Wal-Mart does something RIGHT!

I know, I know – it sounds just too crazy to believe, but as much as I despise the big, blue giant, I still have to give props where props are due…

In talking to my Mom last night, she mentioned that she wanted to get copies of some of the pictures from when we got engaged and swam with the dolphins a few weeks ago. Sure, I could’ve sent her high res versions of them all and she could then take them into the store or print them at home herself after burning them onto a CD after downloading them, but that’s a lot of work – especially for someone who isn’t super tech-savvy. Instead, I had already uploaded the pictures that she wanted to wal-mart.com a week or so ago so that we could get printed copies of our own for a photo book, so all I had to do was simply login, order another set, and change the printing location to the store that Mom works at up in Gaylord. It said that they’d be ready about an hour later, so I just left her a voicemail to pick them up before she left work that day, and they were already paid for and waiting when she had time to stop by to get them.

Maybe I’m just getting technologically soft, but it was kinda cool to be able to get a few dozen pictures of one of the happiest weekends in my life in her hands in a matter of hours, with little to no work required on her behalf other than walking over to the photo lab, all from some 1500 miles away down in Florida! She picked up a book to put them in while she was still there, so tonight she’s got her own photo album of me and Sara’s trip to Disney & Discovery Cove … and we only talked about getting her copies of the pictures yesterday. Typically it would take weeks for me to put something like that together – to pick out and upload the prints, go pick them up, find a photo book, put everything together and get it packaged for shipping, find time to drop it all off at the post office, and then wait three or four days for it to arrive up in Michigan. Of course, not much else works very well on that website of theirs, but you’ve kinda got to hand it to them for the Photo Lab’s portion of the site. Sure, there are a lot of other websites that can do similar services, but at the end of the day Wal-Mart’s still got more storefronts than anyone else and here they’re actually doing a decent job of taking advantage of that…

Somebody like Blockbuster Video could’ve stood to learn a thing or two from this. Oh yeah, that’s right – that would’ve taken them not completely pissing off all of their previous customers by not gouging us for movies like they were the only service in town! Viva NetFlix, and for this post, viva the Wal-Mart Online Photo Center!

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