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Old 07-10-2019, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by manson1972 View Post
I was curious about this too, but it would prevent customers coming in and saying "They told me on the phone that it was 3 for $1!!!!!!" or something similar.
Unfortunately, I don't think it would.

Presuming that nobody at the store actually told them the item was 3 for $1, if the customer says that happened, then the customer is lying. Why would they be less likely to lie if the clerk didn't tell them any price than if the clerk told them the right one?
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Old 07-10-2019, 03:07 PM
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Unfortunately, I don't think it would.

Presuming that nobody at the store actually told them the item was 3 for $1, if the customer says that happened, then the customer is lying. Why would they be less likely to lie if the clerk didn't tell them any price than if the clerk told them the right one?
Well, it seems harder to lie about what the clerk told them over the phone if the policy is "Don't tell them over the phone"

But yeah, customers lie all the time, so they'd probably still try it.
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Old 07-10-2019, 03:15 PM
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I try to be more charitable toward my customers than calling them stupid, but I've noticed that they contact me for what I consider an odd reason a lot. My shop is online, and it has a pretty typical checkout process:

1. enter your shipping address
2. select your preferred shipping speed/carrier (which also shows shipping costs)
3. enter your billing address and credit card info
4. click the purchase button

What people do is email me asking me for a shipping estimate. They'll say something like "how much do you charge to ship to NY" or Canada or wherever. I explain to them the above and that they can see the shipping options and pick whichever one they want, and if they don't like any of them they can bail out without harm.

It makes me wonder if there are other online shops that collect the billing info first which is making people nervous about being "caught" before they know what the shipping will be.
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Old 07-10-2019, 03:38 PM
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What do you do if the ID doesn't have their address on it?
For that particular transaction? We will not process the transaction.

There are other transactions where an address is not required.
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Old 07-10-2019, 03:41 PM
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One of our hard and fast rules "Do not give any price information over the phone." Yet recently I had to repeat "I cannot give prices over the phone" five times to a stupide person who could not seem to comprehend that statement.
Can you change up what you say, like "The company forbids me to give prices over the phone"? Granted, there are people that are just stupid, and people who think if they ask often enough that you will change what you are saying...
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Old 07-10-2019, 03:43 PM
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For that particular transaction? We will not process the transaction.

There are other transactions where an address is not required.
So in your store, I can't use a credit card and show you my retired military ID or my passport?
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Old 07-10-2019, 03:50 PM
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Depends on the nature of the transaction.

For most, but not all, credit card transactions we do not require an ID.

For some we do, and if we ask for it your ID better match up with you and any other information we may need has to be up to date. Note I did not specify what form of ID is required. If your military ID or passport has the information we need and it is up to date and accurate then yes, you can use it.

This most commonly comes up when someone wants to use the option where they do not have their physical credit card on them. They can still use their line of credit, but that one requires their name, address, etc. all match up with what is currently on the system. If it doesn't you will not be able to make a credit card purchase at that time.

Last edited by Broomstick; 07-10-2019 at 03:51 PM.
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Old 07-10-2019, 04:00 PM
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This most commonly comes up when someone wants to use the option where they do not have their physical credit card on them. They can still use their line of credit, but that one requires their name, address, etc. all match up with what is currently on the system. If it doesn't you will not be able to make a credit card purchase at that time.
But that's just it. My address isn't on my military ID, nor on my passport. So you wouldn't accept them for the "line-of-credit without the physical credit card" transaction?
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Old 07-10-2019, 04:23 PM
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Correct. Those ID's would not have all the information we require for that particular transaction.
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Old 07-10-2019, 04:30 PM
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Dear customer: Whether or not those clothing items just rung up are on sale or not, they are ringing up full price. Unfortunately, I do not have the authority or the ability to alter the total by nearly $200 and calling someone in the department will not change that. Calling a manager will not change that. The only way to get a price adjustment that large is to go to customer service. No, calling the Store Director will not change it, either - yes, she can authorize it, but the register will not process it. The transaction has to be transferred to customer service to do this.
So if a store manager verifies that the price is ringing up incorrectly, they are not able to override it to the correct price? That is indeed retail stupidity, but by no means on the part of the customer.
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Old 07-10-2019, 05:29 PM
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Why aren't supermarkets designed so that frozen foods are the last section you pass through before checking out? And before that, produce and other items that need refrigeration? The way the stores are designed now, by the time I get to checkout, all my frozen food is defrosted, and my refrigerated food is warm... OR I have to zigzag across the store to shop in the right order.
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Old 07-10-2019, 05:47 PM
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Our local supermarkets allow Coke and Pepsi to take care of ordering and stocking the product. Okay. I don't care who does it. But the local megamart decided to stop carrying 2L bottles of caffeine-free diet coke. (I counted: they went from 28 rows of regular coke and two of c-f diet coke, to 30 of regular coke; regular diet coke remained unchanged.) I wasn't sure if they were just out of it or had stopped selling it, so I tried to ask.

