I used to think that I could buy anything I needed at Wal-Mart. It was the American store. When I was growing up Wal-Mart opened their first store in my area and you got good deals and good quality.
Coming home this time I have realized that the quality has gone down in general at most stores. You don't get quality anymore anywhere.
Customer service? What is that? In our local shop I used to know where everything was located. Now you can find beach towels in at least two different areas if they haven't moved them! You can ask two different clerks and get two different answers as to where to find something so simple as a beach towel!
We left our camera in Seattle and it had not arrived while we were in Arkansas so I bought one of those throw away cameras. Well I took it canoeing with us but it got a little wet to say the lease when we tipped our canoe. We left the camera on the dash of the van and it dried out--well mostly.
When we got the pictures developed I was hoping that the pictures I had taken while doing some genealogical research for ancestors names in an Arkansas cemetery would come out well enough to scan in and use as source information for some of the Milams I have been looking for.
We took the film in and it was supposed to be ready in two days. Three days--no pictures, 5 days no pictures, a week no picture but a promise to call if they found out something from Fuji. 10 days no pictures. Finally after almost two weeks but no phone calls the pictures came in--$20 for 20 bad well 15 bad pictures and 5 pretty good ones--Milton and John in the canoe came out pretty good for watersoaked film. I asked why they were so much but the clerk was clueless--we don't set the prices. I explained that I would not be shopping in their photo lab again. My husband wasn't as kind. He went back and asked why we were paying for pictures that did not come out well--granted not their fault. But it was their fault that the photos were two weeks in getting back. A different clerk without an attitude kindly called Fuji who said "Oh we made a mistake,the customer wasn't supposed to pay for those pictures." Then why didn't they write 'Free' on the package instead of $20. But then the photo clerk couldn't issue a refund but she could authorize one and I would have to go to customer service. I did and I stood in line for 15 min. waiting on a clerk to wait on me.
This local store really isn't a reflection of the neighborhood. The neighborhood is a lot nicer than the store. It is run down, dirty, and a mess. You can never find what you are looking for. Reminded me for a minute of shopping in Niger. What happened to the saying that "The customer is always right." Doesn't seem to exist anymore.
Maybe this is still reverse culture shock? But things are supposed to be different than what you experienced overseas?