Sorry, I won't be back

Posted 05.07.07

Competition to persuade the public to buy is fierce, so I thought I might explain to a few local stores why I won't be shopping there any more.

1. Prompted by your ad promising $25 off sales of $100 or more, I found a number of things I liked, took them to the cash, and presented my coupon. The "sales associate" rang everything up, processed my credit card, and then told me I hadn't qualified for the discount because my total only came to $98. You saved $25 by not telling me I could have picked out another item, but you lost a customer. I won't be back.

2. Your store has lots of interesting merchandise at good prices, but you have no shopping carts. In the winter, burdened by a heavy coat, scarf and mitts, I can't shop for very long with my coat on, and can't hold my coat and a basket over my arm. I won't be back.

3. Too many items on your shelves lack prices. There are almost no employees on the floor, and I refuse to stand in line while the cashier phones for a "price check," so I won't be back.

4. The last time I attempted to buy something at your cosmetics counter, I waited several minutes for the girl at the cash to finish her personal phone conversation. I won't be back.

5. Your ads are tempting, but I can never seem to find the items you've advertised in the store. I won't be back.

6. You claim to be a pharmacy, and you have several pharmacists on duty, along with several aisles of over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and health products. But half of your store is devoted to cosmetics, and the salespeople at those counters appear to resent being asked about anything else in the store, even cosmetics from less-expensive lines. Sorry, I'm not in the market for a $40 lipstick or an $80 jar of eye cream. I won't be back.

7. You have a huge selection of hardware, plumbing, and electrical supplies, but if I can't find exactly what I'm looking for, such as a particular kind of globe for an existing light fixture or advice about which glue to buy for a specific project, there's no one to help me. I won't be back.

8. Your new store is lovely. But the computer screen at the cash is set up so that the customer can't watch what is being rung up. I guess I should trust your minimum-wage employees not to make mistakes, but I'm afraid I won't be back.

You're in the service business, folks. No service equals no customers. It's that's simple.

Barbara Floria Graham is the author of the 20th anniversary edition of Five Fast Steps to Better Writing and Mewsings/Musings. Her website: www.SimonTeakettle.com

Copyright © 2007 Barbara Floria Graham/Log Cabin Chronicles/5.07