The store claimed no knowledge of their inventory, but also no way to communicate with anyone who had such knowledge. Coke, apparently, is free to make such changes, with no oversight from anybody in the store, leaving no records behind.

Coca-Cola, however, claimed no knowledge of what goes on in any retail establishments, ever. They just follow orders from the store.

Clearly, they don't want me buying that product. Fine; I'll live. But why the charade? Why not just say "that doesn't sell, so we're not going to carry it anymore"?
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Old 07-10-2019, 05:52 PM
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Why aren't supermarkets designed so that frozen foods are the last section you pass through before checking out? And before that, produce and other items that need refrigeration? The way the stores are designed now, by the time I get to checkout, all my frozen food is defrosted, and my refrigerated food is warm... OR I have to zigzag across the store to shop in the right order.
You answered your own question. The store is laid out in a way that ensures you have to cover the whole store. They're hoping you make a few impulse purchases as you're doing all that zig-zagging back and forth. It's one of the reasons that common items like milk and eggs are typically at the back of the store. Even if you're running in for just a couple of things, they want you to cover as much of the store as possible.
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Old 07-10-2019, 06:05 PM
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So if a store manager verifies that the price is ringing up incorrectly, they are not able to override it to the correct price? That is indeed retail stupidity, but by no means on the part of the customer.
No - they can not over ride over a certain dollar amount at the register. Past a certain amount the transaction needs to be transferred to customer service. Which is "push two buttons and walk the customer over to the service desk".
  • As a cashier I can make adjustments up to a very small amount.
  • A manager has the next level up of override. Not being a manager, I do not know the specific amount.
  • Above that, it has to go to customer service.

Whether or not THAT is stupid I leave as an exercise for the reader.
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Old 07-10-2019, 06:06 PM
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Why aren't supermarkets designed so that frozen foods are the last section you pass through before checking out? And before that, produce and other items that need refrigeration? The way the stores are designed now, by the time I get to checkout, all my frozen food is defrosted, and my refrigerated food is warm... OR I have to zigzag across the store to shop in the right order.
It's deliberate. They want you to zig-zag so you spend more time in the store and are more likely to make impulse buys.
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Old 07-10-2019, 06:13 PM
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You answered your own question. The store is laid out in a way that ensures you have to cover the whole store. They're hoping you make a few impulse purchases as you're doing all that zig-zagging back and forth. It's one of the reasons that common items like milk and eggs are typically at the back of the store. Even if you're running in for just a couple of things, they want you to cover as much of the store as possible.
Milk and eggs are at the back of the store so they can load them directly from the cooler. And the frozen food aisle is usually pretty close to the door the back area to reduce time spent at room temperature.
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Old 07-10-2019, 06:32 PM
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Correct. Those ID's would not have all the information we require for that particular transaction.
Strange, but okay. Thanks for answering!
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Old 07-10-2019, 07:06 PM
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One of our hard and fast rules "Do not give any price information over the phone." Yet recently I had to repeat "I cannot give prices over the phone" five times to a stupide person who could not seem to comprehend that statement.
Frankly, I don't understand it either. Why would a shop have a policy like this?

If I was told this over the phone, I'd question it too. It seems so strange that I might well think the other person must be mistaken, or they had misunderstood the question, or were just too lazy to look up the price for me.
  #69  
Old 07-10-2019, 08:41 PM
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I keep parsing the thread title as 'rectal stupidity'. Probably because I had another patient jam something so far up his behind that he perforated his colon again. Clean up, aisle 9!!


So, never mind.
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Old 07-10-2019, 09:45 PM
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And.... that is my cue for mentioning the time someone left a very long turd on the bench in the men's dressing room.

Honestly, people, we have THREE men's toilets in the store, each supporting multiple seating arrangements, there's just no excuse for that sort of rectal stupidity.

There is a reason we stock biohazard clean up supplies.
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Old 07-10-2019, 10:05 PM
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When I shop at Fred Meyer (local Portland chain acquired a few years ago by Kroger) it's almost always because I'm out of quart bottles of heavy cream that I use for my coffee. It has to be the store brand because it's in a bottle with a screw top lid not a carton and it's really, really good. Darigold is everywhere and they've managed the feat of producing whipping cream that has absolutely no flavor or mouth feel--it's some kind of malign miracle but that's neither here nor there.

