Manufactured Spending

Update on Today’s Walmart Incident

Earlier today, I shared an experience I had at my go-to Walmart store. I’ve been going here for years, I know all the staff, and have been able to buy $10,000 worth of money orders every time. Except today, I was informed by an “Assistant Manager” that there was a “new online process” that would restrict customers to one transaction only. She told me this after ringing me up and refused to give me my receipt.

I got angry, wrote about it and a few people jumped down my throat with accusations of “entitlement”. [Some of the same people have messaged me in the past, demanding I share MS hot spots and calling me “selfish” for not doing so. So…]. Am I entitled? Absolutely. I’m entitled to accurate information and I’m entitled to a store receipt. Nothing about that is unreasonable. Was my tone a little off in the post? Yes, but I was angry and I make no apologies for not being “nice” all the time. Those are my true colors and if not being Pollyanna rubs some people the wrong way, then that’s too bad. Ultimately, it worked out in my favor.

When MS Deals End

I’ve been doing this for over six years and know the drill. Deals end. Move on. I’ve had this happen at half a dozen other stores that changed their policies over time. When I couldn’t reason with this particular employee, I did walk away. But she had been contradicted by two other managers and a staff member. It made me doubt her explanation and I wasn’t going to let her get away with withholding my receipt.

I have a good relationship with the staff at this store and don’t mind if they can’t accommodate me anymore. But I’m going to challenge “policies” if they’re incorrect. In this case, they were.

What Happened Next

My judgment was validated when I got a call back this afternoon, apologizing for the incident. I had called the store and expressed my discontent. They called me back and clarified: 1.) I can go back tomorrow and get my receipt back. 2.) The Assistant Manager should not have withheld it – customers are always entitled to their receipts (their words, not mine). 3.) Multiple transactions are ok as long as I continue to fill out the appropriate forms. Just like I’d been told by her colleagues. It pays to stand your ground.

Why Receipts Are Important

Record keeping is manufactured spending 101. I know people who’ve lost or had their money orders stolen. When you have a receipt, you have recourse to get your money back. About a year ago, I walked into the same store and a manager inform me that I owed them $1,500 because the cashier who rang me up selected “cash” as a payment option. The register was now $1,500 short.

Because I kept my receipt, I was able to check the cards I had used and verify that they still contained the appropriate funds. Only after I verified this information did I feel comfortable forking over $1,500. Not holding onto receipts can get you into trouble, so I don’t care that it makes me look bad for demanding one. I’d rather be entitled than out of several thousand dollars in case things go wrong.

I’m all for moving on and not “making a big deal” out of things I don’t have control over. But I don’t go down without a fight. And that’s why I’ve managed to keep this going as long as I have. I’ll continue to comply with the rules when they’re disclosed to me and challenge “policies” that are incorrect.

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32 Comments

  1. All the Walmart’s in my area (3) all say I can only make one transaction. With Walmart’s 4 payment forms, most is two MO. No more till the next day. Two of the three hold to that. The other sometimes let me do two transaction.

    • It varies by store. Two in my area have had this policy for a while, which is why I found this particular one. They don’t care as long as customers fill out the paperwork.

    • I think my stores aren’t even aware that it’s possible to fill out forms and they stick to the one transaction limit. Occasionally when there’s no one else in line I’ve asked to do a second one and they’ve let me. But I’ve cut down to $6K/week just because I was wearing myself out with trips to WM. Now I hit the WM grocery up on Sat & Sun and the WM itself up on Sun and I’m done for the week and can carry on with my life.

  2. I read your post this morning. No need to apologize, you’ve honed your craft with a precision that would make Navy Seals proud. As a public blogger you have a right to talk about what ever you please, if someone upsets you, so be it. Vent.

    You provide the community with a great service, thank you. I continue to learn from you, keep up the great work.

  3. Do they require showing your SS card when filling out the form? I’ve had one walmart store refuse to go beyond 2k of MOs because I didn’t have my card.

