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Which shopping “gotchas” do you hate the most? (Opinion Poll)

submitted on June 21, 2010 by YanBz in "Member's Lounge"
We just published a blog post where we discuss shopping "gotchas" - small annoyances that can spoil our shopping or dining experience. Take the poll below and tell everyone which "gotchas" you hate the most.

You can read the complete blog post at this link:
1. Grocery Stores and Wholesale Shopping Clubs
 Allowing organizations to solicit in front of stores
 Cashier will ask you at checkout if you will donate to a charity, the company then takes the credit
 Grocery sackers engage you in a conversation hoping you miss a coupon or don't check a discount
 Stores relocating merchandise, forcing you to browse more and hoping you will buy more stuff
 Stores that never open all the checkout lanes, even when the lines are long
 Receipt checker at the exit marks your receipt, making the items illegible when you need the receipt for a rebate
2. Electronics and household appliance stores
 You’ve taken the time to check the store’s website to see if a particular location has stock of an item you want, but when you go to the store, they say they can’t find any
 Store offers price matching, but it’s impossible to actually compare because of slightly different specs or bundles or model numbers
 Upsells: extended warranties, overpriced accessories (USB/HDMI cable), or store credit card
 High pressure sales: the price is only good “if you buy RIGHT NOW!”
 No rebate forms: the store advertises the price after rebate and doesn’t provide the form
3. Clothing stores and drug stores
 Misleading signage. E.g. the sign on a clothing rack says, “50% off,” but does not apply to everything on the same rack.
 Being approached aggressively by sales people from mall kiosks to try their lotion or fragrance as you try to walk past them
4. Fine print disclaimers
 After you sign up for newspaper or magazine subscriptions, everyone else gets a reduced rate “not available to existing customers.”
 The disclaimers that go by too fast to read them, or are read at a very fast rate (this applies to TV and radio ads)
 Offer “may not apply in certain (undisclosed) regions.”
 Not all applicants may qualify for best rates.
 Free shipping that actually is not free but limited to a maximum amount
 Mis-advertising a “free item” that earns reward bucks equal in value to the purchase price of the item.
5. Restaurants
 When the waiter tries to take your plate away while you’re still eating, or offers extra condiments without telling you there’s a charge for them
 Specials of the day are displayed without prices listed, but cost more than the typical menu items
 Discount dining certificates with numerous restrictions (can't use on weekends, gratuity is automatically added, etc)
 Actual food items look nothing like the advertised picture
6. Credit card balance transfer fees
 Balance transfer offers that come with hidden fees
 or See Results 


Favorite (1)
  • 67327
    Posted by JackBauer on June 21, 2010
    [reply] 6 0
    As a 10 professional non-profit fundraiser, I am sad to see that first two items have to do with charities as a "Gotcha" moment.

    We, in the non-profit sector, scramble day in and day out to find what little resources are available to make the lives of others who are less fortunate to live their lives. In these economic times, non-profits have to do everything we can to help those in need. You have no idea how much your loose change or dollar at the door goes to helping others. If 2,000 people go through the doors at a store and just half give, that is $1,000. Do you know how many underprivileged children can receive a scholarship for summer camps for $1,000, do you know how many seniors can receive transportation, meals, medicines delivered for $1,000. The power of numbers and the greater good far surmounts the inconvenience of "Excuse me, would you like to support ABC charity," all you have to say is no.

    As for the money at the checkout, we, as the non-profits know full well it's the customers that are donating to us. But we are thankful to the store for allowing such a collection to take place in their store. Again, the power of numbers, if even just a fraction give you are helping those that who might not be able to shop at those stores.

    In closing, as I get off my soapbox, don't be so quick to judge the non-profits who partner with the stores you frequent. If more people, would be generous and donate, organizations wouldn't have to sit in front of stores or have stores ask you for money at checkout. Look how much money BUXR has saved us all and give us in prizes, if you used, just a fraction of that money to help others, the world would be a better place. Keep that in mind the next time a non-profit takes up 10 seconds of your day to ask you to help others.

    Thank you.

    • YanBz
      Posted by YanBz on September 5, 2010 [reply] 0 0
      Here is one mans opinion to soliciting donations at checkout (which by the way is exactly the way I feel about it too):

      In the future, I will just say “no.” I don’t really care if I look cheap or ungiving. I’m not. I donate plenty of money and goods to charities that I’ve taken the time to research.

      How can I know if XYZ charity will actually make good use of my donation? I can’t know that when I’m put on the spot. And I don’t need to be encouraged to make impulse purchases.
  • 67336
    Posted by Kay on June 21, 2010 [reply] 0 0
    I happen to shop at one of the largest malls in America and there are kiosks in every main section. I actually avoid shopping in certain sections because of aggressive annoying sales people. I have e-mailed the mall on these tactics. I owned 2 kiosks when the mall opened and the rules were very clear, you do not approach customers unless they approach your sales area. It is now a bad habit and the malls should be responsible to putting a stop to these tactics.
    Just my opinion.
  • 67341
    Posted by YanBz on June 21, 2010
    [reply] 3 0
    "High pressure sales" is on top of my list. I hate people pressuring me and I am terrible at judging if a price is worth it under such conditions. I like to do my research (price comparison, reviews, etc) first, preferably in the quiet of my home, and then shop.
  • 67437
    Posted by outcastplo313 on June 22, 2010
    [reply] 1 0
    I've actually had a waitress come to my table several times seeing I was still eating and ask repeatidely if I was finished. It was so rude.
  • 78064
    Posted by deby32953 on September 5, 2010 [reply] 0 0
    A lot of varied answers! Seems like we most agree w/#1. What I hate is the "bait-and-switch" tactics a lot of stores use advertising a great discount on 1 item but when you get there they're all sold (if they even had any) out but they quickly offer something even better but more expensive. Also online when they offer free samples & then you get an email saying, "Sorry, we're all out but we'll give you a discount on our items." I always email them back saying I don't buy what I can't sample. You wouldn't believe the response of "free samples" I get after that!
  • 78147
    Posted by shawndiaz on September 6, 2010 [reply] 0 0
    Just the other day, we needed to buy a new digital camera due to accidents with the old one. Both my wife & I looked online at a local electronics store online and found the one we both loved. After doing some research of the value, specs, and cost as well as customer reviews, we made the decision to purchase it. Since we were going to the store rather than purchasing it online, I made it clear that we were there to "get this and only this" an no amount of pressure was going to change my mind. I believe that many vendors will accommodate you (the shopper) if you know what you want and are confident about it.

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