Anyway, for some bizarre reason, Freddie's is so often out of that quart size that it's starting to feel personal. I mean, the stuff has a shelf life that's more like a half life, the sell by date is literally months so there's just no reason not to stock the shit in. None. Sometimes I can corral an associate to go check the back and that's about a 50/50 chance I get my item. There's always plenty of pints, but buying those is a pain in the ass and also they're $3.39 each instead of $4.99 for the quart so no, ain't gonna do that because it's annoying to force the cashier to change the price to $2.50 each (or actually $2.50 for one and $2.49 for the other to make the prices match for the quart) because I really prefer to use the self check because a lot of the cashiers are so slow I could be out of there twice by the time they finish their bovine processing of my items.

In a word, Freddie's for my heavy cream is fraught. Last time though, took the fucking cake. They stock the stuff on these big rolling carts with slanty channels that the product will ostensibly slide down as each bottle is removed--but the quart bottles just don't really do that. And this time, there were two stupid bottles at the very very back of the channel and I simply could not reach them. Usually I can stand on the edge of the door and just reach but these were just that extra infuriating inch too far. The whipping cream is ALWAYS on the highest shelf, of course. No associates in sight. So I said fuck this shit and headed into the back because that often winkles the associates into showing themselves because they'll hide back there but a customer in the back is a big no no. Nobody showed up so I nipped round into the dairy case and discovered why the stocking problem--some fucking idiot had tightly packed five or six of those rolling carts full of perishable gobacks as hard against the whipping cream cart as it's possible to get. Because the gods forbid they actually store this stuff out of the way so they can stock product for PEOPLE TO BUY. Something snapped in my head a bit at that point so I goddamned well moved enough carts to get up there, grab those two last bottles of cream and I left the carts all higgledy piggledy because although I've worked grocery before, it wasn't THIS grocery and it AIN'T MY JOB. I had been shopping with the 9 year old grandchild and I think I kind of impressed him with my iron determination to leave the store with the items I came there to purchase, by the gods!

Also, they didn't have my favorite salad AND Freddie's hot deli selections totally blow chunks. If it wasn't for the halfway decent produce and the goddamned heavy cream they could go fuck themselves.
  #72  
Old 07-10-2019, 10:25 PM
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A friend of mine once worked at a Dollar Tree. There were always people asking her how much something cost, and if they had item x, with x being something like VCRs or tennis shoes.
Former Dollar Tree Manager here. There are a few things lees than a dollar. Always fun having people want something for less than a dollar, because it is "near the sign for one of those("near" meaning 2 shelves down, and 24 feet up the aisle. )
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  #73  
Old 07-10-2019, 11:02 PM
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Which one of these items is better?
That shouldn't bother you. You've been asked you opinion about a product your store sells. If you have no opinion say so.

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Originally Posted by Annie-Xmas View Post
How much is this item (because I'm supposed to know the price of everything in the store)
No you should not be assumed to know the price of every item in the store, but you should know how to find out. In some stores the cashier can scan a tag to determine a price without ringing it up. So it is reasonable a customer might expect you can do so. If you can't do so, you should be able to direct the customer to one of the price check scanners many stores have. If your store has neither, you should be able to direct the customer to someone who can tell them. Certainly, if you're not expected to know the price of everything in your store, the customer isn't. I have often seen no prices marked on shelves for items because they've been moved away, or the prices have fallen off.

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Do you have any more in the back (I always want to answer this: Yes, we're here to sell things. That's why we hide them).
This is a perfectly reasonable question. Store shelves are often out of items when there is more suppply in the back. And if there's no more in the back and it's on sale, many stores will give you a rain check.

Last edited by OldGuy; 07-10-2019 at 11:03 PM.
  #74  
Old 07-11-2019, 05:16 AM
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And then there are the cashiers who ask about your purchases:

Cashier, ringing up a jar of gefilte fish: Is this stuff any good?
Me: If you have to ask, then, no.
  #75  
Old 07-11-2019, 07:35 AM
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I have also seen customers buy food for strangers. I have seem them randomly help others when they could just walk by. I have seen parents patiently teaching their children manners, or bringing an elderly parent through to help them still interact a little with the outside world. I have been invited to dinner by customers and made many friends through retail interaction.
When I contrast this statement and the hopeful, positive attitude that it conveys with the other poster's (primarily two of them) who work as cashiers and the obvious outlook that you have on your customers compared to the way they come across, it tells me volumes about both you and them.

