As some of you may have already noticed from my post on Facebook, I had a very disappointing experience at Joann’s Fabrics today.
Most of the time, I let this stuff customer service stuff roll off my back. I might grumble for a minute or two, but then I remember that we all have bad days. And so I really try hard to not take it personally when a cashier is a bit less than friendly – or even downright snippy.
But completely and TOTALLY unwilling to help? Like to the point of recalcitrance? I can get that for free. At home. From my eight year old. But in stores, from employees? That’s where I drew the line.
So, here’s my story.
This took place at about four o’clock, after school pick-up – so it was me and three less-than-thrilled-to-be-doing errands kids.
I was buying some fabric markers – three packages of one kind and one of a fourth. Joann’s now has e-coupons that you can save to an app on your phone. I actually debated printing them instead, but decided no – it says right there that you can save them to your phone and show them at checkout.
So, that’s what I did. I had one coupon “saved” to my account for 40% off any single item, plus another for 20% off your total order. I have always been able to stack these, but I figured if that proved to be an issue, I’d just pull out the most expensive item and run two transactions.
Well, stacking wasn’t the issue. The app was the issue.
When I went to show the coupon to the cashier, it kept giving me a server error with a bunch of gobbleygook code.
I showed her that the coupon was in my account, but that when I clicked on it, it wasn’t opening. Here’s what followed:
Me: “Um, what should I do? Your app program doesn’t seem to be working. The coupon is there, but clicking on it or any of the other saved coupons keeps giving this error message. See?”
Her, barely even glancing at the phone: “Well, I don’t know, but I can’t give you the discount without the numbers on that coupon.”
Me: “Yeah, I get that, but I can’t get the coupon to open. Maybe you have a paper coupon that you can key in instead?” (Knowing full well that she did.)
Her: “Nope. I am not allowed to do that. I have to have the coupon code from your phone.”
Me: “Yes, I hear that, but I can’t get your app to work. So, how am I supposed to get that for you?”
Her: “Maybe try going to the website again. There should be another coupon link there.”
So I surfed to the Joann’s website, as my three kids clearly began to lose their tenuous grip on store decorum (okay, fine, they had lost it 2 minutes earlier).
Me: “I am looking at the homepage now and there is nothing on here with a link to a coupon” (and y’all know I’m pretty good at spotting a link to a coupon!).
Her: “Well, I don’t know, but there should be a link somewhere. That’s what my manager told me.”
Me: “Any clue where?”
Her, dispassionately, as she checked out her finger nail polish, “No.”
Me: “Okay, well, I’d really like to resolve this and pay, but I’m gonna need you to call your manager because I need that 40% off coupon code to get worked out.”
The cashier begrudgingly called her manager, as the line grew longer, my kids grew wilder, and my red-faced humiliation mixed with steely dig-my-heels-in-the-sand determination. (Have I ever mentioned my stubborn streak?)
The manager showed up after three minutes, during which the cashier had avoided eye contact with me at all costs.
Manager: “What’s the issue?”
Me: “Well, you guys have this app and it doesn’t seem to be working.”
Manager: “I don’t even have a smartphone so I have no idea how that thing is supposed to work.”
(For real, she’s going with the I’m not responsible because I don’t have a smartphone defense?)
Me: “I see. Well, you are supposed to save the coupons to the app and then click on them at checkout. Only when I click on them, there is a server error – see? – which means that there is a technical issue on your end.”
Manager: “Well, I don’t know what to tell you, but we can’t give you the discount without the numbers on that coupon.”
Seriously, what is this? Groundhog Day?
Me: “Yes, I know. That’s why I am asking you to key in your own code since I clearly made a good faith effort here with the coupon and it’s a technical glitch on your part, not mine.”
Manager: “I can’t do that. I don’t even have another code. I mean, they are really cracking down on us. We can’t just be giving out coupons to every customer that comes in.”
Me: “I am not asking for you to give out coupons to every customer that comes in. I’m asking you to problem solve a TECHNICAL GLITCH ON YOUR END with one customer – Me!” (At this point, my two year old was repeatedly trying to strip off her jumper, as my six year old was ramming the cart into my eight year old, who is growling about how hard it is to be the oldest brother.)
Manager: Mumbling to herself for a good 30 seconds, inaudibly. “Okay, fine. I guess if my cashier wants to do you a favor, she can key in her coupon code. But we’re only doing this for you this once. You can’t do this ever again, got it?”
Oh yes. I’ve got it. And don’t worry. I won’t ever be shopping here again, so that won’t be an issue.
RIP Joann’s. Your crafty aisles are dead to me.