Walmart tried to kill my daughter!

That’s right, you read it correctly.  Walmart did in fact try to kill Aubrey.   Was intentional?  Probably not, but I would definitely call it premeditated. (for those of you who don’t understand sarcasm, just stop reading now)

On the 2nd of March, WIC finally changed our vouchers to the Alimentum Ready-to-Feed formula that Aubrey had been prescribed.  I was still in Kansas so Shane got the honor of going to Walmart to purchase the 26 bottles of formula with WIC.  I’m sure the cashiers saw him coming and said “Oh crap.”

Anyway, they only had 12 bottles on the shelf.  Not wanting to make another trip, Shane asked an associate if he could check in the back for more.  While waiting Shane checked the expiration date on the bottles he had.  (I’m an expiration date Nazi and have converted Shane)  About 20 minutes later the associate came back out with the 14 bottles of formula Shane needed plus about 20 bottles to stock the shelves.  Shane was irritated at this point because it doesn’t take 20 minutes to get formula and he could of been doing the rest of his shopping.  The associate puts the formula in the cart and Shane goes along his merry way.

Well, Shane didn’t put the bottles of formula up when he got home because he had no idea where I’d want to put them.  My flight landed the next day and I figured I would wait until weekend to tackle the insane amount of formula we had to store.  Saturday comes and I decide to put the bottles away.  As I’m putting them away, I’m checking the expiration dates so I can put the ones that expire the soonest towards the front.  (Told you I was a Nazi)  Well, about half way through putting it up I come across one that expired on March 1st!  I flip out and check all the other bottles.  Total we ended up with 14 bottles of formula that expired on March 1st.

At this point I’m pretty calm about it.  Shane checked the bottle in the fridge and it was fine, so she hadn’t been drinking the expired formula.  I call Walmart, thinking it shouldn’t be hard to just exchange the formula because it was their goof up.   One of the first questions out of the Customer “Service” Associates mouth is “Do you have a receipt?”  I replied, “Well, no I don’t because I’ve never been issued a receipt when I’ve made a purchase using WIC vouchers.  It’s always been stapled to the voucher.”  The reply I got was “Well, then you have to take it to the Health Department on Monday because it’s a codes violation for us to take it back from you.”  At this point I was getting slightly angry.  I asked to speak to a manger about this “codes violation”  I was supposedly transferred, but the phone conveniently disconnected.

Naturally, I call Walmart back.  I’m a little more upset now than I was to begin with.  I ask to be transferred immediately to a manager.  I speak to a young woman named Becky who seemed like she genuinely wanted to help.  I explain the situation and explain to her that I’m not trying to defraud them.  They are more than welcome to see that I have proof of the recent formula change.  They should also be able to look up the voucher for WIC in their system.  She apologizes and says that all we need to do is bring the expired formula up there and they will gladly exchange it.

Shane takes the formula to Walmart.  He stands in line for about 15 minutes and when he gets to the front, the customer “service” associate proceeds to ream him and tell him that she told “that woman” (being me) that she had to go to DHEC.  He explains that I talked to someone named Becky and she said we could exchange it.  She claims no one there goes by that name and calls him a liar.  At this point I’m not sure how he reacted because fortunately I wasn’t there.  She calls a manager over the radio, they tell her to exchange it and she makes him go get new formula.

This is where things get REALLY good.  There was convieniently 14 bottles of Alimentum Ready-to-Feed on the shelves.  Of course Shane checked the expiration dates before grabbing them.  Out of 14 bottles only 2 weren’t expired!!!  That’s 86% of the formula on the shelf! Shane said something to the associate working that department.  Well he said he would handle it “later”.  Shane went back to customer service and spoke to the same lovely woman.  She told him that he would have to just go to the health department and it wasn’t her problem.

Shane comes and tells me all of this.  Anyone who knows me, knows this isn’t something I’m going to just roll over about.  I called Walmart once again at this point.   I was so livid that I was actually crying.  Here is how the conversation went:

Associate: “Thanks for calling Walmart….blah, blah blah…….How may I direct your call?”

Me:  “Yes ma’am.  I need to speak to the store manager immediately.  I do  not wish to be put on hold as this is an urgent matter and if I don’t speak to someone now I will be calling a lawyer as well as the health department to report a few codes violations.”

Her:  Silence for a second, “Ma’am it will take me just a few minutes to get a manager on the line, but let me get your number if for some reason the call gets disconnected.”