My guess is they are going to be stuck bitching about the human scum they are forced to deal with for the rest of their working lives, while you sound like you are destined for bigger and better things ahead.

(someone who is outraged at a politely customer asking "Excuse me, how much does this item cost?" has NO business working retail)

Last edited by Royal Nonesutch; 07-11-2019 at 07:39 AM.
  #76  
Old 07-11-2019, 08:34 AM
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When I contrast this statement and the hopeful, positive attitude that it conveys with the other poster's (primarily two of them) who work as cashiers and the obvious outlook that you have on your customers compared to the way they come across, it tells me volumes about both you and them.

My guess is they are going to be stuck bitching about the human scum they are forced to deal with for the rest of their working lives, while you sound like you are destined for bigger and better things ahead.

(someone who is outraged at a politely customer asking "Excuse me, how much does this item cost?" has NO business working retail)
That's a kind post, but I have been in retail foods for 35 years. I am married to a wonderful woman and we live in our small home in the woods with our dogs and cat. Once a year we go on vacation, usually to a family cabin in the mountains of North Carolina. I do not believe there are bigger and better things than this.
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Old 07-11-2019, 08:50 AM
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I saw a woman scream at the cashier and blame him for putting the wrong phone number in to bring up their rewards number. Except she admitted she gave him the wrong number. "You should have known that isn't my phone number!"

to be fair, I also saw a guy admit he put in the wrong phone number (I think he transposed 2 numbers). She had a meltdown because this meant she wasn't racking up items on her card (it's the buy six, get the seventh one free kind of promotion). Except not only were none of her three items part of that promotion, but none of them were on sale. I was two people behind her and as I paid and left she was the next lane over getting re-rung up by the manager under the correct number and still yelling.
  #78  
Old 07-11-2019, 09:07 AM
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I worked for Safeway for 12 years. When I was a checker one of the things that always pissed me off was the people who got in line and started checking out but were clearly not finished shopping yet. If you forgot one thing, fine, happens to everyone. OTOH if you bring up a half-full cart and are still giving instructions to your 8 family members you brought to pick up stuff from all over the store, fuck you, you're still shopping, get the hell out of my line.

And when the store closes, WE ARE CLOSED. Don't come knocking on the door at 2:00AM with your sob story about your baby needs diapers, that's what 7-11 is for. The registers are turned off and the tills are all in the safe; I couldn't sell you anything even if I wanted to, which I don't. And don't fucking walk in to the store at 11:55PM and then spend an hour slowly sauntering around the store like we just opened. My stockers WILL run you over with the power jack, they don't give a shit. We close at midnight and you've got ten minutes; if you're still in the store at 12:11AM, you're spending the night with my stockers, you can leave at 6:00AM when they do.
  #79  
Old 07-11-2019, 09:17 AM
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I was curious about this too, but it would prevent customers coming in and saying "They told me on the phone that it was 3 for $1!!!!!!" or something similar.
Exactly. If the item rings up $19.99 and the customer says "They told me on the phone it was $14.99, you know you are dealing with a liar.

One woman bought some holiday items in November and tried to return them in July for a refund. "Well, the clerk told me I could do this." Right, like I don't know our 15 day return policy, and the fact that holiday items are non-returnable after January.

As I put it: People can say anything. That doesn't make it the truth.
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:31 AM
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Oh, the stories we have on people not understanding the concept of closing time. I call it the 7-11 mentality: All stores should be open all the time.

My store has to close two hours before sundown for the Jewish Sabbath. That rule is never to be broken ever. One day I was working "last cash" (last register that takes cash payments) on Friday, and leaving when someone insisted they could find a way to shop for the party goods they needed for tomorrow's brunch:

Me: The registers are closed.
Her: I could pay with my credit card
Me: I cannot accept a payment after the registers are closed.
Her: You could total it up, I could pay cash and you could ring it up on Sunday and put the money in the drawer then.
Me: Right, and lose my job.
  #81  
Old 07-11-2019, 11:13 AM
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And another one: Customers who think they can get away with hiding things. Yes, I am going to look into every suitcase and plastic storage container that comes to my register. And if I find a bunch of items in one of yours, don't tell me "I don't know how they got in there."

