Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Walmart and Watch Batteries

Lately whenever I mention that I shop at Walmart I feel like I need to offer an apology. More and more of my friends say that they "don't believe in" shopping at Walmart.

Walmart and I have had our ups and downs. ... But is has nothing to do with my belief system. Whether or not I shop there has to do mainly with price and value.

Case in point: About fifteen years ago my employer gave me a free Timex DataLink Ironman Triathlon watch. It's one of the best watches I've ever owned.

Every few years I need to purchase a new watch band. Until recently I've taken the watch to Walmart whenever it needs a new battery.

Two or three months ago I was shopping in a nearby mall when I noticed that the watch had gone blank. I was near a Batteries Plus store, so I decided to have them replace the battery. I ended up waiting nearly 30 minutes, paid twice what Walmart charges, and also had to listen to the clerk complain about how hard it is to replace batteries and how old my watch was. It wasn't a pleasant experience.

Then yesterday I noticed that watch face was blank again. This time I went back to Walmart. The cheerful clerk tested the battery to find that it was dead, then installed a new one (taking about three minutes maximum), charging $6.39 (including sales tax).

Needless to say, I was a happy camper.

Besides low prices and cheerful clerks, Walmart rarely sells "old" batteries: their inventory recycles so fast that batteries don't have time to run down before being sold. (The same goes for red licorice, by the way--it is generally very soft. ... But I digress.)

That's all I wanted to say. I'm happy to have a Walmart not to far from my home.