FTC Disclosure:

I am not paid or compensated in any way to write product reviews posted to this blog. There are affiliate links posted throughout this blog. So, when you click through on links and buy something, I may receive a commission. I pay for the products with my own funds. Product reviews always reflect my own experience with and honest opinion of the product as a consumer.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sick and Tired over Poor Customer Service

It seems that more and more retailers are placing a greater emphasis on marketing, advertising, and selling more products and less emphasis on providing great customer service. These retailers, especially larger, discount retailers like Walmart and grocery stores such as Winn-Dixie, are letting customer service fall by the wayside. It as if the “bigwigs” in the corporate office think that the customers will shop wherever the prices are the lowest, without regard to how the customer is  treated by the employees. I am noticing that less than stellar housekeeping is a problem as well at some Walmarts and Winn-Dixie retail locations.

Case in point, I have visited several Walmarts at different locations in the South Florida area, and the treatment seems to be pretty consistent at nearly every location that I have visited. Many times the employees do not speak or acknowledge your presence when you arrive at the register. In fact, I get the impression that some of the employees view their job to assist the customer as a chore. More often than not, the cashier will wait for the customer to speak, before opening his or her mouth. In rare instances, some of the cashiers look at you like, “How dare you speak to me!” and won’t respond. When the transaction is complete you are fortunate, if you get a “Thank you” as opposed to silence and a dirty look, as the cashier hands you the receipt.

I once visited a Walmart wanting to return something, so I waited at the courtesy desk.  The clerk at the courtesy desk was nice.  However, she called the electronics department over the PA system, because she needed assistance with answering a question for me.  She called several times for someone from electronics to come to the courtesy desk for customer service, but no one came.  After waiting for about 15 minutes, the clerk suggested that I walk back to the electronics department for assistance, so I did.  To my dismay, about four employees were huddled around a cash register chit-chatting about nothing.  It made me realize that the culture at Walmart is not conducive to good customer service or great employee work ethic.  Needless to say, I was pissed.  I don't shop there anymore.  In fact, that particular location of Walmart is known as "ghetto".

On a separate occasion, at a Publix, two cashiers at neighboring registers carried on a conversation as the customers stood in line waiting for their groceries to get rung up. I suppose that their conversation was much more important than tending to their customers. I would think that in this economy, that customer service would be of utmost importance to employees.  I doesn't take rocket science to know that when customers are happy with their overall experience, they are more likely to return.  Repeat business equals greater sales, and greater sales means better job security.  Now more than ever, retailers are competing for the customers’ dollars. I mean, where is it written that I have to spend my money at Publix, Winn-Dixie, or Walmart?  Also, when I worked at Winn-Dixie in the 1990s, the employees were taught a cardinal rule: “The customer is always right (even when he or she is really in the wrong)!” I am wondering if this rule went out the window.

Copyright 2011- www.thewhimsicalmusingsofsusan.com

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Thoughts on TLC's Extreme Couponing Series

I have been watching TLC’s new season of Extreme Couponing. The title of the show is a very accurate description of what you can expect from watching it. Most of the coupon fanatics featured on the show have humongous stockpiles in their homes, and walk out of the grocery stores paying close to nothing for hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars worth of groceries. I think that it is rather fascinating that there are individuals who have come up with a way to save money for their families, while ensuring that nobody in the household ever goes hungry.

I am not adverse to people wanting to save money and adequately provide for their families, however there are positives and negatives in the practice of extreme couponing. I see good in the fact that many of these people, such as Nathan Engels, aka, Mr. Coupon, purchases massive amounts of food with coupons and then donates most of the food to charity and the troops serving in the military overseas.

I really admire the charity, however, I don’t see the purpose of stockpiling thousands of packages of items that an extreme couponer’s family will likely never use. It is a waste of space and waste of time. One of the extreme couponers has an inventory of thousands of coupons, which occupies space in a whole room. Still, there are other extreme couponers who have the audacity to clear the shelves in the grocery stores, so that there is nothing left for other shoppers looking for a particular product. Another couponer, dumpster dives with her family to find coupons. I am no psychiatrist, but this pretty much sounds like hoarding or some other form of OCD.  Endorphins are probably released from the extreme couponer's brains at the site of their stockpiles and their 10 pound coupons binders.  They probably get high on every occasion that they get groceries for 70% off.

I am not knocking couponing as a whole. I have experienced the benefits of using coupons, and the Lord knows it has done wonders for my wallet and budget.  It is good to realize that there are folks out there willing to share their success stories and helpful tips with others. At the same time, I doubt that I would ever take it to this extreme. There is no need for me to store up 1000 rolls of paper products or food or personal care products that I will never use. When I shop, I buy enough to last until the next sale of the products. I only buy what I need and what I can use before the expiration dates.

If you are not familiar with the show and would like to get a glimpse of it, you can visit TLC's website here.  Also, Extreme Couponing airs on TLC network, on Wednesdays at 9/8 PM Central.

Related posts:

The Basics of Coupons: What are They and Where do you Find Them?

I Got a Free Bayer Contour USB Blood Glucose Meter with The CVS ExtraCare Program

Coupon tips to help you save money on groceries

How to Get Free Coupons in the Mail

Copyright  2011- http://www.thewhimsicalmusingsofsusan.com


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