Archive for the ‘Retail Experiences’ Category

Bath & Body Works Shenanigans

July 16th, 2020 Comments off

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Bath & Body Works, as in I love some of their products, but I hate their prices and their practices leave something to be desired.

It’s gotten to the point where I am not interested in their lotions, body wash, or hand soaps, but I do still like the wallflowers and candles. I’m picky about scents, however. For the most part I like vanilla, marshmallow fireside, and a newer one my cousin turned me onto two years ago, heirloom apple. I was too sick last year to care about any of that stuff but now that I’m feeling better, and I’m down to my last wallflower, I went looking for heirloom apple only to be unable to find it. So I contacted B&BW via Facebook Messenger:

B&BW Message

I took to the internet to find out whether anyone could point me toward a dupe scent, whether that be from Bath & Body Works or another company. In the meantime, I got this Yankee Candle macintosh votive at Meijer to try out.


It’s ok, but not what I was looking for.

Someone online told me to look for B&BW’s honeycrisp apple scent, but when I checked online it was only available in a one wick candle for $10. No thanks. I don’t mind the occasional candle but I prefer how a wallflower tends to fill the house with scent.

We went out yesterday and I decided to stop in a Bath & Body Works store. I asked about the heirloom apple, or any apple scents, and they only had one and it didn’t smell at all what I was looking for so I quickly left.

I just so happened to be on their website today when I searched for apple again and this time a honeycrisp apple wallflower showed up in the search results.

Honey Crisp Apple BBW

I looked at the fragrance description and then googled to find out how heirloom apple used to be described. They were identical. Hoorah!

But then it got weirder when I noticed a scent called farmstand apple.

Farmstand Apple BBW

That too has the same description. Interesting…

So basically they retired heirloom apple and replaced it with two different scents that are actually the same as heirloom apple but never bothered to tell any of their employees so they could help someone looking for heirloom apple. Got it.

They annoy the hell out of me as it is by making certain scents only available during particular times of the year. I know it’s a ploy to drive interest and get people in their doors more than once a year, but it’s seriously annoying.

Right now the two scents I want (marshmallow fireside and honeycrisp apple) are only available online and I’m not buying $75+ of product or paying $6 in shipping. They will appear in stores at some point and then I will wait for another sale. Wallflowers are currently 5/$24 but it turns out they can get as low as $3 each so a better sale is due to come around soon.

Valli Produce Is On My Sh*t List

July 4th, 2020 Comments off

I had to email one of our local grocery stores (Valli Produce) this morning to let them know how their employees were acting. I only had 200 characters on the form to do it, though, so it doesn’t seem like they really care about feedback to begin with. Therefore I will be surprised if I hear back from anyone.

Basically, only two registers were open and they were directly next to one another. That alone is stupid when they have 10+ lanes to work with. That plexiglass doesn’t protect a cashier if someone standing in the lane right behind them is too close.

In addition, the cashier at the other register, who was literally a foot away from where Joe was standing while trying to pay, was wearing her mask around her neck while talking to the bagger for her lane who was wearing his under his nose, basically spewing her germs all over Joe.

We purposely went early to avoid the public only to be put at risk by their own employees.

Needless to say we won’t be shopping there anytime soon, if ever again. It’s too bad because I prefer their produce to the grocery store closer to us or Aldi, but I’m not giving my business to a place that have such cavalier employees. Also, last time we shopped there one of the cashiers was so unfriendly toward us. I said hello to him and he literally ignored me. I guess upon further thought it’s no big loss.

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Instacart Review

April 1st, 2020 Comments off

Joe and I have never used Instacart before, but decided to try it out since between my current health issues and his asthma we’re considered “at risk” (I realize we all are to varying degrees) with this whole Coronavirus debacle (or Covid-19 if you prefer).

The order was placed last week to be delivered this past Tuesday. I like how you can keep adding items to the order until it is fulfilled. Ours kept growing each day as we thought of other things we wanted/needed. We figured we might as well maximize the opportunity to stock up so we don’t have to shop as often.

One thing I didn’t realize until Monday night was that everything defaults to “replace with best match” in case something is out of stock, so I spent time going through each individual item, marking most of them as do not replace.

Over the weekend I read that Instacart workers were going to strike on Monday so we weren’t even sure if our order was going to be completed or not. However, around noon yesterday I got a notification that our order was being shopped (at Aldi, the store we chose since it carries the majority of items we needed).

I was strangely thrilled “watching” the shopper pick out our groceries live on the Instacart website. This qualifies as entertainment these days, I guess.

There were a couple of hiccups, as noted below:

1) The shopper put every canned item (plus some other stuff) in a single bag which made it very heavy. At least one can is dented. Everything was organized and grouped by type, however. Plus she made sure the bread and candy were on top and not crushed.

2) We ordered one cucumber and one zucchini. We got one cucumber and a bag of mini cucumbers. No zucchini. I’ve actually mistaken the two before when not paying attention, so it’s an understandable mistake. I just have no idea what I’m going to do with more cucumber than we need, though.

