Archive

Archive for the ‘Retail Experiences’ Category

Internet Issues, Barn Owls & Pool Parties

September 20th, 2021 Comments off

Friday (9/17) we woke up and our internet was down. I don’t know if I wrote about it, but a few months ago after our Comcast contract expired, and they wouldn’t give us another deal, we switched our internet service to T-Mobile. It worked pretty well, although not quite as fast, but for $50 per month (no added taxes or fees), we figured it was worth trying out.

When Joe called T-Mobile they really couldn’t do much to help other than offer to send out a new device, aka trashcan (nicknamed as such by the T-Mobile internet community on Reddit). T-Mobile Trash Can

The problem? They estimated it would be a week. Unacceptable! Joe warned them that he’d be cancelling if it took that long and they called his bluff, so he immediately contacted Comcast and sure enough, we were able to get 200 MBS for $50/month for the next 12 months, so we signed up. We have our own router and modem so it was all done online, although Joe did have to chat with someone for them to do something on the account to get it to actually work, but we were up within a half hour.

A manager at T-Mobile called around that time to say they were expediting the device but Joe explained we were cancelling and not to bother. T-Mobile ended up giving us a $25 credit for our trouble anyway, and I guess they couldn’t stop the shipment because UPS is saying we’re getting something from them today. I guess we’ll have two devices to send back to them now.

If only Comcast had given us a better rate months ago, we would have stayed with them.

I feel like T-Mobile needs to do more work on their device/service before it’s a viable alternative to cable internet. Just like with their failed T-Vision streaming cable service, which they never invested in because the user interface sucked, they are rolling stuff out that is inferior to their competitors and consumers are paying the price in frustration. It could just be a coincidence, or Apple TV being particular, but we could never watch Ted Lasso on Fridays (the night new episodes are released) under T-Mobile because halfway through an episode it would lock up and crash the Roku. We tried it Friday on Comcast and had no such issues. I think it’s still partly Apple, since none of the other streaming services ever give us issues, but it’s also T-Mobile for being too slow as well. Perhaps in a few years it will be different. I hope so, since there are a lot of rural customers who would benefit from 5G internet and we personally do not like giving our money to Comcast.

Saturday (9/18) we decided to check out the local plant nursery’s open house. Not before stopping at White Castle for breakfast, however. I got a sausage slider, but also wanted to try the chicken and waffles slider based on the description on their website:

White Castle - Expectation

Imagine my surprise/disappointment when what I got was this:

White Castle - Reality

So of course I had to go online and air my grievance with them. We’ll see whether they reply back.

White Castle Feedback 20210920 - 2

(I contacted Meijer well over a month ago to complain about the quality of their broccoli and cheese stuffed chicken (the broccoli is really hard/sharp recently) and they never bothered to acknowledge it, so hopefully White Castle is more responsive).

Barn Owl (the nursery) wasn’t too crowded when we first arrived, so we ate our breakfast in the car and then took a look around. They had a whole building of just bird houses and bird food! I ended up getting this cute hummingbird palm feeder.

Hummingbird Palm Feeder

I doubt I’ll get any birds to feed directly from my hand this year, but maybe next year when I’m planning on putting everything up in April. As it stands now, we’re already seeing fewer visitors to the feeder as they start their migration south. *sad*

They had live owls on display which was really cool!

Yesterday (9/19) we decided to check out the community garage sale at the nearby park. They also had a car show and craft fair going on at the same time so we figured there would be a lot to see. Not so much. Joe wasn’t very thrilled with the cars, there were hardly any craft booths, and only a few garage sale booths. With the amount of cars parked in the area you would have thought more was going on than there was. Oktoberfest in a tent further back is going on right now too, but that doesn’t open until noon and we were there just after 10 am. Needless to say, we were back at home by 10:30.

At one of the booths the owner trapped me in an impromptu demonstration of her product and forced me to take a business card. I can appreciate people wanting to sell their creations, but I really think they should ask you first. I didn’t want to be rude by walking away, so it was very uncomfortable, not to mention a waste of her time since I wasn’t interested.