And one of the reasons I am so nice to put a full bag by your cart is so I can discretely check the under carriage. That way when I ask "Is that everything?" and you say "Yes" I can say "What about the items under the carriage?" Recently a customer had put a full box of steros, worth about $50, under the carriage and I had to call her on it. And she got so pissed at me that I had to all the manager. "Well, I don't know how they got there." Yeah, right.
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Old 07-11-2019, 12:08 PM
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When I moved to Oregon the first job I got was cashiering in a local chain C-store, which are all 24/7 stores. One day there was a cataclysmic thunderstorm which knocked out power all over town and I called the manager (remember when phones still worked when the power went out?) and he advised me that, since nobody has a key to the front door lock (I mean, this place is literally never closed so the key went missing and nobody replaced it) to take a chain in the back room that has a padlock (with key!) and chain up the front door. Okay, hope there's no fire because I'm trapped in the place but cool, cool. Then I observed something I'd never run into--the confused customer who simply cannot comprehend that the doors aren't opening. Rattle rattle rattle...peer into the windows...I holler that the power is out (they know that already) so can't help ya. "But I just need some cigarettes!" No, dude, register doesn't work without power. "But I can give you exact change!" No, dude, manager says door stays chained until power comes back on. "But...but...but...but..." NO. Eventually they wander away, their worldview shattered. Now repeat that about fifty times. I was never so happy to see the lights come back on, I swear. They simply could not fathom not being able to come in and get whatever crap they want and acted like it was a PERSONAL SLIGHT that I wouldn't make an exception for them. Every. Single. One. Of. Them. Entitlement is a helluva drug.
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Old 07-11-2019, 12:15 PM
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When our store replaced our cash registers, they included a power generator that kicks in when the power goes out. The one time it happened, we did some good business cause we were the only store opened and working that hour.
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Old 07-11-2019, 12:20 PM
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This is a perfectly reasonable question. Store shelves are often out of items when there is more suppply in the back. And if there's no more in the back and it's on sale, many stores will give you a rain check.
If your name didn't mark you as an old man, this would.

It's now very rare for stores to have something in the back when they're out of stock in the front.

The reason is that retail floor space is very expensive, whether it's in the area that the customer can reach or not. For the vast majority of items in chain retail stores, there is nothing in the back - it's all up front.

The exceptions are going to be
  • Something that takes up a lot of space and can be stored warehouse style in a store that isn't a warehouse store. E.g. furniture in Target.
  • A high-end store that wants to make sure their store doesn't look like a warehouse.
  • Stuff that isn't supposed to be on the selling floor yet - seasonal items that are delivered before the display is supposed to be up.
  • Frozen and cold storage where the selling space is more expensive than a back end storage area that can handle a variety of items.
  • They just got the week's delivery in.
I'm sure there are a couple more exceptions I haven't thought of.

Corporations know exactly how much space every store has for each item they are selling, and a general idea of how much any given item will sell in a given store. They will not be sending more than the store can stock in the front - they may put out more than what they think they will actually sell, but they won't send more than can be put on the floor to be sold ASAP


This doesn't make this a completely stupid question... until you insist that there must be some in the back that the clerk can get.

Source - I worked for Michaels and Radio Shack in corporate, and my husband worked for a grocery store.
  #85  
Old 07-11-2019, 12:24 PM
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My store gets deliveries every day we are open. It's cheaper to have daily deliveries than it is to store items in the back.

Want 50 of an item? We can order it, you can pay for it now and have it tomorrow. Best we can do for you.
  #86  
Old 07-11-2019, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Zyada View Post
If your name didn't mark you as an old man, this would.

It's now very rare for stores to have something in the back when they're out of stock in the front.
I am an old woman but it happens to me currently that stores have something in the back that isn't out yet.

Sometimes the delivery just came in and isn't out on the shelves yet. Sometimes, probably, there's not enough room on the shelves for everything they expect to sell inbetween deliveries -- many stores have limited shelf space and you can jam a whole lot more stuff into the back room where you don't have to allow room for shoppers to see it easily and get at it while maneuvering carts.

Sometimes, for that matter, there's a sale display on an endcap somewhere in the store separated from where the item's usually displayed; one of them may be out and there may still be some left on the other.

If the clerk says 'no, sorry, if it's not on the shelf we don't have it' I take that for an answer and don't keep bugging them; I agree that it's unreasonably annoying to keep insisting. But 'there's none on the shelf, do you have any elsewhere'? is not a stupid question; and this has nothing to do with the age of the asker. Maybe your store never has anything in more than one place; but many of them do.
  #87  
Old 07-11-2019, 01:43 PM
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I only worked behind a cash register once in high school but I have seen my share of stupidity. But as a customer I also have a perspective.

