Friday, February 23, 2007

More Retail Delights

207 More Retail Delights

Sears is sending a part for the stove. It’s the bottom panel for inside the oven. The original has aluminum foil baked onto it. It is not covered by the warranty because in the book, allegedly, is a phrase akin to “do not put aluminum foil on the bottom panel of the stove because it bakes on and you’re screwed. Plus we do not cover owner lunacy or failure to follow directions.

The Sears help line lady says it’s in the book. It may be. So far, it remains un-found. She gives this number for parts: 1-800-242-4485. It is the wrong number. It’s in this Wessay because it is an unlisted direct line where the repair guys who work for Sears call for help and information. It is nowhere else to be found. So now, you have it, for what it’s worth, and no one else who shouldn’t does.

The actual number to order parts is well publicized, so it won’t appear here. If you need it (fool) you can find it yourself.

Once in touch with parts central, after giving the guy the model number, the part number, the “division number” (whatever that is) and the “PLS number” (whatever THAT is,) I’m told that the part will cost $38, but with shipping and taxes it’s $52,

And the piece de resistance? The letter of confirmation is scheduled to arrive AFTER the part is scheduled to arrive.

Why? Because “…that comes from another place.”

This does not strike the guy as an odd sequence.

Then, there’s Macy’s. We’ve been downgraded from two “Platinum” accounts to one “gold” and one lowely “Red Star” accounts. This means Macy’s thinks we aren’t spending enough money with them to warrant continuation of our coveted and exclusive “Platinum” accounts. No free services. Smaller “rewards,” a demotion.

A combined 110 years of shopping at Macy’s has done us no good. “What have you done for us lately?” is what they’re asking.

Well, earth to Federated Department Stores: The local Macy’s is kind of like a 7-11 with no coffee but some clothing. There’s nothing worth buying in the joint. Thirty-fourth Street? Sure. Roosevelt Field? Sure. But Moote Pointe PA? Nah.

This calls for some deep reflection. Do we keep the inferior status or do we cut up the new cards and send them back? This is the kind of decision that causes people to go over the edge.

TJ Maxx:

Customer: “may we have the hangers along with the shirts?”

Clerk (an old guy): “No, we’re running low. We need to keep them. We have a policy against giving away hangers.”

One week later:

Customer “may we have the hangers along with the jacket and sweater?

Other Clerk (a young woman): “Oh, of course. We have these things coming out of our ears. I just threw 200 of them into the dumpster. Happy to have you take them.”

There was a temptation to ask for a look at the company’s policy book to double check the previous clerk’s citation.

Giant Supermarket, Wal-Mart, Lowe’s, Home Despot: Lose those self-checkout machines. Or at least take down the signs that say “fast lane.”

I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.

(c) 2007 WJR

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