Salisbury is a Mecca of retail chaos. Granted I love this place, but not after work, with a headache, no dinner ... feeling like I want to hurt somebody. It was a recipe for disaster.
But, my little grandson's first birthday is tomorrow, and this was my only chance to buy his present - a toy box. Toys R Us had it.... Toys R Us .... in December... I'd rather pour boiling water in my eyes.
Well, I figured as long as I had to endure the pain of the toy store, I might as well hit Macy's and pick up Lara's gift - and pop into Boscov's and buy my Christmas floor mats. (These were not impulse buys, but needed stuff ... the last things on my Christmas shopping list).
Came out of Macy's with 5 things for me and Lara's gift. So I over spent a little - actually four times what I expected to spend. But the decorations, and music and Martha Stewarts sweet face behind that red and green Christmassy kitchenware got me in the mood ... to buy. So I did.
I went to Toys R Us and came out with Tristan's toy box and two things for me - okay, they were a pack of pretzel M&Ms and batteries - but still more than I planned.
Then, feeling pretty good, I went into Boscov's department store. It was all decked out in Christmas stuff. The floor mats were 50% off. So I picked up four - two for the kitchen, one for each bathroom. Then I got a Christmas garden flag and a box of lights. The girl at the check out was nice. She rang up the sale - $42.61. I gave her my credit card and she examined it. She said, "Do you have your ID because your signature is rubbed off."
I don't carry a purse into stores. I have pockets. I carry my government issued blackberry and my personal iPhone, my car key and my credit card - in pockets. I abhor schlepping a bag around.
I said, "No, I don't carry a purse. But look... here's my state issued blackberry" - I clicked to the settings where my name comes up. "See? There's my name." She wasn't impressed. So I pulled out my iPhone. A manager approached the register. "Look, here's my Facebook profile - see my picture and my name?" Then I flipped to the Internet and pulled up two (of my four) bookmarked blog sites that have both my name and my photo... then over to my CBS news blog.
The manager looked at me with disdain. How dare I ask for an exception. Who did I think I was?
One more time I tried ... "For God's sake, I'm all over the freeking Internet."
To this the manager replied, "Our policy is to require ID if the credit card doesn't have a signature."
Shame on you, Boscov's. You've reduced your staff to being robotic non-thinkers who aren't authorized to assess a customer's credibility or weigh the cost of sending a frustrated customer away angry, against the cost of possibly defrauding Boscov's of $42.
Why didn't I have trouble with a non-signed credit card at Macy's or Toys R Us? Because they never handle the cards. Like Target and Bed Bath and Beyond, Barnes and Noble - and even WalMart, these stores have the customers handle their own cards right with an ATM type device right at the checkout counter.
So when the Boscov's cashier suggest I walk to my car, get my ID and return to the register where they would be happy to take care of the transaction - I replied .... wait for it ...... "Bite Me!"
I didn't scream it or say it even disrespectfully. I said it in a nice kind of way - sort of smiling. Like .. "Bite me .. and Merry Christmas to ya' ... I won't be shopping here."
Boscov's, I wish it was as easy to shop at your store as it is to shop at the other chain stores. I wish you'd empower your managers to make exceptions for people who can reasonably prove identity through sources other than the photo ID. I wish you were more customer service oriented. And, I wish I had my damn bath mats.
Oh....yeah, Boscov's.... you might also consider hiring a marketing editor.