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Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
When not enough customers availed themselves of the opportunity to answer said questions they started making answering them a requirement.
That is a stupid idea that is hostile to good customer service. That does nothing but annoy customers.

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Unfortunately, I do not have the authority or the ability to alter the total by nearly $200 and calling someone in the department will not change that. Calling a manager will not change that. The only way to get a price adjustment that large is to go to customer service. No, calling the Store Director will not change it, either - yes, she can authorize it, but the register will not process it. The transaction has to be transferred to customer service to do this.
That is a very poorly designed process. The MOD should be able to authorize a price adjustment at the register. If I had to stand in line at Customer Service to get the price as marked, I would never go back.

Quote:
If I can not identify the vegetable/fruit you are purchasing I can not ring it up.
How is it that you work in a store and don't know the goods you are selling?


Quote:
Your ID and the information on your credit card account has to really, really, really, definitely match.
Are you talking about a house credit card, or one of the big associations like VISA and MasterCard? If you read your agreement with your credit card associations you will find that you are not permitted to ask for ID when someone presents a credit card. They would rather suck up the risk than lose customers. The store is not responsible for loss if the card is authorized and the customer signature matches the back of the card.
  #88  
Old 07-11-2019, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by CookingWithGas View Post
How is it that you work in a store and don't know the goods you are selling?
A typical supermarket has 30,000 to 50,000 SKUs. Can you remember that many unique products, and their price this week?
  #89  
Old 07-11-2019, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by enalzi View Post
"You can't return items to a completely different company than the one you bought them from."
"Why not?"
Some stores will accept returns for store credit if you don't have a receipt and they sell the item. I have seen Home Depot do this, although they nearly had to call the police because the customer threatened to start breaking things if he didn't get cash back.
  #90  
Old 07-11-2019, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by DCnDC View Post
A typical supermarket has 30,000 to 50,000 SKUs. Can you remember that many unique products, and their price this week?
No, but read the quote I was responding to.
Quote:
If I can not identify the vegetable/fruit you are purchasing I can not ring it up.
I expect a cashier in a grocery store to know the difference between a mango and a banana. Not the price, just what it is, so they can look up the PLU code.
  #91  
Old 07-11-2019, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Peter Morris View Post
Frankly, I don't understand it either. Why would a shop have a policy like this?

If I was told this over the phone, I'd question it too. It seems so strange that I might well think the other person must be mistaken, or they had misunderstood the question, or were just too lazy to look up the price for me.
In case you missed these:
Quote:
Originally Posted by manson1972 View Post
it would prevent customers coming in and saying "They told me on the phone that it was 3 for $1!!!!!!" or something similar.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie-Xmas View Post
Exactly. If the item rings up $19.99 and the customer says "They told me on the phone it was $14.99, you know you are dealing with a liar.

One woman bought some holiday items in November and tried to return them in July for a refund. "Well, the clerk told me I could do this." Right, like I don't know our 15 day return policy, and the fact that holiday items are non-returnable after January.

As I put it: People can say anything. That doesn't make it the truth.
  #92  
Old 07-11-2019, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zyada View Post
If your name didn't mark you as an old man, this would.

It's now very rare for stores to have something in the back when they're out of stock in the front.

The reason is that retail floor space is very expensive, whether it's in the area that the customer can reach or not. For the vast majority of items in chain retail stores, there is nothing in the back - it's all up front.

The exceptions are going to be
  • Something that takes up a lot of space and can be stored warehouse style in a store that isn't a warehouse store. E.g. furniture in Target.
  • A high-end store that wants to make sure their store doesn't look like a warehouse.
  • Stuff that isn't supposed to be on the selling floor yet - seasonal items that are delivered before the display is supposed to be up.
  • Frozen and cold storage where the selling space is more expensive than a back end storage area that can handle a variety of items.
  • They just got the week's delivery in.
I'm sure there are a couple more exceptions I haven't thought of.

Corporations know exactly how much space every store has for each item they are selling, and a general idea of how much any given item will sell in a given store. They will not be sending more than the store can stock in the front - they may put out more than what they think they will actually sell, but they won't send more than can be put on the floor to be sold ASAP

This doesn't make this a completely stupid question... until you insist that there must be some in the back that the clerk can get.

