Buyer beware

Have you ever given money to a cashier and walked out of the store without taking the item(s) you bought?

It’s like you paid them to stand in line.

“I thoroughly enjoyed watching you tickle the ivories of that money drawer, Neal. Your company wasn’t bad, either. Here, take this wad of my hard-earned cash and do with it what you will. Hopefully it’s enough for allowing me the pleasure of shuffling through your wonderful check-out lane for no particular reason with all these really nice, courteous and, I must say, refreshingly attractive people.”

When in reality the whole experience of purchasing something, anything, is usually a nightmare.

“Do you have a discount card today?” the cashier asks.

“Nope.”

“Would you like one?”

“Not today, thanks. In a hurry.”



“It only takes a minute to fill out the form.”

“No that’s OK, I ...”

“He can borrow mine,” the person behind you chimes in. “Just give me a minute while I dig around for it.”

While this good Samaritan sifts through the contents of their purse or wallet for what feels like an eternity (trying to do you a favor), you and your three cans of “Fancy Feast” (that probably aren’t even on sale) could have been out the door and down the road.

“Found it. No wait – OOPS, this looks like a card for Cheap n’ Fresh. I guess I don’t have one for Thought-U-Saved. Sorry.”

Wrong card. Never fails.

And that’s not all. There’s the people who block the aisle while they search for the cheapest brand of lentil soup (and appear disgusted when you say “excuse me”). Or there’s the coupon-lover checking out ahead of you who insists the “low-fat cheese dogs” are on sale, and if they’re not, says, “Well, they should be.”

Shopping is so horrible that you can’t get out of the store fast enough. No wonder you left the cat food behind – yet kept the nightmare alive (it’s like Michael Corleone says in The Godfather: Part III, “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!”).

I shouldn’t complain. Because it’s not a big deal, really – back in, back out, and done. That’s the scariest consumer experiences get for bachelors and mama’s boys like me.

Others, with aspirations of having nice things, aren’t so lucky. Everyday we hear new stories about them getting ripped off, and it usually involves their cars, their homes or the Internet. Personally, I’ll just avoid having all three (if thieves come up with a scam that’ll make a profit off my dirty laundry, more power to them, because that’s about all I own). Because in many cases, with the way some people out there are doing business, and the anger, stress, frustration, anguish and sleepless nights they cause, it sounds like a lot of unlucky consumers would have been better off shelling out their money and forgetting what in God’s name it was ever for.

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