3) We ordered Aldi’s version of Cinnamon Life but it was out of stock. I marked regular Life as a suitable replacement, but the shopper suggested some type of cereal with berries in it. We didn’t want that, so I tried to just cancel the item altogether but the website wasn’t letting me. I messaged her and asked her to just skip it. She then sent me a picture of the cereal aisle stating she got what I wanted. I couldn’t make the photo on the website any larger to verify, but I took her word for it and said ok. What she actually gave us was Aldi’s version of Rice Chex. Not sure how she confused the items, but we can make due. Also, I learned the Instacart app will let you enlarge photos; now I know for next time (since looking at the photo closer I can tell the shelf didn’t have the cereal she said it did).

4) She wanted to replace a bag of frozen green beans with peas. I hate peas so I requested a refund instead, and since she was in store at the time, she just didn’t buy them. This illustrates my point about not liking the best match option. Had I not caught that I would be stuck with gross peas. I guess I just assumed she’d pick a different green bean, not a whole different vegetable.

5) The delivery window on the order said 2-3 pm but she dropped off our groceries just after 1 pm. Again, no big deal, just noting the difference.

6) I put in the delivery instructions to text me when dropping off the food (to maintain social distancing), but she knocked on the door twice. Turns out she was just doing it to let us know the food was there, but it made me think she was waiting to speak to us, so I ended up opening the door just as she was leaving. We just waved to one another so no big deal.

I pointed out some of the mistakes made (the dented can, no zucchini, and cereal replacement issue) on the website in order to help the shopper with future orders, but still gave her a high rating and tip as I wasn’t looking to punish her. I didn’t request any refunds and labeled my notes as merely helpful feedback. Hopefully she understands my intent when she reads the comments. I also thanked her for her service.

Overall we’re still pretty satisfied given the circumstances. We’d obviously prefer to do our own shopping to maintain control and save money since after Instacart’s markup, delivery fee, service fees, and tip, we paid $30 more than we would have otherwise. Right now it’s worth $30 to minimize our risk of getting sick, though. In normal circumstances, however, I wouldn’t bother with Instacart. It has it’s place, but for able-bodied frugal people such as ourselves, it’s normally not worth the markup.

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Petco Experience

January 16th, 2017 Comments off

Last month I had a frustrating Petco experience when they were holding a special sale. It was eating at me, so I decided to contact them about it last night to see if they’d make it right. Since they don’t have a known email address, I messaged them through Facebook. Below is what I wrote:

I’m writing to express how disappointed I am in Petco with their recent holiday sale. Back in December I was ready to submit my order at when I learned that Petco was offering a $15 e-gift card with a $50 purchase so I decided to order from Petco instead. Imagine my surprise when I went to use my $15 and learned it had expired!

Now, I understand I should have read the email with the gift card more thoroughly, but I think it’s pretty misleading to call it a gift card when really it’s more like a coupon. People do not expect a gift card to expire in less than a month! And at the very least those restrictions should be laid out as part of the terms of the sale. The fine print on the website only indicated the gift card would be emailed by 12/19/16. I know this because I took a screenshot which I still have. So in essence you gave me less than two weeks to redeem it (since it expired on 12/31/16).

Needless to say I am wary to keep spending my money at Petco which would be a shame since I just adopted a puppy and I like to spoil her. If you could re-issue me a new $15 gift card that doesn’t expire in a short time frame I would reconsider boycotting Petco in the future.

Thank you.

They responded within minutes letting me know they escalated my concerns and they’d get back to me. This morning they reached out again to let me know I was given a $15 gift card and asked if there was anything else they could do. I promptly checked my email where there was a link to a $15 gift card (which doesn’t expire!) and printed it out to put in my purse. I then thanked them for making things right.

This experience demonstrates that complaining does work if you do it the right way.

And just for posterity below is the screenshot I took which I still had sitting on my desktop because the year before I had an issue with where they had the same deal but it had expired even though the deal was still appearing on their website.

Petco Deal

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All Cleaners

November 1st, 2016 Comments off

There’s this cleaners near the Great Clips in Carol Stream I like to frequent that does the most amazing tailoring. I’ve had my dress pants clasp reinforced there many years ago and it’s still like new, Joe had holes in two sweaters repaired and you can’t see the stitching, I’ve had two pairs of jeans made into shorts, and most recently I had the belt loops on my jeans removed because they bunch up strangely and make me look bumpy. You can’t even tell there were ever loops there to begin with. The woman who does all the work, Mi, is so nice too. When I asked her about removing the loops she lopped one off with scissors suggesting I could do the same to the rest of them for free, but I didn’t want the extra material left there. I am contemplating trying it on my newer pair of jeans, however, since the loops are sticking out too. Both pairs that do this are the Target brand stretchy jeans which I otherwise love so it’s a small price to pay for a pair of pants that flatter my figure and are also super comfortable.

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