Walmart Math: 16g @ $7.97 = 64g?

Follow along with me on this.

A couple of weeks ago, I had to purchase some USB flash drives for a project.  Figured I’d pick them up at Walmart, since Walmart sells flash drives.  Heck, Walmart sells everything.

I needed flash drives with lots of storage, not the cheap ones that only store about one or two gig of data.

Oh look, here’s a rack of flash drives, just the size I need – and look at the price!


That’s a freakin’ awesome price!  Heck, I should buy twenty of them at that price.

Okay, you know something’s wrong here.  Look at the price sticker at the top of the photo.  $7.97 for a 16-gig flash drive.  But what’s hanging on that locked peg?  64-gig flash drives.

Maybe they’ll figure it out.  Let’s get a Walmart cashier to help me purchase the drives.  I needed three.  He took them off the locked peg, and walked over to his cash register.  Three BEEPS with his infrared price gun, and… “That’ll be sixty dollars, please.”

Yeah, three times seven is sixty.  Walmart math.

Of course, you know what I’m going to do.  I went up to customer service, and described the situation.  “You may not be aware of this,” I said to the customer service rep calmly, “but you have very expensive flash drives connected to a price tag for flash drives with smaller storage.”

“We do?”

“Yes you do.”

A quick grab for the walkie talkie.  And a department manager showed up.

I showed her the photo you see at the top of this blog.

“Oh,” she said.  “We’ll fix that.”

“That’s fine,” I replied.  “But those drives were the only drives that would be large enough for my needs… and they were priced incorrectly.  It’s not like a customer goofed around and hung the flash drives on the wrong peg, those pegs are locked to prevent shoplifting and theft.”

The customer service representative hemmed and hawed.  “I can give you one of those drives at the lower price.”

A few transactions and credit card swipes later… and I had two 64-gig flash drives at full price, and a third 64-gig flash drive at $13 off.  Take the victories where I can get them, I suppose…

But it’s like I’ve said in the past.  If you see something wrong at a store, the best way to resolve things is calmly and with respect.  If I stomped my way up to the front counter at Walmart and started screaming about imbeciles who don’t know how to use a price gun, well, that would not have been a pretty sight.

Talking calmly and rationally, and not assessing any blame higher than “accident” or “nobody’s fault” or “stuff happens,” and you get a discount for your hard work and efforts.

Or in my case, you get a discount for your flash drive.