I have been to hell and it is the Ypsilanti Michigan Walmart store.

Anne and Courtney picked me up for work last night and, after a quick dash home to drop off a few things they had brought with them and a quick gourmet dinner at Burger King, we headed out to check on TV prices. I’ve been reading some good things about Vizio HDTVs being a decent compromise between quality and price and knowing that Walmart was one of the places that carries that brand we headed out to the closest store at hand.

I’ve spoken before of my lack of enthusiasm for Walmart. They certainly have some of the best prices around, but at a cost to the employees that bothers me. Being human, however, there are occasions where the deal being offered at Walmart manages to overcome my aversion to doing business with them and when you’re looking at plunking down a few hundred dollars on a TV set it’s easy to give in to temptation.

So off to Ypsilanti we headed, which isn’t very far at all considering our location in Ann Arbor. I’ve always considered Ypsi to be a fairly decent town, admittedly I’ve never spent a huge amount of time there, but it always seemed nice enough on the occasions I’d visited in the past. Up until last night I can only assume I had the good luck to only hit the nice part of town as the section the Walmart was in was somewhat reminiscent of some of the lesser popular parts of Detroit that often make headline news. Still, it’s Walmart and every single Walmart store I’ve ever been in has been clean and well maintained. This was not one of those kinds of Walmarts.

I didn’t notice it at first as the TV section seemed reasonable enough, but over the course of the next hour that we were there hemming and hawing and debating over a 37” or a 42” TV – and how big of a TV stand we would need for it – and then realizing that the damned thing wouldn’t fit in my Grand Prix at all anyway – and then going off to look for a microwave, can opener, and toaster oven that we also need – and, yes, this is a ridiculously long run-on sentence – it became increasingly clear that we shouldn’t buy anything at all at the store.

Take the microwave oven. We found one we kinda liked for a decent price, but all the boxes for it appeared to have been opened or badly battered about by the stock people. Who knew if all the parts were present or if it was even undamaged? Same thing for the toaster oven and can opener. The can opener was the worst of the lot with the boxes looking like they’d been stomped on a couple of dozen times by elephants in desperate need of a diet. The store as a whole was a mess that reminded me a bit of scenes in post-apocalyptic zombie movies where people scavenge for food inside a decrepit grocery store. I was already somewhat irritated by my initial indecision over the TV set and the subsequent realization that it didn’t matter cause I wouldn’t be able to get the damned thing home anyway, but after taking a good look around I’m now glad I didn’t buy the TV there after all.

We won’t even go into the almost total lack of assistance by anyone on the staff which pretty much ensured that even if we had made a decision and had been able to transport the TV that we wouldn’t have been able to buy it because no one offered to sell it to us. If nothing else it’ll make my aversion to shopping at Walmart a lot easier to self enforce.

9 thoughts on “I have been to hell and it is the Ypsilanti Michigan Walmart store.

  1. Employees at Wal-marts speak to you?  Wow! are you privelaged.  I don’t recall any Walmart employee other than the greeter or the cashier ever speaking to me.  Now they have do-it-yourshelf cashouts, there’s one less person to acknowledge your existence.

  2. Hate to say this, but you get better service at Target.  They go out of their way to help you out.  My friend bought a new computer desk and hutch and they were there. Johnny on the Spot to help you get your purchase in the car or SUV.  They were even willing to hold our item for 24 hours until we got a truck to take it home.

    That is service, thats why Target is above WalMart.

  3. I used to work for Wal-Mart. How many customers per hour browse those departments? How many people are actually on staff? How many of those staff have been guilted into ditching their area to run a till “just until it slows down a little”? Walmart can’t make money if nobody’s taking it. The tills get preference over department coverage every time. 

    Then managers gripe about how terrible the departments are looking.

    One of my biggest beefs involved costumers ruining packaging. They wanted to look at a phone, but it wasn’t good enough to believe the picture on the box or the display model. And you think those genius shoppers can put all the pieces back in just as they were? Of course not. Then they buy a box they didn’t open. Soon all that’s left are ruined boxes that won’t sell.

    Same for socks and underwear.  What kind of rock do they live under if they can’t recognize a ziplock bag when they see one? But they don’t see the ziplock – they rip the zip off, or tear a seam or just poke a hole in the bag and pull the socks/undies out one by one and leave them on the floor for people to step on, roll on, and kick through the dust bunnies. Then they try and find a bag nobody’s ruined to purchase—or try to get a discount on the one they just wrecked. I’ve seen kids pull buttons off coats and parents try to get a discount because some buttons are missing. Unreal.

    The majority of customers are completely shameless and most associates are sick of seeing such disrespect to the store, and by association, themselves. The staff has no power, either. Even managers will roll over to please the customers that bitch the loudest. It’s a world of few penalties and next to no punishment for behaving like a cranky toddler.

    It’s a wonder I lasted as long as I did.

  4. A WalMart just north of Chicago used to be terrible; unorganized, crap laying about all over, just a mess.

    Not sure if it was the Target just down the road, but the WalMart shaped up dramatically within a year.

  5. Monique, I hear what you’re saying. I’m often amazed at the antics of some of the other shoppers in a store.

    I can also understand why some shoppers may insist on seeing a product first hand rather than go by what’s on the box because there are some unscrupulous companies out there that put out products like this one where what’s on the box is a far cry from what’s actually in the box. But that’s why stores put out examples of products on their shelves to begin with.

    The fact that a lot of shoppers are inconsiderate boobs is what makes me amazed that most Walmart stores I’ve been in are pretty well maintained given all the corner cutting the company does. This particular Walmart was a first for me and thus it stands out in my mind.

  6. Amusing how you bemoan Walmart for how they treat thier people hen bemoan the people that work at Walmart.

    Have you maybe heard of cause and effect.  Walmart is a business, not a charity you socialist

  7. Public schools, national parks, Medicare, and likely every road Smiley Jim has ever drove on outside his front lawn are all huge socialist expenses. Even the internet is essentially funded by socialist government activities, having been designed on the government dime and traveling over infrastructure largely subsidized by the government. A government isn’t much of anything if it isn’t socialist to some large extent.

  8. Walmart is awful, I agree Target is better and in terms of getting a Vizio, which I agree is a great bargain for the quality you get, try Costco.  I have had great luck with their staff and I think they usually have a better selection.  But, whatever you do, avoid Saturday and Sunday mornings (anywhere for that matter) because it is a nuthouse. 

    As a side note: saw a 32″Vizio at Costco today for $449, which is damn good but it looks like you might be looking for something bigger.

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