A “Good News Story”

Around my workplace it seems everything is a “Good News Story”. The phase has been so over-used that no one pays much attention to it anymore. But I want to share an experience I just had on Dec. 30 that not only made my day but was a real  “Good News Story” in my book!

I just got through complaining right here about the poor service provided by UPS. Sometimes it seems that getting anything done or fixed is just a chore beyond words, between IVR’s and Voice mail or when you finally reach a real person,  their unhelpful manner. The problem is so widespread that I hate to admit it’s even in my workplace. So when a company really steps up to the plate and goes the extra mile one should be as quick to offer kudos as we are to criticize.

My “Good News Story” is a Walmart story. Yes, that retail giant that everyone loves to bash for one thing or another. So here it is.

When I returned  from vacation last May I found a flat tire on my car. The flat was caused by rot in the sidewall and couldn’t be repaired. It was a Sunday and I was a long way from home. I was lucky to be at my sister’s and the family rode to my rescue. My nephew  removed the tire and his wife drove me to the only place in town that was open on a Sunday for tires…Walmart.

We dropped the tire off and went back to my sister’s to wait for them to call back when the tire was replaced. We waited  and waited and waited for something that shouldn’t have taken more than an hour. Finally we called them only to be told that it was all set and that they had been paging us in the store.

Ok so they dropped the ball. At least I had a new tire. Back to Walmart we went to pick it up. We had to ask the tire person to put it in the car which he did very reluctantly with much sighing and air of being  “put -upon”. But we had the tire.

My nephew then put the tire back on my car and I was on my way. The car did shimmy and pull but I chalked it up to the fact that I needed another tire and that I hadn’t had the tire balanced or aligned. As the summer progressed the GM dealership rotated the tire at least twice and reminded me I needed to get another new tire before the snow  started flying in the winter. (They never said anything else about the tire)

Well, it’s winter now and by now I need 3 new tires so not wanting to get caught in a snow storm with bald tread, I took my car to the Walmart out here. This is where the story really gets good.

I went in on Friday 12/30 at 8 am in hopes of putting one tire on before work. That would give me a pair of good tires and next payday I would do the other two.

The first problem is that Walmart will only mount tires in pairs. If I wanted 1 tire I was going to have to put it on myself. After some  haggling they agreed to put just the one tire on. I wandered into the store to do some browsing while they took my car in. Not 5 minutes later my cell phone rang. (Houston we have a problem) The tire I had on the car from the Walmart in New York, the one I’d been driving on all summer, was the wrong size for the car.  So we were back to needing to put on 2 new tires.

I was really concerned now because it’s the holidays. I don’t know about you but I don’t have any extra cash lying around this time of year. I had the money for 1 new tire..not two.

The Walmart employee was burning up the computer keys trying to find the workorder from the store in New York but he couldn’t find any record. I answered his questions and then told my tale again to the service manager. The big question was how or why would they have put the wrong size tire on the car??? ( I’m sure it had nothing to do with the “I don’t care” attitude displayed by the employees there..maybe incompetence?)

By now an hour had passed. I’d called my sister in New York to confirm the address of the Walmart store we used and review what happened that day in case I’d forgotten any details. The service manager disappeared into the back area while I mentally juggled money and bills in my head.

9:15 the service manager came back out. She told the attendant to write me up for 2 new tires and then credit one back. She explained that Walmart had no liability for putting the wrong tire on because they didn’t physically put it on the car but she had called her manager and they agreed that if I gave Walmart a tire and told them to replace it with a new one, that I should be able to count on it being the right tire. So for safety reasons they were going to replace the tire with the correct one and only charge me for the one I wanted!

I confess..I was speechless! I have never had any retailer step up like that, especially not a big chain store! It was more than I could ever have expected. That was being treated like a business used to treat people back “in the old days” when reputation was everything. They really made my day!

I went to work and told everyone at work about the great experience I had at Walmart. It was an $80.00 tire but they have probably gotten way more than $80.00  in positive word of mouth from me and they will continue to get it. They did good. A “Good News Story”. They deserve to be recognized.

Kudos Walmart! Well done and Thanks again!

Posted in Massachusetts, New York, Travel and tagged , .