Sunday, December 28, 2008

Saturday Observations

I started off my Saturday not at Costco as usual, but at Circuit City. I purchased something from them the day before and spied the exact same thing advertised at Fry's for $100 less when I opened the paper this morning.

The first thing I was told when I asked where to go to get a price match was that Circuit City might not price match Fry's. Why not? Because, she said, Fry's sells used and refurbished stuff and they aren't authorized to sell a lot of the things they have in the store.

Now, I hate Fry's myself but still that seemed a rather harsh thing to say and on top of that it wasn't true. As I told the CC employee, the Onkyo website (that's the manufacturer of the product I wanted to price match) lists Fry's as one of the places to buy their products, whereas they don't list Circuit City. Maybe it is because CC filed for bankruptcy?

Anyway, she told me I needed to check with the manager. The manager gave me the same story and also said the product had to be new (which the ad said nothing to the contrary) and it had to be in stock. The manager then had another employee call Fry's to check while she ran off somewhere.

The other employee called, found out it was new and in stock and said it was legit so I should get a price match. Then he disappeared and I couldn't find anyone for several minutes. So that's how they handle a price match - they just make themselves unavailable and hope the customer gives up.

Finally I found all three of them standing behind the door in an "employees only" section. To their credit they weren't trying to hide, but the manager was pointing to something posted on the board and talking to the other two employees. I thought that was pretty rude of her to have ignored me like that and left me waiting. Then one of the other employees walked over and told me I could handle the price match at the customer service/pickup register. The manager was probably pointing out procedures on how to get rid of annoying customers requesting a price match and asking her two staff people why they let me get past the gate.

In the end I received $119.08 - the difference plus 10% plus tax. Or rather, I received a promise that the corporate office would mail the check to me and I would receive it within 5-7 business days. So it's still not over.

At least Fry's is good for something!

I'm so glad I bought the TV at Costco instead of CC (although it still hasn't been connected/set up as of this writing.. I did tons of rewiring today and it's nearly done). Any problem at Costco - they fix it right away.

Then I went to Costco. Not too much to show you today.. first off, we needed more vitamins. I hesitated but finally decided not to be vain and bought this:

Haha.. yup, I guess I should be getting the "mature adult 50+" bottle from now on, sigh..

And this sirloin roast looked like it might be good so I put it in the cart. They've had it for a couple of months and it hasn't disappeared from the shelves (unlike CC employees handling a price match) so I figured it must be okay.

I also checked the prices on HDMI cables for connecting the TV to the receiver. Whoa, $49.95 for 2 12' cables! I passed. It's a lot cheaper on Amazon.

After lunch we went to Big Lots as I was hoping they might have a cheap HDMI cable (these handle digital signals - either the signal goes through or it doesn't, so fancier cables aren't going to make the signal any better). They didn't have any so we went to Target. I had won a $50 gift card at our company dinner dance last year (2007) that still hadn't been used since both Julie and I hardly ever shop there. I figured I might as well buy the HDMI cable over there and use up the card.

By the way, I overheard two old ladies talking at Big Lots.

OL1: (pointing to a box of cereal in the cart) Do you want that cereal??

OL2: No.

OL1: Then why'd you put it in the cart??

OL2: I'll take it.

The cable they sold at Target was $39.99! Argh, even though I had a gift card I hated spending so much for a dumb cable! That exact same cable is $14.09 on Amazon. After dinner we went back to Target and returned the cable. I don't need it right away so I thought they would give me back cash and I could take the $43.29 and put it to better use.

Wrong.. if you get a refund on a purchase made from a cash card, they put the money back on the card. Cheapskates.. so now I have a $50 Target cash card again, following me around like a bad penny.

You know what it is - HDMI is the "latest technology" so just like S-Video cables used to be so darn expensive but now are cheap, HDMI sells at a premium even though it probably costs them 50 cents to make a $39.99 cable ($14.09 at Amazon).

Before I start sounding too much like a crotchety old fogey, I'll end here. And here's today's YouTube, dedicated to that manager at Circuit City, haha..

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