Do You Use Walmart Grocery Pickup & Delivery? Find Out What Popular Perk is Ending Soon…
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Walmart is eliminating one of the perks of online grocery shopping.
According to a leaked memo obtained by Business Insider, Walmart customers may soon be paying more for substitutions they receive with their online grocery pickup and delivery orders. The memo, which was sent to Walmart store managers on September 30th, confirmed that the store’s substitution pricing policy will be updated in the coming weeks.
The memo reads in part:
“Moving forward, customers will now pay the list price for specific substitution items made on their order. Customers and members will receive updates about this change in the Walmart app at various points in their shopping experience.”
Ever since Walmart launched its grocery pickup and delivery service, customers were charged the same price for the item they originally ordered, even if the store substituted a more expensive item for it.
So if you ordered a loaf of the store’s Great Value white bread for $1 and it was out of stock on the day your order was filled, the store might have substituted Sara Lee white bread at no additional cost to you, even though the name brand costs $2.42. Under the new store policy, that substitution will now more than double the cost of your bread. 😬
As someone who orders a lot of groceries from Walmart, it was reassuring to know that a substitution would never increase the cost of my order. This was a nice benefit of ordering groceries online from Walmart, and certainly not unheard of in the grocery pickup and delivery space.
Kroger (the nation’s second largest grocer), still has a similar policy in place, ensuring that you only ever pay for the items you actually order. You’ll never pay more than what you were expecting to pay, even if you receive more expensive substitutions.
Despite Kroger’s more customer-friendly substitution policy, Walmart defended its own policy change by stating that it’s a standard practice in the industry. The company went on to say it’s part of a larger push to give customers “extra controls over what substitutions they receive when an item is unavailable.”
Customers do have the opportunity to select and save preferences for substitutions. You also have a brief window between the time that your order is filled and the time that it’s picked up or delivered during which you can accept or reject substitutions that were made to your order.
But if you miss the notification to view your substitutions and fail to reject them in time, you will be charged for them. Sometimes you can get a refund in the app, but many times Walmart requires you to return any unsatisfactory substitutions in-store.
Chances are, entering the store is the exact experience you were trying to avoid by ordering your groceries online in the first place, so that’s a definite bummer.
Even though the new substitution policy will require a period of adjustment, Walmart pickup and delivery is still probably one of the best ways to save time on your grocery shopping. Unlike some other grocery shopping services, there are no service fees, you pay the same price for everything as you would in the store, and the curbside pickup option is completely free.
If you continue to order your groceries from Walmart, just be aware of this change, keep a close eye on your substitutions, and don’t hesitate to request a refund if you receive any items you wouldn’t have purchased yourself!