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Old 10-19-2010, 05:04 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Stupid Wal-Mart Tricks (or why do retailers hate their customers?)

Full disclosure: I do not shop at Wal-Mart. I can count the number of times I have purchased things from there in the last 5 years on 1 hand, and those occassions are limited to times when I was out of town and had forgotten to pack something. I made that choice a long time ago, after living in a small town who had its small businesses killed by the corporate outsider and hearing some of their employment practices from a friend who worked there (I'll conceed that they changed those practices years ago, albeit by court order). So I'm not a Wal-Mart fan.

Wal-Mart, being the biggest retailer in the world, should know the ins and outs of creidt card transactions. If you ever read The Consumerist, you'll see that they've been violating their own contracts with the credit card companies. Case in point:

Walmart Said I Needed Wisconsin Driver's License To Buy With Credit Card


Quote:
Matthew says a Wisconsin Walmart demanded not only an ID with his MasterCard purchase, but a Wisconsin state driver's license. Because Matthew is from out of state, he was out of luck. Read on to see whether or not Matthew escaped the store with his munchies:


Quote:
“I was buying about $26 worth of merchandise, and everything rung up and then I used my Citi MasterCard to pay. I was told that I needed to show my card and ID. I gave the cashier my credit card, but not my ID, being aware that MasterCard rules state a signed card cannot have ID required. I told the cashier, the card was signed on the back, and got told I needed to show ID.
To make things worse, I was told that the ID needed to be a Wisconsin driver's license. Since I just moved to the state, I don't have one yet. Then she said she could "give me a break" but "bring a license next time."

Frustrated with this, I took the stuff I bought to the return counter and returned everything but the bottle of soda that I had already opened and drank from.”
He would have had to have returned that soda as "pop," as we're told the product is referred to in that region
Now Wal-Mart is certainly not the only company guilty of the next part, but they definitely practice "receipt checking". This is the one that, as a consumer, pisses me off. I don't mind it at all at Costco: I signed an agreement when I joined to allow them to check my receipt, they're a great company otherwise and my kids love the pictures the receipt checkers draw for them on the back of the receipt. However, anywhere that I'm shopping that I didn't join, I'm not showing you my receipt for my property.

Walmart Steals Your Cart Because You Won't Let Them Check Your Receipt


Quote:
Lisa says a Walmart greeter grabbed onto her cart and and wouldn't let her leave because she refused to let the greeter check her receipt. That, my friends, is not legal. Sure, it would make life a lot easier if people just acquiesced to the receipt-checking, but it's not the law. It is against the law, however, to unlawfully detain a customer. Here's Lisa's account:

Quote:
“Tonight (2/4/09) at Wal-Mart on Creighton road in Pensacola, FL the greeter asked to see my receipt. I refused and she got in front of my cart and was holding on to it so I could not leave! I asked for a manager, and she took my cart and went over to her stand thing. I said you can't take my stuff and she said you could leave with it!! I said you stole my food and I want to leave! She is across the entrance now with my car and says show me your receipt or you can't leave with it!

So I am standing there forever, and finally I walk to the CS desk, I see the CSM that (I have known for about 6 years since the store opened!) and ask for the manager. We walk over the her stand thing. We like wait forever and then her and I start to leave there is like no sign of him. Then we see him and she points him out to me. When he comes to talk to me I tell him the greeter took my cart and he asked me did I she ask for a receipt? I said yes he said you have to show it to her. I said well I don't want to and I want to leave. He said well then show her your receipt! I said the store should have a copy of the receipt if you need it right now I was at that cash register. He then rolls his eyes. He said you have to show your receipt. I said not showing it so you are saying I can't leave without showing it? He said yes that is our policy and he start to walk away.

