Why Walmart is no longer dead to me (and FedEx now is)

Gather ’round, children, because it is STORYTIME! Do you have your blankies and your snacks?

SIDE NOTE: once, during storytime at the library, the girls were all braiding each other’s hair, and I had such long pretty hair then, and when it was my turn to get my hair braided (and it was a FRENCH BRAID, which my mom couldn’t do) the librarian was all “STOP THAT AND PAY ATTENTION” so I never got my French braid and I was so, so sad.

It is The Nephew’s birthday on Monday, and he is four. I know. That’s a very prestigious age. On Sunday, we are having his fourth birthday party at his other aunt’s house. It is a pool party and there will be many adorable kiddos running around being cheerful and all hopped-up on cake and such. I haven’t seen him since February so I’m looking forward to seeing him. He grows quickly, that little guy. He’s all legs. He’s going to be a tall one.

So Mom’s coming up Saturday afternoon, spending the night and we’re having all the adventures, and then Sunday we’ll go to the party and then she’ll head home.

Now, the question was: what do we get for an almost-four-year-old we love more than anything in the world?

Mom spoke to The Nephew’s mom (K.) and K. said that he wanted an iPad. Well, he’s only four. I don’t even have an iPad. And I was worried that maybe that’s too much of a thing for a kiddo. I knew that sj got LeapPads for her kids for Christmas, and they love them and use them all the time, and they’re LIKE iPads, only for adorable kiddos…so I said, hey, Mom? Ask K. what her thoughts are about LeapPads. She did, and K. researched them and said, “Yes! LeapPads are a VERY good idea!”

So I researched the best deal I could find for a LeapPad and various accessories and the best deal was from Walmart.

Now, I’m boycotting Walmart, because many Christmases ago, I went shopping there (and it was stupidly crowded, as it is) and I was trying to get something off a very high shelf and had to ask for help and the employee was SO RUDE to me. And that was the straw that broke this particular camel’s back, because every time I went there, I had some sort of issue. Rudeness or price problems or people shopping there being weird or things not being on the shelf or hearing about their practices with employees…so I decided, nope. No more. I have randomly bought things from them online, when I didn’t have another choice and that’s the only place a thing was sold (you know I love to win gifting) and if I was in a place where Walmart was the only shopping option, well, of course I had to shop there.  A person can’t go without deodorant or jerky. But otherwise, it’s Target or Kmart for me.

(Also, Dad worked there for a brief period of time when it first came to his town and then he quit, but he likes to say “WALMART FIRED ME! Those bastards” and he also hates to go there more than he has to, so he’s down with my Walmart boycott.)

But I like to win birthdays, especially for The Nephew…and I like to save money…and Mom and I were splitting the cost of the LeapPad…so I bought it from Walmart. It came with a green rubbery skin thingy and a recharger and an adapter so all I’d have to buy was a pair of earbuds and some rechargable batteries and WE WOULD WIN BIRTHDAYS. (Mom also bought him a bunch of other things, like clothes and toys, but you can hardly blame her. He’s her only grandchild.)

I ordered on a Monday. Walmart said it would arrive a week later. I kicked back and lived life. At the end of the week, I got a package with the charger and the adapter and the recharger. “Huh,” I thought. “That came early. Where’s the LeapPad?” So I went online to check it out.

According to the site, the LeapPad had been delivered to my front door days ago. Funny, because I never got it.

I called FedEx, a touch panicky, and explained the situation. “It’s been delivered,” said FedEx, very helpfully.

“No, it really hasn’t. And I’ve been here for years and no one’s ever stolen a package from my front door. Plus my neighbor sits in his front doorway all day long and watches everything that happens and when I get home and I’ve gotten a package, he says, ‘you have a package!’ as if I’m blind so I think he’d notice if someone nefariously stole my package.”

“Well, we can open a case about this. It’ll take a few weeks.”

“Um. My nephew’s birthday is a week from Sunday. Can…anything we can do to speed that up?”

“Well, ma’am, since it’s been delivered, you’re lucky we’re opening a case, honestly.”

I managed not to scream “IT WASN’T DELIVERED AS I’M NOT HOLDING IT IN MY HAND!” and wrote down the case number.

