walmart-blackfriWhile Black Friday is not quite just around the corner at this point in time, it has arrived earlier than normal, so to speak, as computer glitches has resulted in a welfare benefits frenzy over at some Walmart stores. After all, this has led to customers emptying store shelves as though it was Black Friday, while at other stores, nobody were able to make a purchase at all, no thanks to glitches with the nation’s welfare system. I do wonder whether the government shutdown had something to do with this.

There were issues that involved Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards, as government payments to the poor which were administered by states using the assistance of private companies, affected 17 states at the minimum on Saturday and Sunday, resulting in retail riots. Louisiana stores in Springhill and Mansfield saw cards registered without any spending limits, which resulted in some recipients to go on a buying binge.

Employees who worked at such stores were obviously rattled, as they could not do much about the situation other than to honor those EBT cards. According to Walmart spokeswoman Kayla Whaling, “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.” However, as the computer glitch was fixed and the cards could be read properly again, it was clear that several customers took advantage of the taxpayer-funded program, as there was an instance of a lady who picked up $700 worth of merchandise in her cart using an EBT card that had a balance of just $0.49

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