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Wherein I go apeshit postal on some asshole clerk.

 
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Oz
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2007 12:43 pm    Post subject: Wherein I go apeshit postal on some asshole clerk. Reply with quote

So I'm walking by a Best Buy the other day, which is something I usually don't do without walking in. Not that I'm a big buyer of electronics, but I like to see what's out there, gauge prices, and strike when the time is right. That's how I got a $300 'floor model' DVD player for $45, for example, and a $90 cable modem for $20, etc etc.

So I'm in there and I'm looking over MP3 players. Not because I need one, as I know that just about everything electronic you buy will play MP3s these days, but I know the prices are dropping like flies, and so I looked them over.

Out of the corner of my eye, I spot a 1GB model, last on the rack, price cut from $79 to $39. SOLD!

And that is where the adventure begins.

The clerk takes the large plastic box that is clearly a security protector for the player and tries to scan it, but it won't scan. Because it's a giant cube of plastic designed to stop people from accessing what's inside.

Clerk: I'm sorry, this won't scan.
Me: Take it out of the box.
Clerk: No, it just won't scan.
Me: I know. Because it's in the security case. Open the security case and it'll scan.
Clerk (into intercom): I've got an MP3 player won't scan, can someone get me a PLU?
Me: For goodness sake, just open the damn plastic box and it'll scan.
Clerk: Don't tell me what to do, sir.

I then grab the box, open it, pull the box inside it out and run it under the scanner. It rings up.

Clerk: You can't do that. Only staff can do that.
Me: Clearly that's not the case, as you couldn't do dick.
Clerk: There's no need to curse, sir.
Me: No, there's a lot of need to curse because you won't freakin' listen.

The supervisor shows up with his PLU book...

Clerk: He just scanned it himself.
Supervisor: You're not allowed to do that, sir.
Me: Are you people retarded? She was trying to scan the security box. I opened the box and it scanned.
Supervisor: Don't do that again.
Me: Excuse me? Hey, how about you fuck off and quit telling me what to do, Jethro?
Supervisor: I'm going to ask you to leave.
Me: I'm going to ask you to remember your place, Minimum Wage. Ring up my credit card already.

The supervisor stares at me for a second, then tells the clerk to ring me up. She does so, barely disguising her 'how dare you question the machine' line of thought.

Clerk: Do you want...
Me (interrupting): No, I do not.
Clerk: You don't know what I was going to say.
Me: You were going to ask if I want the protection plan, and I don't.
Clerk: It's only ten dollars.
Me: It's a protection racket. Only about 5% of people ever bother using it, so it's basically money for nothing for you guys. So no, I won't be engaging in that.
Clerk: But if you do it, if the MP3 player breaks, we give you a new one.
Me: The MP3 player won't break.
Clerk: Sometimes they do.
Me: Wait, so you're telling me this high tech piece of equipment you're selling me will likely quit working soon?
Clerk: They break a lot, and they cost a lot to fix.
Me: Oh well, then you should keep it. Cancel the transaction.

Clerk looks at me, blinking.

Me: Cancel it. If what you're selling me is so likely to break that you want me to pay protection money, then I probably shouldn't bother with it.
Clerk: Look, it's just ten bucks.
Me: No, it's 25% of the purchase price, and not for nothing, but the way the prices are coming down on these things, if it breaks in a year I'll be able to buy a new one for $10.
Clerk: I don't think so.
Me: Well, if I wanted an informed opinion from you, I'd be discussing who's going to win American Idol, not the performance standards of advanced electronics. Answer me this - do they tell you to keep asking the same question until people get so pissed off they leave, or is that a personal choice designed to bitch me out until I give you ten bucks to shut the fuck up?
Clerk: There's the cursing again. Steve!

Supervisor comes back.

Clerk: He's swearing again.
Me: She's telling me what I'm about to buy is going to break in a few weeks unless I pay ten dollars.
Supervisor: That's our protection plan. You get a...
Me (interrupting): Yes, I know the pitch. I've told her four times I don't want it, and she's still insisting I take it.
Supervisor: But if the MP3 player breaks down...
Me: Oh, for god's sake! Are you people automatons, or what? Stand behind your god damned product already! If it breaks, it's a piece of shit - replace it for free! And if it's likely to break, why the fuck would you be selling it? And why would I buy it?
Supervisor: Cancel his transaction and get him out of here.

