What’s with Walmart?

It is a common joke in Indian Country that scone [native] couples have their first dates at Walmart. In all honesty, we do shop a lot at Walmart. Especially here in Ontario. Indigenous humour pages on social media are littered with pictures of girls racing to Walmart from the powwow during dinner break to pick up last minute safety pins or duct tape before contest.

But this weekend the love is growing cold friends. Across the province indigenous consumers have been turning to social media to express frustrations with the way Walmart is processing Indian Status Cards.

Several people from across Ontario have reported they were told upon check out that Walmart was unable to offer customers tax exemption due to an “update to the system”.

While some shoppers reported they were directed to customer service to have their RST reimbursed, others were told their Indian Status Card would not be accepted at all.

We contacted Walmart Canada’s corporate office and a representative informed us there was no current system update and that they have not received any complaints or questions today regarding this matter.

We also emailed Walmart Canada looking for a response to media questions and did not hear back by press time.

When we asked the situation to be escalated we were routed to another extension within Walmart’s corporate office which was an anonymous voicemail that was unable to take messages.

It seems the phantom system update got Indian Country in a tizzy with no explanations from our big box friend.

A customer service representative at Walmart Brantford did confirm that there was a system host issue over the weekend “coming from head office” that made cashiers unable to enter Indian Status card information.

However when we identified as media and pressed for more details we were quickly put on hold for ten minutes, directed to a store manager, and then told she could not answer any questions.

“I can’t talk to you because you’re media…” and we were directed to call 1-800-Walmart.

What’s the deal Walmart? Why u no like our questions?

A different representative at the Brantford store later did confirm to our journalists that “the system” is now up and running and that status cards should again be accepted without issue.

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