Walmart v. Glover Nursery

boxing glove

This weekend I had the opportunity of experiencing customer service from both ends of the spectrum and it made me ponder things far beyond the return policy on the back of my receipts.

End #1 occurred at Walmart.

Now, some of you may say I got what I deserved for shopping at Walmart, but – until this weekend – I have been a long time devotee of Walmart. Great selection, cheap prices, no-questions-asked return policy. As a mom of toddlers, I need a scenario where the prices are affordable and I can bring things back when they break.

Last month I bought a dual DVR for my mom to use when she had the boys for a week, and it stopped working while they were on their trip. By the time they got back, and we had the 4th of July, 31 days had passed from the time of purchase. I didn’t think anything of it, since I’ve returned everything from MP3 players to alarm clocks when they didn’t work.

Fast forward to 45 minutes at the return counter – and Walmart has a new policy – 15 days for electronics.

“But it’s broken.” I said.

“Sorry.” Walmart employee said, pointing to the sign.

“I don’t want my money back, just one that works.”

“New policy.”

End of conversation.


I asked to speak with a manager, and when she got there, she opened the box, rifled through the contents, and walked away. No discussion, no attempt to console me, or offer me an explanation. Just shrugged and walked off.

End #2 of the customer service spectrum happened at Glover Nursery – a family-owned humongous nursery here in town.

I’d called last weekend looking for a Weeping Siberian Peashrub, and they’d set one aside with my name on it. It took me a few days to get there, but the first employee I asked about the tree helped me search through all the hold plants looking for it. When we couldn’t find it, she radioed someone to walk me to the row of the nursery where the tree usually lived, and they called about three other people on the radio to see if anyone knew where the held plant might be.

Once in the row, the employee waited for me to choose the one I wanted, since it wasn’t being held, and loaded it on my cart. We checked out at loaded the tree in the back of the truck and were on our way. While we were loading up the boys, a teenage employee came over and suggested we lay the tree down instead of leaving it standing. I swear to you, he was as concerned for that tree as if he was the one who’d raised it from a sapling and he was desperate for it to have a good home.

To be fair, I wasn’t returning anything to Glover, but they do have a year-long return policy for the tree – A TREE! not a piece of electronic equipment that should have a multiple year lifespan. To be fair, I was at fault in both instances.

I guess what I don’t understand is why Walmart would choose to lower their level of customer service in a time when social media has given every shopper a wide platform to voice their discontent (ahem). Wouldn’t now be the time to step it up and exceed customer expectation? Glover Nursery sure thinks so….