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Thread: Food stamp glitch leads to Wal-Mart stampede[W:236]

  1. #411
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    Re: Food stamp glitch leads to Wal-Mart stampede

    Behold the Moocher Class. Too bad they couldn't have retained who wrongfully benefited from this glitch, and denied every...single...welfare entitlement to them.

    Damn cockroaches.
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    Re: Food stamp glitch leads to Wal-Mart stampede

    Quote Originally Posted by The Mark View Post
    But, as I understand the issue that occurred, it wasn't that the purchases were not authorized, but that for some reason no limits were shown, and these limitless purchases were authorized by the EBT system. Thus, the whole bit about no limit...

    What I'm thinking happened here is:\

    1. Xerox/ACS Inc (I think that last was the child company mentioned in an article) screwed something up.
    2. A couple Wal-Mart stores had no idea what to do (which indicates either poor training, or simply managers who took CYA a bit too far) with authorized purchases that seemed far outside normal limits, so they called corporate, and corporate told them to let the purchases go through.
    3. Some individuals realized that with no limit and wal-mart letting it slide, they could go nuts, so they did. OR perhaps not that much thought went into all the choices, but who knows.
    4. This led to the "cart train" issue, wherein massively loaded shopping carts of food were abandoned when the limits returned 2 hours later (I think it was 2 hours, according to one article?)


    It seems obvious to me that several failures on multiple levels contributed to this issue - Xerox failed to provide proper EBT service, a couple Wal-Marts were poorly managed, and Wal-Mart corporate was no help (in stopping the chain of events). Then the last straw was some persons deciding that if the system was ****ed up it meant they could go crazy.


    Which might indicate a somewhat frightening level of trust we have that an electronic system will be faultless - assuming they believed that for some reason they suddenly were allowed to go nuts....rather than that the system was ****ed up.
    I think the main issue here is that people don't understand the authorization process when it comes to EBT cards. When the store allows them to be used, they are "authorizing" a purchase because their system shows that there is sufficient funds available to "freeze" on that account and for the retailer to put in a legitimate claim to have paid back to them by the program that the EBT/SNAP card is associated with. During a system failure/problem, the system doesn't always show "no balance" on these cards, like what we saw this time, it can show unlimited funds available on the card, which is always a red flag to the retailer that the system is having issues and they should go to "emergency" plans already agreed to when such a thing occurs, authorizing only so much money in purchases per card user until the problem is fixed. These WalMarts knew that there was a problem with the cards, and instead of only "authorizing" $50 (which seems to be the common agreed upon amount), the store allowed purchases of unlimited amounts. They should have known that such things would not be authorized by the government program issuing these cards since they know that their arrangement is that in such cases, they are only going to be paid back up to a certain "emergency" amount for each use, not the whole amount as they usually would.
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    Re: Food stamp glitch leads to Wal-Mart stampede

    Quote Originally Posted by The Mark View Post
    They didn't get out of the store with the food though. Thus the cart trains, or whatever.
    This article mentions the issue, along with mentioning (halfway through the article) that stores other than wal-mart had the issue...

    Edit: A few relevant bits:
    The "issue" itself affected at least 17 states, including here in California. The retailers allowing unlimited purchases, instead of switching over to $50 or $100 "emergency" purchase limits, only happened at a couple of WalMarts in LA, from what is being reported.

    There were some people who were allowed to buy as much as they wanted and leave the store with what they bought, but it was only for about 2 hours that day. The carts were abandoned when people found out they wouldn't be allowed to buy as much as they wanted anymore.

    Now, the abandoned carts issue is just bull. That is just wrong.
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    Re: Food stamp glitch leads to Wal-Mart stampede

    Quote Originally Posted by The Mark View Post
    They didn't get out of the store with the food though. Thus the cart trains, or whatever.
    This article mentions the issue, along with mentioning (halfway through the article) that stores other than wal-mart had the issue...

    Edit: A few relevant bits:

    this is the first time I've seen it reported this way. All the other stories characterized it as if the purchases did go through and the individuals got to leave with their items. If that wasn't the case, then I don't even understand why this was in the news or even reported on

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    Re: Food stamp glitch leads to Wal-Mart stampede

    Quote Originally Posted by roguenuke View Post
    Now, the abandoned carts issue is just bull. That is just wrong.
    But hardly newsworthy.

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    Re: Food stamp glitch leads to Wal-Mart stampede

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Chuckles View Post
    But hardly newsworthy.
    True. It in fact has happened in other instances (although I remember this happening in the past, it is really hard to find with this single issue being so popular and the only other thing related popping up is internet site shopping carts being abandoned, I think it generally happens when the store is running specials or something, probably happens in a few places on Black Friday, also if the store faces any problems with their systems).
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    Re: Food stamp glitch leads to Wal-Mart stampede

    Quote Originally Posted by roguenuke View Post
    The "issue" itself affected at least 17 states, including here in California. The retailers allowing unlimited purchases, instead of switching over to $50 or $100 "emergency" purchase limits, only happened at a couple of WalMarts in LA, from what is being reported.

    There were some people who were allowed to buy as much as they wanted and leave the store with what they bought, but it was only for about 2 hours that day. The carts were abandoned when people found out they wouldn't be allowed to buy as much as they wanted anymore.