On Monday, I called them again. They still knew nothing. They did, strangely, ask me what color my building was. When I told them red and cream, they asked “Are you sure?” Um. Pretty sure?

I asked them what, exactly, they recommended I do about this. “Maybe call Walmart? I don’t know,” said the very helpful FedEx lady.

Listen, this wasn’t Walmart’s fault. I wasn’t even sure it was FedEx’s fault. It was either delivered and stolen, or misdelivered (that happens here a lot), or not delivered at all. But I love my nephew, and LeapPads are expensive. I really didn’t want to have to buy another one. And I couldn’t ask Mom to halfway-reimburse me for ANOTHER one. It wasn’t HER fault.

So I emailed Walmart. I explained the whole situation. I poured on the pathos. I mentioned The Nephew. I mentioned he was the best. I mentioned he was four. I mentioned I like to win birthdays.

They sent back a form letter explaining how much their delivery options cost. Sigh, I thought. Of course they did.

But at the bottom, it said “if this doesn’t answer your question, respond to this email and explain your problem again.”

So I rewrote the whole thing. Crossed my fingers.

Not five minutes later, I got an email back.

“It sounds like your package was lost after delivery. We’ll start another order for you at no cost to you.”

Whaaaa? Lost after delivery? They accepted that was a thing? THEY WERE RESENDING THE PACKAGE?

I emailed back. Thanking them. PROFUSELY. I said I only needed the LeapPad, not the accessories; I’d received those. And I asked if I could pick it up in the store, since it was now less than a week until the party. And I thanked them. Again. And wondered amazedly over their customer service.

I got an email back, stating they’d expedited shipping and I’d get it in no more than two days. APOLOGIZING FOR THE INCONVENIENCE. What? WHAT? Holy crap. Asking if, somehow, I ever received the original package, to send it back to them at their expense; I could print a return shipping label from their site. And? AND?

“Please wish your nephew a very happy birthday from all of us here at Walmart.”

Hear that sound? It’s the sound of my self-imposed Walmart boycott slipping away.

We do not live in a very customer-service-oriented society. And when a business goes out of their way to help someone who needs it – I am loyal to that business. My garage treats me like a human being, not a stupid girl; I will never, ever, in a million years, get my car worked on anywhere else. My hairdresser is the coolest, funniest person, and a single mom struggling to make ends meet, and works around my schedule to get me in; I’ve followed her to three salons and would follow her to a dozen more. Walmart just sent me a product that FedEx lost (or was stolen) at their own expense, when they didn’t have to. And put a personal touch on it. It might be their policy, but it’s a damn fine one.

I will no longer boycott Walmart.

And? AND? When I got home from work Wednesday, I had a message from FedEx. I was trying to find a way to embed it here, but it had my real name and address on it and that’s how you get stabmurdered, so I stopped trying to do that.

Here’s the message, paraphrased:

“Hi, Amy. This is FedEx. We’ve investigated your case, and found out what happened to your package. The deliveryperson brought it to your home, but was unable to find you. He then gave it to someone he assumed to be a maintenance person in the parking lot, who said you no longer lived there, but he would take care of the package for you. So…that’s really all we can do about that. We suggest you contact Walmart and see if they can help. Thank you for using FedEx.”


You gave my nephew’s LeapPad to a random person in my parking lot who may or may not have been a maintenance person? Is this your policy? To just give packages to strangers? Did you even TRY to find my home? Because a couple days later, you found it just fine and delivered the other package there! WHO DID YOU GIVE MY PACKAGE TO? And did it strike you as odd that the person said they’d “take care of it?” And how did that person know I no longer lived there? Did I move out in the few days between ordering the package and getting it delivered? AND, why did you write on the website you’d delivered it to my front door when that’s a flat-out lie? And WHY ARE YOU TAKING NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR THIS, as if this is a thing that just HAPPENS sometimes?

I listened to this message three times to be sure I wasn’t misunderstanding it. Dad is FURIOUS about this. Mom just doesn’t understand how this could happen.

Dear FedEx: you can be assured that, if I’m even given the option of shipping, I will not be choosing you. It’ll be UPS or the post office from now on. That’s what crappy customer service and giving The Nephew’s LeapPad to randoms in my parking lot will get you.