Gave her my number and waited.

Bill:  “Thanks for calling Walmart, this is Bill, how can I help you?”

I explained the situation including the WIC, expired formula and the lovely customer service associates.  I also explained that I would be calling DHEC immediately after hanging up the phone because it is incredibly dangerous and illegal to sell expired formula.

Bill:  “Ma’am I will personally get this taken care of for you right now.  I apologize that you’ve had to go through this.  After raising 5 kids myself I know how expensive formula is and will do everything I can to get this resolved.”

He got my number and said that he would check their stock for formula and if they didn’t have it he would call the Walmart across town to get it and have it brought to his store so I wouldn’t have to drive any further.

An hour later I get a call back from his assistant, Stephanie.  Stephanie explained that the other Walmart had no formula on their shelves that wasn’t expired.  She seemed genuinely pissed at the entire situation and apologized profusely.  She was appalled that this stuff was even stocked.  She offered to let me return the formula for a cash refund and then I could go to the store of my choice to get Aubrey’s formula.  I agreed to this and went to Walmart.  When I got there she apologized once again.  I got my money and left.

The moral of this long story is to ALWAYS check the expiration date on any formula or anything you buy.  This isn’t the first time I’ve bought something for Aubrey that ended up being expired.  A few weeks ago I bought baby cereal from Piggly Wiggly that had expired the previous month.  They gave me no hassle with returning it though and even gave me double the price back for my trouble.  My issue wasn’t with the money as the formula was purchased with WIC.  My problem is that they are selling formula to families that could potentially harm our children.  My problem is that they refused to acknowledge their mistake until I threatened to report them.  My problem is that Walmart doesn’t issue a receipt with WIC purchases so I have no repercussions.  You can be that I will no longer be purchasing formula at any Walmart.  They have lost a customer for life.


8 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    jayne said,

    Sorry but I think you are being a little over dramatic with the whole “walmart tried to kill my daughter” bit. You say you bought the stuff on March 2nd and it had expired March 1st…..I mean really 1 day and you are freaking out that htey tried to kill your kid!!! Now mind you I myself would never feed my baby expired formula but come on it was expired by 1 day…does that mean you would have fed it to her on Febuary 28th with no concern? Now if you are talking March 1 2009 than yeah there is a problem here, but I don’t think thati is what you are talking about. I myself would have gone out and asked for new formula but I wouldn’t freak out about OMG walmart is trying to kill my baby. Yes walmart needs to do a better job making sure things are not expired but they are in no, way, shape or form trying to kill your baby. Relax…you got the new unexpired formula.

    • 2

      peekabooicu said,

      You may think I’m being over dramatic and you are entitled to that. I, however, feel that any company should be ashamed to sell a product that is expired. Especially a product that is meant for children. You even said yourself that would not be willing to feed this formula to your child. The issue wasn’t so much that the formula was expired, it was that Walmart gave me such a hassle in returning the expired formula. The issue was that I’m probably not the only mother who received expired formula from this store. Yes, the title may of been over dramatic. That’s the beauty of a blog though. I’m entitled to post whatever the hell I feel like. You’ve got to love freedom of expression. Were they actually physically trying to kill my daughter? No. However, I think selling expired formula is incredibly irresponsible. The fact that they initially weren’t willing to take responsibility for it is what infuriated me.
      I suggest next time you have a problem with someone being over dramatic, you get over it. And yes I absolutely would of fed her that formula on February 28th with no problem.

      The title of the thread was meant to be sarcastic. I apologize that there is no such thing as a “sarcasm font”. From now on I will try to specify when I am using sarcasm. I really hate that my being dramatic upset you so much. God forbid a mother get upset that a store is selling expired prodcuts. Really, how dare I? (should I use the sarcasm font now or later?)

  2. 3

    jayne said,

    PS I always have and will continue to purchase my formula at walmart.

  3. 4

    SingleMommi said,

    I agree with Jayne…

    • 5

      peekabooicu said,

      Kudos to you for agreeing with her. I love it when people can’t handle sarcasm. Like I told her you are entitled to your opinion and I’m entitled to mine.

  4. 6

    SingleMommi said,

    I still agree with Jayne…

  5. 8

    SingleMommi said,

    Actually, the first one didn’t show up until after the after I had already posted the second reply. I only meant to reply once. Sorry about that.

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