Boy did this past weekend spawn my inner grouch shopping blues. Bad experiences all the way around with clerks who didn’t know the first thing about customer service. Let’s start with our visit to Hobby Lobby on Saturday morning. I buy art supplies there because with the 40% off coupon, they tend to have decent prices. In this case, I was looking to buy an inexpensive picture frame for a photo of my daughter’s that was juried into an art show. I certainly don’t shop at Hobby Lobby for its atrociously gaudy selection of home furnishings and giftware – but back to the matter at hand. I gave the clerk a $10 bill and she ripped a $5 bill in half as she took it out of the register. When I asked her for an intact bill, she stubbornly refused and told me that she always rips bills in two when taking them out of the register! Then she called over another clerk to help tape the bill up, as the line grew longer and longer. All of this because she refused to give me an intact bill. What difference did this make to her and wasn’t it my right as a consumer to ask for an intact bill as change?
Later in the afternoon, I unwrapped the frame, only to find that the glass had a huge, deep scratch on it that was unacceptable. I got into the car and drove to a different Hobby Lobby and exchanged the frame for an identical one. I had no choice since they are closed on Sundays and this piece had to be shipped first thing Monday morning. The clerk was apologetic and wished me well with the second frame. Now – that is normal behavior and I think I will only patronize the second location from this point forward. Actually, the replacement frame also had scratches on the glass, but minor enough that nobody will notice in the gallery.
We went to the Corner Bakery with a coupon in hand for a free Birthday Bundt Cake ($2.99 value) or any other bakery sweet of equal or lesser value with any purchase. I repeat ANY PURCHASE. Nothing specified anywhere on the coupon that it had to be a minimum purchase. We decided to purchase another pastry for 99 cents and get the Pumpkin Bundt Cake ($2.49) as the freebie. The clerk gave us serious flack – nearly refusing to take the coupon, even when we pointed out that there was no small print. She said ” I will have to go ask somebody else.” Well, she came back with her tail between her legs and gave us what we wanted, but not without some nasty attitude. It makes you wonder what kind of training, if any, these chains provide to their employees. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have used promotional coupons in different stores and nobody seems to have been briefed on the use of such – total lack of communication on the part of corporate!