In happier news, I got the new LeapPad Wednesday after work; it was waiting for me, all shiny and packaged and wonderful. Mom and I will win birthdays and The Nephew will be happy with his new technology and all will be well in birthday-land.

So, in summation:

  • Birthday: won.
  • Walmart: customer service win.

Happy Friday, people of the blog. I hope your weekends are good and randoms in your parking lots don’t steal your LeapPads.

About lucysfootball

I'm not the girl with the most cake. Someday. SOMEDAY. View all posts by lucysfootball

39 responses to “Why Walmart is no longer dead to me (and FedEx now is)

  • sj

    Srsly, FedEx…WTAF?!


  • Andreas Heinakroon

    Walmart for the win! That’s great customer service!

    I always considered American businesses to have good customer service? Compared to a lot of the European companies, you’ve been better at competition and – I guess – avoiding getting sued. But perhaps it’s gotten worse lately? I don’t know.

    I do, however, know that once you find good customer service you’re both pleasantly surprised and feel an urge reward that company with your loyalty. For instance, Amazon.co.uk has been very good to me, leading to me still shopping from it, even though I no longer live in the UK.


    • lucysfootball

      I think we’re hit and miss, same as anywhere else. It depends on the store, the day, the person you get helping you – for the most part, it’s a crapshoot. The bigger the company, the less likely they are to go the extra mile to help you out. So I was shocked that Walmart not only cared, but went above-and-beyond to help me. (And to help The Nephew. He’s magic, that kiddo.)

      You know how I’m insanely loyal to my friends? I’m the same way to companies. I’m a creature of habit. (But, just as with my friends – screw me over, companies, and you are DEAD! TO! ME!)

      Is there another Amazon for you there in Finland? Like a Scandinavian Amazon or something? How does that work?


  • mfennvt

    Wow! I never thought I’d say, “Yay, Walmart!” but damn, “Yay Walmart!” FedEx on the other hand. We only use the post office or UPS if we can help it, too. They tried to tell R that the reason they couldn’t deliver a package to him was because our address didn’t exist. Did. Not. Exist. Our house was apparently in some other dimension or something.

    They also broke something he had built for sale and then figured out how to make it our fault so they wouldn’t have to pay the insurance. FedEx sucks!


    • lucysfootball

      What’s happening with FedEx? Do they just not care because they know they have the market locked down and only one other real competitor? (Well, the post office is a competitor, but not if you need something there overnight, or by a specific time.)

      I’m just so glad I was able to get it in time for the party. He’s going to be so excited. (And it means even more because I had to jump through a billion hoops to get it! But let’s be honest, I’d jump through a billion more for him. Flaming ones, even. He’s my best little guy.)


      • mfennvt

        Hey, the post office does do overnight shipping. I use it at work quite a lot. But yeah, FedEx acts like the battle’s already over.

        Aw, yay for The Nephew! He’s going to have the best birthday, thanks to you. :)


        • lucysfootball

          They do, but if you need it there by, say, 8am, can they do that? I know FedEx can (we use it at work) but I don’t know if the USPS has a time-sensitive option?

          We did have a great party! He’s adorable. Four is a very good age!


  • Heather

    I’m glad this worked out for you. I’m also glad WalFart took care of it.

    I’m still boycotting them forever.

    They still suck 99.9% of the time.



  • Krysty

    Great job, Walmart! ASOS did the same for me (after the local post botched everything). They were so nice about it that I’ve decided to continue buying stuff from them for as long as I can.

    And happy birthday to your nephew!


  • grrgoyl

    Well, I’m experiencing some cognitive dissonance at Walmart being the good guy for once, but agree about FedEx entirely. My disillusionment with them started when they gave me an estimated delivery date (which I count down to breathlessly), only to discover that’s when they deliver to the post office to save themselves making that last journey of a few miles (I’ve been assured this is a mutually beneficial arrangement, but from where I’m sitting not for me). So yes, when there’s a choice, never FedEx, and I’m mightily displeased when my seller chooses them for me.

    But happy birthday, nephew!


    • lucysfootball

      Agreed about both whoa, Walmart is ok? and bite me, FedEx!


