I was a bit surprised when I received a $25 gift certificate for Walmart, but I was game. Yeah, I dislike this organization because of its record of treating employees like crap (lousy wages, bad working conditions, lack of adequate health care) and more. I didn’t see a reason to not use the already-purchased card, however. Since the nearest store is about 13 miles away, I decided to order something from walmart.com.
What can you order for $25? I decided I could get two DVDs. First I looked for Julie Sweeney’s brilliant Letting Go of God. They don’t carry it. So I went back to the classics – what films might I watch more than once? I love Kubrick, so I went in search of Barry Lyndon and Dr. Strangelove. I found both and proceeded to check out my order.
The order form asked for a PIN from the back of the card (not the security code, but a special PIN), but there was no PIN. Then I noticed a message on the card. It said that if I wanted to use the gift card online I would have to register the card at walmartgift.com. So I went there and registered the card, but this didn’t provide me with the PIN. I still couldn’t shop online at walmart.com.
I called their customer service line and after five minutes of punching through various branching trees, I realized that no recording would answer my question and there was no way to speak to one of their underpaid human beings. Now I have to decide whether to give the card away, throw it away, or order online for store pick-up and drive a total of 26 miles, approximately one dollar of gift for each mile I drive. Maybe I should go so I can write about it.