So while Telulah NoClue is trying to reverse a sale, I'm reading the brochure on their Protection Plan and I spot the bit where it says, "If the model you have isn't available anymore, we'll give you the next model up."

NFW!

Me: No, wait a second. Put it through. Put the sale through.
Supervisor: What?
Me: Put it through. And yeah, I'll take the Protection Plan.

Supervisor looks at me with suspicion, sale is rung up, I take MP3 player and wait for the 'have a nice day' to come, but she's not saying a word. I know she has to say it - it's like Best Buy law. So we stare at each other for a moment before she finally says, in hushed tones, "Have a nice day."

I leave a happy man, because I have a plan.

In the parking lot, I open the box (which isn't easy, those things are built like brick shithouses), take the MP3 player, wrap it in a couple of kleenex, and throw it to the ground a few times. It ceases to work pretty quickly, without any scuffs to give the game away.

I walk back inside and announce, "This MP3 player doesn't work. I'll take a replacement, please. Oh, that was the last one you guys have, wasn't it?"

Long story short, I made some asshole clerk's day hell, and I got a $120 2GB MP3 player for $49.

And I can never go back to Best buy again.

Three from three!
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Thumb the Toad
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2007 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laughing Laughing Laughing

Jesus, and I thought I was good at launching verbal rape on a daily basis.
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Jason Whyte
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2007 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What kind of player did you originally get, and what kind was the replacement?

I've never bought a thing from Best Buy, but Future Shop has tried to swindle me into the payment protection plan on headphones, MP3 players and even DVD-R blanks (???). Usually a swift "HELL NO!" does the trick. As you know, if anything is wrong with the player, it'll happen within the first few weeks and you can just take it back for exchange.

I have nothing else to say on this, because I know Oz and do not ever get in an argument with him. You will lose. Smile

But it is great that you're sticking it to the man. This along with a recent experience I had in an IMAX theatre just proves that more and more staff are treating their customer base like cattle.

Jason
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Oz
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2007 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My personal favorite, as they go to ring your purchase up, is, "Can I have your postcode?"

"No," is my standard reply, and it almost always sees the clerk do a double take, as if to say, "You value your personal information? How weird!"

And why the hell does Dominos Pizza need my phone number when I go into their store to order a pizza in person? Their clerks don't seem to know, and I sure as hell don't.

Oh, and don't get me started about supermarkets that want to charge me more for their goods if I won't sign up for their 'super savers club card'.
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CharlesTatum



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2007 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oz...I think I love you...

Embarassed
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MrTinkles
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2007 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oz wrote:
And why the hell does Dominos Pizza need my phone number when I go into their store to order a pizza in person? Their clerks don't seem to know, and I sure as hell don't.


I can answer that one, having worked at Dominos Pizza as a delivery whore. The computer keeps track of all of that store's customers, both carry-out and delivery, and your phone number is how it identifies you. Even though you've walked into the store and plan to walk out carrying your pizza -- with no delivery involved -- it's still useful (in theory) because it keeps track of everything you order. That way, theoretically, you could call in one day and say, "My phone number is blah blah blah, and I'd like to order my usual," and the clerk will look up your phone number and see that you always order a large pepperoni with an order of breadsticks -- including that time you walked in and carried out the order yourself -- and thus you are made to feel like a regular, frequent, valued customer, the sort who can call up and say, "It's me, Oz, and I'd like the usual!"

That's the theory, anyway. In practice, the reason the clerk asked for your phone number is that 1) he thought maybe you were going to place an order for delivery, and that your address might already be in the system, or 2) he's just in the habit of asking customers for their phone numbers right off the bat.
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Oz
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2007 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

2) seems to be more likely, as I'm in the store.

I know that 'it helps us serve you' is the nice 'for public consumption' reason, but I also know that all of these deals, like air miles for example, end up being sold data that helps flyers and junk mail end up at my door.