    • cynthiaw

      OMG – Yes! What the hell is up with that – they sent me a package and marked it as delivered, but what they meant was that it had been delivered to the post office and it actually took another 3 days to make it from the post office to me. Aaaaaaaaaaargh… bullshit. They did that with one of my Harry Potter books, too – that was guaranteed to arrive on the day of release. I waited and waited and waited and finally found it in my mailbox. I call SHENANIGANS.

      Amazon is really cool like that, too – when UPS or FedEx loses your stuff (or misdelivers it), they just send you a new whatever. They did that for me years ago and then it turned out that it had been delivered to my neighbor who kept the package for like SIX WEEKS and then “found” it in his car and brought it over all sneaky-like and left it on my doorstep (but another neighbor saw him do it and told me). WTF, creepy neighbor? So, I contacted Amazon and they sent me a mailing label so I could send it back at their expense. Crazy.


      • grrgoyl

        They once marked a rare DVD I had ordered “delivered,” but there was no knock on my door (I work from home). I was like WTF? Then found it shoved halfway under my doormat, fooling no one. FACT: My next door neighbor, who shares my landing, was caught with a meth lab and is none too trustworthy; and also has eyes in her head like most of us. LEFT AT THE DOOR WHERE ANYONE COULD GET IT DOES NOT MEAN MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.


      • grrgoyl

        Also, don’t f**k with my Harry Potter books. Fatal error. ;)


        • cynthiaw

          I KNOW! I could have been 70 – 80% finished by that point! I didn’t even think to look in the MAILBOX – the last one was delivered to my door at 8:30 a.m. I was just getting ready to start bitching at Amazon when we got back from walking the dog (we have those stupid community mailboxes) and found it there at 8:00 P.M. – that’s almost 12 hours of lost reading time!


  • becomingcliche

    How did I miss this post? Good grief! I cannot believe they would take no responsibility!


    • lucysfootball

      None at all. Just didn’t care. Luckily Walmart did, and The Nephew LOVES his LeapPad – but FedEx is so, so dead to me. Sincerely.


      • cynthiaw

        Which reminds me – did he have previous experience with an iPad? I’ve been thinking about a LeapPad for my niece who will be 3 in October, but she’s already played with my iPad, her daddy’s work iPad, everyone’s iPhone… so I’m worried that the LeapPad will be boring for her.

        On the other hand, it would be hers and she wouldn’t have to wait for someone to “let” her use their equipment. My other sister and I had talked about getting her an iPad mini, but that’s when we thought that they might be $200 – $250 – plus, still worried about breakage.


        • lucysfootball

          We actually have to call it his iPad, because he wanted an iPad, and his mom thinks if he knew it was a LeapPad, he wouldn’t want it.

          He’s used iPads before, and had never used a LeapPad, but LOVES it. He’s learning so many things, teaching himself songs…it’s really awesome.

          (I ran it all past sj before I bought it – her boys have LeapPads, so we discussed pros and cons, and she was very LeapPad encouraging. I think it was an excellent choice – plus more eye-catching for a kid.)


          • cynthiaw

            Ha ha – that’s true, I forgot that you can just trick little kids…

            See, I was thinking that it might actually be better, too – it’s designed for her and everything on it is for her. I’m sure that she’d find things that she liked at much as Monkey PreSchool Lunchbox.


  • Anonymous

    what email id did you use to contact walmart?


  • Kenny

    I gotta say I love your Walmart/FedUp…. I mean EX story. I won’t go into detail about my own horror stories. (Spoiler Alert: I lied). Yes, they are the worst shipping company I have ever had to deal with. My last (final) delivery from them was supposed to be delivered between 8 – 4:30 after travelling to several locations in as many states. My only inquiry by phone told me that I could pick up my package in freaking Idaho. Too far to go from Nebraska. So 6 weeks later, at 3:45 pm, I saw a FedUp truck pull up across the street, so I watched and waited. 3:50………4:00………..4:15 and finally at 4:27 the bastard exits his trucks and delivers my package. Way to (purposefully?) push it till the last minute.

    So, thank you for sharing your horrible experience and I do have empathy for you. Sorry that it took me almost a year to read your experience. Plus, I do hope you don’t get stabmurdered or have to deal with anymore douchecanoes.


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