Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

WalMart shelves cleared after EBT glitch

Posted by on Oct. 14, 2013 at 12:56 PM
  • 234 Replies

The shelves of the WalMart stores in Springhill & Mansfield, LA, were cleared when the store allowed purchases on EBT cards even though they weren't showing any limits.

MANSFIELD, LA (KSLA) -

Shelves in Walmart stores in Springhill and Mansfield, LA were reportedly cleared Saturday night, when the stores allowed purchases on EBT cards even though they were not showing limits. 

The chaos that followed ultimately required intervention from local police, and left behind numerous carts filled to overflowing, apparently abandoned when the glitch-spurred shopping frenzy ended. 

Springhill Police Chief Will Lynd confirms they were called in to help the employees at Walmart because there were so many people clearing off the shelves. He says Walmart was so packed, "It was worse than any black Friday" that he's ever seen.

Lynd explained the cards weren't showing limits and they called corporate Walmart, whose spokesman  said to let the people use the cards anyway. From 7 to 9 p.m., people were loading up their carts, but when the cards began showing limits again around 9, one woman was detained because she rang up a bill of $700.00 and only had .49 on her card. She was held by police until corporate Walmart said they wouldn't press charges if she left the food. 

Lynd says at 9 p.m., when the cards came back online and it was announced over the loud speaker, people just left their carts full of food in the aisles and left.

"Just about everything is gone, I've never seen it in that condition," said Mansfield Walmart customer Anthony Fuller.

Walmart employees could still be seen putting food from the carts away as late as Sunday afternoon. "I was just thinking, I'm so glad my mom doesn't work here [Walmart] anymore, that's the only thing I could think about, those employees working, that would have to restock all that stuff," said O.J Evans who took cell phone video of the overflowing shopping carts at the Mansfield Walmart.

Evans believes it was natural human reaction that led people to fill up their carts during the glitch, but Walmart shoppers Stan and Judy Garcia feel very differently. "That's plain theft, that's stealing that's all I got to say about it," said Garcia.

Lynd says contrary to rumors, nobody was unruly or arrested and they were mainly there to help prevent shoplifting and theft. 

 A dispatcher for Mansfield police also confirms officers were called in for crowd control at the Mansfield Walmart. She said the shelves were cleared out, forcing Walmart to stop selling food at 9 p.m. There were no arrests. 

There was, however, a huge mess left behind. Pictures and videos obtained by KSLA News 12 show aisles packed with shoppers emptying the shelves in Springhill. Another video shows what appear to be at least dozens of overflowing carts left abandoned in the aisles at the Mansfield store, against the backdrop of emptied shelves in the meat department.   

It all happened at the end of a day in which the EBT system went down in several states, including Louisiana. Xerox, a vendor for the EBT system, experienced a power outage while conducting a routine backup test in one of the company's locations. While the system was back up Saturday night, it appears that it was not functioning entirely properly in some areas. 

Kayla Whaling, a spokesperson for Walmart, tells KSLA News 12 that the company was "fully engaged and monitoring the situation and transactions during the outage."

"We did make the decision to continue to accept EBT cards (and purchases on WIC and SNAP) during the outage so that they could get food for their families."

Asked whether Walmart would be taking the loss on any food purchased on the cards that did not show limits, or on the perishable food left behind in carts, Whaling would only say that "we monitored transactions during the outage."

A spokesperson for the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services says they take all allegations of potential fraud seriously, they are aware of the reports and they will be investigating.

This pisses me off.  EBT cards are not supposed to be free money, but help from others to people in their time of need.  Far from being grateful, some substantial number of people obviously view them as first a license to mooch, and when the opportunity arose, a license to loot. Being poor is supposed to be a remediable economic condition, not a state of mind that excuses opting out of the rules of civilized society.

by on Oct. 14, 2013 at 12:56 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
GwenMB
by Member on Oct. 14, 2013 at 3:46 PM

bump

Debmomto2girls
by Platinum Member on Oct. 14, 2013 at 3:49 PM
1 mom liked this

That is just wrong.

muslimah
by on Oct. 14, 2013 at 3:59 PM
8 moms liked this

 I was just listening to this on the news. People can be real animals sometimes. Why someone would do such a thing is beyond me. It's steeling and it's dishonest. If you ask me all those who are guilty should be stripped of their food stamps and never in their life qualify for more.

It was not just at this one Walmart. this happened at several markets in several states. Many animals are guilty.

 Subhan Allah ( سبحان الله )"Glory be to Allah"
 Alhamdulillah ( الحمدللہ )"All Praise to Allah"
 Allahu Akbar ( الله اكبر )"Allah is the Greatest"

survivorinohio
by René on Oct. 14, 2013 at 4:10 PM
3 moms liked this

The guilty should be prosecuted t the fullest extent of the law.

mehamil1
by Platinum Member on Oct. 14, 2013 at 4:15 PM

Desperate people do desperate things. Human behavior can be quite chaotic when resources that were not available suddenly become available. 

Liastele
by Member on Oct. 14, 2013 at 4:16 PM
7 moms liked this

Hopefully those people have their benefits cut off until their normal monthly amounts replenish all that they stole. Shame on all of them. Sick.

smartin27284
by Member on Oct. 14, 2013 at 4:17 PM
1 mom liked this

The people who took advantage of this are idiots. These cards are tied to their names. The government knows who was honest and who wasn't and I am sure quite a few will find themselves in a world of hurt. I hope the buggies full of food was worth it for them. SMH

tanyainmizzou
by on Oct. 14, 2013 at 4:18 PM
6 moms liked this

How is trying to take 700 dollars of food when you know your card has 49 cents justified?

This wasn't someone trying to feed her kids for a night or two.

Quoting mehamil1:

Desperate people do desperate things. Human behavior can be quite chaotic when resources that were not available suddenly become available. 


rfurlongg
by on Oct. 14, 2013 at 4:18 PM
2 moms liked this


Quoting mehamil1:

Desperate people do desperate things. Human behavior can be quite chaotic when resources that were not available suddenly become available. 

I agree.

smalltowngal
by Platinum Member on Oct. 14, 2013 at 4:19 PM

You combine this post with some of the answers on how long people could go with out going to a grocery store and that is a bit of a scary thought. 

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)