Friday, September 15, 2006

Just forget it!

Elderly people fascinate me. They will wait in line to get the price difference back on a can of beans. They won't leave the store until they've done a line-by-line on the entire receipt. And Buddha help you if the cashier forgets a coupon. That's a federal case!

Of course, I do understand that such parsimony stems from the Depression years. My own grandmother still saves the plastic sacks that loaves of bread comes in. She and my grandfather have never paid for a new vehicle in anything but cash - ever - but she saves those plastic sacks to weave rugs for the porch and still cans her own tomatoes and peas and uses a Kodak camera so old I had to go on eBay to find a flash for it. I love my grandparents -- and I know that unless they were actually treated rudely, they would never act the way most of the people I deal with act!

The old, old man storms in Saturday. He was actually bent over from scoliosis or whatever it is that old people get (and I know, my irreverant self will get it now). He starts waving a receipt in front of my face and going on about "CAT FOOD'S WRONG!"

He is so mad that he is incoherent. I'm like, "Sir, can I see your receipt? Then you can tell me what the problem is." This is how that conversation went.

HIM: "That cat food."
ME: "Which cat food sir?"
HIM: "All of it."
ME: "What about it sir?"
HIM: "Wrong price."
ME: "It was a different price on the shelf?"
HIM: "That's what I'm trying to tell you!!!" Really? I was enjoying this game of "20 Questions!" Want to play "Charades" next?
ME: "Okay. What price was it on the shelf?"
HIM: "Thirty-one cents."
ME: "What price did they ring up for?"
HIM: "Thirty-three cents." (Another one of those "two cents" folks!)
ME: "How many rang up wrong?"
HIM: "All of them."
ME: "All of them at $0.33 cents?"
HIM: Yes. That's what I'm trying to tell you." He's screaming again at this point. Because you know, trying to figure out why you're upset is so NOT a part of my job! And he's got like 25 different cans of cat food. I'm going to have to type all of them in by the 10-digit UPC number to refund it, then type it in AGAIN to sell it to him at the correct price. Because you know, he left, sat in the car, looked at the receipt and THEN got hacked off. But that's my job.
ME: "All right sir. I can fix the price for you. It might take me a minute, because you bought so much cat food."
HIM: "Just forget it. I don't want to waste any more of my time!"

OH MY GOD! YOU DON'T WANT TO WASTE ANY MORE OF YOUR TIME? You are incapable of explaining that the item was one price on the shelf and that it rang up incorrectly. You got so angry over probably a TOTAL OF FIFTY CENTS (25 cans of cat food x 2 cents error on each one) that you yelled at me, then worked your blood pressure up. Then you're going to lecture me on wasting your time? HA! I hope his cat coughs up hairballs in his slippers! Every day. For the next year. And pees under the bed.


Anonymous said...

And either they have plenty of money to pay for it (bet he drove a LIncoln) and he doesn't get to talk to anyone else so he yells at the service people. Pity any wife in his life. A

Lindsay said...

grumpy old fart!

Wayne Murphy said...

I'm usually "with you" and your observations, however, I must disagree with one thing.

Consider that an item "rings up" at 2 cents more than the posted price. Is that two cents per item going to bankrupt a customer? Of course not. That is NOT the point.

The point is that WalMart is a retail giant. Can you imagine how many MILLIONS of dollars per year WalMart adds to their bottom line by over charging a few cents here and a few cents there?

It's more than you or I are going to make in a lifetime.

I have no sympathy and in fact I believe that every state should mandate that if you are overcharged for an item you get it free.

If I shop in your store and I get overcharged, I'm going to be standing in your line. I won't be ranting and raving, but I'll "waste" valuable time to right that particular wrong.

In this case, it's the principal.
(because I believe that in many cases it's done intentionally....remember those millions of dollars annually????

Best Regards,

Drew said...

@Wayne's comment:

Yeah just what we need, more state mandates. Before you start crying conspiracy, keep in mind the enourmous number of items in a store's database and the typical level of motivation a given Wal-Mart employee will have to just jump up and change the price on the floor when a price change happens. Sometimes things just get overlooked.

Carmen said...

It's probably a human error, more often than a computer error. I think getting it for free would cause even more problems, because then your price switchers will have a field day!! "Hey! This $650 tv was marked at $500! I get it for free!" Meanwhile they just moved the tags around themselves. Large reputable retail chains do not do this on purpose. It would get them in big trouble & land them on Dateline! Who wants Jane Pauley all over your ass?!?!

Having worked in retail, I have had my fair share of the people wanting their 2 pennies back on principle, but seriously, what kind of tight ass really wastes their time doing it? I would feel like the biggest jerk ever. And if it really is just on principle, then pick up the phone. "Just to let you know, your cat food is ringing up wrong..." Don't they have better things to do with their day? Like hunt for Beanie Babies?

marcey said...

I think it might just be as bad in a bank with old grumpy people!

mrbenning said...

I don't think there's a conspiracy involved. I think it's an understaffed store that doesn't properly compensate the employees or give them the resources to properly do their job. The old guy, well, he's just an old guy that wanted to complain to someone. Right after that he probably went to McDonald's and complained that his burger was too cold, or hot.

Anonymous said...

In your next post you say the customer gets the item for free if under $3. Why didnt the gentleman get 25 cans for FREE.

Anonymous said...

My grandmother does that.

31 cents was the smallest amount of money she has stood in line for.

it happens almost every time she buys something at walmart.

And she expects them to fix it before the next time she goes, but it's never the same person who rings her up.

keep blogging about the evils of the Mart!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.