Sam’s Club has been a good value for many shoppers in years past. Unfortunately, it’s not what it used to be.
Sam’s Club employees are offering more services today while also charging for accessories and services that competitors provided free of charge.
For example if you started purchasing tires from Sam’s Club and have fewer than four tires from the members-only club, you have to pay $3 for each tire not purchased at the club when you go in for “free rotation.” We just paid $7.75 because two of our four tires were purchased at Discount Tire 18 months ago.
The club, which won over business shoppers with value on larger quantities, is now crowded with families just looking for a weekend excursion for the family or perhaps an upcoming trip. The service has never been outstanding, and now it is below average in many store departments.
Customer service is lacking in many stores although an exceptional man named Marvel in Katy, Texas, made a diference in our secret-shopper visits. But he is the exception to the below-average areas. Slow checkout lines, little assistance with electronics, pharmacy and grocery items — combined with less-favorable, bulk items — are frustrating formerly loyal customers.
And many of those have carried Sam’s Club cards for years. Now they shop online and have items delivered to their office and/or home.
Face it. Sam’s Club works off of an aging business model and is losing its primary demographic despite efforts to offer more computers, TVs and grocery items. There are still bargains to be found, but the belt is tightening on Sam’s Club. It’s a shame to see the better chains begin operating without planning for the customer’s needs and keeping customers satisfied.