So, I made a simple decision to go to Walmart for groceries after supper with my friend. We finished up and I headed toward the store shortly before 8pm. I enjoy going in the evening and it was not bad weather. It had rained earlier and was warm and nice for Groundhog’s Day.
I spent my usual 50min to a bit over an hour gathering my $87 of groceries that I hoped would do for a couple of weeks. When I got to the line, there was no one there, just the clerk. She turned out to be pretty matter-of-fact with little or no sense of humor (no fun there). I finished putting the bags in the cart. Two women came up in line after me and began putting their items on the belt. I slid my card through and … nothing. I tried again. The clerk looked at me, kinda bored and like I was, perhaps, a bit dumb, and said, “It’s a chip card. You have to use the reader.”
She was right, but I had not had to use the reader before. I stuck the card in the reader and pulled it out.
“Transaction cancelled,” The machine blared back.
“You have to leave the card in the reader,” Miss bored-and-staring said.
I complied. We tried the transaction again.
“Do you want money back?” I clicked cancel like I always did to switch to credit.
“Transaction cancelled,” the stupid computer replied.
“It cancelled on me,” I told Miss bored.
“We will try again.” Good…
“Transaction cancelled.” I was growing a bit impatient…so were the two ladies.
The bored clerk decided SHE had to come to my rescue and walked around the counter to me.
We sat the card back up and “Do you want money back?”
“Last time I clicked ‘Cancel’ to go to credit and it cancelled.” I looked at Miss B
She stared at me and clicked “Cancel”.
“Transaction cancelled.” Well, at least I felt a bit justified.
“You will have to use it as a debit.”
“I have never used it as a debit before. I just did this last week.” She reset it once more. The ladies were impatiently being patient.
This time I clicked “Yes,” but did not enter any amount. It just reset the screen and stared at me.
What could I do but press “Cancel?”
“Transaction cancelled.” Even I was growing impatient.
“You will have to use it as a debit and enter your pin.”
“I don’t even know my pin!” I said with exasperation. Miss B looked at me as if I was a dummy.
“You will have to call a supervisor up. I have never had to do this before.” Miss B shrugged.
The supervisor was very early 20s. I felt like I was back in school teaching.
I explained and she sighed.
“We just switched the machines over last week to the readers. If the bank set the card up as debit you will have to enter your pin.”
At least, now, I understood why. “I don’t know my pin.”
“I am sorry.” She looked at me as if I could pull that pin number out of the air.
“Well, here are your groceries. I can’t pay for them. You will have to put them back. I will be calling corporate and I won’t be back here again.” I was tired and done with the attitudes.
“Sure. Sorry.” Said the youngster. Miss B just looked at me.
I walked out and drove over to Meijer’s. It was 8:48pm. I grabbed a cart and went straight to the checkout.
The woman was nice, not still in diapers, and listened as I explained. She didn’t even cringe when I said the “W” word.
“We haven’t set up our readers yet, so you will be fine.”
“What about after you do?”
“I don’t know.”
“Well, I will know my pin by then and I am still not going back to that other place now.”
She smiled a knowing smile.
I collected, basically, the same groceries and went through the checkout. Other than the fact that is was about 8-10% more, there was no incidence and my experience there was fine.
However, when I went to the car, it was raining so hard, I stopped and just laughed. I blamed Walmart for each and every drop that pounded me and my plastic bags as I loaded them into the car and drove home wet as a, well, wet dog.
At home, it was still raining so hard, I decided to wait it out. I sat in my car from around 10pm-11:30pm and played on my tablet. It stopped raining around 11, but I continued playing, too tired to get out of the car.
When I did, it was nice weather again. I unloaded the car, put the groceries away, and changed out of the wet clothes.
I have always stood by Walmart because of prices and variety. I am done with them. I buy many things online now and Meijer’s will do for the rest.