the store where they met with Justin.

Justin reviewed the video and told them that he believed it was an honest mistake and that the matter was over" Everything after that is ridiculous stupidity on the part of Walmart.

It couldn't be more clear to those of us with working brain cells that it was an honest mistake that Walmart completely mishandled.Geez

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