  4. Be nice to the support staff, they will remember you..

  5. Here’s what happened at Walmart this week…. Istead of griping about Walmart, perhaps there are other angles to explore for this blog.? Or more details or info to share on how to ms?

  6. thank you for sharing what happened, I follow you exactly for your attitude, point of view, and experience. and you are right, customers should get their receipts.

  7. I’m glad you stood your ground. As you know, that’s a basic consumer right to get a receipt. Go girl!!!

  8. I echo what Dennis said. You provide the community with a great service, thank you. I continue to learn from you, keep up the great work.

  9. Love this post, and love you!

  10. I am also in for loving this post and you. Receipts are not only important for safe-record-keeping with the merchants, also best weapon when we have disputes with credit card companies. Ignore the noises, Ariana, we got your back and want to continue enjoy reading your blogs and learn!!!

  11. You inspired me. Last week my Walmart that has been allowing me to get 4-5 multiple card transactions let me know that now I can only do one transaction with one card now.
    I generally get 4 $799.12 mo’s using 200 visas
    Today when I went in I asked for manager I briefly explained that I do this for points and lighly explained how. He agreed to let me continue using multiple debit cards and do multiple transactions.
    He did say that I would need to fill out paperwork depending on the volume BUT REFUSED to tell me when that would be needed? Can anyone share that? The csr cashier had let it slip that it was $3000.00. Is that correct or will that vary store to store?

  12. I’m going through this very issue in Massachusetts, 10 miles north of Boston. I went to 4 WM’s today, 2 of which have been MS friendly for the three years I’ve been in the game. Those 2 stores both told me today that I can only make 1 transaction. They too kept the second receipt that comes out even though it says customer copy on it. 1 of the 2 stores made me sign that small receipt and went ahead and kept it for themselves. The third WM told me 1 transaction, which is the norm for that location and has been the norm for 3 years. The 4th WM did not accept my SMGC. They asked me if it was a debit card, I said yes. I advised them that I’d need 4 swipes of 500. They said ok. When I swiped, a small receipt came out that said something along the lines of ” debit card could not be accepted”.

    Not being able to dump 10G at a time is a serious setback. At the moment I need 150K Barclay Arrival Miles and 150K Cap 1 venture miles thanks to a huge summer trip I just took. It’s going to be hell earning those miles without 10K money order runs. I’m all out if WMBP’s for the month too. Anyways, I thought it was interesting that you dealt with the same crap about the receipts.

    • It’s not much better on my end, Bob. I just got back from my second MO run with the new rules in place and it’s a huge hassle. It took a good hour to get out of there, so I’m definitely looking at other options once I’m done liquidating my current batch.

  13. Would you mind sharing which Walmart allows 10k per day?

  14. Ariana, you keep doing what you’re doing, and we’ll keep reading. Nobody gets to the top of their game without a little passion.

  15. Loved this follow up article! Glad it worked out (sort of). I can only do 2 $1000 MOs in 1 single transaction at the only cashier friendly WM in my neighborhood. But my spouse comes with me to WM, so we can bang out 8 cards for $4K per day. We only live 5 minutes away, so it’s ok. Not as fast as doing $10K per day but better than nothing!

  16. With that much volume, what is still the best way to get rid of those MOs. Depositing it in banks, then doing the CC payments online? Any advice would be much appreciated especially since my MO volume is not as much. Only 4K a week at most at this time.

  17. Jeffe Verde

    I attempted to do a single 2-money order purchase today at Walmart. After telling the cashier to do a split tender, she fumbles at her screen for several minutes and then says “I need your name, address, occupation, and your ID”. I’m hoping this was just the result of a new cashier miskeying something, and I’ll be going back this evening to try again with my friendly cashiers.

    But if this is the new policy for all multi-swipe purchases, I fear it might be a precursor to blacklisting by MoneyGram.

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