In what has to be one of the weirdest Walmart-related stories I’ve come across in a while (Well…since this one really and its equally bizarre followup) a Arizona man has been permanently banned from Walmart for Ad matching! At least that was the story we were told at first by Arizona’s ABC affiliate. Turns out once the other part of the story started coming out, the circumstances have changed a little.
The way it was first presented, Joe Cantrell tried to do some Ad Matching at Walmart and for some reason, he didn’t get what he wanted and complained to management. The next time he went in, there were Sheriff’s Deputies waiting on him to arrest him. He got a letter banning him from every Walmart in the country and the deputies decided to let him go and not take him in.
Wow! Walmart totally over-reacted, right? Maybe not. In Walmart’s response they allege he threatened an associate with bodily harm when they wouldn’t take his Ad Match and when that ABC affiliate interviewed ex-associates that worked at that store, they said they felt threatened by him. They also said he would frequently try to use expired ads and coupons and Walmart would usually allow it to keep the peace. It should also be said that Joe Cantrell is an ex-wrestler and HUGE. I could easily see teenage cashiers being intimidated by him.
Let me be clear, I have no idea what happened. Common sense tells me that Walmart’s story rings a little more true than Joe’s but I don’t know for sure. However, I do know that there is definitely a wrong way to ad match and while you probably won’t be arrested, it sure can be annoying to everyone involved so here’s a quick reminder of how not to Ad Match at Walmart.
Only Current Ads can by Matched
You would thing this would be obvious but you can’t bring in last week’s ads and expect Walmart to match it. Current ads only.
Only Match Like Items
One of the articles I read said that Joe was trying to match Christmas ornaments when he was detained. This would only work if what was in the ad was EXACTLY THE SAME as what Walmart had on their shelf. If I had to guess, I’d say he was trying to match store brand to store brand or something like that and that won’t work. There will be very few opportunities to ad match Christmas decorations because there are so many different brands out there.
Keep Your Cool
Sometimes things don’t go right. Stuff happens. Take a deep breathe and ask to speak to the manager. If that doesn’t work, call corporate. Make sure you have their policies handy and stand your ground but be nice about it. Certainly don’t try to bully or intimidate anyone. You might end up being banned from every Walmart for life!