[NFB-Talk] [NFBWATlk] Note From Chris Jones About WalmartShopping Experience

Star Gazer pickrellrebecca at gmail.com
Thu Mar 25 13:16:02 UTC 2021

Very curious and I absolutely believe you, which countries were these? 

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From: Cecilia via nFB-Talk
Sent: Wednesday, March 24, 2021 8:52 PM
To: NFB Talk Mailing List
Cc: ccmlhe at gmail.com
Subject: Re: [NFB-Talk] [NFBWATlk] Note From Chris Jones About WalmartShopping Experience

Nimer, I fully agree with you. I believe that we should be able to choose where we want to shop because we like the products and prices that are offered, and not because of how friendly and helpful the Store employees are. as someone who has lived in three countries were stores were not required by law to provide such accommodations as shoppers assistance, I believe that this is a very important issue. I want to be able to go into any store, and grabbed as many or as few items as I need whenever I want. In those other countries, I was limited by the availability of delivery services, because the stores simply refuse to provide any assistance. So if for example, one day I just wished to bake a cake, or if the delivery service did not bring an important ingredient, I was screwed until I needed enough things to pay for delivery again.
Again, if this problem is more prevalent than we think, it may be worthwhile considering to create a resolution That can be examined at national convention.. 
Sent from my iPhone

On Mar 24, 2021, at 7:24 PM, Karen Rose via nFB-Talk <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org> wrote:
I certainly do not disagree. In fact, I have been denied help in stores, many years ago. My solution? I simply went to their competitors. You more more than willing to help. :-) Yes I certainly think we should fight for the right to have the same health is does any other customer in any store. Ultimately though, the nature of the market is such that I can always take my business elsewhere that’s weird to eat much friendlier competitor
Karen Rose MFT/LPCC www.career-therapy.net

On Mar 24, 2021, at 4:45 PM, Nimer Jaber <nimerjaber1 at gmail.com> wrote:

Hello Karen and everyone:

While this may be a good solution, I feel it is our right to walk into a store and shop, and it is our right to solicit assistance in finding products, as do all customers who walk into a store. Otherwise, what is the point of having associates walking around assisting customers if they are actually unwilling to assist customers? It is true that there are many ways of skinning a cat, some of which have been mentioned. I find that shopping with Aira is an incredibly tedious, pointless waste of my time because of the fact that it is done through a camera, with potential connection issues, with other customers trying to get at the same items, etc., and I find their service to be entirely over-priced and their policies to be paternalistic at best, with little regard to what blind people actually desire, want, or are capable of. The bad taste in my mouth hasn't gone away when, over the past few years, they've continued to introduce hardware products and kill them off, some of which they charged customers quite a lot of money for very cheap devices that they couldn't maintain the day they were released, let alone a year after, when they killed those devices off. Plus, I hate their advertising, the fact that they claim to give blind people independence is asinine to me, as people still rely on a human to accomplish tasks, and don't get me started on what I think of them charging businesses exorbitant pricing just for that business then to get a notion that they've done accessibility, and they shouldn't bother with customer service, actual true accessibility, orientation assistance, etc. I also know that Instacart and other delivery services often mark up item prices, in addition to charging membership fees, shipping fees, driver fees, and whatever other kinds of fees, so while I understand the need for those fees, I also understand that Instacart is not an ideal solution for many who are sensitive to pricing, as many individuals who shop at Walmart may be.

Nonetheless, this thread isn't about Aira or Instacart. It's about a company who chooses to discriminate against people who are blind, simply because they can. Do you think that, if a person walks into a store and requests finding an item, that the associate would say that they weren't allowed to help?

I realize that my opinions on this topic may be a bit unpopular, particularly on an NFB list, seeing as the organization and its members have whole-heartedly thrown their support behind Aira, and may be okay with, and maybe even desire the fact that we should not be soliciting assistance when going shopping. I hope that those people who find this as offensive as I am won't simply sit down and back down when being told that they cannot receive assistance at a Walmart or any other store, for that matter. In fact, I hope that others will use that opportunity to go in more often, just because they can and ought to have the right to do so, and that they will continue soliciting assistance, again, simply because they can.

