Shopping! Am I right? Between ethics and prices and convenience and everything else that goes into it, it’s a complicated experience. Remember when the Sears catalogue would arrive? You’d dog-ear the pages showing what you wanted and that was it. No comparison shopping. No worries about free shipping. Done and done. Santa, please bring me the inflatable Barbie chair.
Shopping fail #1: After an exhaustive search online for the best features and price, we zoned in on Lowe’s for a new dishwasher. When we got there, an in-store special meant we could get a top-rated Bosch for the price of the Samsung we thought we wanted. Sweet!
But getting out was not so sweet. The appliance was a special order that had to get rung up separately by a cashier. The store was busy. Three self-checkout terminals were open and one cashier.
Feeling like smarty pants, I wheeled us and our purchases over to customer service. “You can ring this through, right?” “I can,” she said, “but you have to do two transactions so you may as well just line up.”
That made no sense. She was right there in front of us. But before I could protest, She turned her back and started talking to someone else.
Up the road at Home Depot, there are at least 3 cashiers on duty at any time as well as a bunch of self-checkouts. I like the DIY checkout but even more, I like to have a choice.
I went online to tell Lowe’s manager that after spending lots of dough, I dreaded coming back because of the checkout experience. However, the site wouldn’t take my comment because I hadn’t checked the “I am not a robot” captcha box. That’s because it wasn’t on the page. I even refreshed and checked my wifi – all good – before having to abandon my efforts. I did have to return for something specific and spoke to the Assistant Manager who was very nice and respectful. Will anything change? Doubtful. Will we choose Lowe’s again? Not first, that’s for sure.
Shopping fail #2: While perusing the Facebook marketplace, a beautiful cabinet caught my eye. Robin’s egg blue, metal, in perfect condition. It was ideal for our upstairs bathroom. (This house, built in 1870, is unusual and requires unusually sized fittings.)
Seeing that it had just been posted, I immediately messaged the seller. No response ever came so I planned to stop into the Wortley Village shop the next day and planned my morning to end at 11 am when they opened.
Peeking through the store window, I spied the object of my affection. It looked even better in person. However, a hastily scribbled cardboard sign on the door said they’d be opening late that day. So I called the number on the door, asked them to please either call me back or respond to my message and confirm that the cabinet was still for sale.
Two days passed with no response. I had a meeting in town on Friday and, certain that acquiring the cabinet was now a moot point, I decided to stop in and get the lowdown. My heart sank when I noticed that the cabinet bore a hand-written sold sign. The shopkeepers emerged from the back and I asked, politely but unhappily, why they couldn’t manage to peck out the word “sold” and save me all of this trouble?
The woman mumbled something in a low voice. The man looked me in the eye with a haughty expression and shrugged cartoonishly. He shrugged!
I replied, “Really? Wow.” And I left.
Something is going on with these people. Either they have no idea what they’re doing or they are experiencing something they don’t wish to disclose. But to respond with anything other than an apology clearly shows they don’t care about me as a potential customer. However, I don’t feel the need to eviscerate them online. I’m disappointed but more so about losing the cabinet than the two proprietors and their collective dumb-fuckery.
My brother told me about a review of a pizza shop he recently read. The customer went into great detail about how one of the pizzas they ordered for a birthday party had the wrong ingredients. The store apologized and said they were simply slammed with orders and weren’t able to deliver another one. However, they’d make a new one if the people could pick it up. They did. Still, the reviewer blamed the shop for “ruining” the birthday party and left one star.
Unlike that reviewer, I don’t expect perfection. I think back to the times that I’ve accidentally given less than awesome responses, for whatever reason, and remember that we’re all just human. If someone replaces a pizza, that’s good enough, in my estimation. But if someone shrugs at me like I don’t matter, when all they needed to do was type the word “sold”, I will tell you that Perriwinkle Gift Studio on Wortley Road shouldn’t be your first stop when you’re browsing for local art.