A good thing came of our little excursion, though! On our way back to the car we ran into our friend D who was walking over (she lives a few blocks away from the park) to check things out and she invited us to come over for a swim later. I enthusiastically agreed knowing it was due to be very hot that day and I have been wanting to go swimming one more time before it gets too cold to do so. We went home to do some light cleaning, ran to the store to grab some snacks to bring over, and took a shower. After getting everything packed up and ready to go I went to use the bathroom and BAM, the time of the month said “SUPRISE, I’M HERE!” It couldn’t have waited just a few more hours, right?

We still had fun hanging out with our friend, but I was only able to deep my feet into the pool. She made us some cheeseburgers and we lounged on her awesome patio furniture under a big tent away from the blazing sun. It really made a difference since my weather app said it was 85 and felt like 95 yet we were very comfortable.

We interrupt this entry to display pics of our friend’s two dogs who love getting pets, particularly the all brown one.

Dog 1

Dog 2

D’s ex, a guy we used to all go to Bingo with back when they were dating, hit her up later on since he was also at the nearby park, and she invited him to stop by, so we ended our afternoon chatting with him before taking off around 6 pm so we could walk Wookie before sunset.

Speaking of, she was so unbelievably excited when we go home she was literally vibrating and panting a lot. She’s been fine being left alone for hours but this was perhaps just a bit too long for her liking (5 hours). Usually she’ll sleep when we’re gone which is what she did most of the time since I checked in our her once in awhile via the cameras. About an hour before we came home I noticed her pacing around the house, however.

Happy Target & Kohl’s Returns Day

April 14th, 2021 Comments off

Whenever an employee at a store doesn’t understand their own store’s policies, I never know who to be angry with – the employee or management. Because it’s quite possible the employee was never adequately trained, like the one I dealt with at Target this morning.

Back in late December I purchased some Up & Up (a Target brand) panty liners. I’ve been buying these for years now. I didn’t actually run out of them until recently and was disappointed to learn they completely changed them. They aren’t as long as before, the sticky backing is a bitch to remove, they bunch up, and the top layer literally disintegrates after a few hours. I wrote a 1 star review online and noticed a ton of people complaining about the same issues.

Target Panty Liners

I couldn’t remember when I had purchased them, so I went through my orders on the app to see. I was bummed when I realized it had been more than four months, but then I noticed they have return exceptions.

Target Return Policy

The first one actually addresses this:

“If you’re not satisfied with any Target Owned Brand item, return it within one year with a receipt for an exchange or a refund.”

So off to Target we went with my opened box of panty liners to get a refund but the girl helping me out claimed that policy only applies to clothing, even after I opened up the app and showed her that exact verbiage. Then she told me she’d override the system and ended up giving me the refund back in cash. She was pleasant, so I remained pleasant, but I was still irked that she was acting as if she was doing me a favor. She even had the audacity to tell me she’s worked there four years as if she knew better than I did.

So of course I immediately chatted with Target customer service when I got home. The first person I spoke with transferred me to their store related customer service. They confirmed I was interpreting their policy correctly, apologized, said they would contact the store management, and offered me a $15 gift card for my trouble. I declined it, though, since I wasn’t trying to get anything extra from them. I honestly just want them to have adequately trained employees who don’t make their guests feel like they are doing something wrong asking for them to honor their own policy. Hopefully that girl doesn’t get in any trouble, particularly if she wasn’t trained properly.

They don’t have an option to email yourself the entire chat history, so I was only able to grab a couple of screenshots:

Target Chat 1

Target Chat 2


Kohls

In late November I ordered a couple of Tek Gear sweatshirts from Kohl’s. I fell in love with the brand a couple of years ago when I got multiple sweatshirts secondhand from Savers. I was particularly excited about the deep green sweatshirt I got for under $10 on sale. I only wear it occasionally with a particular pair of leggings, so I’ve only washed/worn it a few times since getting it. I was folding it after washing it last month and noticed there was a very thin spot on the front. I could put my finger behind it and see it. Not good.

I chatted with customer service online but they couldn’t help me even though I ordered it online because I picked it up at the store; I would need to take it back there. That was frustrating because I could tell they didn’t have any replacement sweatshirts in that color at the store, which I explained to the representative I chatted with. They said it would be possible they could order it at the store to be shipped there and do the exchange that way. Well, I kinda sat on that for a bit and finally decided today I really needed to address the issue. I checked online but now there aren’t any dark green (juniper green, to be exact) ones at all, even online. Damnit!

