Monday, April 06, 2009

I Feel Like Lucy from Charle Brown...

I have been boycotting a certain hobby/crafts store for some time now, completely fed up with their inability to join with the rest of the world in this, the age of technology. It irks me that, while a convenience store or small business can use UPC codes for scanning prices, keeping track of inventory, tracking returns,etc., this national chain refuses to be similarly efficient. Each of my visits to the store in recent memory have resulted in huge lines, long waits, inefficiency, and just plain ridiculousness. So, I said, "No more!", although not really quite that dramatically.

Well, you can probably imagine where this post is headed--towards a rant. I broke my own rule and ventured into the store again today. A new store has opened up near my house, and I thought to myself, "Surely they're no longer afraid of the innocent little UPC..." I'm planning on trying my hand (and my friend's) at these on Wednesday and have been having a bit of trouble finding all the necessary supplies. So I took a chance--a calculated risk.

They didn't have what I'd gone specifically in search of, which was the edible ink pen (an odd name, I think, given the pen itself is not edible), but I picked up a couple of packages of candy melts--they were 30% off and I thought the colors were better than the ones I already had on hand. Bags in hand, I stepped up to the cashier. Here is what ensued:

1. The candy rang up wrong, but I didn't notice until the sale was already complete (my fault--I guess I should have been paying better attention, but I'm not sure whether it would have made a difference--the following steps still might have been necessary) and I'd paid cash for the melts.

2. I commented to the cashier that the candy melts had been marked with a sign, indicating that they were 30% off. She checked her paper copy of the store's weekly sales sheet, didn't see them, and called for 'backup in the candy aisle'.

3. The backup confirmed that there was indeed a sign, it had accidentally been left behind from last week's sale (imagine that!). The cashier agreed to give me the discounted rate anyway.

And so began the return process...

4. During which (keep in mind, I paid cash), I was asked for both my driver's licence and my phone number.

5. At that point, backup had arrived and had to okay my return by punching in her managerial keycode and printing out a return receipt form, on which my printed name and signature was required. *Usually they make a copy of the receipt--this new store had a copier sitting on the counter, I assume for just this purpose, but thankfully, we skipped that step.*

6. The cashier then returned my money, rang me up again, and I shuffled through my now broken ten dollar bill for the new total.

The entire process took about ten minutes. Why, you ask? No UPC's!!!! These people are still using price tags!! They expect their sales people to type in these prices, keep track of the week's sales items, and call for back-up should anything out of the ordinary arise.


It's possible I'm blowing this out of proportion, but I don't think so. This is a NATIONAL chain. Why are they balking? UPC's are our friends.

The boycott begins anew...


Eileen said...

I am pretty sure I know the chain of which you speak. They drive me apeshit. That's a technical term meaning wacky.

Stephanie J said...

Ahahahahahahaha I know exactly which chain you're referring to and I had a very similar experience last time I went in there! That little copier was used, the key code was used, and tack on an extra 10 minutes for the arguing between the cashier and the customer ("You didn't give me a receipt!" "Well I'm sure I did..." "No you didn't!"). When I finally got up there it turns out that the one dinky little pot I'd purchased didn't have a tag on it so they had to do a price check which took another 10 minutes. I love all the options in there but it really is enough to drive me batty at the checkout.

Oh, and that customer who was "never given a reciept?" Yah, it had been in the bag the whole time. Argh!!!!!

Keri Mikulski said...

Urgh.. Sounds familiar.. Except in my case there is a three year old who only runs around a story when my wallet is open.

Liza said...

I'm pretty sure I know the chain of which you speak too. I only go there if I have no other choice for all the reasons you listed and more.

Sarakastic said...

I didn't even know they made price tags anymore.

Caryn Caldwell said...

Oh, how frustrating! I know it can be expensive to put in a computer system, but it can save so much time in the long run - for both customers and employees!

The spring chickens are adorable, though!