Sunday, July 11, 2010

ATTN retailers - No means NO!

“Would you like to open up a charge card with us and get a discount on this purchase?” is a refrain we hear every time we check out at many national retail stores.  As someone who has had store cards and paid them off - my answer is always “no thank you”.   But it troubles me that retailers do this especially in light of our current debt crisis.I do not blame the folks working in these stores who ask the question.  They have to.  I blame corporate for making them do this.  

Recently I was checking out at a retail store chain that specializes in women’s fashions and a young woman was in line next to me.  The associate asked her the same question and she politely said “no thank you”.   The associate would not let it go.  She repeatedly talked about the discount she would receive on her purchase if she opened up a credit card and the future discounts she would receive.  The customer repeatedly said “no”.  The associate would not give up.  She actually suggested that the customer could open up the account and then pay off the balance right now and get the discount!   Again – the customer said “no” stating that she did not want a credit card – end of story.  The customer held her ground but was clearly annoyed.  I was annoyed listening to this exchange and she and I both were ready to leave the store without making a purchase and never return.

I have heard this complaint from many customers who have stopped doing business with retailers who push opening credit accounts at the time of check out.  By the time we get to the check out – we are ready to get outta there.  We are done.  We have busy lives!   We just want to check out.  It’s frustrating enough to have to answer questions… what’s your zipcode?  phone number?  email address?  and then be asked to open a credit account with the store – enough already! 
Another frustration I hear from customers are retailers who are constantly “upselling” – the old “want fries with that?”  No – I don’t want your fries, your candy, lotion, CD.  I want to take care of my business - pay for my purchase and leave. 

I have no scientific evidence to prove this – but I have a theory that for every customer who opens up a credit account at a store or who purchases items they did not come into purchase – at least one customer will never shop there again because of this.  In fact, it may be many more.  I truly believe that retailers lose more customers than they gain through these practices.

Again I’m not blaming the retail workers who have to do this.  I’m sending a message to your bosses asking you to please stop pushing credit or products we don’t want down our throats.  If you want us to keep doing business with you just appreciate the fact that we are shopping in your store and thank us for our business.  Offer quality products and service at prices we like and provide exceptional customer service.  And finally respect us and our time by making check out easy, fast and uncomplicated and understand that when we say no – we mean no!

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