Archive for the ‘Retail Experiences’ Category

Instacart Review

April 1st, 2020 No comments

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.

Categories: Retail Experiences, Shopping Tags:

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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Poor Customer Service Week

August 5th, 2016 Comments off

It seems like companies just don’t give a shit anymore.

Example # 1

I emailed our association on July 25th about leaking we heard over the front door, inside the wall, when it rained really bad a few days before. They replied a day or so later saying they contacted the property manager and I’d hear from someone. Once a week had passed since my original email, I emailed them again to ask why I hadn’t heard anything. I got the same response, but the next day received a call from the vendor directly who basically asked me to describe the issue which I had already done in my original email. I had even included pictures. Was that information not forwarded to them? In any case, after that I was told by A (the representative I’ve been dealing with at the vendor) that she’d call me back to schedule a time for them to come out.

Yesterday she left a voicemail stating they would be out next Wednesday and to call back to confirm. I called her to let her know we wouldn’t be available and she was like, “well, can you have someone there?”. I told her no and that we’d be available Thursday and Friday. She said she’d speak to the scheduler and get back to me. This morning she called back to tell me they’d be out on Tuesday. Once again, this will not work for us, which I told her. She sounded frustrated with me and pointed out I said my husband works from home. First off, I don’t recall saying that, but I told her this doesn’t mean we don’t make plans. Furthermore, what kind of company just tells you when they are coming out and doesn’t at least give you a few options? I told her their scheduling is ridiculous after she told me that they have to “go where the work is” and made it like *I* was being unreasonable by not being available when they want to come out. Are you kidding me? You are providing a service. I get that they want to try and group jobs together geographically but it’s not like they are driving hours to get here. The call ended with her saying she’d check with the scheduler about another date/time.

While we were in the movies this morning she left a message basically saying since we aren’t available those two days they won’t be able to come out and would call me once they put together a new schedule. What kind of business operates that way? Fed up, I called the association about it. They called the vendor who basically told them the same thing so L (the rep at the association) said she’d speak to the property manager to see if there’s another vendor they can use. I sure hope so because I already hate this one and they haven’t even come here to do the work yet! I cannot wait to post a Yelp review for these people.

Example # 2

Last year I received a sample of Oscar de la Renta Flor perfume in one of my subscription boxes. I liked it so much that in January I purchased a full bottle on Within less than three months, however, the smell changed, and not for the better. Now I feel like I wasted my money on a scent I don’t like anymore. I kept it in the box in the bedroom so light/moisture couldn’t damage it, so WTF? I have perfume that is years old whose scent hasn’t changed. I contacted the company through their website and a representative replied asking for the purchase info. I sent them a screenshot of my Amazon order and didn’t hear back, so I emailed them again. At that point I was told they only deal with orders placed through their website and I’d have to call their corporate office. I called them this morning and when I asked if I had reached customer service the girl asked me what my issue was. I told her I just wanted to make sure I had the right department before explaining and she insisted I tell her. So then as I start telling her, she cuts me off (which is what I was trying to avoid), and tells me I need to call a different number for the place that makes the perfume without giving me the company name. You’d think someone who works at the corporate office would be a little more professional! And of course when I call the number she gave me I get a fast busy signal like it doesn’t even work.

Example # 3

We’re planning a trip to Indiana Beach in the near future and I’ve been trying to call them to find out whether we can go back to the car and re-enter the park. That way we can bring food and not have to eat multiple meals at the park (although we’ll still get tacos). The problem is no one at that place answers the phone when I call to ask.

Adventures in Damaged Appliances

June 6th, 2016 Comments off

This morning we visited Northside Park in Wheaton so I could get some photos of the wildlife. I love this park so much!

Northside Park

We saw a Great Blue Heron as well as other birds.

Great Blue Heron

Afterwards we went to Lowes to buy a new dishwasher since ours finally crapped out last night. It was 26 years old so it was time. I did a little research online and Consumer Reports recommended Whirlpool so we went with that even though we didn’t get the specific model in their recommendation as it was $150 more. We didn’t want any bells and whistles – just a basic dishwasher like our old one.

The model we bought was on sale for $299. We brought it home and when Joe was getting ready to install it we noticed the side panel was cracked. And of course it wasn’t the side of the dishwasher facing the sink so you’d never notice it. Noooo, it had to be the side facing out where everyone walks past and it’s noticeable. Can we seriously not catch a break with buying damaged appliances? I know it’s only a cosmetic issue, but WTF?

Cracked Dishwasher

We didn’t want to take it back to Lowes since it was the last one in stock other than the floor model so I called Whirlpool and they are sending someone out on Friday to determine the part that needs to be replaced. Because me taking pictures and sending it to them isn’t sufficient. Even though they know exactly what piece it is and the model and serial number. Then of course they will have to come back to actually do the replacement. I feel like someone should pay me for my time and aggravation.

Categories: Excursions, Photos, Retail Experiences Tags:

Cable & Internet

June 3rd, 2016 Comments off

We ran into a little snafu dealing with WOW so we’re not getting their services for the time being. We called Comcast today, however, to cancel our cable service. Once the rep realized I was serious (I also mentioned we’d be dropping the internet service soon), she gave us an offer that we couldn’t refuse – internet at the same speed we have now and digital economy basic cable for $60 per month for the next 12 months. Internet by itself? $80 per month. Yep, it costs more to NOT have cable. Crazy, huh?

We disconnected the DVR and brought it to the Xfinity store to swap it for a regular cable box. Their stores aim for an Apple Store vibe which is nice.

Xfinity Store

Waiting over 20 minutes just to swap equipment? Not so much.

Once we got home I checked our new channel lineup and it’s barely more than the local channels, plus a few cable channels like the Food and Cartoon Networks, and Comedy Central. No more FX or TBS though.

The great part is that we cut our bill by $50 per month which isn’t chump change. Once we get our DIY home security set up we’ll disconnect that and save an additional $40 per month.

On the way home we stopped at Dunkin Donuts because I wanted to try their new Almond Joy flavored iced coffee and get my free donut for National Donut Day. Why I didn’t ask for decaf is beyond me. Even though I only drank half my coffee I feel terrible. I should know better.

Categories: Food, Photos, Retail Experiences Tags: