This is crazy. In 2012, who’s ever heard of any online store calling a customer to confirm an online order … much less the biggest retailer on the planet??
But it’s true. I got a call from Walmart to confirm an order that I placed online. Here’s how it happened:
On Sunday (Aug. 19th), I saw on Dealnews.com that Walmart was selling $100 iTunes e-Gift cards for just $80. Bargain! Since we don’t store a credit card number in our iTunes accounts, we use gift cards to establish a credit in our accounts and make purchases against those credits.
So, this was a deal I wanted to jump on. I placed an order for two e-Gift cards via Walmart.com, and created a new account there in the process so that I could check on the status of the order. I got a notification saying that the order would be processed on Monday and I’d get the e-Gift cards then.
Monday came and went, and nothing. I logged in to Walmart.com to check the order, and it still said “Processing” with Monday as the delivery date. I figured they might’ve had a ton of orders for this deal, so I waited.
On Tuesday, at about 11:25 am, I got a voicemail from an unknown number. It was a female calling from Walmart.com “calling to verify recent activity on a Walmart.com account.” Her message included an invoice number and instructions to call back to confirm the order.
I didn’t get around to returning the call until about 3:15 pm. I was kinda suspicious because the invoice number she left on voicemail didn’t match the order number that showed in my Walmart.com account. I called anyway, but got a voicemail system saying that business hours had ended at 4:30 pm CT. The voicemail said I could leave my name, invoice number and a message confirming or rejecting the order.
So I called and confirmed the order. And then I hung up, hoping it wasn’t some kind of scam, and reassuring myself that I didn’t give away any personal information — I repeated the invoice number given to me, not the order number from my account.
And then … 39 minutes later … this arrived in my Inbox.
It included our gift card codes and, yes, they work.
Isn’t that bizarre? I mean, wow … in one sense, it’s really cool that Walmart has the wherewithal to call to confirm orders like this. I can’t imagine any other major retailer, nor many smaller ones, doing the same thing, and I have no idea how personal confirmation calls can be scaled to the level that Walmart.com must do this. But they do.
Is it just because I was a new account?
Is it because I ordered an e-gift card – something not physical, not returnable and something they’d want to make sure was a legitimate order before they “shipped” it to me?
I don’t know why. But I’m amazed and impressed about the whole thing.
(Photo from Walmart. Used via Creative Commons licensing.)