Source - I worked for Michaels and Radio Shack in corporate, and my husband worked for a grocery store.
As an old man or even a young man, how am I expected to know all the exceptions if you can't be sure you've listed them. I'll continue to ask, and you know what, just this past Tuesday, the Local BigY brought me out of the back, the extra two 12 packs of Barqs Root Beer I asked about, and that is not the first time this has occurred. About a month ago I was given a raincheck on a sale item they were out of. They never, in my experience, give a raincheck without checking in the back first. Perhaps, you're right, and they seldom have anything in the back, and they are just hoping I'll go away without getting the sale. But if that is true, it's rude behavior and tantamount to illegal advertising to claim to offer rainchecks.

Now I agree with you that continuing to insist they must have more is also rude behavior. But this doesn't make asking a not "completely stupid question". It makes it a perfectly normal and reasonable question.

Source -- I've been shopping for years -- quite likely for more years than you and your husband's work experience combined.

Last edited by OldGuy; 07-11-2019 at 02:26 PM.
  #93  
Old 07-11-2019, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CookingWithGas View Post
No, but read the quote I was responding to.I expect a cashier in a grocery store to know the difference between a mango and a banana. Not the price, just what it is, so they can look up the PLU code.
Well, I agree that stores should provide training to their checkers to show literacy about the produce they sell, but there are stores that don't give the checker the training or the time, and there are more exotic produce than those - if the store decides to start stocking jackfruit or lychee without educating the checker, it will help if the customer knows the name of what they are getting to help the checker when the store doesn't.

And if you're the customer buying something that you don't know what it is, um, why?
  #94  
Old 07-11-2019, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CookingWithGas View Post
No, but read the quote I was responding to.I expect a cashier in a grocery store to know the difference between a mango and a banana. Not the price, just what it is, so they can look up the PLU code.
I'm certain Broomstick knows the difference between a mango and a banana.

However, many items are obscure or look alike.

Which of these are Fuji apples?

https://www.specialtyproduce.com/sppics/20111.png

https://www.starkbros.com/images/dynamic/461.jpg

What the hell is this thing?

https://www.specialtyproduce.com/sppics/7662.png

Is this a pile of potatoes? Radishes? Turnips? Something else?

https://images.firstwefeast.com/comp...mlzjpetwsxkhzx

Last edited by DCnDC; 07-11-2019 at 02:31 PM.
  #95  
Old 07-11-2019, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by OldGuy View Post
As an old man or even a young man, how am I expected to know all the exceptions if you can't be sure you've listed them. I'll continue to ask, and you know what, just this past Tuesday, the Local BigY brought me out of the back, the extra two 12 packs of Barqs Root Beer I asked about, and that is not the first time this has occurred. About a month ago I was given a raincheck on a sale item they were out of. They never, in my experience, give a raincheck without checking in the back first. Perhaps, you're right, and they seldom have anything in the back, and they are just hoping I'll go away without getting the sale. But if that is true, it's rude behavior and tantamount to illegal advertising to claim to offer rainchecks.

Now I agree with you that continuing to insist they must have more is also rude behavior. But this doesn't make asking a not "completely stupid question". It makes it a perfectly normal and reasonable question.

Source -- I've been shopping for years -- quite likely for more years than you and your husband's work experience combined.
Actually, I am also an old woman. My comment about you being an old man was that this was more expected when we were young.

Yeah, maybe you have been shopping for longer than my accumulated experience in retail, because my work experience is far more non-retail than retail. I was just giving you my perspective from someone who has been behind the scenes.

And I don't expect anyone to not ask if they want something. Absolutely ask if it's on sale, or you won't get a rain check otherwise. Just don't be surprised if it isn't in the back, because "in the back" is not what it was when we were young. Especially if they're actually out of stock in front.
  #96  
Old 07-11-2019, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Annie-Xmas View Post
Do you have any more in the back (I always want to answer this: Yes, we're here to sell things. That's why we hide them).
I can sympathize with this question. Plenty of us are still around who spent a good deal of our lives before logistics got all modernized and stuff, and stores did in fact have a ton of stuff in the back, because otherwise they'd have to wait for the next delivery, several days away, before re-stocking the shelves.

Not everybody's gotten the memo that 'in the back' no longer exists, because logistics systems are so good that you don't need it anymore.

Last edited by RTFirefly; 07-11-2019 at 02:41 PM.
  #97  
Old 07-11-2019, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by RTFirefly View Post
I can sympathize with this question. Plenty of us are still around who spent a good deal of our lives before logistics got all modernized and stuff, and stores did in fact have a ton of stuff in the back, because otherwise they'd have to wait for the next delivery, several days away, before re-stocking the shelves.