Kohls Tek Gear Sweatshirt

I called the store and explained the situation and they said they could process it as a no receipt return but I’d only get whatever clearance price the system has listed for it. Online it was showing $10 and I know I paid a little less than that, so I thought that should work, and headed to the store.

For whatever reason, though, the system was only willing to give me back $6.94. I wasn’t happy with that since I paid more than that and have a faulty product. I asked the girl if I could do an even exchange for a different color, and she went to ask a manager. I overheard him say that if it’s been over six months he wouldn’t personally approve it, but she could ask another manager if she wanted.

As she headed back toward me I told her I thought they return period was only four months, but my purchase was on November 22nd so it was less than six months, therefore we could do a receipt return so I can get all my money back. It ended up being $9.21. I’m sad I no longer have the green shade of sweatshirt I wanted, but happy it worked out. Maybe I’ll find one at Savers one day.

Categories: Retail Experiences Tags:

Cherry Lime & Dunkin Hashbrowns

March 1st, 2021 Comments off

Since Joe and I are both currently unemployed, we take advantage of being able to shop early mornings during the week when many people are busy working. We don’t leave the house at all on the weekends anymore, in fact. Why go out in the hustle and bustle? We never liked that anyway, but even less so during a pandemic. The only downside is, we don’t shop as often as we used to, so by the time we get around to doing so, things are picked over, particularly holiday related items.

We went to Dollar Tree this morning for the first time in two months and many of the Easter stuff is already gone even though it’s still a month away. I really wanted fake carrots so I could string together my own banner for the fireplace mantel. I grabbed some Easter treats for the kids and did find this kneeling pad, though, so it wasn’t a total bust.

Kneeling Pad

I’ve been wanting one since last summer so I can trim our flowers in comfort but they were sold out by the time I started looking.

An employee was in the middle of stocking all the spring stuff so they had a bunch of colors besides the purple – brown, grey, and green come to mind. He had his nose hanging out of his mask, though, so I didn’t look at anything else in that section. Why do I see this more from employees than customers? A lot of employees at Mendards are guilty of this too. I ended up reporting the employee on the Dollar Tree website. Hopefully he isn’t fired, just required to follow safety guidelines.

Speaking of feedback – I just submitted some through IZZE’s website. Ever since my friend introduced me to the cherry lime, I’ve been hooked.

Cherry Lime IZZE

Unfortunately, it can only be acquired by buying a multi-flavor pack of cans. Problem is I’m not too thrilled with any of the other flavors. Mariano’s sells a 4-pack of bottles but every time I look for them they’re sold out. Interestingly enough, a 24 case of cans is listed on their feedback form, but not their product page.

So here’s what I wrote:

Does a 24 pack of just Cherry Lime IZZE really exist? I see it listed in your feedback form, but not your product page. It’s by far my favorite flavor, but I cannot find it by itself anywhere. Mariano’s is always out of stock of the 4-pack of bottles and it makes me very sad. Please tell me there’s a way to get a case of just that flavor and you’ll make my day. :) I need my Cherry Lime fix!

I’m crossing my fingers they’ll tell me it’s a new offering and I can order it off Amazon or something. Finding food and drinks I enjoy is one of the small joys left in this crazy world. Just ask my waistline haha.

Speaking of, I am addicted to Dunkin’ Donuts’ hash browns. The seasoning on them is delicious, and the past two weeks I’ve gotten an order with a free iced coffee thanks to their Monday promotion (fee medium drink with any purchase). I think it might be rosemary in the hash browns that make them stand out. Once, a few months back, I ordered a serving (which is 6 hash browns) and the woman gave me the entire batch from the oven. There had to be at least 40 in there. I was in my glory and feasted on delicious hash browns for days.

DD Hashbrowns

Unfortunately, there’s no consistency across the Dunkin locations. Some make a better tasting drink, some are consistently more expensive, some are quick, and some are clueless. I had one tell me that the standard iced coffee includes both cream and sugar on top of the flavor swirl they knew I was already getting. It was disgustingly sweet, so I think they were mistaken. In fact, I learned that the flavor swirls are already sweetened and creamy, so no milk/cream is needed either.

And since this has turned into a food review entry, I wanted to showcase these blueberry scones my friend KD loves.

