Okay, so yesterday, during the full moon, I had two rather strange encounters. One, was the hair salon receptionist who thought she needed more information about why I was canceling my appointment than I was willing to give her. The other was a Macy's furniture saleswoman who, on first pass seemed obtuse. But after giving it further thought, maybe was just not very with-it. Or maybe it was me being obtuse. You decide.
I called to see if the price for a pub-height table, bookcase that rolls under one end of it, and four stools were actually the price given in the flyer. It was quite the bargain, marked down from $999 to $399, and was exactly what my daughter needed for her kitchen. The lady was very nice, said yes she could see the one I was talking about in her flyer, and said she was shocked at the price. She said there was an additional $25 charge to get the furniture from the warehouse in California to the Reno store. I asked her what was the charge to get it delivered and she said it was $80 for the first piece and $20 for each additional piece. At that point, thinking I was being helpful, I said many people are actually starting to order directly from on-line vendors, as most companies now seemed to not have much in stock, and require a wait while the item was ordered. I said why pay two fees to get something that can be shipped directly to you without paying the middle-man. She said there was only ONE fee - the $25. I said there was two fees - the $25 to get it to Reno, and the fee for delivery. She got angry, said she tried to help me and there was only one fee. So I asked if the item could be sent directly to me for the $25 fee. She said no, it needed to go to the store and then I could either pick it up or have it delivered for the $180, etc. So, trying to understand, I asked if this was the same in Portland, OR, where my daughter lived, and she said she had no idea.
Now, if I order something on-line and have it sent to my home, I pay shipping. For furniture this could be high, so I don't really think I would ever order furniture on-line. Not to mention a truck and movers to get it to my home. But my point was that many stores are now only showrooms. You actually pay more for an item when they add all the additional charges to get the items to their stores. You are paying a middle man. This is pushing more people to go on-line instead of to their local retailers. I was trying to help her understand why some people are not shopping locally anymore. She saw it as an attack. She did not see the charges to get something to one's home as a charge. She never did say what she thought it was, only that it was not a charge - only the $25 was a charge. She could not see the big picture - what the total amount would be to a customer to get a piece of furniture to their home. (I might add that we recently bought a big item from RC Willey, who also had to get the item from their warehouse elsewhere. They did not charge an additional fee for this, and they only charged $45 for delivery, and that charge was good for the entire year if we bought more furniture from them. Good customer service. They told me what it would cost to get the item to my house, didn't charge extras, and understood that most people cannot get these big pieces of furniture into their CARS.)
So you tell me - was I just being dumb in thinking she would want to know why people might be going elsewhere, thinking she could pass this on at her next sales meeting? I know when I ran my wellness programs, I always wanted feedback from my nurses. That was the only way I could compete. Or was she just not thinking in a big-picture sort of way - like from the consumers point of view? Anyway, daughter passed on the item, and I just came away from the experience feeling weird. I was not trying to be difficult - honest!