Amazed at Box Store Apathy (long)

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Robert Allison wrote:

That's their problem, they don't care much for "shoppers". Yet all these shoppers continue to keep HD and Lowes in business. Apparently us "shoppers" have a little more money than the hardware stores realize.

Maybe, but if they continue to ignore the regular 9-5 or 9-6 (or 8-6 in some cases) workers, you may end up buying everything from the borg.
I ALWAYS go to HD. There's a true value about 1/2 mile further down the road, but I find their prices high, they don't have nearly as much stuff, and they don't have any more knowledgable people on their floor then HD. AND their hours suck. The one by me isn't even open on Sunday...
Hell, HD was open new year's day from 8-5.
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Charlie
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (louie) writes: | Unfortunately, for me and probably many others who continue to feed | stores like HD, the only saving grace of these stores are the hours. I | can go in there after work hours and get what I need for that evening | or weekend project. Many local hardware stores have closed by the time | I can get there.
Another feature of home centers is that they are actually willing to sell to us. We had a local place (open only to 5 of course) that had a pretty good selection of plumbing, electrical, and some general building supplies. The prices weren't great, but it was local business. They had a change of management and became "trades only." I went in one day to get a faucet stem and was told that I needed to be accompanied by a licensed plumber with an account. Now some years later I hear they have reconsidered and are willing to deal with the general public for some (non-professional?) items, but I just don't have the urge to beg them to take my money...
                Dan Lanciani                 ddl@danlan.*com
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Look at it from their point of view: You could poke your eye out with a faucet stem if you didn't have a licensed PROFESSIONAL there with you to keep you safe. :-)
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small portion of the total business, can be a royal pain in the ass. They need a lot more hand-holding, and generate a lot more returns. Pros come in with a list, know exactly what they need, and if they screw up and buy the wrong thing, don't cry about the restocking charges. If there are big-boxes in town that cater to the amatuers, dealing with civilians just may not be worth the hassle.
aem sends...
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On Sat, 07 Jan 2006 02:53:59 +0000, ameijers wrote:

Sure, and that's their perogative. OTOH, several "trades" stores I've gone to seem to rather like the homeowners business (money is money). I go in with a list and a wad of cash (and try not to be a PITA). I have a suspicion that these cash deals are, umm, off the books. ;-)
--
Keith

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(snip)

like a tradesman, as long as they can't see I didn't drive up in a beat up pickup truck, and they don't mind that I don't have a illegible PO on a clipboard to present. When I need something weird (aka, not available at big-box) bad enough to take off work and find a day-shift-ony 'trade-only' store, I try real hard to have the brand and part number, or the old one, or a sample, or whatever, to match. When they offer to scribble out a receipt, I just tell them that I'm not getting reimbursed, and they don't insist. Their accounting is their problem.
After years of driving trucks out of supply house with 10k worth of material, and just signing for it, it sure was a rude shock to have to start actually paying cash money for supplies..... :^(
aem sends...
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We were lucky at the time we redid our 2.5 bathrooms as the clerk worked as a civil servant for the Dept of Navy and moonlighted at HD. Has was a plumber and had endless energy that showed when he ran up the ladder to retrieve something stored overhead.

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nospambob wrote:

