Shopping Annoyances (And Maybe Some Danger?)

Yes, this is a detour from technology oriented content. I’m about to give up brick and mortar stores permanently, as the aggravation factor has gotten permanently out of control. I’m stuck getting groceries at physical stores, but I’m definitely going to buy everything else anyplace but locally.

I’m really getting aggravated at the number of ways merchants have of intruding on your privacy and trying to squeeze extra hard earned cash out of unsuspecting consumers.

Once upon a time, it was drilled into me that spending cash is far better than using credit cards. These days, many stores seem to be at the point of refusing legal tender in the hopes of getting you to go into debt and pay dept. store interest.

Macy’s Sucks

Macy’s is one of the worst. Their uninformed, underpaid, constantly churning sales clerks have a spiel where they are required (apparently upon penalty of losing their jobs) to ask “Will this be on your Macy’s card?” and if you say no, “Do you have a Macy’s card?”. If you just hold out cash, some of the clerks literally don’t know what to do. Apparently they can’t ring up the sale without obtaining an answer. And you can’t get most sale prices without using their credit card.

Since their merger with Filenes, the brand offering has gone steadily downhill. The emphasis and features brands are now cheap store brands. The selection has decreased and the quality has plummeted. Oh how I wish Nordstroms would open here. They are such a class act.

Rewards Cards/Loyalty Cards/Frequent Shopper Cards

Even LIDS has a Loyalty Card. They almost wouldn’t let me buy a baseball cap without one. The clerk refused to sell me what I wanted until I listened to his pitch for a loyalty card. Stop & Shop will give you discounts if you tell them to use the “customer card” but some clerks will argue about it.

I won’t be tracked. End of discussion. Take you loyalty card and shove it.

Service Plans

Circuit City tells me “this ____ qualifies for our service plan”. I doubt there is anything in the store that doesn’t. Best Buy is worse. Not only does the clerk spend more time trying to sell you a service plan for _____ than answering questions about the features of _____, but if you actually get to the register, you almost can’t make a purchase without listening to a pitch to buy/get a rewards card.

Even Brookstone, already outrageously over priced has stopped offering a “life time guarantee” and have replaced that policy with, yup, you guessed it – a service plan offering.


Don’t get me started on this one. I have yet to receive a rebate from anything I’ve ever purchased at Best Buy or CompUSA. It’s a waste of postage. It’s worthy of a class action suit, but I doubt it will every happen. The stores throw up their hands and say it has nothing to do with them.


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