Sunday, May 13, 2012

Wal-Mart Garden Centre Pricing: How Much for this Bag of Fertilizer?

How much for Qty 1 Bag of Fertilizer?
This past weekend I decided to do some work around including weeding and fertilizing the lawn. 

On a visit to Wal-Mart in Richmond Hill I visited the garden section to investigate what they had for some mulch and fertilizer. 

I picked up one bag of "Schultz Supreme Green Turf Fertilizer" clearly labelled "2 for $18.00". I reviewed the label to see how many bags I would require for what little grass I have.  One bag seemed to suffice.

I ventured onward with my shopping to grab some groceries and other household necessities and proceeded to the check out. 

Before leaving the store my wife and I, as we always do, reviewed our receipt.  We stopped at the itemized listing for the fertlizer.  Hmmm... $11.70 can't be right.

We ventured over to the Customer Service Desk at the front of the store to inquire.  With no one in line we were quickly greeted.  The attendent, who ironically enough had "cashier" on her name tag, scanned the bag and explained that because I only had one bag it was at the regular price. 

I replied that the price clearly said "2 for $18" and no where did it say $11.70 if a customer bought one.  I said this is a case of misleading advertising and wasn't right.  I furthered my point by noting an average customer would think if I purchase quantity one it would be $9.00 unless
otherwise noted.

She replied it was the scanned price is what the price was.  I replied to this last claim by pointing out that not all the time was scanned price correct as sometimes the tag on the shelf is cheaper than what is scanned.  This of course is why the Government of Canada created the Scanning Code of Practice which Wal-Mart volunteered to adhere to and the Richmond Hill store clearly posted the required label on it's front door.  I also pointed out the shelf label in in this case was not clearly marked and the average consumer would believe if one bag was purchased it would cost $9.00. 

She replied the correct price is what was scanned in this case. 

I asked to speak to the Customer Service Manager. 

The Cashier paged the Customer Service Manager three times despite my wife and I witnessing one clearly marked "Customer Service Manager" on her name tag three cashes over replenishing the plastic bags. 

Another Customer Service Manager visited us at the front counter and I explained the issue. I also noted the Cashier at the Customer Service Counter in her actions may be unfortunatly leading this store to not live up to the Scanning Code of Practice which Wal-Mart had dutifully agreed to adhere to. 

She gave the same answer as the Cashier at the Customer Service Counter.

I said I begged to differ and invited her to visit Garden Centre as I believed this was a Scanning Code of Practice issue.  Together we retraced my steps to the Garden Centre and she carried the decently weighted bag with us.

While walking there I inquired if someone from the Garden Centre could join us to review the issue.  We happenned to find a gentleman with a handheld scanner.  He explained, while we reviewed the fertlizer and the posted price that one bag was at regular price and the sale only happenned if you bought quantity two.  I explained my position that this tag was unclear. 

A middle aged Wal-Mart customer ventured by to stop and inquire about something else.  I asked him politly how much he thought one bag of fertilizer would be.  His reply: $9.00.  

The Garden Centre employee said it was $11.70 and agreed upon it with the Customer Service Manager. 

I asked to speak with Store Manager on this issue.  The Customer Service Manager and I left, not before she tried to put back my duly overpriced purchase of fertilizer.  I said to her I have duly purchased that bag of fertilizer and have the receipt to prove it, please bring it along so the Store Manager can review this issue. 

The Store Manager retraced our steps back to the Garden Centre with the Garden Centre employee to review.  He took a three second look a the pricepoint and said the Garden Centre employee that this item was not correctly priced as set out by Wal-Mart policy as there should be indication of what the price was if one of the products was purchased.   The Store Manager said he would return in five minutes to show the Garden Centre employee how to properly print the pricing.  

The Store Manager returned with me to the Customer Service Counter carrying the bag of fertilizer.  I stopped and waited with the Cashier I had visited earlier.  The Store Manager instructed her to return the product, then input it under the $9.00 and then discount it under the Scanning Code of Practice. 

While the cashier was processing the transactions, the Store Manager said that I was very concientious in pointing out a confusing pricing issue.  He said that I would be receiving the fertlizer under the Scanning Code of Practice (i.e. free in this case) and the pricing would be clearly marked.  He thanked me for visiting his store and hoped, despite this situation, I would return again. 

I replied that I thanked him for his kindness.  I left with my wife to a beautiful Saturday afternoon of sunshine and gardening.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Two Stars for Lone Star

Last night I thought I would return to a restaurant I had not been to in a while, Lone Star Texas Grill (9301 Yonge Street, Richmond Hill). 

We had been here a couple of times, leaving not really excited about it, including my last review from 2010.

We entered at about 6:30 PM to be greeted by 3 hostesses.  One showed us immediately to our table.  Again, like in 2010 asking us if we had been to Lone Star before.  Of course we said we did, I let my wife do most of the small talk while we followed the hostess to our table considering, as a gentleman, I live by the old adage "Ladies first!"

We were seated and left to consult our menues in the three quarters full restaurant.  The menues seemed a little sparse considering they were pushing the fajitas and steaks while the sandwiches were buried on the back page at the bottom.  There were only 7 sandwhices offered with 3 of the choices a variation on the burger.  As well the "Po' Boy sandwhich that I had previously and other sandwiches had dissappeared resulting in fewer choices still.  Our waitress soon stopped by to share the specials and take our drink orders.    She quickley returned with our drinks and we were ready to order. 

The Order: 1 “Bubba’s” Smoked Brisket (Texas-style smoked brisket tossed in our Original Texas BBQ sauce and piled on a rustic bun) with fries and Pepsi and 1 The Ranch Burger (A juicy ½ lb. Mesquite-grilled burger topped with lettuce, tomato and onion) with Richmond Hill's finest water somewhat directly piped in. 

Lone Star Texas Grill in Richmond Hill

Our server brought by the usual Lone Star Texas Grill chips and salsa while we waited for our order.  She also refilled my Pepsi glass two times (the last as the food was arriving).   She was quick on the drink server and a just over fifteen minute wait for the food was understandable and still less than twenty minutes when I start wondering what the heck was going on. 

The Smoked Brisket sandwich was small in appearance with a bun that looked well handled while being cut in half.  I had expected a hero (sub) size sandwich but instead received a hamburger sized sandwich.  The brisket was decent but nothing to write home about.  The fries accompanying the substandard sized sandwhich seemed freshly cooked by temperature and quite tastey compared to other pub style fries I've had in the past.

The beef burger was o.k. put a little pricey at more than $11+ with no drink included.  The burger was juicey and tangy as you would expect from a Ranch style  infused burger.  The fries were exactly the same temperature and style as the Smoked Brisket Sandwich. 

The only reall hiccup service wise was near the end of the of the evening when our server stopped by.  We were just finishing up eating when our server stopped by to inquire if we would like refills on our drinks.  We indicated we were fine and were just finishing up.  To my amazement she took our glasses with ice and liquid still in them and dissapeared towards the kitchen.  Really? It wouldn't of hurt to let us finish up?  I was unsure if were being rushed by this tactic or whether it was a simple mistake.  Rushed? There were still quite a few tables available at this point in her area and we had not been at the restaurant longer than 45 minutes.  She did return after we finished eating to offer us coffee or tea and/or dessert, we politely declined and left. 

Overall Lone Star Texas Grill is staffed by high school servers with little experience.  Sure they do have corporate training as they greet their customers in a friendly manner with the same techniques used over and over again (i.e. Have you ever been to Lone Star Before? asked when being led to the table).  The food is decent taste quality but the portion size seems to have been cut and the prices thus don't really match what you get.

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