Blueberry Scones

I’ve never tried them before, but I was at Mariano’s this morning in search of the cherry lime IZZE when I came across them in the bakery. Wow, are they good! Much softer than I was expecting, and full of strong blueberry flavor. I ate three and then had to stop myself. Rest in peace, thin body.


Update: Here’s the response back from IZZE.

Dear Nicole,

I’m so sorry you haven’t been able to find your favorite IZZE Sparkling Cherry Lime in your local area. The good news is that we are still making it.

With more people staying at home, we’ve seen an increased demand for many of our products. We are diligently working with our suppliers to ensure our production and inventory keeps pace with the heightened demand. And, our employees are doing all they can to keep store shelves stocked.

We’ll let the right teams know you’re looking for it, and in the meantime, you can always check our product locator to see if you can find it near you or on one of our online options. Here’s a link to get started: IZZE

We appreciate your choosing our product and I hope this information is helpful.

Didn’t really tell me anything I didn’t already know, and didn’t answer my question about a 24 pack of cans. Getting really tired of the non-answer answers these companies provide.

Update #2: I received an email asking me to rate how customer service helped, so I filled out the survey as such. Stay tuned for update #3!

Categories: Food, Retail Experiences, Shopping Tags:

Senior Discount

February 13th, 2021 Comments off

I forgot to write about it when it happened, but three weeks ago we went grocery shopping around 7 am. I was looking at our receipt as we walked out and saw a 10% senior discount on it. WHAT THE HELL?!?

I told Joe the cashier must have mistaken him for a senior with his thick-rimmed glasses and grey beard poking out from his mask. Either that or they made a mistake because they seem like the type of place that would require identification before giving a discount. I also verified we weren’t there on the day/time they put aside for seniors either. So it will likely remain a mystery.

Didn’t stop me from teasing Joe about it for days after, however.

Categories: Retail Experiences Tags:

The Most Relaxing Scent

January 23rd, 2021 Comments off

Several years ago when I was getting beauty boxes like Ipsy and Birchbox, I once got a hand lotion sample that smelled so wonderful I would constantly smell my hands after applying it. I wanted it to never run out, and contemplated buying a full size until I read reviews saying it didn’t smell like the sample. I eventually forgot about the scent, until yesterday.

For a little background, last month I bought some wallflowers from Bath & Body Works, including two in the vanilla bean noel scent. Unfortunately you can barely smell it once plugged in, so I decided to exchange the second one for another marshmallow fireside instead. Except our closest store didn’t MF, so I decided to check a different location near my ear specialist after my appointment this past Monday. They also didn’t have MF, so I browsed the other wallflowers looking for something I might like and came across one I never heard of before called white tea and sage. It seemed appealing from what I could tell in store, so I decided to give it a shot.

B&BW White Tea & Sage

I ended up plugging it in yesterday and it reminds me exactly of that long forgotten hand lotion that I was obsessed with. Now I want a candle and soap and everything possible in this scent! It’s just so soothing to me. Almost like a fresh garden except not floral at all. Something you’d encounter at a spa probably.

B&BW owes me a gift card so maybe I will be getting more of this scent soon, assuming it doesn’t sell out before then. Apparently it isn’t easy to come by from what I’ve read.

Oh, and why do they owe me, you ask? Well, they never sent me a birthday reward so I contacted them and they sent me a $10 gift card instead. I used most of that card on Monday, but there was a $2.23 balance left. The cashier asked whether I’d like that in cash and I told her to leave it on the card. She agreed, and then when I checked the balance the other day it said zero! I checked my receipt and it indicated I took the balance in cash which I absolutely did not. I contacted B&BW and they are sending me a $5 gift card to make up for it. What the heck is going on with that company?!? Maybe I should stop giving them my business, but I love their soaps and wallflowers so much!

I’m all stocked up on hand soaps, in fact – 17 bottles – because the fall/winter scents were 75% off. I picked up a few at our local store and 8 more at the other one since they had an even better selection, including my favorite scent from last fall: marshmallow latte. I won’t need any holiday soaps for at least a few years now. I grabbed two summery scents to try as well since they too were only $1.88 each.

Here’s my two hauls from this month:

B&BW Soaps - 1st Haul

B&BW Soaps - 2nd Haul

That candle holder was another reason I checked another store. I had a reward that was due to expire next month and my local store didn’t have any decent candle holders.

Categories: Retail Experiences, Shopping Tags: