When you purchase an item from Walmart and it’s currently out of stock, the standard practice of the store is that you’ll be offered a similar product as a substitution. You can either choose your substitutions beforehand in case, or wait until the shopper notifies you that they are going to make a substitution.
As a valued Walmart customer, prior to recent changes, if the item used for substitution was larger, or a more expensive brand, you would be charged the price of the original item you ordered, not the higher price for the higher priced item.
But Walmart has now updated this policy on product substitutions on delivery and pickup orders: According to the new policy, the retail giant will now charge the actual price of the item being substituted. Which almost always is more expensive than the item originally chosen.
Changing Its Policy: Does Walmart Charge More For Substitutions?
Walmart’s policy has been that customers would be charged the same price if the originally ordered item has a more expensive substitution. However, in compliance with the industry standard now, it will join competing retailers like Instacart and Whole Foods who have already adopted the “pay for what you get online grocery system.”
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What Does It Mean?
There is a new policy: Walmart is now going to charge customers for order substitutions made when a preferred item is out of stock.
Let’s say you’re making online purchases or ordering fresh produce from Walmart’s website and one of the items from your grocery order is not available, you’ll be alerted by the local store.
It will give customers more control as to how and when the items are substituted, including enhanced preferences and the ability to approve or reject substituted items once a customer orders from any Walmart stores.
We’re giving our customers more control of how and when items are substituted, including enhanced preferences and the ability to approve or reject substituted items. This flexibility is an important part of how we continue to give our customers more control over their pickup and delivery experience.Walmart Spokesperson
Using An Artificial Intelligence-Based Technology
Taking advantage of the new technology, Walmart is now using an artificial intelligence-based technology to help personal shoppers and customers in making smarter substitution choices for out-of-stock products and improve their shopping experience.
This AI is designed to help identify the next best specific substitution items for a customer if the product that is initially ordered is not in stock.
How The Substitution For Store Pickup and Delivery Items Work
When an item is out of stock, Walmart will offer you with a similar items as substitution options.
You’ll receive an email and or text, an offer of a similar item substitutions, and the list price of the substitutions. You will then have the option to accept, decline, or return the offer.
There is a very limited amount of time to select your substitution. If you don’t respond they will choose for you.
Once accepted, Walmart will charge you with the price of the substituted item. If you’re unhappy with the item, you can set up a return from the Purchase History on your Walmart app or Walmart.com.
From personal experience, I don’t like to have to return the delivery items because they want you to take the item back to the store. That doesn’t work for me, otherwise I would have shopped in-person to begin with.
Difference Between Pick Up And Delivery
If the item is out of stock and you selected the substitution, Walmart will substitute the item with the one you choose.
However, if you don’t want to substitute your missing order from your online orders, Walmart will remove it from your order.
If you do a Walmart pickup at a local Walmart store and you don’t want the replacement, you just need to inform the Walmart associate at the store and they’ll remove it from your order
If you ordered online, the driver won’t be able to remove the substitute item from your delivery orders and return it to the warehouse or store.
You’ll need to set up the return from the Purchase History of the app or online account. And then return it to the store yourself within a set time frame.
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Do you agree with the new Walmart substitution policy? What do you think about the policy change or Walmart’s efforts to provide better grocery shopping experience?