Walmart Shoppers Slam "Weirdest Ever" Self-Checkout Change
Customers are reporting a strange experience with a survey on their way out of the store.
Many regular customers are so used to the shopping experience at Walmart that it's practically impossible to make changes without them noticing. Some changes could be considered pretty significant, including the updates and improvements the company recently rolled out to hundreds of locations. But coincidentally, some of the seemingly smallest alterations can still rub some customers the wrong way. Now, Walmart shoppers are slamming a self-checkout change they've recently noticed. Read on to see why they're calling it the "weirdest ever" update.
Walmart shoppers are confused by a survey they receive after self-checkout.
Whether it's a restaurant or service hotline, being asked to take a customer survey after an experience with any business is nothing new. Walmart is no different, allowing shoppers to punch in a quick response on a scale from one to five stars on how their visit went. But what about when you haven't interacted with any employees?
In a TikTok video posted last May, user @chad.pettit points out the relatively absurd request made to shoppers using self-checkout registers at Walmart. He used the caption for the post to call the practice "one of the weirdest things ever."
"You want me to rate my experience? What, like, tell you how well I think I did?" he asks. He then jokingly points out, "I didn't ask myself if I found everything OK today," and that "I could probably improve my bagging technique." He then cheekily admits he probably won't be winning employee of the month as a result.
In a similar video, TikTok user @therealtamara27 called the self-checkout survey one of her "pet peeves" after making her way through the store without any assistance.
"Dude, I just checked myself out at Walmart," she says. "I shopped for my own crap, I put it in the cart…I scanned it by myself, paid by myself, bagged it by myself…And you're going to ask me if I want to fill out a survey to tell you how you did today? Well, guess what, Walmart: I did fantastic! I did just fine."
Other shoppers have chimed in—even adding that employees sometimes get involved.
It appears that requesting the survey isn't the only bizarre part about ringing yourself up at a kiosk. Another video posted by TikTok user @DexterBear97 brings up the similar confused feeling it creates—but adds it can sometimes get even stranger.
"The self-checkout attendant just did the survey for me," he explains in the video. "I didn't ask. I didn't say anything."
He explains that as soon as he hit "print" on his receipt, the associate jumped over his shoulder and gave themselves five stars. "That is so weird! Why would you do that?," he says.
Another shopper took to Reddit to describe how they felt similarly flustered when the same thing happened to them. "There is this lady who works the self-checkout that will breathe down my neck and jump as soon as those stars hit the screen," Reddit user Tikeeboo explained on the subreddit post. "She literally reached over my shoulder while my receipt printed to pick five stars herself."
Some store employees say they're expected to maintain a specific monthly average on the surveys.
Replies by social media users who say they're Walmart employees helped to shed some light on the situation. In one recent post to the Walmart subreddit, a worker with the username IndependentOk3577 alleges that their store's management was pressuring staff to get results—despite including a photo of a company policy that says there's no need to guide shoppers to complete the survey.
"I'm talking making me stand with someone on their register to solely tell their customers to fill out the survey and managers putting stickers on the card readers telling people to do it," they explain. "They're threatening feedbacks and coachings for anyone that is not heard referring the customers to the surveys."
Walmart employee and Reddit user chakatblackstar posted that they had a district manager visit their store and warn that any response under five stars was considered a failure. "Well, then, why bother having four different degrees of failure? Why not just have a thumbs-up/down system? Or just a thumbs-up since let's be honest, that's all they really want anyway," they wrote.
Others agreed that the surveys might not be the best way to provide improvement notes. "The person can't even say why they're giving the bad review," one store employee based in the Southwestern U.S. told Insider. "It's meaningless."
The company says its current policy doesn't encourage employees to hound customers for feedback.
However, employees reporting pressure to perform on survey results might be experiencing an outlier situation. Walmart's internally posted policy states that "stores should not post custom survey signage, provide incentives, or ask customers to complete surveys," an associate confirmed to Insider. The policy also outlines that there is no need to push for more responses due to the large number they already receive and that customers can opt out by tapping "no thank you" on the screen.
A spokesperson for the company said the five-star system was another way it welcomed more customer feedback. "It is a survey we've been conducting over the last number of years as a means to gather information on what customers think about their experience in stores," the spokesperson told Insider. "It's a simple one-question survey with no follow-up."
The spokesperson also reiterated the store's stance on urging employees to bring five-star results. "Any case where associates are encouraged to or feel pressured to take the survey is an exception, not the rule," they told Insider. "We have many ways for associates to report—anonymously or not—incidents such as this."
Best Life has reached out to Walmart for further comment and will update this article with any responses.