I wanted to purchase a VIZIO E420-B1 42 Inch TV and had the following constraints.

  1. Needed the shipment to arrive in 3-4 business days.
  2. Did not want the hassle of going to a store and picking it up.

Vizio e420-b1

The first place I tried was vizio.com.  The shipping was 7-10 days or longer. The billing and shipping address had to be the same for me to purchase directly from VIZIO and in my case it wasn’t.

I looked out for retailers who offered the same TV at a similar price and faster shipping. The first place I tried was Amazon.com and the TV was not listed as in stock. I searched online and found the TV available in Walmart.com at the same price and free shipping. I placed the order on Friday June 19 and the TV was scheduled to arrive on Thursday June 25.

walmart-vizio

I received an email from Walmart on Tuesday 6/23 that my shipment will be delayed as the item was in back order.  I was in London during this time and called up Walmart the same day (roaming charges) and talked to the customer representative. She looked at my order details and mentioned that the item was scheduled to be shipped on Wednesday (6/24) and will arrive on Thursday (6/25).

The status of the order did not change on my scheduled arrival date (6/25). I called up Walmart at around 8:15 AM EST to check the shipment status of the item. The customer service personal promised that the item will be shipped in 2 hours and I will receive it on Friday 6/24. It was 11:30 AM EST, the status of the order was not updated and I called Walmart again. This time a new customer service personal promised that the TV will be shipped by the end of the day and will arrive on Friday (6/26). I was confident that the TV will not be shipped and was not going to receive it. The customer service personnel did not feel so.

I had to call again in the afternoon around 3:00 PM EST to check if the TV was indeed shipped. This time my call was escalated and the manager told me that the TV will not be shipped as the item was under back-order. According to the manager, all the three customer service personnel of Wal-Mart I spoke to, did not look at the right screens and if they had delved in deeper, they would have found the real status of the order. I became furious and she gave me a $55 gift voucher.

Clearly, bigger companies have bigger problems and most often they miss out on a lot of small & big things. This is a great opportunity for smaller retailers.

Walmart, You can do better than this.

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