    Now, the abandoned carts issue is just bull. That is just wrong.
    Thing is, as I understand it, the 2 wal-marts in question didn't decide to do this directly...they called Wal-Mart corporate and THEY said to do this...which seems to indicate poor management on both ends of that conversation - the wal-mart store manager for not knowing about the standard practice, and the corporate level guys for ALSO not knowing...

    Also, the article I linked mentions carts abandoned in stores other than Wal-Mart.
    Shoppers left carts of groceries behind at a packed Market Basket grocery store in Biddeford, Maine, because they couldn't get their benefits, said fellow shopper Barbara Colman, of Saco, Maine.
    And shortly afterwards, a mention of another area, wherein the shoppers were much nicer...or somehow forced to put food back?
    In Clarksdale, Miss. - one of the poorest parts of one of the poorest states in the nation - cashier Eliza Shook said dozens of customers at Corner Grocery had to put back groceries when the cards failed Saturday because they couldn't afford to pay for the food. After several hours, she put a sign on the front door to tell people about the problem.
    Edit: This seems to indicated that either someone (probably Xerox or it's child company?) failed to inform everyone of the standard emergency procedures, or they did and the stores failed to inform all their employees properly...But it wasn't just Wal-Mart who had issues.
    Last edited by The Mark; 10-17-13 at 10:18 PM.
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    Re: Food stamp glitch leads to Wal-Mart stampede

    Quote Originally Posted by The Mark View Post
    Thing is, as I understand it, the 2 wal-marts in question didn't decide to do this directly...they called Wal-Mart corporate and THEY said to do this...which seems to indicated poor management on both ends of that conversation - the wal-mart store manager for not knowing about the standard practice, and the corporate level guys for ALSO not knowing...

    Also, the article I linked mentions carts abandoned in stores other than Wal-Mart.
    Oh, I agree this is something that WalMart as a company should take on and not place the blame on the management of those stores. They not only made the decision, but defended it. Personally, I do think this could be at least a net positive for WalMart PR, provided that they simply suck up those losses, and not try to make anyone else pay for them, especially not Xerox or the government.

    And yeah, the shopping cart thing in the other stores was basically where people were simply shopping with the belief that they would have access to their whole amount they should have and then found out while shopping or right before paying that they would be limited due to the outage. It stinks for them, but I still don't think it is right to abandon your cart like that. It isn't the store's fault there was an outage. I understand that it would suck to be in that situation, but I personally couldn't abandon a cart just because of it.
    "A woman is like a teabag, you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water." - Eleanor Roosevelt

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    Re: Food stamp glitch leads to Wal-Mart stampede

    Quote Originally Posted by roguenuke View Post
    Oh, I agree this is something that WalMart as a company should take on and not place the blame on the management of those stores. They not only made the decision, but defended it. Personally, I do think this could be at least a net positive for WalMart PR, provided that they simply suck up those losses, and not try to make anyone else pay for them, especially not Xerox or the government.

    And yeah, the shopping cart thing in the other stores was basically where people were simply shopping with the belief that they would have access to their whole amount they should have and then found out while shopping or right before paying that they would be limited due to the outage. It stinks for them, but I still don't think it is right to abandon your cart like that. It isn't the store's fault there was an outage. I understand that it would suck to be in that situation, but I personally couldn't abandon a cart just because of it.
    people treat retail workers like dicks, especially many welfare recipients with entitlement issues. Just one of those ironies of life

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    Re: Food stamp glitch leads to Wal-Mart stampede

    Quote Originally Posted by roguenuke View Post
    I think the main issue here is that people don't understand the authorization process when it comes to EBT cards. When the store allows them to be used, they are "authorizing" a purchase because their system shows that there is sufficient funds available to "freeze" on that account and for the retailer to put in a legitimate claim to have paid back to them by the program that the EBT/SNAP card is associated with. During a system failure/problem, the system doesn't always show "no balance" on these cards, like what we saw this time, it can show unlimited funds available on the card, which is always a red flag to the retailer that the system is having issues and they should go to "emergency" plans already agreed to when such a thing occurs, authorizing only so much money in purchases per card user until the problem is fixed. These WalMarts knew that there was a problem with the cards, and instead of only "authorizing" $50 (which seems to be the common agreed upon amount), the store allowed purchases of unlimited amounts. They should have known that such things would not be authorized by the government program issuing these cards since they know that their arrangement is that in such cases, they are only going to be paid back up to a certain "emergency" amount for each use, not the whole amount as they usually would.
    The "problem" with your explanation, from my perspective, is that most people who work for what they own know exactly what they have in the bank and what credit they have available on their credit cards or what's available for spending on their debit cards, etc. It is the people who are spending other people's money, people who are spending something given to them, who don't know how much they can spend and when they should stop, thus the need for the system to continuously remind them of their available balance.

    Now, before you start to scream about beating up the poor, I feel the same way about rich kids who have daddy's credit card and unlimited allowances and available cash. They practice the same undisciplined consumption that was witnessed at Walmart when the EBT system came up with unlimited available balances.

    While the "human nature" aspect of this is similar with the rich kid and the "welfare mom", the consequences and knowledge levels are different - the rich kid knows daddy is rich and until daddy cuts him/her off nobody is hurt except daddy - the "welfare mom" knows that she is either cheating the government or cheating Walmart or both. In one case, the funding source is okay with the abuse - in the other case, the funding source is not.
    "Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views." William F. Buckley Jr.

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