Walmart is well known for its price-matching policy and often boasts about it in advertisements. According to the company website, they are committed to providing low prices every day, on everything. They say to tell them if you find a lower price from an online retailer on an identical, in-stock product, or if the item purchased from Walmart.com is now listed at a lower price, they will happily match it.
So, when longtime Walmart cashier, Frank Swanson honored one customer’s price-match on a beverage, he didn’t think much of it. While the customer didn’t have the advertisement with her, Swanson had previously seen the offer in a newspaper in the break room. Having been dedicated to his job, Swanson often made it a point to memorize the competitors’ offers. Immediately following the incident, Swanson was fired from the company, just 20 days short of reaching 20 years of service at the West Plains, Missouri store.
Swanson is described as not having a mean bone in his body and he was well-known in the store for giving hugs to customers. Having been in a tragic childhood accident that left him in a coma for six weeks, Swanson didn’t let his disability stop him from bringing joy to others.
“His purpose in life since his accident has always been to make other people feel good about themselves and to bring a smile to their face,” said Frank’s brother, Drexel Swanson.
Frank was so dedicated to defending himself and saving his job that he drove to the competitor in question in order to obtain the newspaper with the iced tea ad. “I can’t believe they were firing me because I was doing what Walmart said it does, beat competitors’ ads or match them,” Frank said. “And then the boss said they couldn’t find that price in sale bills around West Plains. Gosh, I can’t believe they would fire me for this. Thinking I was stealing something.”
“He has taken money out of his own wallet to help someone covering their bill at Walmart,” said Babbette Swanson Marsh. “I just wish they would have found a different way to handle this.”
As to be expected, commenters are outraged by how the company is handling the situation and several commenters have come forward and offered their support. They have even started a Facebook page, titled “Hugs For Frank,” that protests the company’s decision…
“Kind of feel like one of our own has been hurt. He’s a sign of hope, he made your day better. If you were having a bad day at Wal-Mart, he would light up your whole trip.”
The West Plains Walmart has certainly lost a lot of customers…
“The last time I was in that hole, Frank was still working there. Fortunately, I have hundreds of Wal-Mart’s to choose from. I understand that people who rarely leave WP must use it for some items. But when I need something from WM, I always buy it before coming back to WP. I will never set foot inside that store again to shop.”
Evidently, Frank will have a list of jobs to choose from, as he’s already had two interviews and several local companies have contacted him and offered him employment.
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