Thursday, September 28, 2006

Would I lie to you baby?

What song was that line from?

Anyway. This man comes in Sunday. He tells us that he saw these cordless phones at the Wal-Mart across town for $30.00. The ones we have are $49.99. Will we let him have the ones we have for $30?

Well, the answer is unfortunately no.

The girl at the Service Desk who took the question first tells him no and explains why. I'm coming back from getting change and he asks me - because he doesn't believe that the African-American girl is going to tell him the truth. I tell him no, and patiently explain why.

Wal-Marts do not price-match in response to other Wal-Marts. As I explained (in detail) in another post, price changes from the home office in response to economic stimuli within a certain preset area of a store. If a Target within two miles of a store markes down cordless phones, the Wal-Mart close to the Target will mark down the phones. The Wal-Mart ten miles away doesn't need to. Our Wal-Mart is close to a Winn-Dixie & a Publix, so we usually mark down groceries, not merchandise. There is no other retailer nearby.

If you want those phones for $30, you're going to have to go to that Wal-Mart. If you bring a Target ad showing those exact phones for $30 into OUR store, then we'll give you the phones for $30. It's a stupid system - but one designed to maximize profits - and it is why price changes are directed from a national level.

Bentonville is where ALL the pricing decisions are made - because they know to the tenth of a mile how far away the nearest competitor is - and SuperCenters can be built as close as within five - yes FIVE - miles of each other.

But back to my guy and the cordless phones. After I tell him "Wal-Marts do not price-match other Wal-Marts," he gets this bug-eyed look on his face and starts sputtering.

Then he gets really nasty and I see his wife start pulling on his arm. "Do you mean to tell me that I'm in a Wal-Mart. But I can't the same merchandise at the same price here as at the store across town?"

"Sir, if you want those phones for $30, you're going to have to go to that store."

He's nearly insensate at this point and I'm sort of concerned that he's going to start screaming and hitting.

And then he goes "And a manager is going to tell me the same thing?" (accuse me of lying? ME?)

I look this man right in the eye and go "YES SIR. He's standing right over there."

He took that buggy and his wife and rolled right out the door.

I'll straight up admit that there are times when I bluff, especially when people are trying to pull some bunk returns, but I'm not going to just flat out LIE to you.


Mike said...

Well, I could understand him being in a bit of disbelief that you wouldn't match the price of another Wal-Mart. Obviously, that's no excuse to act like an ass, but I am a little surprised by the fact Wal-Mart doesn't. It makes sense profit-wise, just seems unusual.

Anonymous said...

You're probably thinking about the song by the "Eurythmics".....Would I lie to you.....????

Chimera said...

No cross-the-board price matching? How very interesting...

I assume the practise (or non-practise, as this seems to be) is the same in Canada? If so, I can see where this can be used to advantage by consumers who know how to shop.

Anonymous said...

Charles & Eddie: Would I Lie To you

Anonymous said...

Just because it drove me nuts until I found it... it's "Would I Lie To You Baby" by the Eurhytmics.

Anonymous said...

Even more proof that Wal-mart is the most evil retail chain. Love your blog. Its so addicting.

BTW - Its the Eurythmics or Annie Lennox who sings that song. Can't remember the name.

The Crutnacker said...

Sounds like the moment my head almost exploded when I was told they wouldn't price match without proof from the website. When I printed it out and brought it in, they told me "we don't price match" Then the tune changed to "okay, we'll match, but we'll have to add in the shipping cost." Finally I said, "scan the darned thing and see what the price is". It rang up 15.00 less than what the tag said.