(About 4 months ago, another greeter detained me, she stopped me from leaving for about 5 minutes when she walked away I left. I called the manager when I got home, he apologized and said she should not have kept me from leaving, and he would review the tape and talk to her. The difference was she didn't steal my food and when I talked to the manager he was very apologetic. It aggravated me but the manager did apologize so I just thought it was poor training or a greeter having an awful day! I actually do customer service escalation call center work, I know sometimes people are not trained and then escalations has to deal with it.) So I said another manager said I did not have to show it a few months ago. He said this is our policy you can't leave without showing your receipt! I said ok I will just return my things but I can't even get my cart to return them. So he tells the CSM to get my cart for me. So he leaves and I go with her.
Now I know her she is very nice!!!! So she gets my cart and I go with her and we go to the customer service desk and we are waiting she tells the lady I am going to return my things and I am in line and I said I paid for this with a gift card, can I get cash I am not shopping here again, what am I going to do with a gift card here. I said can I get the gift card and then get a refund for cash, I know I did that a few years ago with a gift card they cashed it out for me. She then asked for my receipt and I gave it to her and then she said do u want your stuff I will walk you out. I said yes but I want a different gallon of milk this has been out for too long. Then I get a different gallon of milk we walk out and we are just talking like people talk, being pleasant, she apologizes to me. Again she is very nice I have known her since 2002 when the store opened! I live very close by literally on the same block, we go there at least 1x per week!

I am a single mom and I work full time and hardly have time to shop this is so ridiculous I am detained with my 10 year old at walmart!! I couldn't beleive the greeter, her name was Sandra actually stole my cart of food! The managers name was Wayne that was said it was the policy that people can't leave without showing their receipt.
”(Photo: Brave New Films)

UPDATE: The first letter was written right after Lisa got back from the Walmart, dashed off with heat and haste. Now that she's had some time to cool down and edit her letter, here is her second pass at the story:


Quote:
“I was exiting Wal-Mart with my son. A greeter named Sandra asked to see my receipt. I smiled and politely refused. Then she stood in front of my cart and held on to it so we could not leave!
I asked for a manager. She took my cart and went over to her station thing.
I said You can't take my stuff. She said you could leave with it!
I said You stole my food and I want to leave.
She is across the entrance now with my cart and says If you want to leave show me your receipt.
So I am standing there forever, waiting for a manager. I finally walk to the customer service desk. I see a CSM and ask for the manager. We walk over the her station in the middle of the registers. He is in a meeting. We like wait for a long time. Then we started to leave. She sees him and points him out to me. His name is Wayne. I told him the greeter took my cart and would not let me leave. He said Did she ask for a receipt? I said yes.
He said You have to show it to her. I said I don't want to and I want to leave. He said Well show her your receipt. I said The store should have a copy of the receipt if you need it right now I was at that cash register and I point to it. He then rolls his eyes. He then said You have to show your receipt if you want to leave!
I said So you are saying I can't leave without showing it? He said Yes that is our policy and he started to walk away while speaking.
(About 4 months ago, another greeter detained me, she stopped me from leaving for about 5 minutes. She walked away. I left. I called the manager when I arrive home to complain. He apologized and said she should not have kept me from leaving, and he would review the tape and talk to her. The difference was she didn't steal my food and when I talked to the manager he was very apologetic. It aggravated me but the manager did apologize so I just thought it was poor training or a greeter having an awful day! I have not shopped there as much since then. That evening I picked up my mail and recieved a gift card to Wal-Mart.)

So I said to the manager that was walking away, a few months ago another manager said I did not have to show it. He said You can't leave without showing your receipt! I said Ok I will just return my things but I can't even get my cart to return them. He then adds that I still have to show my receipt. (Why can't people see the difference between meeting a requirement of store policy to show a receipt for a refund for a return vs being detained and stealing personal property?) So he tells the CSM to get my cart for me. So he leaves and I go with her.

