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  • Geebo 8:00 am on October 28, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , fund raising, , , , , walmart   

    Scammers took advantage of late teen’s fundraiser 

    Scammers took advantage of late teen's fundraiser

    Here are some more scams happening to various communities from around the country. Always keep in mind that if they’re happening in one place, they could be happening somewhere near you.

    In Arkansas, a 15-year-old boy passed away after a freak accident that happened at his home. His grandparents took to social media in order to raise funds for the boy’s funeral expenses. While the family was able to raise the money needed, scammers set up fake social media accounts also posing as the boy’s family. The scam targeted people who already donated asking for phony donations in Amazon gift cards. Thankfully, many of the victims were able to get their money back. However, it shows what depths scammers will stoop to just to make a few hundred bucks.

    In Central Texas, a local police department is warning residents about a phone scam that has been worrying local residents. In it, the scammers pose as agents from the Social Security Administration claiming that there have been bank accounts opened using your Social Security number and that they’re tied to criminal activity. They threaten to freeze all of your bank accounts unless a payment is made over the phone. These calls are reportedly coming from overseas while appearing to be from local phone numbers.

    The last scam may seem like it’s an urban legend passed around on Facebook but according to police in Indiana, it has happened to a number of victims. Police there say a man has been going to WalMart and using the self-checkout to scam victims. The scammer has been allegedly using the self-checkout to scan gift cards but not paying for them. Then, the next person who uses the self-checkout inadvertently ends up paying for the gift card that the scammer scanned. While this sounds like a simple scam to foil, anyone could fall for this if they’re not paying attention. Always make sure that there are no already scanned items on the self-checkout screen. If there are, go to another scanner or contact a store employee.

     
    • Nk 9:36 pm on November 5, 2019 Permalink

      I spoke yesterday to a young man who was in India who originally claimed to be from social security. I admonished him for lying and stealing from people. He was very serious and proud of himself and his team because they don’t wipe out anyone’s money. They only take half. He said that if they have $1000 in their account, they only take $500. He said that’s because they show compassion.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on June 10, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , walmart   

    Would you trust WalMart in your home? 

    Would you trust WalMart in your home?

    There used to be a time in our country where home grocery delivery was commonplace. However, that was before we started moving to the suburbs and usually at least one person was home most of the time. Now, with as busy as we all are we can’t afford to have someone home all the time to wait for a delivery person. That’s why a number of companies are trying out home delivery programs where you don’t have to be home to get your groceries. The nation’s leading retailer Walmart is now one of those companies testing this option.

    Recently. WalMart announced they’ll be testing a home delivery option where a delivery person will deliver groceries into your home if you’re not there. That would require a customer to have a smart lock that would allow a delivery person into your home to place the groceries directly into your fridge. The test program will be rolling out in Kansas City, Pittsburgh, and Vero Beach, Florida. Walmart says that delivery people will have worked with WalMart for at least a year and will be equipped with body cameras so you could watch the delivery remotely.

    If you’re uncomfortable with a stranger in your home, WalMart has said that this attitude among consumers will change. They cite rideshare services as an example as consumers used to be wary of getting into other people’s cars but that attitude has since relaxed. They believe home delivery like this will also have a similar attitude shift. However, with ridesharing, you’re getting into a driver’s car. Letting someone into your home, especially when no one is there, is a whole other level of trust that consumers may not be willing to give.

    Would you be comfortable allowing a delivery person into your home under WalMart’s proposed security measures? Please let us know in the comments below.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 12, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , walmart   

    Amazon fighting porch pirates, Amazon Go to accept cash, and Amazon taunting Walmart 

    Amazon fighting porch pirates, Amazon Go to accept cash, and Amazon taunting Walmart

    Previously, when we’ve discussed packages being stolen from your porch or property we’ve been told to notify the police but in the long run, there’s not much they can do about the thefts. That is unless Amazon themselves get involved. According to Motherboard, Amazon worked with a number of police departments during last years holiday season in order to combat those who have been dubbed ‘porch pirates’. While these Amazon assisted sting operations didn’t take place in major cities like New York or Los Angeles, they did take place in fairly prominent urban areas such as Albuquerque and Jersey City. However, Motherboard was unable to uncover how many arrests actually took place during these sting operations.

    ***

    If you’ll recall, Amazon Go was supposed to be a completely cashierless store. Customers were supposed to just walk into the store, grab what they needed and have their purchases billed to their Amazon accounts through their smartphones. No cash was ever supposed to change hands. But as the saying goes the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. Many state and local governments have come out in opposition to cashless stores as they feel it further disenfranchises low-income families who may not have access to a bank account. New Jersey and Philadelphia recently outlawed cashless stores and San Francisco may be doing the same. More recently, it’s been reported that Amazon Go stores in certain locations will, in fact, accept cash for transactions. In these markets will cash transactions reduce Amazon Go to just another convenience store or will they still mostly attract those who would prefer to pay without cash?

    ***

    Lastly today, it seems the country’s two largest retail giants, Amazon and Walmart, have engaged in an almost schoolyard-like exchange of dares. It started out with Jeff Bezos publicly challenging WalMart to give their workers a better starting salary.