"Hmm, customer 8236782437326 seems to buy a lot of diapers... quick! Alert Nestle to start sending him free samples of baby formula, and get on the phone to Motherhood Magazine to start their complimentary 3-issue subscription!"
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Jason Whyte
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2007 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
My personal favorite, as they go to ring your purchase up, is, "Can I have your postcode?"

"No," is my standard reply, and it almost always sees the clerk do a double take, as if to say, "You value your personal information? How weird!"


Just give them an old postcode, as I do. Or go "My postal code is H0H 0HO", which a staffer put into their system once, believe it or not.

Jason
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Alex Paquin
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2007 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jason Whyte wrote:
Just give them an old postcode, as I do. Or go "My postal code is H0H 0HO", which a staffer put into their system once, believe it or not.


With a 555- phone number to accompany it, undoubtedly.
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Jason Whyte
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2007 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll save that for the next time someone asks for my phone number at a store in Hollywood.
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Oz
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 1:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't remember the company, but a corporation announced recently that some ridiculously large percentage of their customers lived in the Beverly Hills area.

Rationale: The excessive number of people who give 90210 as their postcode.
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Rob Gonsalves
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is why I only lasted three months at Blockbuster. Just couldn't deal with the corporate bullshit we were expected to swallow and dish out.

For the morbidly curious, I wrote about it here.

So I can kind of sympathize with both sides, but I've no idea how anyone puts up with it long enough to become a manager or supervisor.

Wearing my former-retail-slave hat, I'd say the clerk was just not very skilled at lateral thinking, or even common sense (duh, if it won't scan, open the box) and it just degenerated from there. To survive in workaday retail you can't just do what the corporate manual tells you. But to advance in retail you have to just do what the corporate manual tells you. It's a suck situation all around, and, as I point out in my Blockbuster piece, very little of it has to do with helping the customer.
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Dawn Taylor
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jason Whyte wrote:
I've never bought a thing from Best Buy, but Future Shop has tried to swindle me into the payment protection plan on headphones, MP3 players and even DVD-R blanks (???). Usually a swift "HELL NO!" does the trick.


When I bought my truck, the guy who finished up the paperwork (which seemed to be his entire job, to sit in a tiny, windowless office and shuffle the paperwork after the salesmen finished their gig) asked me, "Do you want the extended warranty?"

How much, I asked.

"$500."

I started laughing and snorted out, "Seriously???" The guy sighed resignedly and just said, "Yeah ... I know."

I've since found that laughing loudly whenever one of these clowns tries to get me to buy a "protection plan" gets them to shut up pretty quickly.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rob Gonsalves wrote:
To survive in workaday retail you can't just do what the corporate manual tells you. But to advance in retail you have to just do what the corporate manual tells you. It's a suck situation all around, and, as I point out in my Blockbuster piece, very little of it has to do with helping the customer.


My last non-writing job was at Starbucks, and I started losing it when upper management insisted we upsell every single customer. Including the ones who came in every single day and ordered the same thing. Even if you knew for a fact that Joe McYuppie wasn't going to want a scone or a muffin, you had to ask -- because a "secret shopper" might be lurking around any corner, and you'd get in trouble if you got caught not upselling. Not only wasn't it helpful to the customers, it actively annoyed them.

When they also started insisting we try harder to sell the peripheral stuff like stainless coffee mugs and such, I figured I'd combine the two. I'd ask, "And would you like a $300 espresso machine to go with that?" The customers, at least, found it amusing.

Some of us just aren't suited to retail.
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Oz
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 2:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll take an espresso machine!

<--- Easily swayed
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Lurk



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 1:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL. Laughing I haven't been around in such a long time and this was a great place to start.

Maybe the fumes from the Canada Line dig outside the Best Buy are getting to all the mensch clerks in the stores. There's gotta be asbestos down there somewhere. I keep waiting for them to dig up Jimmy Hoffa.

Damm I need a new TV too.
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laura
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 1:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Lurk!!!

Good to see you again. Smile
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