A legal theft

By Larry Dablemont, Contributing Columnist
Posted 2/1/23

I bought a Keurig coffee maker at the Walmart store in Houston, Mo., in December and it quit working a little more than a month later. Got to where it wouldn’t make more than two ounces at a …

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A legal theft


I bought a Keurig coffee maker at the Walmart store in Houston, Mo., in December and it quit working a little more than a month later. Got to where it wouldn’t make more than two ounces at a time. I took it back to the store in Houston, where I grew up, to ask if they would replace it. I was told I couldn’t get it replaced unless I had a receipt and the box it came in. Thank you and good-bye!

So I asked for the manager and the lady behind the counter said they were all busy. I don’t know how many managers they have, but imagine that your position in life was a Walmart manager, and that was the extent of your talent and value you wouldn’t want to deal with customers either. I have found that many of those managers make fun of us, uneducated Ozarkians.

This old uneducated Ozarkian got mad. I waited for 35 minutes, and asked to see the manager three times. Finally he comes out to tell me I can’t get a replacement because I don’t have the box and that is that. I guess that should be a lesson to me. I need to make a shed somewhere to hold all boxes that come from Walmart because so much of what you buy from them is defective.

I asked the manager for his name and he wouldn’t give it to me.  At another Walmart store this past week I got the Keurig coffee maker replaced, then got my money back for the new one they had given me and I will know better than to buy anything else from Walmart that I can get somewhere else. That’s a tiny loss to them. A few years back, my company spent 7000 dollars in Walmart stores. What do they care if I boycott them, that’s chicken feed when you make billions each week.

But if you think you are going to be dealt with honestly from that no-name manager in Walmart, you need to reconsider. I have a two-page article about Walmart in my spring magazine and what I have learned about the monstrous retailer with thousand of stores is going to amaze you. The government has acknowledged intentional lawbreaking there. Low-level employees have told me all about what they are forced to do that is illegal.

I will get that Houston manager’s name and print it there along with the story about how millions of dollars are made by the mammoth chain of Walmart stores through a systematic practice of overcharging. Not accidental… intentional! You may pay much more at the counter than a product was priced, and you need to know it, and what you can do about it. Walmart has paid fines for the practice, but it makes the company millions of dollars and isn’t likely to change. Most of us who hunt and fish use the sporting goods section of Walmart to buy what we use, and I feel a responsibility to let all outdoorsmen know that they may find some fishing lure for 3 dollars in that section and be charged a dollar or two dollars more for it at a counter. Some rod and reel marked $24.95 may be $29.95 at a counter up front.

All of us need to look hard at the receipts we are given. Last year I found that practice going on in more than a dozen Walmart stores. A lady from Mt. Grove said she found pork sausage on sale for a little over two dollars, but she has a receipt she didn’t look at until she got home and she found they charged her four dollars for it. On any receipt the charge is very small and occurs in a string of numbers. You won’t be able to see it without looking closely. But if she had seen it in the store, she would have had to contact a manager to get the overcharge back. To get that done you may have to wait 30 minutes or more. You will read in that spring magazine of mine what a few employees have told me, and what a store manager told me recently. What you encounter at individual stores is no accident, but a planned and well-executed theft that Walmart’s executives in Bentonville, Ark. know all about. 

I saw such things, and documented them with photos and receipts, more than 30 times in 10 Walmart stores over the past six months. One was an overcharge of almost 20 dollars. Oh yes, it is happening to you too if you pay no attention. And now individual shoppers are trying to sue individual stores for the overcharging. One such suit is getting some attention in Chicago. It will take a class action lawsuit of dozens of shoppers uniting to really make them pay for what they are doing and stop the practice. The size and power of Walmart makes them almost invulnerable to any legal action. If big-time news media gets advertising revenue from them, think of what chance I have of getting this article printed in those pages.

The manager of that Walmart store thought I was just some poor old Ozark backwoodsman who couldn’t do a thing about being taken advantage of. Boy will he be surprised to see that spring magazine with his picture in it, and his name. I am indeed just a poor old Ozark backwoodsman, but I intend to speak for a whole lot more of us. To get my magazine with some well-hidden information that will cause you to never trust a Walmart store again, just call me. We’ll only charge you for postage to send it to you. And if you hunters and fishermen are about to buy spring hunting and fishing gear, watch your receipts, keep all boxes and think about another sporting goods store.

Write to me at Box 22, Bolivar, MO 65613  or email me at lightninridge47@gmail.com.