Walmart has excellent prices on many items in their electronics department. Usually, I don't have any problems with their customer service in that department since I usually already know what I want. But since I don't live very close to Walmart (we have a few in the area), I'll often call one of them first to see if they have in stock what I want. But if you don't already know what you want or have to ask a question, it can be a rather bad experience.
Since I have dialup internet at home, I had to buy an Ethernet cable to take with me on a trip. When I called to see if Walmart had them in stock in the length I wanted, I had to describe to the lady what it looked like. How could someone working in electronics not know what an Ethernet cable is?
Another time I called to see if they had in stock the brand I wanted of dvd+r discs. The lady had no idea what I was talking about and she recommended that I call back during the day. I've had Walmart associates suggest this to me before and it makes me angry. It isn't only the day associates' job to help me. I finally got her to look and it turned out that they didn't have the brand I wanted.
A few months ago, I wanted to buy the cable that I needed to play my mp3 player on my stereo. My stereo has two jacks for it, but I didn't know the name of the necessary cable since the instructions for it didn't say. The guy in Walmart was convinced that he knew what was needed. But I didn't feel that he knew what he was talking about, so I called Best Buy. That guy agreed with him so I called my mom on her cell and had her buy it. Turned out, it was the wrong cable. So, it had to be returned and then I had to go buy the correct one at Radio Shack.
When I bought my all in one printer/copier/scanner at Walmart about two years ago, I was looking at two of them by the same brand. I couldn't figure out the difference since both said they printed pictures. I asked an associate for help, but of course, she had no idea. A man then tried to help me, but he didn't have any idea either. So, I bought the cheaper one. When I got home and opened it, I quickly realized the difference – the cheaper one didn't take photo ink. So, while it did print pictures, they obviously weren't good quality.
When stores try to sell you additional accessories it can be annoying. However, it's more annoying when a necessary component wasn't included in what you bought and the store didn't recommend it. When I bought that all in one printer at Walmart, it didn't come with the USB cable. And the associate didn't say a word. Luckily, I thought about it in the parking lot and went back into the store. Not that it mattered since in the end I had to exchange the printer anyway. When I returned to the electronics department and asked where the USB cables were, the sales associate looked confused. She had no idea what I was talking about.
I realize that Walmart doesn't pay much, making it hard to hire and keep employees that have any knowledge about electronics. But, I wonder if they even try to or if they simply hire people to run the registers in that department. And they don't even do that good. About every third time I pay for something in electronics, I set off the alarm as I leave the store because the security tag wasn't deactivated.