I shop at Big Lots because they have good sales on many items. However, many of their prices have gone up considerably within the past three to five years. That narrows the margin between their originally good prices, and the prices of competing stores. Big Lots is slowly losing its appeal to thrifty consumers.
As far as customer service, their clerks have always seemed bored and robotic to me. On six occasions in two years, clerks have forgotten to place purchases in the bags before I left the store. This happens more at Big Lots than any other store I've frequented. It's evident that this company doesn't make any effort to motivate personal enthusiasm in its employees. To add to my several unpleasant experiences at Big Lots, I've witnessed blatant rudeness from clerks, who seem to develop a sort of mob-mentality when dealing with customer complaints during checkouts and returns.
It is not unusual for two or three clerks to gather behind the checkout counter and address a single customer "en masse". This is very juvenile, and rather obnoxious. It is an "us against them" attitude which no proper business would want to portray to the public. Returning anything at all to Big Lots means the consumer has to deal with the "third degree". If you don't have a receipt you might as well give up. This doesn't happen as much with other stores that take the time to research transactions via computer, if necessary.
Case in point: I was assured by a clerk that I could return something after the 30 day limit on returns. I told the clerk BEFORE my purchase exactly when I might make the return (to the day) because it was a gift to be given after the 30 day time limit for returns. I asked, "Would it really be alright to return it after 30 days?" The clerk said, "Absolutely! No problem." Still, to feel really comfortable about this, I asked a different clerk the same question, and he told me that there is a very liberal policy on returns after the 30 day limit- not to worry.
Because of these assurances, I felt at ease making my purchase at that time, thinking that there would be no problem with stretching the return time period by two weeks. Looking back, I probably should have asked the workers to sign my receipt. But who thinks of those things during what seems like a friendly, respectful transaction?
The gift for my friend didn't work out, so I took my receipt, and the unused item back to Big Lots in its unopened packaging. But... it turns out that both clerks had misinformed me at the time of my purchase. This misinformation caused an embarrassing scene. I was told that never would a clerk who worked there assure me that I could return something after 30 days, nor that another clerk would have told me that there was a liberal return policy.
Suddenly there were three rather nosey Big Lots employees at the checkout stand, who presumed to tell me what two other clerks had said six weeks prior, when they were not even there. Although they had no way of knowing what had been said, and were absolutely in error, they pretty much told me I was lying about my experience. One clerk mentioned she could lose her job if she let me return the item. I was flabbergasted, and very much offended by it all.
I decided to call the main office and was treated even worse. The manager there told me I didn't even deserve a store credit, but that he'd give me one anyway. Gee, thanks. Whatever happened to the "good will" policies that didn't make a consumer (a repeat shopper at that) feel embarrassed and defensive?
I won't be frequenting Big Lots as often now, and I believe I'm not alone in my disappointment with this company. There are other stores that treat their customers with dignity, and still have fair prices which don't escalate every year. Those other companies are wise enough, and flexible enough, to think outside the box when it comes to dealing with the public. Good public relations = good business.
Does Big Lots still have Layaway on furniture?? If SO... can I make arrangement to make MONTHLY payments instead of weekly or bi-weekly? I am a senior disabled lady living on a low fixed MONTHLY income, and I can only make payments as I get my check on the 3rd of each month! You have some bedroom furniture that I would LOVE to have... but, I can NOT afford to pay CASH for the complete outfit, and I don't want to run the risk of losing the availability of part of the set by purchasing it by one piece at a time.
The items I am wanting would run about $250 - $300, so it would take me about 3 months to pay it out of layaway by making monthly payments of approximately $100 per month! I also live about 50+ miles to the nearest store, and I don't want to waste the time/money/gas to drive all that way IF you don't allow layaway. PLEASE let me know ASAP, as IF you allow layaway...I would like to plan a trip for March 3rd...when I get my check! Thanks!
This is the reply I got back from Big Lots...in a timely manner, I must admit! "Good afternoon and thank you for contacting Big Lots! Big Lots stores do not offer layaway for any of our products. We do offer a Price Hold policy for our furniture products. Price Hold is not a layaway, only the price is guaranteed for later merchandise pickup. We do not store your items. Big Lots holds customer payments until items are paid for. Feel free to contact your local Big Lots store for further information."
OK...Am I missing something here? Does anyone make any sense out of this 'Price Hold'? Sounds like a wild goose chase to me... and I think the GOOSE gets away with the money, and I end up empty handed all the way around! At any rate... I've decided that as much as I would LIKE to HAVE those pieces of furniture, I'm NOT going to travel in excess of 50 miles (one way/per trip) to take the risk of being taken even MORE! SORRY Big Lots! But, you USE to be a decent place to shop for furniture... but, I think you've gone downhill with the rest of them! I'll keep checking around... ONline if I have to! I'll find a better deal *somewhere*, I'm sure!