    “Today I challenge our top retail competitors (you know who you are!) to match our employee benefits and our $15 minimum wage,” Bezos wrote in a letter to shareholders.

    “Do it! Better yet, go to $16 and throw the gauntlet back at us. It’s a kind of competition that will benefit everyone.”

    WalMart has long been criticized for underpaying their employees but they didn’t take this lying down.

    On Thursday, Walmart’s executive vice president of corporate affairs, Dan Bartlett, tagged Bezos in a tweet which said: “Hey retail competitors out there (you know who you are 😉) how about paying your taxes?”

    This was in reference to the fact that Amazon has been accused of structuring their company in such a way and getting significant tax breaks that they pay little to no federal corporate income tax.

    Meanwhile, both companies have been long criticized for allegedly treating their most hard-working employees down in the trenches unfairly. Both corporations have been accused in the past of abusing their low ranking employees by creating a climate of inadequate pay and benefits combined with a climate of fear where employees are afraid to make any concern known without losing their jobs.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on March 30, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Humana, walmart   

    Is retail’s venture into healthcare dangerous? 

    Is retail's venture into healthcare dangerous?

    The Wall Street Journal is reporting that retail giant Walmart may be in talks to acquire one of the nation’s leading health insurers in Humana. If the acquisition talks were to be true, this would just be the latest in a series of talks between retail outlets and healthcare providers, but is it a good trend?

    Currently, pharmacy chain CVS is in talks to purchase Aetna, and Amazon has been looking to get into the pharmacy management business. With these acquisitions are we headed to a future if a healthcare cabal where only a few corporations can control reimbursement rates? It does seem to appear that way.

    With retail heading towards a duopoly between Walmart and Amazon these two companies once again are showing signs of trying to be all things to all people by also trying to control healthcare. If this trend continues, we may be seeing a single payer healthcare system in our future, but not one administered by the government for all citizens but rather by the profit driven iron fist of a possible single corporate entity for only those who could possibly afford it.

     
  • Geebo 8:57 am on March 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , walmart   

    Walmart offering home grocery delivery in its war with Amazon 

    Walmart offering home grocery delivery in its war with Amazon

    Retail giant Walmart has fired the latest shot in their ongoing battle with Amazon. After Amazon purchased Whole Foods last year, a number of grocery chains started offering home delivery. Since Walmart is the nation’s leader in grocery sales, they’ve announced that they will be rapidly expanding home grocery delivery into at least 100 cities over the coming year. Currently, through Whole Foods, Amazon only offers that service in six markets.

    The main difference between the two services, besides availability, is cost. With Amazon, you need an Amazon Prime membership which can cost as much as $99 a year. Walmart’s new delivery service will be a $9.95 flat fee per delivery and deliveries have to include at least $30 worth of groceries. While that may seem a little exorbitant at first, at least it’s not Whole Food prices and no membership is required.

    On the one hand, Walmart’s new delivery service could be great for lower-income families who may not have the transportation to get to a local grocery store. When you factor in costs such as public transportation, taxis, or ride share programs like Uber, the $9.95 delivery fee doesn’t seem so bad. However, with Walmart and Amazon battling it out like this for retail dominance, the shadow of a duopoly continues to loom over consumers. While better access to affordable food is always a good thing, what happens if only two corporations control those avenues?

     
  • Geebo 10:00 am on January 26, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , e-books, Kindle, Rakuten, walmart   

    Walmart to take on Amazon’s core business 

    Walmart to take on Amazon's core business

    It’s been no secret that Amazon and Walmart have been at odds with each other recently with both retail giants trying to infringe on each other’s territory. Amazon has been expanding into the brick and mortar space while Walmart is trying to increase its online presence. Now, Walmart is trying to steal a part of Amazon’s customer base by launching their own line of what started Amazon’s success in the first place, books.

    Walmart has teamed with Japanese company Rakuten to start selling e-books and readers to compete with Amazon’s massive library of e-books available on their wildly successful Kindle e-reader. Does Walmart really expect to take a chunk out of Amazon’s book business? Barnes & Noble tried to take on Amazon with their Nook reader which was superior to the Kindle. While not exactly a failure it didn’t have nearly the success that the Kindle has. Also, with all due respect to Walmart, it’s never been seen as a book lover’s first destination to buy a new book.

    While on the surface it seems like a bold strategy from Walmart to try to further entrench themselves in the retail battle against Amazon, it seems more like an act of playground bravado with Walmart claiming ‘anything you can do I can do’. The problem is that books are Amazon’s bread and butter and are what basically turned the company into the success it is today. For Walmart to succeed in this space they would have to offer better deals for publishers and authors which may lead to higher prices of books and higher prices is just not Walmart’s way.

     
  • Geebo 9:07 am on November 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , walmart, walmart parties   

    There ain’t no party like a Walmart party 

    There ain't no party like a Walmart party

    If you’re the country’s largest retailer, but you’re losing ground to online competition, what do you do? You throw a party of course. Walmart has announced that in their run up to the holiday season will be holding ‘parties’ in their Supercenter stores in November and December. These parties, to be held on three separate weekends, will have increased stock at the stores with thousands of product demos.