When I was 17-18 (20 yrs ago) I worked at a radioshack for a couple of years. The 5pm-9 guy I worked with just started his own business and moonlighted at RS. He was an engineer, decent people skills, and very smart. I was a computer geek (WAS??) and we both made $10+ an hour (commission). Not bad for 1985 (about $17.75 in today's $$$).
We had people come into our store just because we knew what the hell we were talking about, and we offered service. The soccer mom who's cordless phone went bad came in because we would solder the leads on for free for her. If we had time we'd build stuff for people all the time. The engineer would design some circuits for people, I would create a wiring diagram for people who had no clue how to hook up their cable box, VCR, and 3 TV. I even wrote a BASIC program for a lawyer who wanted to make a word search puzzle for his kid.
And we didn't close at 5.
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Yeah, but that was back then. In today's litigious society you'll get sued in a split second for anything when things go bad, even though you meant well and your intentions were to do the person a favor and help them out. I doubt that Radio Shack would want their employees doing these "outside of their normal policy" services today as they'd be worried about the consequences if ever that BASIC program accidentally erased the contents of the lawyer's hard drive (as unlikely as that is), or if the electrical circuits that you built accidentally electrocuted somebody or started a fire.
Unfortunately, it seems that today you should only do what you are told / authorized to do. If you try to be helpful and go outside of those boundaries and things go bad, you'll get SLAMMED. Pull somebody out of a flaming car wreck and you'll get sued if you accidentally got them paralyzed in the process.
Too many hungry lawyers out there.
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In the beginning, that's what they did. But then they found that they could survive without the expertise and save money on wages. Unfortunately, many of their competitors are moving in that direction, also, in order to compete. Companies like Sears, who used to pay a wage that could support a family, now use the excuse that they "need to be competitive" as a reason to cut wages and benefits. All this would be ok but I don't understand why my gasoline, gas, electric, loan interest, etc., etc. costs keep going up if all of these companies are cutting costs to "remain competitive". Why can't I tell the gasoline stations and utilities that "I'm sorry but you won't be able to raise your prices because my wages have not gone up". (please note "sarcasm") Tom G.
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clipped

I had the same problem waiting for someone to help me try on shoes at Walmart :o) Pleading? I would go somewhere that I don't need to plead to be waited on.

They say you get what you pay for. The box stores have replaced an awful lot of nice small businesses, where you could get free advice with your purchase. I know of one old hardware store that has almost everything and staff who know how to use the products they sell. Most knowledgeable folks with special skill use their skill to make maximum income - why would they want to work at the box store they can't compete with? You gonna do your banking at the Walmart bank?
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It must be a store specific thing. In our area, our local Lowes has a very informed and helpful flooring in general and tile in specific crew managing that department while just across the street, the same department in HD has brainless idiots. Must be the reason why I always see a crowd at the Lowes Flooring Department buying and hardly anyone at the same department at HD. Which shows that it does get all sorted out in the long run, ie, our local Lowes gets all the flooring business just because of that and the unknowing that do wonder into HD's flooring department will soon or later be doing all their business at Lowes.
Ref: Lowes and HD located at Exit 7, I-81, Bristol Virginia.
Regards, Ed
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I remember when home shithole first started how they were supposd to have people who had actually worked in the trades manning the aisles...now we know if a tradesman goes to home depot...unless is old or disabled...then he or she is worthless or lazy anyway.
Ive actually seen a home depot employee go off on a couple of customers one time, I think he was drunk or something cause he was cursing...talking about asshole customers....I got another HD employee who then ran and got a manager or some supervisory person and they removed that boy from the floor.
I help people quite a bit when in HD or lowes, especially older folks...makes me feel good to actually be able to help someone even though it is taking up my time and Im not getting paid to do it like the HD/lowes employees.
I give correct accurate information too...
Anyhow...what you are descibing is not limited to HD/Lowes....its an infection that is rapidly spreading across america.....its called fat lazy and ignorant american worker syndrome.
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

looking at a Notebook PC. I know computers but this particular PC had a connector (or buss) that I didn't recognize. I asked an employee who looked at the label and began reading it to me....I almost exploded with laughter but let him finish reading. I then asked him to go find someone knowledgeable who could help me because I didn't need help reading. The department manager came over and apologized, got my question and proceded to read the label a 2nd time to me. This time, I asked him if he could get the manual for me on this display model, looked up the answer I needed and made sure the Manager and the employee knew the answer for the next poor soul who asked.
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On 8 Jan 2006 21:04:39 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

And the real shame of it all is that most employers don't give a rat's ass that their employees don't give a rat's ass either....
Regards, Ed
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wrote:

Why should they care? You're buying the stuff anyway. And while most people WANT expertise, the available evidence shows that given the choice between paying $9.00 for a widget from someone who knows something about it, and $8.00 for the same widget from someone who doesn't, most people choose the latter, and then bitch about it.
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