OT rant: "customer service" is a cost to be minimized

I think AT&T set the customer service standard that has spread across the entire business sector of the economy.

“We’re not happy till you’re not happy.”

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That has to be balanced with the fact that an increasing number of businesses don’t accept cash at all.

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In the 1960’s the gasoline station where I worked gave stamps with each gasoline purchase. Tuesday was double stamp day. Of course were just interested the price of the gasoline. Mama though wanted those stamps!

When I’m asked for a phone number to prove I’m part of a loyalty program to get a discount, I always use (the local area code)-867-5309. Works 99% of the time. Jenny, don’t ever change your number!

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My iPhone will create a random email address for me on the fly. It will forward emails to one of my regular emails. And I can make the random email address disappear in an instant (or after I confirm it to get my discount).

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Lowe’s still has a branded card offering 5% on every purchase, without exception. And the card can’t be used anywhere else, so the concept still lives. I carry it and use it. 5% is better than nothing, although it’s close. I’d like the 10% military discount except I never spent any time in the military.

What I tend to do for Lowe’s is to buy Lowe’s gift cards when they go on sale or have a rebate, and then use those gift cards at the store for my purchases. I’ve bought a $100 Lowe’s gift card that came with a bonus $10 gift card, so about 9% off. And once in a while, a credit card will have an offer “Spend $250 at Lowe’s, get $50 back”, so I buy $250 in gift cards and it costs $200 net for a 20% discount!

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Speaking of home improvement stores, I was at Home Depot the other day looking for a part to fix a a toilet. Three options were available. One at $6.99 was made in China and claimed to be “universal” if one is willing to bend the part a bit. The second at $12.99 was a name brand made in Mexico and looked okay. The last was made in the USA for $16.99 and looked like it would probably outlast my house.

I bought the made in America part, which I could afford because I usually make my burgers at home and have no regrets. It was easy to install and of good quality.

My point is that if we want manufacturing to return to the USA AND we want American workers to be paid a fair wage, we consumers have to be willing to pay the price.

Feeding at the retail bottom typically means sending jobs to countries with the lowest wages.

Nothing really to do with your post other than the link between Lowes and HD.

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As I have noted before, I would be a rich man, if I had a nickle, for every person who walked in my Radio Shack, and the first thing out of his mouth was “what’s the cheapest…?” Then there was the one guy who really had chutzpah. I know who it was, because I recognized his voice over the phone. After pumping me for free information for several minutes, he drops the big one “you guys are pretty expensive. where can I get it cheaper?”

Steve

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Yup, it really should be MAGAALAIDCM, Make America Great Again As Long As It Doesn’t Cost Me. Probably need a bigger cap though. Always difficult to condense Truth to a small sound bite.

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Yup. Which is why the “thought leaders” are always offering who they will make pay, for the “greatness” their target audience is to enjoy. (people on welfare, immigrants, octomoms, other countries…)

Steve

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As Benjamin Franklin famously said: “the bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”.

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It would seem they are not! I just finished a three week driving tour of the south (WV,TN,GA,FL,SC,NC,VA) and most of the places had no one at the front counter. Some would eventually attend me; but at one a departing employee pointed me to the kiosk and said no one mans the counter anymore. I stood at one counter for probably 10 minutes before someone came to the counter. I don’t do drive-up; I don’t do coupons; I just want some service!

JimA

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This is Shiny-land. We are all about “rugged individualism” and “freeedom”. Fend for yourself, because the “JC” can’t be bothered having anyone interact with you.

Steve

It that good for family of military as well?

“Wherever you might find it cheaper. Bye.”

In which case, no need for take-out. Because everyone would take that claim to heart. The only things that might survive are the places that make things most people do not know how to make (i.e. Chinese, other Asian, and items that are impractical to make at home.

So many billions of gasoline not burned ($$$ in the consumers’ wallet that could be saved) and pollution eliminated. Nobel prize time ???

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Nobel Prize #1: Eat at home instead of fast food. (eat healthier, reduce emissions)
Nobel Prize #2: Substitute turkey burger for beef hamburger. (reduce emissions further)

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OK. I like ground turkey. It’s a great choice for many dishes. (One of my favorites is a breakfast frittata with a Mexican inspiration - have a couple in my fridge as we speak.) But a hamburger is not one of them. Turkey (and chicken) simply doesn’t work in this application.

What does work is a vegetable patty. Not some vegetables pretending to be meat (I’m looking at you Impossible). But vegetables proud to be vegetables (with grains). Those patties don’t look like ground meat. They don’t taste like ground meat. But they are still good.

–Peter

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What happens when avian flu kills many turkeys and chickens?

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