Caution: Walmart Site to Store – A Personal Message

Caution: Walmart Site to Store – A Personal Message

Hey there, I want to share a crazy encounter my family had with Walmart’s new Site to Store service. It’s important for you to know what went down so you can make an informed decision about using it. Check out my letter to Walmart Corporate below.

I’m Tyler Thompson, a web developer from Wichita, Kansas, and a loyal customer of Walmart. I also happen to be the Editor-in-Chief of a popular tech website called I’m reaching out to you today because I am absolutely blown away by the way your store, its customer service, and the Site to Store service have let me down. The incompetence displayed by the Walmart employees at your Derby location has tested my family’s patience to the max over the past week.

Let me start by explaining what happened. My mom and I had been on the hunt for a game, Guitar Hero III for PlayStation 2 with a Guitar, for several days. Finally, I found it available on your online store and immediately sent the link to my mom. She placed an order on Tuesday, December 4, 2007, using the new Site to Store service for shipping. But here’s where things went wrong. The credit card we used got declined three times by your online processor and then got locked out for exceeding your overflow limit. Luckily, my mom tried a different card, which worked perfectly. The real issue came to light when we realized that even though the first card got declined, it was still charged three times for the order amount. We had to call customer service to fix this mistake, and thankfully, they quickly resolved it. Little did we know, this was just the beginning of our troubles.

On Saturday, December 8, 2007, my mom finally received an email notification from your service (the first we had received since placing the order), titled “Pickup Confirmation.” We thought this was the email telling us the order was ready for pickup, as stated in your invoice’s instructions: “Wait for an email telling you your order is ready for pickup (7-10 days).” But the email didn’t mention anything about the order being ready for pickup. Actually, it sounded as if the order had already been picked up. Confused, I called the store to get some clarity on this email.

When I called, I asked for a customer service representative, who promptly transferred me to someone who supposedly understood how it all worked. But after several transfers and repeating the situation each time, I still couldn’t get a concrete answer. Finally, on the third try, I was connected with someone who “knew what they were doing.” This person quickly looked up our order but couldn’t find any record of it for pickup. They asked for our address and still came up empty-handed. Only after I gave them the order number did they realize that the order had already been picked up, according to their records. They asked if anyone had picked it up for us, which was definitely not the case. The situation wasn’t looking good, and I demanded to speak with a manager.

My mother took over the conversation with the manager since she placed the order. After a few minutes on the phone, they asked her to come into the store to discuss the matter further.

She went to the store around 10 PM and spoke with the management in your Derby location. As it turned out, the signature on file for the package was invalid, and things started to escalate. One of the employees from the stocking area confronted my mother and rudely repeated several times that “she was not perfect.” My mother asked her to step aside, insisting on dealing strictly with management and requesting a refund. Shockingly, three different managers refused to process the refund and at one point, an employee insinuated that my mother could have easily printed off an order confirmation and fraudulently claimed the items. This implies either my mother was being accused of defrauding the company, or Walmart’s security for online orders is not stringent enough. Frustrated and denied a refund by the managers, my mother insisted on speaking with corporate headquarters, which was initially denied but eventually allowed after more efforts.

The person my mother dealt with at corporate was understanding and immediately instructed the manager in the store to process the refund and apologize for the employee’s rude behavior. The refund was eventually processed, and corporate even issued a new order to be shipped to our house without any charge.

First and foremost, let’s address the concerning security implications of this incident. On the order confirmation page, step three clearly states, “Go to the Site to Store area at your store and present your printed email and a valid photo ID.” Additionally, in at least two places, it lists the “Pickup Person” as “Kim Thompson.” So here’s the issue: How was the package signed for without anyone verifying the pickup person’s identity through an ID? The answer seems simple – an employee had to have forged the signature (a violation of state law) and then taken the package my mother had paid for (another violation of state law). Since the package could have crossed state lines, it might even be a breach of Federal Interstate Commerce regulations.

Furthermore, the fact that anyone could forge an email from your online store and claim a package at the store is alarming. As a web developer, I deal with internet security and e-commerce every day. Your website should have robust measures in place to prevent such incidents. To forge the order confirmation, one would need to know the order number, time of order, pickup person’s name, and credit card information. Since this information is communicated through your servers via encrypted communication, it would be virtually impossible for an outsider to intercept and decrypt it for personal use. Internet security isn’t a joke, especially to someone working in the industry.

Next, let’s talk about the way your store handled the situation – or rather the lack of handling. Right from the start, it was apparent that no one in the store knew how to navigate the Site to Store service. On top of that, the communication between management, employees, and my mother was offensive. Customer service should be a top priority, especially when there’s a possibility that an employee has stolen a customer’s merchandise. My mother being told she’s “not perfect” is extremely unprofessional and childish. It’s disappointing behavior from a company as large as yours.

Lastly, if something like this can happen in Derby, Kansas, without anyone catching on, how many similar incidents are occurring in your other stores due to a lack of oversight? How many other customers will be affected? This issue needs immediate attention.

As I mentioned earlier, I am the Editor-in-Chief of I plan to publish this letter as an Open Letter on our website to warn our audience about the dysfunction of the Site to Store service. I also hope to hold your company accountable for your employees’ actions. This letter will be featured in a newsletter sent to over 25,000 people and will be visible on the internet to our daily audience of over 15,000. Since it’s an open letter, your company is welcome to respond openly on our website as a comment.

To ensure this letter doesn’t go unnoticed, I will also send it via mail to your corporate headquarters and the Manager of the Derby Walmart. To resolve this issue, we request a written apology from both the corporate office and the Derby Walmart. Additionally, appropriate action should be taken against the employees involved in this incident. It’s disheartening that it had to come to this, but the treatment we received cannot be ignored.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Thank you for your time.

Leave a Comment

Do not miss this experience!

Ask us any questions

Get in touch