So we go to get my cart and then proceed to the customer service desk. She tells the rep I am going to return my things. We are in line and I told her that I paid for this with a gift card, and asked her if I could get cash for the new gift card after the return since I am not shopping here again. (Several years ago I cashed out a gift card, I think in FL you can do that.) She then asked for my receipt and I gave it to her. Then she said Do you want your stuff I will walk you out. I said yes but I wanted to exchange the milk since it has been out for too long. I exchange the milk, we walk out and she apologized to me and instructs me to call the store manager but she was not sure if he would be there the next day since he was that earlier that day. She is very nice I have known her for several year since the store opened.

I spoke with Gary the general store manager the next day. He said they have every right to detain me for not showing my receipt when asked. He said if customers have nothing to hide they will show their receipt. I asked for clarification, he said they have every retain to detain customers if they do not show their receipt.”
When you complete your transaction, whether or not you're handed are receipt, the merchandise belongs to you. Not when you get out of the store. Not when you get it home. Right then. Back when Circuit City still existed, my wife got mad at me because I refused to show my receipt to a checker. She thought I was being rude. I told her that the company was being rude by assuming that I'd stolen something and treating me with that assumption in mind. She's on my bandwagon now.

So, what pissed you off about the companies you won't patronize any more? Any companies that you hold your nose and complete the transaction anyway?
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Old 10-19-2010, 05:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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i was at best buy a couple of christmas' ago, looking at flat-screen televisions. there were a LOT of blue-coated individuals running around doing nothing so i asked one if he could help me out with checking out televisions. he pointed me to the aisle, said "they're right there," and went to wait on another customer. i knew where they were; i wanted help figuring out which one was best for my needs.

needless to say, i haven't been to best buy since and will never go there again...
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Old 10-19-2010, 05:21 AM   #3 (permalink)
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That's interesting, Phil, because I've had very similar experiences with Best Buy (including asking to check my receipt, by the way). A few years ago, I didn't feel like driving all the way out to my favorite electronics store in the world (Chicagoans will immediately know who I mean without me even having to mention the name) and went to Best Buy to look at TV's, Blue Ray players and a new monitor for my computer. I was prepared to spend upwards of $5,000. I am usually a fairly informed consumer, but there were some models that I just didn't recognize and didn't see some specs listed that I felt were pretty important. When I asked one of the blue shirts, I got a blank look. When I asked another, same result. Needless to say, I kept my wallet in my pocket that day and made the drive to the suburbs the next weekend.
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Old 10-19-2010, 05:40 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Places like Best Buy and Walmart can't afford to hire and retain people who are both knowledgeable and service-oriented. They can't even afford to hire enough of what they do hire. When you pay somewhere between minimum wage and one or two dollars above that, what kind of "talent" do you hope to attract?

I've worked years in retail, and even held a higher-paying job ($10.50/hr OMG!). Most people I've worked with were either students or "between jobs" or disgruntled lifers who couldn't care less about anything. Many do try to do a good job, but they don't have enough training and experience. They don't have any real incentives other than a better chance at getting choice hours (many if not most retail employees are officially part-time).

That said, places like Best Buy have employees as a means to make transactions. They aren't "professional salespeople" or "client service specialists." They can't afford people like that. Retail margins are too thin.

My approach to retail as a customer for years has been as a DIY kind of guy. If I can't do it myself, I can't expect anyone else to do it for me. This includes product knowledge and finding things. I'm not surprised at the number of retail employees whose "product knowledge" includes reading spec cards that the customer could have just read themselves.

Also, as someone who's both trained in and jaded with professional selling, I find that most retail employees couldn't sell themselves out of a wet paper bag. But that's another story.