    This is another attempt by Walmart to take advantage of what Amazon can’t do. One of the problems with Amazon is that you can’t have any hands on testing with the products before you buy them from the website. You have to rely on sometimes unreliable user reviews. Whereas with Walmart, you can actually go into a physical location during these parties and inspect the merchandise.

    The problem for Walmart is, that even with increased stock they won’t have the selection that Amazon wields. Walmart could very well find themselves in the same place that Best Buy found themselves in. Meaning that people will go to the stores to check out a certain piece of merchandise than order it from Amazon. Many consumers say that Best Buy is the best Amazon showroom there is and Walmart could find themselves in the same predicament this holiday season as more people continue to turn to online shopping in order to avoid the holiday crowds.

     
  • Geebo 9:34 am on October 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Lord & Taylor, walmart   

    Walmart said to be making move to create online mall 

    Walmart said to be making move to create online mall

    It seems that a week can’t go by without Amazon and Walmart taking steps to encroach on each other’s territory. Yesterday we posted about how Amazon was now partnering with Kohl’s to accept amazon returns. Now, it’s been reported by the Wall Street Journal that Walmart is in talks with high-end department store Lord & Taylor to sell their products on Walmart’s website.

    According to most reports, this partnership has the potential to be beneficial to all parties involved. While Lord & Taylor has seen a decline in foot traffic to their stores an online presence with America;s largest retailer could really help them out. Conversely, this adds some prestige to Walmart’s online offerings as it has somewhat of a stigma for being only for lower-income customers.

    This latest partnership is said to being contemplated by Walmart in order to develop an online mall where many different types of retailers are represented, much like Amazon.com. Yet while the two retail giants war, consumers are the victims left in its wake as we inch ever so closer to a retail duopoly in this country. Fewer choices are never a good thing.

     
  • Geebo 9:01 am on October 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , walmart   

    Is Amazon upping the last mile game? 

    Is Amazon upping the last mile game?

    Rumors have been circulating in the retail world that Amazon is taking two new steps in the battle for the last mile. Again, the last mile of delivery is considered the most expensive part of any home delivery by online retail giants like Amazon. According to some reports Amazon is not only supposedly developing a smart home device that would allow deliveries to be left in the home, but they’re also said to be teaming with a smart license plate manufacturer to allow deliveries to be left in the trunk of your car.

    The smart license plate works like a small safe that can be accessed using a smart phone app that would allow access to the safe where some keep their spare keys. Between the smart license plate and the smart home device, it’s rumored that Amazon is taking these steps to prevent thieves from stealing your packages off of your porch or front steps. These thieves are known as ‘porch pirates’. While it’s almost a certainty Amazon is doing this to prevent theft since it costs businesses and consumers a great deal of lost revenue, this is also a shot at WalMart.

    A couple of weeks ago, WalMart announced a similar initiative that would allow deliveries to be dropped off inside the home using a smart home device WalMart partnered with. With Amazon now posing to have deliveries left in the trunk of your car, Amazon has potentially one upped WalMart on the last mile game.

    Maybe it’s because I also write about scams that I wouldn’t trust either of these delivery options. Personally, I wouldn’t want anyone to either have temporarily access to my home or my car keys. While I’m sure most delivery people are on the up and up, there’s too great a chance the access could be abused, in my opinion. If you’re someone who receives a lot of online deliveries when you’re not at home, I would personally recommend using one of the mail supply stores that allows deliveries to be left there. It may be an inconvenience of your delivery not being dropped off at your doorstep, but not only will it protect you from porch pirates but you won’t have to allow anyone into your home or care either.

     
  • Geebo 9:02 am on October 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Parcel, , walmart   

    The latest salvos in the WalMart-Amazon war 

    The latest salvos in the WalMart-Amazon war

    The war between the internet giant and the brick and mortar goliath continue with each making gains in each others’ territory.

    WalMart is trying yet another solution to the last mile problem. Again, the ‘last mile’ of delivery is considered the most expensive part of the delivery and WalMart has been experimenting with different possible solutions. Recently, WalMart has bought a delivery startup called Parcel which touts itself as a last mile delivery service. Parcel also has other clients who they say will continue to provide service to, even after the WalMart purchase.

    Meanwhile, Bloomberg is reporting that Amazon has taken a sizeable chunk of customers from other retail chains with their purchase of Whole Foods. Hurt most by this influx of customers to Whole Foods is Trader Joe’s. Whole Foods are also said to have taken a number of customers from WalMart, however, those customers they took from WalMart could already afford Whole Food prices. Lower income customers are still sticking with WalMart as the best value for their dollar.

    Lastly, the Denver Post is reporting that Whole Foods’ prices that Amazon slashed in the first week after the purchase have crept back up to the ‘Whole Paycheck’ price levels.

    Usually competition like this opens up more choices and benefits for consumers, but since both WalMart and Amazon tend to gobble up or eliminate any real competition they have we could possibly end up with less choice where the retailers could set prices anywhere they want.

     
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