On Wed, Mar 24, 2021 at 12:54 PM Karen Rose via nFB-Talk <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org> wrote:
Walmart is definitely on the Instacart list of stores available. You may want to consider shopping through Instacart on Walmart. Several years ago, I spent considerable time helping Instacart become fully accessible through its app. End it has remained completely accessible, at least using voiceover.
Karen Rose MFT/LPCC www.career-therapy.net

On Mar 23, 2021, at 7:38 PM, Mike Capelle via nFB-Talk <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org> wrote:

It is because of covid, I am not going to make a fuss over it, I will just use AIRA, or bring a sighted person with me.
No big  deal.
From: nFB-Talk <nfb-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org> On Behalf Of Zachary N. Griego-Dreicer via nFB-Talk
Sent: Tuesday, March 23, 2021 8:36 PM
To: NFB Talk Mailing List <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
Cc: Zachary N. Griego-Dreicer <zdreicer at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [NFB-Talk] [NFBWATlk] Note From Chris Jones About Walmart Shopping Experience
 Hi, I a sorry to hear of your experience. I have actually not going into grocery stores since the start of the pandemic. But my parents have occasionally. Curb-side at Walmart has been a big hit for my area…the amount of times we’ve gotten “Out of stock” or “we can substitute with”… is far outweighed by the amount of times we will have the order right on the 1st try without ever actually going in. I would definitely understand if you would rather remain in person when doing your shopping though. And as for that, I would think that’s just an associate having an issue. Regardless of this we still need to buy groceries so you did the right thing by contacting a supervisor. I would encourage you to continue doing so. 
Sent from my Macbook Pro 13

On Mar 23, 2021, at 17:14, Judy Jones via nFB-Talk <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org> wrote:
Hi, All,
Today, my husband was denied customer service shopping assistance at the Walmart, located in Mt. Vernon, Washington.
The only other time in our lives I can remember being turned away from shopping at a store, was in a neighborhood where we’d just bought our first house in 1980.  It was a Winn Dixie, and I stopped there in the evening for groceries.
However, when I explained that I worked during the day and this was the only time I could come, right away, they found someone to shop with me, and we never had any issues with that store or any other ever since.
So, today’s experience was very surprising.
I would like to know of anyone’s personal shopping experience at the physical store, and how much of this shopping assistance denial is tied to a possible Covid policy of Walmart, or if our particular store is simply not providing reasonable accommodations.
We have no problems with any other store in the area:  Costco, Safeway, Hagen, Pioneer Market, to name just a few.  Thanks for perspective and comments.
See my husband’s e-mail below.
From: NFBWATlk <nfbwatlk-bounces at nfbnet.org> On Behalf Of Chris Jones via NFBWATlk
Sent: Tuesday, March 23, 2021 3:55 PM
To: nfbwatlk at nfbnet.org
Cc: Chris Jones <clj53787 at gmail.com>
Subject: [NFBWATlk] Note From Chris Jones About Walmart Shopping Experience
Dear Listers,
This is Chris Jones from Sedro-Woolley.
Earlier this afternoon I went to Walmart to pick up a very few items and to get some Subway sandwiches.
I met a greeter who found me a young lady who gave me some very strange information.
She indicated that Walmart no longer provides customer assistance in shopping and that everything needs to be handled on-line.
I was told that this has been their policy for somewhat over a year.
I was shocked, but went ahead and asked this lady to show me the Subway area, which she did.
I completed that portion of shopping and, when I got home, called a manager of Walmart at the Mount Vernon store.
He explained that, due to Covid restrictions, an associate could not be involved with such a shopping trip for any more than 15 minutes.
I asked if I had a short list, if someone could obtain products for me.
He said that if I needed a very few items he could probably grant me an exception to policy.
I do not regularly shop Walmart and I have never found such a reception at Costco, Fred Meyer, Safeway or any other store which I frequent.
Is there anyone who can explain this type of treatment to me? Is this a Walmart thing, or does this occur at many other stores where folks shop?
Feel free to respond here, or if you'd like to e-mail me privately, my e-mail is clj53787 at gmail.com.
Thank you, one and all.
Chris Jones 
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