Archive for the ‘upc’ Tag

09-06-2013   Leave a comment

I worked for two retail companies for a total of nineteen years which makes me something of an expert.  I continue to be amazed at the poor hiring practices used by most retailers.  They hire on the cheap and expect the world of those same inexperienced and poorly trained employees.  Walmart is the largest retailer around and the stories from their stores are amazingly bizarre. They are just the tip of a gigantic and costly iceberg. 

All of us have tales to tell about the odd, strange, and stupid behavior of cashiers from almost any chain or store you can think of. It has forced many companies to create cash register systems that are more and more complex.  Their thought process is to make the registers so smart that it takes the guesswork out of the hands of the cashiers.  It’s a great idea but doomed to failure.  All that solution gives the store is an expensive and complex computer checkout system run by an eighteen year old inexperienced dumbass.

Here are a few stories I’ve found that make my point and then some.

  • A cashier noticed that a man never signed his name on the back of his credit card. She informed him that she could not complete the transaction unless the card was signed. When he asked why, she explained that it was necessary to compare the signature on the credit card with the signature he’d just signed on the receipt. So he took a pen and signed the credit card in front of her. She carefully compared that signature to the one he signed on the receipt. As luck would have it, they matched.
  • A young girl went to a local Taco Bell and ordered a taco. She asked the individual behind the counter for "minimal lettuce." He said he was sorry, but they only had iceberg.
  • A woman was at the airport, checking in at the gate, when the airport employee asked, "Has anyone put anything in your baggage without your knowledge?" She said, "If it was without my knowledge, how would I know?" He smiled and nodded knowingly, "That’s why we ask."
  • At a good-bye lunch for an old and dear retail coworker who was leaving the company due to "down-sizing," the store manager spoke up and said, "this is fun. We should have lunch like this more often." Not another word was spoken. Everyone just looked at each other like “deer in the headlights”.

These problems exist across the board with every type of retailer.  Kids who can’t make the proper change even after the register tells them the proper amount. I could make a twenty minute shopping trip to any store and have at least one good story to tell about employee screw-ups. If you can imagine how many errors are being made on a daily basis in this country, it gets a little scary.

This should be considered your PSA (Public Service Announcement) for today. Keep your eyes and ears open when shopping because not all mistakes cost just the company money.  You could be losing money every time you shop if your not paying attention.  Check your receipt before you leave the store for any obvious errors.  Companies are notorious for putting prices on a sign near the product but forgetting to update the UPC system. It costs us millions of dollars every year and that’s a conservative estimate.

Buyer Beware!

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