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Gregg picked us up after work to go to dinner in the Castro at The Anchor, our favorite oyster bar/seafood restaurant. I had the clam chowder (the best) and the pan-seared scallops with saffron butter sauce. Delicious--we've never had a bad meal there. Steve had the same; Gregg had the chowder and the crabcakes, and graciously picked up the tab. It was part of our belated joint birthday celebration (Gregg's was 5 days before mine).

After dinner we walked over to Tower Video. They were having a big sale, with 25% off all science-fiction and fantasy titles. I took the opportunity to finally get the Fireball XL5 boxed set. Gregg went nuts with a full page list of DVDs he wanted to get. While he shopped, he chatted on his cell phone with his new boyfriend Steve in Orlando, describing all his finds. My Steve and I both said hello on the phone.

When I was ready to check out, the cashier rung me up, but the total included the full price for the Fireball set.

Me: "I thought the sale was 25 percent off all science fiction titles."

Cashier: "Let me check on that...(asking other Tower thrall)...Is this included in the sale?"

Other thrall: "No, that's classified as television, so it's not included"

Me: (pointing to banner on sale flyer) "But is says all science fiction and fantasy titles. Doesn't specify films vs. TV."

Cashier: "Hmmm..not sure that's science fiction"

Me: (pointing to label on boxed set that says 'Gerry Andersons's Rarely-Seen Sci-Fi Classic') But...but...it says it's sci-fi right on the box!!"

Cashier: "Oh....OK...." (re-rings me up)

Other thrall: " Well, OK, but I'll probably lose my job...If I'm not here tomorrow you'll know why."

Me: (to myself): "Too damn bad!! Truth in advertising!! I'd sue your pants off if you didn't give me the discount! You wouldn't want to work for a company that fired you for making your customers happy anyway!!!"

It's not like we don't spend a couple thousand dollars at Tower each year...sheesh!!


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 30th, 2003 04:09 pm (UTC)
*remembering Steve's media collection*

"a COUPLE thousand?"

that's all?

Aug. 31st, 2003 04:18 pm (UTC)
Hehheh---most of the CD collection he got years before he met me. The DVDs are all a joint venture, though.
Aug. 30th, 2003 05:58 pm (UTC)
This past Tuesday, Dennis and I went into our local Tower because I planned to "treat" myself to a new CD that was released that day. (It was a belated birthday present to myself.) Although it was on sale for $14.99 at their website, I figured I could save on shipping if I bought it at the store.

When I took the CD up to the checkout counter, I asked the guy if the disc was on sale. (From previous experience, new releases at Tower are always on sale for the first week or so.) He scanned it and it came up full price. When I mentioned that I thought new releases were always on sale, he checked a printout and declared that it was on sale for $15.98...starting the next day. However, before I could say anything, he offered to give it to me at the sale price anyway.

When he gave me the total (which, with tax, came out to be close to the regular price), I quickly thought of how I could buy this disc (and one other I've had my eye on) at Amazon.com, on sale for $14.99, without the tax, without shipping, and basically save myself money in the long run. "Oh," I said politely, "um, I can get it cheaper somewhere else."

The guy looked at me for a second and then turned away as he said, "Yeah, I'm sure you can!"

I thanked him and we walked out, but I left unsure of whether he was being honest or flippant. Tower Records employees (which are a dime a dozen) have always shown this knack for being incredibly above it all--especially the customers. In this internet age, where there are websites a-plenty (including Tower themselves) that offer CDs and DVDs at reduced prices, often without tax or shipping costs, I don't understand why retail stores aren't bending over backward to not only bring in more customers, but to keep them satisfied so they come back.

Sure, they gave you the sale price for your boxed set, but they mouthed off about it. Plus, instead of thinking how wonderful they were to offer it to you without your having to ask for it (after all, it was Sci-Fi, which fits into their sale wording), you had to push for it and you left the store feeling resentful.

It's pathetic, isn't it?
Aug. 31st, 2003 04:02 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it is. Most of the staff at the Tower in the Castro are in their own little worlds most of the time. We usually buy new releases at Costco, believe it or not--better prices. I buy stuff online too, but there's nothing like that rush of immediate gratification you get with live shopping.

Aug. 30th, 2003 10:55 pm (UTC)
Ahh... Customer service like that makes me SOO thrilled to work in retail some days. I'd have asked for the manager and reported the exact conversation you had with the clerks and make sure the management knows just how rude they were.

You wouldn't want to work for a company that fired you for making your customers happy anyway!

Of course, it goes both ways sometimes... I've had customers who try to browbeat me into being their personal slave just because they're "bestowing" their business upon my store.

Lets just chalk it up to the fact that when it comes to money, people can act really weird.
Aug. 31st, 2003 04:14 pm (UTC)
Yeah...it sure makes me act weird sometimes. I'm usually the most non-confrontational consumer whore there is.
Aug. 31st, 2003 02:37 am (UTC)
I wish I were a spaceman, the fastest guy alive, I'd fly around the universe, in FIREBALL XL5!
Aug. 31st, 2003 04:03 pm (UTC)
Ready, Venus??
Aug. 31st, 2003 04:15 pm (UTC)
Ready Steve!
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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