Walmart's "Receipt Comparison" tool: Inaccurate and misleading (Evening update: They changed my receipt!)

Walmart recently rolled out a Receipt Comparison tool in Chicago and a few other cities nationally. The challenge? Go shopping at your regular store, send in a photo of the receipt, and within 24-48 hours, Walmart will email you back how much you could have saved by buying ten of those same items at Walmart.

I heard a commercial for the new tool when I was driving home from Meijer on Monday. While my Meijer receipt had a bunch of clothing and other items on it too, I figured that it would be interesting to see what happened if I sent in the receipt. I knew I'd had a pretty good Meijer trip grocery-wise and wondered if Walmart would be honest enough to note when something was priced lower at Meijer.

Here's the photo of my receipt that I submitted to Walmart. Walmart's criteria was that the receipt needed to have at least ten, national-branded items on it for them to accurately do a comparison. I had done the Kraft cheese deal, of course. I also bought Old Orchard juice concentrates and Brown n' Serve sausages this week, both of which are on the "10 for $10, get the 11th FREE" sale at Meijer too.

Yesterday, Walmart sent a link to my receipt comparison back, announcing that I could have saved 65% more if I bought these items at Walmart. What's wrong with this picture?

Walmart has used the TOTAL dollar amount spent on like items versus the price of ONE item at Walmart. And, in cases where something was on sale "5 for $5" or "10 for $10" they've shown $5 or $10 as the price of ONE item. Get ready for the spin...


Walmart is comparing the $6 I spent on three packages of Kraft Singles to one package priced at $2.88 at their store. At $2 each, the Kraft Singles were .88 cheaper per package at Walmart.

Current running totals: Meijer = $6.00 | Walmart = $8.64

Walmart compared four of the bags of Kraft Shredded Cheese that I bought: $1.88 at Meijer, $2.58 at Walmart.

Current running totals: Meijer = $13.52 | Walmart = $18.96

Now, I'm pretty sure there's no store in town selling small boxes of Brown N' Serve sausages for a whopping $10 per box. But Walmart's tool is comparing all ten $1 boxes I bought to the $1.14 price of one box at Walmart.

Current running totals: Meijer = $23.52 | Walmart = $30.36

We're really having some fun now..! Walmart's comparing two $10 Old Orchard juice concentrates at Meijer to two $1.22 cans at Walmart. Trouble is, I only bought 10 cans for $1 each, not two cans for $10 each. (Again, is any store in town selling juice concentrate for $10 per can?!) Old Orchard is $1 per can at Meijer, and the 11th can is FREE with the current sale.

Current running totals: Meijer = $33.52 | Walmart = $42.56

And again, in the crazy-overcharging department, Walmart believes that my two $1 packs of Trident gum cost $5 each, versus the $1 and $1.28 they are at Walmart.

Current running totals: Meijer = $35.52 | Walmart = $44.84

What I paid at Meijer for these groceries was not "65% Less" at Walmart -- it was $9.32 MORE at Walmart! I would have paid about 20% MORE if I had bought these items at Walmart. What kind of math is Walmart using?

Apparently, the kind that ensures people should keep believing they're the least-expensive place to shop. But they're not - not by a long shot. Keep in mind that these totals do NOT include the coupons I used either -- these are pre-coupon totals at both stores.

The dollar amounts also don't take into account that I also got an extra juice concentrate on the "Buy 10, get 11th" free at Meijer, as well as a second $1 item free too for buying the sausages. And then, of course, there's this...

The "Buy 10, Get $10" Kraft Catalina is running nationally at nearly every major supermarket... except Walmart. I got an additional $10 back for buying Kraft at Meijer versus Walmart. Even if I had price-matched all of the Meijer prices at Walmart, I would have missed out on this $10 Catalina. Figuring that in, I'm at $25.52 for these items, versus Walmart's $44.84 for the identical items -- about 44% cheaper at Meijer, again, without coupons.

Walmart's Receipt Comparison tool is extremely misleading and dishonest. But if people use this tool and accept its results at face value without doing their own math, they may really believe they'll save 65% shopping at Walmart.

I emailed this to support@receiptcomparison.com, the site's support address, and I shared the link to Walmart's Facebook wall too. I'll let you know if I receive a response.

UPDATE: 6:55pm 8/29/12 - Walmart has updated the link to my receipt comparison, noting that Meijer's prices did beat theirs. They have not replied to me via email or Facebook, but the screenshot of my new list is here.



Now I just smile and shake my head...

at those commercials, knowing EXACTLY how they are coming up with the 'numbers'. I'm just glad that I know the REAL truth and the RIGHT way to get the best deals, thanks to Jill, of course!!!! :)

Did it update? When I click

Did it update? When I click on that walmart comparison link you provided at this time it says..

"It's hard to say, but we got beat. This time anyway.
Your receipt comparison is below."

Yes, it did!

It DID update! The new receipt comparison now notes this.

Here are screenshots of both versions:

Original Receipt Comparison:

6:55PM CST 8/29 Update:

WalMart

That is hilarious! Thank you for going the extra mile as usual. I know they have a lot of TV commericals running right now about comparisons but I always have mute on anyway. :-)

I'm wondering too if it's a glitch or something...

The fact that it takes 24-48 hours to send your results back would indicate there's some human element to this - it's not automated. Someone on their end must choose which 10 items they're going to compare on, look up those UPCs from your receipt photo, match them up, etc. A "10 for $10" sale should not be interpreted as "$10 for 1," nor should a single pack of gum priced at 5-for-$5 be priced AT $5.

As big as Walmart is, and as hard as they push the "we're cheaper" message, you would think they would have tested this tool out before launching it in major markets...

I wonder if...

the $5 off WYB 10 sales at Jewel will also cause a "glitch". I just submitted my receipt from my last trip to Jewel, so we shall see if they compare my Chef Boyardee at $1.25 or $0.75!

I'm curious too!

If you want to share your results link here, please do. :)

Got my results:

They DID use the wrong numbers ($1.25 on Chef Boyardee, instead of the $0.75 that I actually paid, etc), but Jewel still beat them on the higher prices. I hope this link works:

http://seeforyourself.walmart.com/receiptcomparison/results/?guid=7AA121...

My actual savings at Jewel over Walmart should have been $2.50 more than they show on those specific items. (Before manufacturers coupons, of course)

The link works...

... and that's kind of misleading too. Especially since the price you pay is what's printed the Jewel ad, but they're using the before-instant-savings price to figure their savings on.

And you still beat the Walmart price..! Like any good sale-shopper can. :) Thanks for posting.

yes

I sure will! I submitted it this evening (just under the wire on the "within 7 days!"), and with it being a long weekend, I don't expect a reply until Wednesday at the earliest.

Walmart's courage to admit defeat.

At least Walmart fixed the comparison and stated that they got beat. Most stores would not have fixed the problem and just moved on. (Sort of like Dominick's and Vons with the Just 4 U, store vs. manuf ecoupon debacle.) I give Walmart props for the courage to admit defeat.

Me too.

I was hoping to open a dialog with them, but I too am glad it is fixed, regardless.

If they

send out bad info at first and the customer doesn't really look at it, they'll believe it is true.
The costomer may never check it again as they have already "seen the proof", so a correction would be meaningless.

That's a good point too

Being that they never emailed to let me know the info on the link they sent me had changed, I probably wouldn't have looked at the original link again either. Saver21's post is what made me reload the link...