EL PASO, TEXAS -- There were several people at the store and only one register open. A man was standing at another register trying to figure out whether to open it or not. He could see that the line was very long and decide not to and walked away. There was a lady standing there too and also walked away. The employees at this store were doing absolutely nothing. I really, I'm standing there with 4 items on my hand and they didn't even consider opening the register. People behind me felt the same way. Unfortunately the lady that was at the register got an earful. How about making it easier for the customer to check out.
Perhaps, a self register might do the trick!! You think??? Very poor customer service, you just lost a customer. Oh! Well I guess we a dime a dozen.
BRADENTON, FLORIDA -- Yes just got fired from Big Lots for attendance issues after working there for two years. I had doctors notes every time I had to leave work early to take care of my sick child. Management even wanted to talk with the daycare when they called me to let me know my daughter was running a fever.
My daughter has been hospitalized three times since I got hired at Big Lots. I gave the manager the hospital paperwork each and every time not realizing that I was getting penalized for not being at work. It's kind of funny that when I called off the last time to the assistant manager and asked for the numbers of either the district manager or the human resource manager so I could make sure I don't lose my job that two days later my store manager decides to fire me even though I was one of her hardest workers.
GAITHERSBURG 1218, MARYLAND -- Today with checking out the line was a wait from 30 min! The cashier 1324866 was very friendly, she called 2 times for help. I had 2 planters from $6.50 and 1 metal flower from $12, she put in in 2 times 12 and 1 time 6.50. I go to my car and like most of the time check my ticket, go back in the store, the cashier is talking to the store manager, she see me and asked what is going on. I tell her and the store manager tells her to go back to her checkout and tells me to go back in line.
I asked her "are you the store manager?" She said yes, so asked her, "do I really have to go back for 30 min in line for a mistake from the cashier?" She tells me, "YES that is the return line and check out." I had no return or check out. I did not have 30 min to wait again, and told her that this was a bad customer service and that she could keep MY money. I worked the 40 years in retail, I don't think that this is the way you train your store managers.
MODESTO, CALIFORNIA -- After receiving an email on 6/22/2012 from the Consumer Product Safety Commission that this portable space heater that I purchased in Oct 2011 has been recalled due to overheating, melting & posing an electric shock hazard with the remedy to stop using it immediately & return it to a Big Lots store for a refund. What a hassle I endured for over an hour. I brought with me the email, my receipt & the heater still in the box only to be told the return cannot be accepted as that cutoff was dated Jan. 2012. Employee(s) did not seem to understand this was a Government Recall.
3 times the store manager was contacted by 2 separate employees from in the back of the store but never came to me to remedy the problem as I was not leaving without the refund. The defected heater cost me $20.00 + $1.48 tax. The store tried to refund me $16.11 until I questioned where is the $5.37 still due me. I ended up with a $16.11 in store credit card, a five dollar bill & .37 cent shortage. FYI 70,500 units were sold exclusively at Big Lots.
PASADENA, TEXAS -- On June 5, 2012. I selected a birthday card, went to the counter, no one in line, so I just expected to be checked out immediately. Two Big Lots' women employees were inspecting an item on the side counter (looks like it might have been a returned item). I stood there watching them and knew that they had to have seen me walk up. I waited for about 45 seconds and said "I am late for a birthday party, think I might get checked out?"
One of the women said "I've got to do this first". I said, "seems the customer would come first". She said "no, this is first. I don't want to get in trouble". She was extremely rude in her speaking voice. I shop at Big Lots from time to time and have always been treated in a profession, but friendly manner. Not this time.
FRANKLIN, MASSACHUSETTS -- We bought a bag of Pedigree dog food which made my two pets ill shortly after ingesting the food. This happened 3 consecutive times to both pets within 10 to 15 minutes. I thought that it was strange that both pets were affected. I did try a fourth time to feed just one of my pets the food and once again that pet vomited soon after ingestion. I brought the bag of dog food back to the store but did not have my receipt. Their barcode was on the bag of dog food so I didn't think I needed a receipt.
I shop at that store frequently. I did not ask for a cash refund or debit card credit, but did ask to have the food replaced. They denied the exchange because I didn't have my receipt. I stated their barcode should be sufficient. I am disappointed at Big Lots for not standing behind one of their products. The item price was $9.00.
GOLDSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA -- I had a shopping trip to this store and have never had such good service!! The sales associate who helped me went above and beyond to make me feel welcome and made sure I found what I need and made trips to check prices to see if there was a sale on some items. I purchased two lamps and a vase that I had looked at to match for my new bedroom makeover.
I have recently retired from retail management and rest assured she would have been a person I would try to recruit if still in retail. All of the associates in this store need a pat on the back for such good customer service. They are all so polite and helpful and knowable. I will shop here often and recommend this store to everyone!!!!!
HOT SPRINGS, ARKANSAS -- After looking at the blankets, bedding, etc. area, I was confused at some of the prices they were messed up and not in the proper place. I found a comforter that I saw was 19.99 so I brought it up to the cashier and the cashier just said "sorry but this has the wrong price on it and I can't give it to you for that price." I will never go back in that store again. Big Lots just lost me and I go in there just about every week too. Your mistake and your loss both ways Big Lots.