Not everybody's gotten the memo that 'in the back' no longer exists, because logistics systems are so good that you don't need it anymore.
Still exists in some cases. When I went in Best Buy last year for a new TV, what I wanted wasn't on the shelves but an employee checked inventory on a computer and found more in the back that hadn't been brought out.
  #98  
Old 07-11-2019, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by CookingWithGas View Post
That is a stupid idea that is hostile to good customer service. That does nothing but annoy customers.
I agree. All of us front-line employees hate hate hate hate hate this thing. But we don't get a choice.

Quote:
That is a very poorly designed process. The MOD should be able to authorize a price adjustment at the register. If I had to stand in line at Customer Service to get the price as marked, I would never go back.
First, as I have noted, if it is a small adjustment I can make that on my own.

Next level up a manager can alter things a little more.

But as I said, neither of us can take $200 off your bill. And that is not hyperbole, I have had people ask me to adjust totals by triple-digit amounts. It is invariably a situation where it is NOT the marked price on the item that is the problem (we have standing permission to use the lowest price tag on an item that isn't obvious outright fraud, like a 42 inch TV for $1, when in doubt we can call a manager over to confirm things) but the customer claiming that there is a sign for shelf tag with a much lower price. That has to be confirmed by someone going to the spot in the department where this thing was found and/or confirming the price(s) the department manager, and even then a triple-digit adjust requires a store-director level over-ride which can not be done on the regular register. That can ONLY be done at the service desk.

Why? Because there were too many instances of customers lying and basically asking for 50-75% off full price items. In other words, lying and fraud. The Corporate Overlords made a decision when losses to that sort of thing hit four digits at stores (in some cases, five digits). If it had been only $200 they probably wouldn't have cared. When our stores started bleeding thousands they took notice.

Losing a couple of legit customers was deemed an acceptable trade-off to bleeding to death due to fraud.

Quote:
How is it that you work in a store and don't know the goods you are selling?
The store I work in has, no joke, more than 120,000 discreet items on the shelves. That's a lot to keep track of and, remarkably enough, no one person is expected to know all of it.

Quote:
Are you talking about a house credit card, or one of the big associations like VISA and MasterCard?
House card.

Quote:
If you read your agreement with your credit card associations you will find that you are not permitted to ask for ID when someone presents a credit card.
Go back and re-read my post. This is for situations where someone does not have a physical card on them and are asking to access their line of credit. We do all the double-checking to prevent fraud.

If they show us their physical card we don't ask for ID.
  #99  
Old 07-11-2019, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by CookingWithGas View Post
No, but read the quote I was responding to.I expect a cashier in a grocery store to know the difference between a mango and a banana. Not the price, just what it is, so they can look up the PLU code.
Well sure - I even know the two different kinds of mango we sell, and the four different types of bananas, two of which come in a regular and organic version.

But things like raw turmeric are not common in this area (and new cashiers often mistake it for ginger root, except where they don't know what that looks like, either), I was the only one in the store that could identify rambutans, the seven types of greens we sell all look very similar (mustard, two types of kale, collard, turnip, beet, dandelion). We carry two types of bok choy, which some people call pak choi, three kinds of cabbage (with two of them having regular and organic options), and so on... Oh, and three different types of pluots, one variety of which is very often mistaken for plums and one of the other two for nectarines. I still struggle with identifying peppers, which is not helped by half the people purchasing them not knowing the English names so for some things customers expect me to know both likely names for the item (self-checkout shows color pictures of peppers to help you pick them out, but the cashier look up table is strictly in text and with no descriptors) Two different types of papaya. Honestly, I don't know exactly how many different items we have in the produce section but it's in the hundreds and the local distribution center periodically sends us something we've never seen before (the arrival of jackfruit is a legendary example). We sell at least five different types of cactus items. It goes on and on. Some of it highly seasonal and thus only on the shelf for a brief period each year (like kumquots or Ranier cherries).

So yes, sometimes we aren't sure, especially when a customer wraps up the item in one or more plastic bags which obscure details, or when a cashier is new to the job. I have had customers - who presumably have SOME idea of what they want - misidentify their items (the cilantro/flat-leaf parsley mix up being most common, but there are others, like snap peas/snow peas which are very similar).

Yes, new cashiers undergo training including how to identify the seventy most common items in produce. The most common seventy - we have a lot more than that.
  #100  
Old 07-11-2019, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by CookingWithGas View Post
Are you talking about a house credit card, or one of the big associations like VISA and MasterCard? If you read your agreement with your credit card associations you will find that you are not permitted to ask for ID when someone presents a credit card.
Times have changed, brah.
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