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Wal-Mart FTL (for the loss)

Yesterday evening, I set about my errand of returning our rentals to the RedBox. For those not in the know, the RedBox is a DVD rental service that uses the technology of a touch screen, a pop machine, and a video store clerk all at once to bring you new and old releases alike for only a dollar per rental, per night (tax not included). The first time I had used this RedBox was to rent these movies, although I'd accompanied my friend Stephanie to perform this same task on numerous occasions; it'd be no sweat.

Well, renting the movies wasn't a problem at all. It was a breeze, as usual. The problem was returning them, although it would have been obscenely simple had there not been an impostor BlueBox that took the place of the one that was just a RedBox the night before.

Those bastards at Wal-Mart, like thieves in the night, not only switched out the machine for an impostor, but they also stole a little gas from my gas tank, about ten minutes of talk time on my cell phone, AND all my patience for how they, as a company, are rather inconsiderate towards their loyal shoppers... all in one fell swoop. There was no note left on the RedBox when I had rented the movies to say that they were about to switch it out, nor did any of their employees really care that I had an issue because of a greedy move on their employer's part. Maybe it wasn't so much that they didn't care; perhaps they're just as ticked off about the shenanigans of Wal-Mart and their quest for power and control as I am (they do seem to have a great deal of America by the cajones, after all). All the same, nobody bloody well knew what to do with my movies except to call the number on the case as they "have nothing to do with us." Well, fine then. I hate dealing with (a good portion of) the Wal-Martians most of the time anyway.

So I go outside and call the number on the back of the case. I am connected with a super-sunshiny voice belonging to a woman named Colleen. Now, this is a rather unusual experience for me -- I used to work in customer service, though not at a call center, and know that a lot of folks hate hate loathe working in that sector, and you can just hear that great disdain in many calls. Not so with Colleen; she seemed to be truly concerned with my satisfaction as well as making sure that we could work out a way to get these movies returned.

After I explained to her about the impostor box's presence, she began to look for another box in Vincennes... presto!

"Well, there's another at the Walgreens at College and Sixth... can you make it there to return them?"

"Oh, is there? I didn't know that! Yeah, that's totally doable. Thank you so much!"

So I head across town to return the DVD's at Walgreens. I get there and walk in, becoming more and more confused as I scour the store for any sign of a RedBox. There wasn't one afterall, much less much of anything red at all!

"Ooookayyy... well then. ...Guess I'll have to call them again," I sighed.

So I dial in the number a second time and right as my finger is hovering over the "send" button, my phone rings. Startled for a moment, I answer it tentatively.


Sounds a little like an echo for a moment, but then I hear again, "Helloo?"

"Oh! Hello! Did you just call me back?!?" It was Colleen again.

"Yes, I did... I am sooo sorry! I made a mistake and didn't realize that there are no movies showing in the RedBox location at Walgreens, which means it's not online yet."

"Yeah, I was just about to call y'all back to let you know there isn't one here... yet."

"Yes, I was confused for a moment too, but as soon as I realized my error, I said, 'oh no, I'd better call her back!'"

"I really appreciate that, Colleen. So what do we do now?"

So we discuss the options, of which there was to go to Lawrenceville about 15 miles away to return them at another RedBox location -- not much of an option with two broken CV axles and crappy roads due to construction in Illinois, nevermind the chance that the Wal-Mart that it was at had replaced it also. The other option was to mail them in. A-ha. Sounds good to me.

So Colleen got clearance from her supervisor to do an exception return, which basically means that I won't be charged for more than the one night's rental for the movies, even though they hadn't actually been returned yet, then as soon as they get to their home office, they'll be officially returned into the system.

On top of that, she also got me hooked up with two free one night rentals of any available titles via use of promo codes. Awesome. Now I'm really not upset about it.

For a second, I was upset about the situation and was ready to spit fire. How can they just take away the RedBox and not leave any notice? Had it not been for Colleen and her sunny disposition, I may have very well jumped down a throat or two before the issue was resolved... although I actually think that they may be treating their employees right, and that may have been part of the reason why she was able to keep me calm and happy.

At any rate, go Colleen (I hope they give you the raise that my letter in the box with the movies asks them to give you!), RedBox is still the bomb (seriously, not having the deal with people just to rent a movie? Awesomeness), and Wal-Mart (and their impostor BlueBox) sucks even more.


[Dix] said...

It's always awesome to have happy endings to a fun filled escapade or even a quest to finding things. Funny enough, my store manager is named Colleen...

I've never heard of these RedBox things...then again I don't shop at walgreens or walmart very often(like never).

I'm glad you got some promo deals out of your troubles... i will forever be warned against the evil BlueBox!

Jenno said...

@Dix -- These RedBoxes are neat little things, if you can find them. They're relatively new; from what I understand, they didn't start popping up until a year or two ago.

And yes, beware the evil BlueBox - it is the spawn of teh debil!

JW said...

RedBox is quite fantastic. Great story.


plainolebob said...

well gal just chalk up another snafu for walmart, and a big gold star for red box.
I may have to open a mr. bob mart, naw, the carts would be crappy.

Jenno said...

@JW -- isn't it though? I'm happy to know that they're apparently treating their employees well enough to treat the customers right too.

@Bob -- Wal-Mart's got SNAFU's and FUBAR's cinched. They should actually try TOBS (total obliteration by self) sometime though - it may make the customers happier in the long run!

I actually think I'd like your carts, I have a feeling they'd be cedar. It would be excellent for clothes shopping, with complimentary moth balls of course. Haha, j/k :)

JW said...

I forgot to mention, congrats on the awards. I've seen few others with either of those; you are well deserving.


Jenno said...

@JW -- why thank you! I don't think I'm going to get in the practice of handing out awards, but I'll happily share my own with my loyal friends :)

Doesyourcateatjello? said...

We had a Video vending nachine here, i rented a movie for it and two days after the box was gone and there was no explination.. i got to keep my rentals haha

Jenno said...

@JelloKitteh -- had it not been on my debit card (no overdraft protection), I would've just kept 'em. But then again, I don't mind the free rentals either. Postage didn't cost me anything; I already had stamps! <3

About La Jenno

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Vincennes, Indiana, United States
26 years old. Daring. Disenchanted. Different. Trying to live in a friendlier yet more honest world. There is sometimes no larger dilemma.

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