The latest addition to my Not-So-Secret Shopper segment is one that caused me nothing but grief for the better half of my day. Incidentally, the Kmart that makes my blog is located in the same shopping center as the Planet Fitness that I previous complained about. It’s also because of that Planet Fitness that I even stepped foot into this store. Kmart is a failing brand that will likely become defunct within the next five to ten years, and the only people who can take the blame are those who ran this once prominent company into the ground. And after today, when all of those at this store lose their jobs and have their livelihoods ruined, I will be there right when they close and laugh as they lock the doors one last time.
Yes, I understand how cruel that is.
When I visited this location earlier today, I had an agenda of purchasing, among other things, underwear and socks. Upon finding the underwear section, I discovered that most of the pairs in my size had opened packaging and missing merchandise. That isn’t necessarily Kmart’s fault: customers can be shitty. But there was an excessive amount of essentially defective merchandise that shouldn’t even be sold. But I sincerely didn’t want to go to Walmart, so I figured I could get it discounted.
A passing associate informed me that for however many pairs of underwear (or presumably socks) were missing, I would receive a discount equal to the percentage of missing merchandise. This seemed completely fair, as it would be unfair for me to pay full price for, in the case of one package, less than half of the original merchandise. I picked an open package that should have contained seven pairs, but only contained three, and six pairs to ten for socks respectively.
When I went to the register, the cashier had to get a manager’s permission to perform the discount after I explained what was said. They asked me who told me this, to which I described the associate as best as I could. My description matched one associate who was summoned up front and confirmed what she told me. I was then told that they would not honor the promised discounts and I could only receive ten percent off.
Ten percent off with over half of the merchandise missing.
I asked for the store manager, Isabel. When she arrived, the associate who had admitted to the promised discounts began to change her story slightly, to which I explained what I was really promised. The store manager was quite rude and obviously did not value my time, money, or patience. She told me she would only give me twenty percent off. I told her that was ridiculous for the points already mentioned, to which she didn’t care. I said I would call corporate, to which she replied “go ahead and do that”.
Corporate was about as understanding as Isabel. I called back about five or six times, asking for the district manager’s phone number when no one over the phone would take my complaint. I was hung up on more than once, and after trying to reason with these morons for roughly two hours, I just started cussing at people at random.
I promised to the last person I spoke to that I would file a complaint with the California Department of Consumer Affairs, but have since decided that the best way I can make my point is to write this blog. I will then post it all over the Internet for people to see so that maybe someone from the corporate office will see this as an example for why their company is failing. Don’t get me wrong, there are many reasons why, mostly attributed to customer experience. But the company has lost a customer for a lifetime.
I’d say stay away from Kmart as a whole, but you already are based on their numbers. But in particular, stay away from the location on Lincoln Avenue.
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