Wal-Mart Food Stamps Error Causes Shopping SpreeBy: Allie Herald - October 15, 2013
If you picture the setting at Wal-Mart on any given Saturday, you probably think of an extremely large crowd overflowing the store, long lines and the store in disarray from all of the people trying to get in and out with the things they need before half of their day is over.
Imagine this hectic scene, but much more busier…
This past Saturday people rushed to two different Wal-Mart’s, one in Springhill, the other in Mansfield, Louisiana. No, it wasn’t Black Friday, but a glitch in the EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) System that caused people to get to the stores as soon as possible.
Certain people’s food stamp cards had their spending limit lifted, accidentally, due to the glitch. As people began to arrive to obtain as many groceries as possible with their cards, the police were called to the scene to make sure an out of control uproar did not occur.
The company that had the glitch provides Wal-Mart with food stamps, through the EBT cards. The glitch occurred because of a power outage during routine maintenance.
Wal-Mart workers were confused and didn’t know what to do, but ended up ringing out each and every customer.
“We did make the decision to continue to accept EBT cards during the outage so that they could get food for their families,” Walmart representative Kayla Whaling told KSLA. She added that Walmart was, “fully engaged and monitoring the situation and transactions during the outage,” according to CBS News.
Whille some shoppers were able to leave the store with 8 carts full of items, as soon as EBT cards seemed to be working properly again, tons of grocery carts were left deserted in the middle of stores because people realized they could no longer get large amounts of items for free.
Shoppers gave mixed reactions to the incident, with one man in the Springhill store told KSLA it was simply “human reaction” to stock-up when given the opportunity. Shopper Stan Garcia was more critical of the unscrupulous shoppers, however, saying that taking advantage of the brief glitch in the benefits system amounted to “plain theft. That’s stealing, that’s all I got to say about it,” reported CBS.