I wanted to buy a cheap sd card. I did some searching, and on the Office Max web site I found they had the Lexar 32 mb sd card for $14.99 after a $15 instant rebate. Good enough.
The nearest Office Max store is almost 20 miles away, but it’s a lovely day for a drive, so off we go. When we walk into the store we find it is TOTALLY empty of customers other than ourselves, but with three clerks shuffling merchandise around and one cashier. The sd cards are (reasonably) kept locked up.
After waiting in vain at the camera/pda/memory card counter for a while I start chasing down clerks. First guy: not my department, and I don’t know who is supposed to cover it. Second clerk: does not appear to speak or understand English. Third clerk: ask the manager. Where is the manager? I don’t know. Right.
Go to the cashier, ask for help with the memory cards. He pages Mr. XXXXXX. Time passes. After five minutes, I ask again. Second page. Time passes.
Apparently he saw I was getting peeved, so he used the phone to make a call to some number, apparently got an answer, and we had a little ‘conversation’ with the cashier acting as a relay to establish precisely what I wanted.
Nearly ten minutes later a man in a suit popped out from a door, handed something to the clerk, and immediately vanished without even making eye contact with me.
“Here you go,” the clerk says, and hands me the item.
Well, it was actually the right item – but it was in packaging that had clearly been ripped open. IOW, likely something that had been returned.
I point this out to the cashier, and ask that he call whoever that was back and have him bring out another package, one that was still sealed.
Heavy sigh from the clerk. Phone call. He tells us the other guy says “Oh, the seals get broken in shipping all the time.” I call bullshit – this wasn’t a snapped piece of plastic tape, this was a cardboard folder that had clearly been ripped open, jaggedly, by some human. Cashier talks to other guy a while, hangs up, says he’ll bring another ‘right away.’
Five minutes later, suit-guy brings out another, and again hands it to the cashier and vanishes. (What, does this guy fear contact with genuine customers?) The new package is sealed. Fine.
Cashier rings up the item – at full price. I tell him that it is supposed to have an instant rebate, according to the company website.
“Oh,” he says, “we don’t always have the same sales as the web sites.”
Pause. I point out that the website clearly said the item was available at that price for either mail order OR pickup at the store.
Cashier: “Do you have a print out of the page?”
In fact, I didn’t. My printer is out of ink right now, I’d just writing down the sku and such.
Cashier: “We don’t have to honor the price unless you have a printout.”
Right. I remember that they had a computer set up and running, in the front of the store but on the other side from the cashier. I go over to it. Yes, it has an internet connection. I surf to the web page, and find the listing. But…there’s no printer hooked up.
I go back to the cashier, and ask him to go look at the screen to confirm I am not inventing this offer. He refuses. I point out it’s only about 20 feel away. Cashier says he can’t leave the register. Remember, me and hubby are the only two customers in the entire store – he’s not going to inconvenience a line of angry customers.
Okay, I say, how about you call up the guy who brought out the card and ask HIM to go look at the screen?
Cashier calls him. More conversation. Bottom line: the other guy refuses, and cashier says it wouldn’t do any good anyway, they had to have a printout.
I give up and tell hubby let’s go and we head towards the door.
Cashier calls out, “Don’t you want the card?”
Oh, yes. Absolutely. I want to pay twice as much for the card because of your store’s idiotic rules and unhelpful customer ‘service.’