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Kootenay lake near Nakusp

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Why I hate Shopping

One of the things I least enjoy doing is shopping for groceries.
My wife and I usually go together and try to get enough fresh fruit and vegetables, canned goods etc. to last us at least two weeks. At least that's the plan and it never works.

This leads me to my rant of the day.

My wife had a short list of five or six things we needed and I needed a package of seeds feed my birds.

The closest store that had what we wanted was one of those Canadian box stores that attempts to sell not only groceries but health and beauty aids, outdoor furniture, plants and any other area they feel they can slide into for a quick profit.

I'm not a big fan of supporting such endeavors but on the way in the store they had assembled a screened off "clearance center" and I spotted a large pile of plastic lawn chairs. Ours had seen better days and they developed the traditional oxidative film of death on the surfaces. I looked at the huge stack of chairs and there was only one sign sitting on one of the center chairs which reads as follows:

I looked at the sign a couple of times and tried to discern what exactly the store meant but it was so ambiguous. There was no clerk to ask either.

I was not sure if the number in the sign meant you had to buy 2  to get the price and it was followed by the word "assort" which might have meant we had a choice between the high back or the medium backed chair at the same price. At any rate, I took it to mean that and picked up four chairs struggled them onto my buggy and proceeded to shop for groceries.

As is their custom in the store we were rushed through the cash register and shoved down the moving rubber track to load our groceries and get out of the way of the next customer. Like the trusting fool I am I didn't look at the bill until we got home and I was putting things away. What I had assumed was a clearance price of $5.94 turned out to be $9.94 on my bill. (Incidently, that's the street price for this style of chair in our area.)

My mind began to scream "bait and switch" because I have endured dozens of instances in this store where the advertising is at the very least, incomplete or misleading. The extra four bucks a chair won't break me or even alter my lifestyle in any way but it began to stick under my saddle like a burr.

I piled the chairs back in the truck and the next day I dragged them back to the store along with my bill to complain about the advertising and or get a credit for the chairs.

As chance would have it while standing at the refund desk the manager stopped and asked me if he could help.
I explained the situation to him and I could immediately see that he was not going to be a goodwill ambassador for the chain and as a matter of fact he began to justify the signage etc. explaining to me that I should've read the fine print on the chair labels determine what was being sold. I asked them where the sign then would be for the chairs that were $9.94. He didn't answer. I asked him if he truly believed that the chairs on sale were regularly $12.00 each and now $5.94. He didn't answer. Next he tried to tell me that the word "assort" meant assorted colors.

Here's a picture of the pile of chairs they had for sale and I don't see any assorted colors.

I of course took that to mean assorted "styles" which was the only option given the presentation.
Long story short I have my money back, I'm out my time, my gas and a much more wary consumer than I had been.

From now on I'm putting my customer loyalty on the back burner and I'm going to shop these guys like a predator chasing down a rabbit.

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