Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Retail Pet Peeve

Okay, so I'm a woman and I like to shop. Not that the two have to be related but in this case they are. There are two things that bother me lately and I'm wondering if I'm just getting old and crabby or if (god forbid) I'm right again.

First off, why does everyone want your phone number before they ring up a purchase and your email before they complete it. Apparently, one can't make a purchase any longer at certain stores unless they have a way to contact you. About what, exactly? It's not like a car purchase where they're going to give you a buzz and see if you're satisfied with the item. They're not going to call and suggest you bring the item in for maintenance. So why do they need my phone number in order for me to purchase something?

The email is even worse. I never give out my email. Wading through the piles of legitimate email and the illegitimate spam has already become a part time job. Why would I want more? Oh sure, they try to tempt you with the idea of discount coupons via email but what are they really peddling? I've been this route before. I think I can live without a 5% off coupon for a lattee on every second Tuesday with a full moon when I've purchased $50 or more in books.

The second problem I have is that of placing the receipt IN the shopping bag. I stand there every time - hand out, wallet open - and it does absolutely no good. I used to pick up the bag, shove the wallet under my arm and walk out struggling to retrieve the receipt and put it in my wallet before I got to the car. Don't know why I couldn't wait, but it must be some shopping law. Anyway, I've recently gone to standing there - hand out, open wallet - and making them retrieve the receipt from the bottom of the bag for me. I keep thinking they'll figure it out but so far, no luck. With this age of debit cards, why in the world would I want my receipt in the bottom of a bag where it will most likely get thrown away - thus causing two problems - one, my checkbook doesn't reflect the deduction and I don't have proof for the itemized sales tax deduction allowed for Texas this year. (I know, I know, but I'm an accountant, for Christ's sake)

Does this happen to you? Are people TRYING to make me stop shopping? What's next - your fingerprint for purchases and the sales clerk tosses your receipt in the trash?

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