Retail employees best left for the sales transaction. Deal with it.
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Old 10-19-2010, 05:44 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Two instances
1) Capital One. I had a recurring problem with fraudulent credit card charges where I'd get fraudulent charges, call Capital One to cancel the card and get charges canceled, got a new card, repeat with fraudulent charges, cancel the card, etc without much hassle. Then about the fourth time around I got a rep that instead of canceling the charge (about $400.00), she canceled it and added it back. So now I had a fraudulent charge, cancellation of the charge and a new $400.00 charge. It took me about 8 hours of phone calls and several different reps to fix this. Needless to say, once I made sure I had gotten the cash-back money I was entitled to, I canceled the card and use another company. Coincidentally I haven't had any more fraudulent charge problems either.

2) Local, independent stereo dealer, runs a very small storefront but used to sell high end stereo gear. I bought a new car stereo for my car from Best Buy, since they had the best price and I just wanted a stereo, nothing fancy. I got a price from Best Buy for installation and a price from the local dealer. The local dealer had the better price.

I went to the dealer's shop and when I walk in he asks me if I'm from malaria. I'm thinking WTF?, no. Then he clarifies himself, malaria ... Mall Area ... get it? Yeah, I got it.

Then he proceeds to rant about why I bought the stereo from a mall dealer rather than him and how I should be supporting his local business. It didn't matter to him that I had an old car and I just wanted a stereo to last a few more years since the car probably won't last much longer. He supposedly had 'better' stereos to sell me. I ended up letting him install the stereo since he had the better price, but won't be doing further business with this guy.
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Old 10-19-2010, 05:53 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Today I generally ignore the douches they post to check receipts. They can "Sir! Sir!" me all they want but they must realize they have no pull on me once I swipe the credit card. I'm curious as to why they keep this charade up. Does it really fool anybody? Does it stop theft anymore than a decent security camera? If you want to look at expert loss prevention, look at Target stores. They have some of the best policies and equipment in the business.

What amazes me is that the guy that "looks" at your receipt to ensure whatever very rarely appears to be actually looking at the product descriptions. They just stare at the square of paper, hit it with a Hi-Liter, and give you an affirmative grunt. What a waste for everyone involved.
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Last edited by Plan9; 10-19-2010 at 05:56 AM..
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Old 10-19-2010, 06:00 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I don't give them a hassle, because it would seem more to punish the poor sod who has to enforce that "rule" than the company who instituted it.

Oh, and for your reading pleasure:
Best Buy Receipt Check
Checking receipts at the door Regarding receipt checking at the door
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Old 10-19-2010, 06:11 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Interesting links, Baraka. Puts some things in perspective. Helps morons realize they just paid $450 for a $225 item.

I especially like how the anon Best Buy guy suggests college students are somehow more intelligent than anybody else.
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Old 10-19-2010, 06:20 AM   #9 (permalink)
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The comments on the next page are the best part of that first article, Baraka. Thanks.
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Old 10-19-2010, 09:08 AM   #10 (permalink)
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iiiiiiiiiii

Last edited by settie; 03-25-2016 at 05:07 AM..
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Old 10-19-2010, 04:12 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Magpie recently applied for a position as a portrait photographer at a Walmart. This involved a lengthy wait at the customer service desk to speak to the appropriate individual and hand in a resume, and as I hung back waiting I found myself totally bemused by the Walmart greeter checking receipts. I had no idea that such a thing was common practice, let alone company policy -- which I guess tells you how often I shop at Walmart (or big box stores in general, for that matter).

I'm in full accord with The_Jazz on this. If I signed a contract with your organization and an explicit clause of that contract stated that my purchases would be subject to verification before I could exit the premises, then I would allow it. Since I never sign anything without reading it through first, I'd have no excuse for declining such a practice. If, on the other hand, I don't have any such prior arrangement with you, I am not obligated nor am I inclined to allow you to rifle through my purchases and/or demand proof of payment.

