Heated Debate Over Walmart Bagging Controversy Has the Internet Divided
A viral video has stirred up conversation about customer service at the big-box chain.
Even with millions of loyal customers, Walmart is no stranger to backlash. Last year, many shoppers criticized the big-box retailer for locking up certain products as an anti-shoplifting tactic. And just this month, Walmart found itself in the hot seat after introducing new digital price tags, with customers expressing fears of being overcharged. Now, there's a new Walmart controversy that's sparked major debate online, and it all comes down to bagging. Read on to learn more about the issue that has the internet divided.
A viral video shows a customer and Walmart worker butting heads.
On May 17, TikTok user @kingkingzoe uploaded a video with the caption, "Walmart has the worst customer service." The video was filmed by a shopper in the checkout line while arguing with the cashier for not bagging all of her groceries.
"You gonna put the rest of this stuff in bags? … There's stuff over here, too," the customer says to the cashier. "There's stuff that you put down here, it needs to be in bags."
Both the Walmart employee and the shopper become increasingly frustrated with each other, resulting in the customer reprimanding the cashier for the way she bags a box of cereal.
"You don't want to be here today? 'Cause that is not customer service—the way you acting," she says to the worker.
The video has the internet divided.
The TikTok video has already amassed over 1.5 million views in less than a week. But the internet seems to be divided over whose side they are on—the cashier's or the customer's.
"It seem like you were just making her day harder," one TikTok user commented.
Another person replied, "The customer's attitude is probably the reason the cashier had an attitude."
And others were even clearer in their stance: "Nah!! I'm on the cashier side!!!" a comment reads.
Nevertheless, other commenters insisted that the shopper recording the video was right. "Praises to you for the patience, man I could not," one person commented.
Another user added, "I shop but I don't bag unless I do self-checkout, period. That's her job!"
Others even suggested the shopper take further action. "You should call the manager and report it," one user responded.
Walmart's policy on who is supposed to bag groceries is unclear.
Many commenters noted that the customer could have bagged her own groceries instead of reprimanding the cashier to do it while recording her. But @kingkongzoe said they believe Walmart's guidelines differ from this stance. "I think per policy, employees are supposed to bag," they wrote.
But what is Walmart's actual policy over bagging? Commenters weren't so sure @kingkongzoe had it right. "It's not a policy, they don't have to bag anything," one person said.
Walmart employees also weighed in. "I'm a manager at Walmart," one commenter wrote. "It's not policy to bag your stuff—we do it out of consideration. But when we get a disrespectful customers, that's different."
Another offered a similar response: "I'm a manger at Walmart—IT IS NOT A POLICY."
Best Life reached out to Walmart for clarity on its bagging policy, and we will update this story with their response.
This is not the first time there's been controversy over bagging at Walmart.
Regardless of who should be doing the bagging at Walmart, the retailer has gotten pushback for other bag policies.
Over the past few years, the company has banned single-use plastic bags at its stores in several states, including Connecticut, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, New York, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington, and Vermont.
"Eliminating single-use bags is part of our commitment to achieve zero waste across our operations and ultimately shift gradually toward a cicular economy built on advancing reuse, refill, and recycling habits," Lauren Willis, global communications director for Walmart in the western U.S., previously told Best Life. "We are working hard to ensure a seamless and convenient shift to reusable bags for our customers and associates."
But not everyone is in favor of the change. Some shoppers have pointed out a major flaw with the transition, noting that they're now receiving even more bags from the retailer.
"Really appreciate the fact that @WalmartCanada has phased out plastic bags for recyclable ones but this was the number of bags I got from one grocery delivery," one shopper tweeted on Aug. 17, with a photo of several blue reusable Walmart bags piled up. "There is no way I can reuse all of them. If Walmart can have a takeback program to reuse them that would be nice."