TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: What Wal-Mart Knows About Customers' Habits

Re: What Wal-Mart Knows About Customers' Habits

Steve Sobol (
Mon, 22 Nov 2004 14:13:12 -0800

Robert Bonomi wrote:

> I've been in a Walmart precisely _once_ in my life (BB's are d*mn
> hard to find in the big cities these days -- the kid at the local
> hardware store said "what are BBs?" *sigh* Walmart is about the
> *only* place in the area that has 'em. I wasn't going shooting, I
> just needed a bunch of 'em as lightweight ball-bearings. Anyway ...)
> In that store, and in *every* *other*store*of*any*type* that takes
> 'mixed bag' (debit, credit, check, ATM) cards that I've been in in the
> last circa 10 years, the card NEVER LEAVES THE CUSTOMER'S HAND.

I beg to differ, Sir. At our Wal*Mart, you can swipe the card yourself
but more often than not, out of habit, I hand the card to the cashier
anyhow and she swipes it.

Same with grocery stores, etc. Generally people do swipe the cards
themselves but that is NOT always the case.

Then TELECOM Digest Editor noted in partial response:

> But in the customer service office, it is different. If you want to
> purchase a money order for example, you cannot use a credit card, only
> a debit card (bank/ATM card). So they want to take your card, look at
> it, etc. When the computer finishes printing up your money orders or
> your postage stamps (and other things you buy in that area) then the
> customer service person swipes your card on her side of the counter.

Well, yeah; if I'm giving you a cash equivalent (money order, for
example), I'm going to make damned sure that the transaction goes
through. So, yes, I'm going to take extra precautions to that end.

I'm not, however, arguing that your Wal*Mart is wonderful. It's
entirely possible that it is horrid. Just making a couple
counterpoints to your points.

Paul A Lee wrote:

>> Why is it OK for the a big chain like Walgreen's (or CVS,
>> Rite-Aid, etc.) to come into a town and drive the little
>> independent drugstores out of business ... indeed you salute
>> them for opening a new store in your downtown

> More often than not, when a Rite Aid pharmacy replaces a little
> independent drugstore", we acquire and "pour over" the pharmacy
> business into a new or nearby existing Rite Aid store.

I didn't know this. If the Rite Aid five minutes from my house didn't
have absolutely horrendous customer service, this would be another
reason to shop there. (Front-end is ok, but the pharmacy employees are
all jerks. The other area Rite Aids have decent employees working for
them, and good customer service, and I've complained to the regional
manager about my neighborhood store and perhaps he's fixed things up
by now.)

The important thing is that, in this area, when Rite Aid bought the
local Thrifty drug stores, they kept the Thrifty ice-cream counters!

(You gotta have priorities!) Internet & New Media Services,
Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge / 888.480.4NET (4638) /
PGP Key available from your friendly local key server (0xE3AE35ED)
Apple Valley, California Nothing scares me anymore. I have three kids.

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