Retail Reviews

It is all our own fault.  We consumers are so obsessed with finding a great deal with double and triple discounts that retailers must devise ever more complicated ways to trick manipulate make their bottom lines.  It is a game.  And the game is the reason that we are all cranky while Christmas shopping.  

Personally, I make a solemn vow every year not to take out my frustration on any of the sales people.  First, because they work extremely hard during a very difficult season.  Second, whatever has gone wrong is very likely not their fault.  And finally, I don’t want to be one of those people.  Besides, most of my holiday shopping frustration comes from the traffic.

Side Note:  The other day, I climbed into my car after picking up some stocking stuffers at the dollar store.  I checked my phone to be sure my mother saw my message so that I could avoid another stop.  I was interrupted by another car honking at me because she wanted my space.  I was thisclose to getting out of my car and going into another store just to be pissy.  But it was Christmas Eve or whatever.

Back to the story.  After spending an hour in a Carson’s store trying to figure out just what wasn’t excluded from my $20 off $50, I finally found some stuff and stood in line.  For 20 minutes.  Until finally I was told that my purchases still didn’t qualify for the discount because (blahblahblah).   While I didn’t actually raise my voice or otherwise make a scene, I was definitely huffy when I told the associate that I specifically looked for such a sign on that display and there wasn’t one.  Then I left the stuff and walked out of the store.

By the time I arrived home, I realized that the only department store that hasn’t disappointed me with complicated exclusions to advertised discounts was Kohl’s.  So now I have lists:

Naughty List:

  1. Carson’s
  2. Michael’s – The craft store twice overcharged me in a Didn’t Figure it Out Until I Got Home way
  3. Barnes&Noble.com – Package didn’t make it by Christmas
  4. SocialVest – A Shop for Charity app that sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t
  5. Harry&David.com – Discount codes didn’t work.  They get half a point back for sending me an e-mail apology with a new discount code, but it was literally too little, too late.  I went to 1800flowers.com.
  6. Apple – Refuses to confirm store inventory, and online ordering takes one week.  Oh, and the guy in the store actually gave me a hard time about using a gift card, because he had to type the number into his iPhone to make it work.  Seriously.

The Nice List:

  1. Kohl’s – The deals were so good that I made several trips just to pick up more Toys for Tots.
  2. Joann Fabric – Project Linus and I did really well on Black Friday.
  3. Coach Store – Yeah, yeah.  It wasn’t a “great deal” and I still spent a lot of money, but my expectations were met.
  4. DonorsChoose.com – Got me those gift cards by Christmas, as promised.
  5. Lord & Taylor – Just today handed me a $20 off $40 card as I walked in the door.  I was able to use even though I am not a credit card holder.

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