Pick a finger!

JCPenney – or JCP as they now preferred to be called – recently sent me a $10.00 coupon for being a “valued customer.”  I decided to put it towards a new gold tie clip that was $18.50.

Luckily their new Everyday Low Pricing Strategy is such a flop that there was only one customer before me when I went to the register so I only had to wait a few seconds to be waited on. When I approached the register station the clerk picked up what appeared to be a cell phone. “Oh great, another rude sales person,” I thought to myself. “I could have shopped at Macy’s if I wanted to be treated like this.”

But instead he took this hand-held device and scanned the barcode on the tie clip and then my coupon. He then turned it sideways and handed it to me. I was looking at a blank screen. “What I am supposed to do with this?” I asked.

“Sign here,” he said.

“With what?” I asked.

“Use your finger,” he replied.

WTF, as the Millennials say. I have not used my finger to write my name since finger-paint kindergarten days. And the signature that I wrote with my index finger looked nothing – nothing – like my actual signature. Perhaps if I used my middle finger it would have been neater, but I am sure that would not have gone over well.

The clerk then asked me if I wanted a printed receipt or just an e-mailed one. I opted for the printed one. Why should I have to go home and print out what should be a 2-inch receipt on an 8.5” by 11” sheet of paper using my own paper, ink and electricity? How is that helping the environment? I think that is only helping JCPenney’s bottom line.

Quite frankly, I don’t see the appeal of this mobile checkout system. The clerk was standing next to a perfectly functioning cash register that was sitting their idle. But he did have to use it to print my receipt.  I think shoplifting is going to skyrocket under this system. If the clerks are roaming around with mobile phone cash registers what’s to stop them from being in collusion with their friends and say scan a $20 shirt and then put the $80 shirt next to it in the bag?

With my purchase the clerk placed the tie clip in a plastic bag that was about 10 times too big.

On second thought, I should have opted for the e-mailed receipt. This way I could have picked up a tie and shirt to match the tie clip on the way out to better fill this oversized bag. Then if one of the guards flanking the escalators should stop me I could simply explain that my receipt was e-mailed to me at home and I’d be happy to bring it in the next time I’m in the store.

Pack Your Bags!
I bought three boxes of Kleenex brand tissue a few weeks ago in ShopRite. Instead of putting them in the chain’s signature canary yellow plastic bags I opted to put them in a paper bag. The problem is the Kleenex is apparently made of stronger paper than the pulp ShopRite uses in their bags. When I picked it up the bag instantly ripped down the side.

This should not have happened. I don’t think three boxes of Kleenex even weighs half a pound. I ended up taking another paper bag and putting it inside a plastic one, which defeats the purpose.

I can understand retailers wanting to use less paper in the name of saving the environment, but these bags were so thin, cheap and useless that ShopRite would be better off not offering paper bags at all.  You can’t help the environment if half the bags end up ripped in the garbage before the customer even leaves the store. I find the paper bags in Kings and Trader Joe’s are at least 10-times stronger and they even have handles. A&P also has very strong traditional paper grocery sacks; although they keep them hidden under the register and customers have to ask for them.

Whoever does the paper bag purchasing at Wakefern should ask A&P, Kings and Trader Joe’s who their supplier is and make the switch.

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