It's interesting reading the comments on these stories. They seem to break down between 'don't let them violate your rights' and 'think of the poor big box stores and how much they lose to theft,' with the odd 'think of the poor guy making minimum wage' thrown in. It's not that I'm unsympathetic, but at the same time I rather figure that if he's having a bad day it's his employer's fault for not teaching him how to do his job properly.
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Old 10-20-2010, 07:38 AM   #12 (permalink)
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<sigh>...I find myself in the unenviable position to offer the obverse to this little discussion. Having weathered a rather lengthy period of unemployment, I took a part time position at my local Wal-Mart in the electronics department. 97% of all Wal-Mart employees are part time. It is that way by design. It keeps costs down, so that you can save $5.00 on your new digital camera.

This is one of the very few times that I find myself in complete agreement with Baraka Guru. He is absolutely correct when he said; "When you pay somewhere between minimum wage and one or two dollars above that, what kind of talent do you hope to attract?" We are not trained in product knowledge and, no, I guarantee you that I most certainly do not know all of the specific features (beyond the product spec sheet that you just read)on all of the 40-50 digital cameras that we have on prominent display. I know enough about the HD televisions (from having done my own research, when buying my own) to at least sound like I know what I'm talking about. Although I was a Purchasing Agent for most of my professional life, I am not privy to the buying practices of Wal-Mart. I do not know why we no longer carry digital converter boxes. I only know that we do not. That knowledge is several layers above my meager pay grade. No, I do not know why the laptop, that I rang up for you yesterday, will not connect to your ISP. Nor, frankly, do I really care. I have 1 customer wanting me to unlock the video game cabinet for them, I have another that wants me to check in the back for a specific HDTV, another that wants me to repair the broken USB port on her 5 year old laptap, another that wants to know if we have the I-Pod Nano in purple, another that's pissed because the netbook that she bought yesterday has no optical drive (duh), and another that's interrupting all of the above to ask me when the 2nd season of Sponge Bob Squarepants is going to be re-released. I make less than ¼ of what I made 2 years ago, and I make just under ½ of what I made on unemployment insurance. Should I care? Maybe…but I really don’t.

I do know that our particular store looses 100s of thousands of dollars per day to theft. On busy weekend day, it can approach the $1,000,000.00 mark. Per DAY. I doubted that myself, until I saw the rows of shopping carts, overflowing with empty packages, lined up in the back. And that’s just the items in evidence. In Wal-Mart’s defense, (God, I never, ever, thought I'd do that) the only time that we check receipts is when you set the alarm off at the front door. Usually just a cursory check, and a "Have a good day.".

So...consider it the high cost of "Everyday Low Prices".
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Old 10-20-2010, 07:48 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Ah, yes, the everlasting torment of "shrinkage." The one thing that hasn't been mentioned yet is how retailers treat their employees with regard to theft/shrinkage. The usual answer, I'm assuming, is without an ounce of trust. If I'm not mistaken, the stats on shrinkage usually point to employees as the greatest cause, not customers. And so you get a situation where retail stores cannot afford to trust their employees. And so you get mandatory bag checks before you can go home after your shift.

Complain all you want about a store checking your receipt as you carry your new merchandise out the door—bearing in mind that it is, ostensibly, still only conditionally yours, assuming you wish to leave open the option of benefiting from the return policy. I've endured the humiliation of managers peering into bag at my personal belongings before being granted leave of the store. This, to keep my job. They couldn't afford to trust me, and I didn't blame them. It's just that I wasn't paid enough for that shit.
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Old 10-20-2010, 08:05 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baraka_Guru View Post
The one thing that hasn't been mentioned yet is how retailers treat their employees with regard to theft/shrinkage.
Without a doubt, some of the "shrink" involves employee theft. But, the overwhelming majority of the theft comes from the customers. There are actually employees that are paid to do nothing but circumnavigate the store, picking up the empty packages that used to contain the products that people have walked out of the store with. It really does stagger the imagination to see the things, and the amount of things, that people manage to make off with. DVDs, CDs, trash bag liners, fabric softener sheets, air fresheners, footballs, makeup, condoms, you name it. If it's in the store, they will steal it. If a fraction of the ingenuity involved in stealing this crap were put to a constuctive use, then I have no doubt that this country would not be in the shape that it's in.
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Old 10-20-2010, 08:13 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill O'Rights View Post
Without a doubt, some of the "shrink" involves employee theft. But, the overwhelming majority of the theft comes from the customers.
Yeah, I wasn't sure. I guess I got it backwards.
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Old 10-20-2010, 08:15 AM   #16 (permalink)
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When I worked throwing freight at Target, we were told the popular scam was to empty a car seat or stroller from its large box, take the box over to vacuums, and load it up with a Dyson. The other scam was to take a vacuum box or car seat box and just fill it with loads of expensive small stuff. The customer would generally legitimately pay for the item on the box, but what was inside didn't match the contents.

And the Wal-Marts here don't receipt check--hell, half the time they don't even have greeters. I only shop there once in a great while, as they're the only mass market retailer just this side of the pass, and so Wally World is often the last chance to stop and buy snacks or beer or whatever for camping trips. My own town has adamantly opposed Wal-Mart; hell will freeze over before they build one here. And yes, we have a thriving downtown.
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Old 10-20-2010, 10:29 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I submit to receipt checking at Costco because that is what I agreed to when I signed up. I do not submit to it at Best Buy. "No,thanks" is generally as far as the conversation goes.

For some unknown reason, motor oil is dramatically cheaper at Walmart than anywhere else around here. I make an annual visit and swear off it every time.

Something like motor oil is a commodity. I don't need (or want) any help. Just sell it to me at the lowest price. Something like a TV is a bit different, I won't buy one without seeing it. Reviews only go so far.

When I do need help. it's all about customer service. Treat me well, perhaps give me a sample or trial and I will happily overlook the fact that your prices are 10% higher than elsewhere. I will walk away from a good deal if you are a jerk.


My pet peeve would be businesses that are only open while I am working. How much business can you do to the unemployed?
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Old 10-20-2010, 10:44 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Bill - in regards to shrinkage, frankly, that's not my problem. Wal-Mart is trying to make it my problem by checking my receipt, but I refuse to play along. If I set off the detectors, that's something different entirely, but I'm under no obligation to submit to a search of my property to help someone's bottom line. And that's one of the reasons why I'll never visit you at work - I don't want your fellow employees to assume that I'm a theif just because the guy that walked in behind me is. Again - Wal-Mart's problem, not mine.

"Shrinkage" is a problem for companies - I'll grant that with no argument. But using it as an excuse to give Marine Corp rejects the opportunity to lord a modicum of power over the rest of us is a great way to drive at least some customers away. And if any other store that I patronize starts treating me the same way, I won't be shopping there either. Wal-Mart just happens to be the convenient target here.
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Old 10-20-2010, 10:47 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Ouch.

Store theft costing your family budget $423 - Oct. 19, 2010
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Old 10-20-2010, 11:13 AM   #20 (permalink)
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That's a very misleading stat, Baraka. Triple that $423, and that will be the amount that every family pays to have their purchases shipped to the stores for sale in the first place. How much does the rent on commercial space cost every family every year? Without any statistical information on other costs, that number is competely meaningless.

We could also talk about the price of milk in the US and how the price is almost an imaginary number based on subsidies, but that doesn't have much to do with companies treating their customers with hostility.

At the end of the day, the "real price" of any given item is significantly effected by numerous factors including insurance, rent, transportation, breakage/spoilage, salaries, dividends, etc. Simply pulling one of those numbers out and presenting it on makes for a sexy story but nothing of substance.
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Old 10-20-2010, 11:18 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by The_Jazz View Post
I'm under no obligation to submit to a search of my property to help someone's bottom line.
Hmmm...didn't mean to imply that you were. In fact, I think that I even stated that the only time that we request a receipt check is when you set off the alarms. The entire point, of my rather verbose post, was an ineffectual attempt to rant on why it is that you cannot expect top notch service at your local Wal-Mart. I'm not about to invest my own time in educating myself on every single item that we have on our shelves. If it were my "career", then I might. But, it is not. I do this as a means of keeping the lights on and food in the cupboard. As, I suspect, is the the case with the other 97% of my part-time, blue shirted, nametag wearing compatriates. The public made the choice to sacrifice service for low prices. Who am I to deny them that? Now, I will always treat you, as a customer, with respect. I will be friendly (provided that you're not a dick) and thank you for your patronage at the end of our transaction. But, just don't expect me to know jack shit.
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Old 10-20-2010, 11:30 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Jazz View Post
That's a very misleading stat, Baraka. Triple that $423, and that will be the amount that every family pays to have their purchases shipped to the stores for sale in the first place. How much does the rent on commercial space cost every family every year? Without any statistical information on other costs, that number is competely meaningless.
I wouldn't call it "very" misleading, nor would I say it's meaningless. Retail stores are spending more on security. What hasn't changed is that they need to make a certain markup on goods to make a certain profit. If your costs go up, prices go up too.

This figure isn't what products are already costing; it's what is costing more.

We could also pull out the dollar figure of what the typical family pays for marketing promotion (branding, advertising, packaging, etc.). It might make an interesting story to know how much money you spend on that sort of thing. But the story in the above article is "this is why you're paying more."
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Old 10-20-2010, 01:25 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Baraka_Guru View Post
I wouldn't call it "very" misleading, nor would I say it's meaningless. Retail stores are spending more on security. What hasn't changed is that they need to make a certain markup on goods to make a certain profit. If your costs go up, prices go up too.

This figure isn't what products are already costing; it's what is costing more.

We could also pull out the dollar figure of what the typical family pays for marketing promotion (branding, advertising, packaging, etc.). It might make an interesting story to know how much money you spend on that sort of thing. But the story in the above article is "this is why you're paying more."
All of these figures would be meaningless as presented, though, since there isn't really any such thing as a typical family. It's entirely possible that very few or none of the families who'd contribute to such a statistic would actually end up paying the "typical" amount of extra $ per year. On top of that, most households aren't "typical" at least when "typical" is used as synonym for "average".

I suspect that those numbers are really more of a way of indexing the data to put it in an easier-to-relate-to scale for mass consumption. It's perhaps easier to understand the amount of money lost to shrinkage on a per household basis than it is the whole lump sum across all of retail. Either way, at no point should these numbers be interpreted as what a "typical" family will spend. I haven't looked at how they were derived, though, so I could be wrong.
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Old 10-20-2010, 01:47 PM   #24 (permalink)
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years ago when wal-mart greeters were just being introduced and checking receipts. my mom used to just bunch up the receipt and say "catch!" to the greeter. while the greeter was busy with hand-eye coordination, we'd calmly just roll out of the story with our purchases
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Old 10-20-2010, 03:27 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I think Jazz's point (and the point that I would like to make if it wasn't) is that $423 is meaningless if we just float it out there in a vacuum. Is that a mean average? What does the average family spend in total? Are we just talking big box stores, or boutiques, or what? How does this break down geographically -- are we accounting for variances in income by region here?

There are too many variables for that number to make any sense.

On the other side, I'd suggest that anyone who goes to Walmart looking for product expertise is a fool. Clearly minimum wage Walmart jockeys are not going to be the best and brightest, either due to a lack of ability or simply a lack of commitment. Incidentally, this may be related to the fact that I can't remember the last time I bought something at Walmart.
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:46 AM   #26 (permalink)
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I just think it's fucking annoying when you're walking out with one or 2 things.
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Old 10-23-2010, 03:41 AM   #27 (permalink)
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I would have thought that the cashier was sufficient at checking the receipt. They are the ones who handed it to the customer in the first place.

Why does it become an issue between the cashier and the exit???
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