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** WARNING - THIS IS A RANT**
Mad

I have recommended AZ Wine Company in Scottsdale previously on this board, but now retract that recommendation in light of my last visit.
My particular complaint may seem a bit persnickity, but that is how I am when I am the customer. C'est la vie.

The scenario: I stopped into AZ Wine in Scottsdale where I am not a huge customer, as it is not close to my home, but nonetheless purchase wine there regularly.

On this particular visit I was looking for a bottle of wine I had seen rated in the most recen "Wine and Spirits" magazine. They had it in stock and priced (on the little yellow card on the shelf) at $38.99. Okay, so I grabbed a bottle and noticed that there was a sticker on the bottle saying $41.00. Checked the card again - right vintage, vineyard, etc. Fair enough, I assumed it was on sale.

Took my purchase (along with another bottle) to the counter. Notified the clerk that there seemed to be a pricing descrepancy. He immediately questioned whether I had the right vintage etc. etc. Then he and (I assume the manager) went to investigate. Indeed, the hand lettered sign with all pertinent info about the wine yadda yadda yadda was for $38 bones.

"So sorry, that is wrong... the wine is $41" says the manager person.

"hmm" says I "Clearly one of the prices is wrong, but as the customer here, I feel you should give me the better of the two prices."

"Sorry" was the only response.

Now, we are talking about $3 here. I had no idea the price of the wine when I entered the store - had it been $45 or $50 or more I would probably still have bought it - this is about principle.
Now had the difference been between $10 and $100 where someone moved a decimal - or had I been trying to stock up on several cases to take advantage of a clerical mistake I could see his point.

We were talking about $3.00!!! My last purchase in this store was over $300.

I mainly resent that they made me feel like I was some kind of cheap bastard haggling over a few dollars.

So, I left the store without buying anything, and I will not be back.

Further, the next time I get asked for an opinion on this board or another about wine shops in Phoenix I will piss and moan about this.

Sorry for the rant, but I cannot stand sub-par service or being treated as though someone is doing me a favor by deigning to sell me something.


Peace,
Original Post

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Can't say I blame you for being a bit pissed Gambit. Indeed, it IS the principal. The mistake was the retailer's and not yours. A hard price to pay for a retailer to lose a customer over $3.00. Pretty short-sighted. I've purchased from AZWines myself and have had nothing but good things to say about them. Sorry for your crummy experiance Mad

By comparison, for all the ranting we Canadians do about the wine monopolies present in Canada: in Quebec, if you find a price descrepancy on a bottle of wine, the lower price is honored no matter how much the differance AND they deduct an additional $10 from your total for the mishap. THAT'S dealing correctly with your customers. Wink
What I do in situations like this is walk over the the wine where they have the tag, tear it off the shelf, walk back to the counter and hand them the price: "This was hanging on the shelf right in front of the wine. I want this price. I figured you'd want the shelf tag since you're being such a dickhead about the $3."

If that doesn' work for you, then shop elsewhere and bitch about them on a wine forum.
Gambit, If I didn't know better, I'd think you were trying to take advantage of some inattentive shelf labeling? Kidding of course.

I'd be the same as you about this, and would hesitate to give them any business. I've had several instances like this happen to me, at a variety of businesses, and I've always dealt with it in similar fashion.
quote:
Originally posted by Golf&Pinot Nut:
What I do in situations like this is walk over the the wine where they have the tag, tear it off the shelf, walk back to the counter and hand them the price: "This was hanging on the shelf right in front of the wine. I want this price. I figured you'd want the shelf tag ...


I have done that on several occasions. You know you will have a problem if the shelf and bottle are marked differently. I take proof of the lower price to the checkout and it has always been honored. The merchant then removes all evidence so that others buying the product after me will have to pay the intended higher price...
Oddly,...In my experience I do not think the price in the computer has ever been lower than the price on the floor.
Look - there are a thousand places where you could be buying your wine. If the sales dork isn't willing to honor the price that is RIGHT THERE ON THE FRICKIN SHELF, then simply tell him, "I will not be back. I will post on Wine Spectator's Forum that you're not willing to honor clearly-marked prices." Then walk out.

Of course this strategy is much more effective if you're leaving several thousand dollars worth of bottles on the counter.
quote:
Originally posted by MiamiAtty:
quote:
I figured you'd want the shelf tag since you're being such a dickhead about the $3."

Big Grin

Ever hear the saying "If brains were dynamite, you couldn't blow your nose"? Unfortunately, you delt with the guy it was invented for. A retail retard who is the bain of every store owners existence.


Don't you think that attorneys deal wth problems like this a little differently than the rest of the population?


Q. Mr. Dickhead, how long have you been working here?

A. About three years?

Q. And you are responsible, are you not, for pricing the wines?

A. Uh. Yeah. I guess so.

Q. And Mr. Dickhead, isn't it true that on occasion, if you are marking a wine down, you'll put a little tag on the shelf right in front of the wine to advertise the lower price?

A. That's right.

Q. And, you would also agree, wouldn't you Mr. Dickhead, that once the sale is over, those little tags are removed form the shelf?

A. Well, sometimes if things are hectic, we....

Q. (Interrupting) - Mr. Dickhead, a "yes" or "no" will suffice. Answer the question, please - when the sale is over, you take down the shelf tags, don't you?

A. Uh. I guess we do.

Q. Mr. Dickhead, I'm showing you what we've marked for identification purposes as Exhibit 372. Do you recognize that?

A. Yeah. Its the sales tag for the 2003 Ch. De Plonk wine.

Q. And it says that the wine is $38.99, is that correct?

A. (examining the tag). That's what it says.

Q. And was this tag on the shelf in front of the Ch. De Plonk on September 18, 2007? And let me remind you sir that you are under oath!!

A. After consulting with counsel, I invoke my 5th amendment rights.
Sorry to hear of your experience. I have bought wine from them in the past, and found them to be a bit quirky about pricing (no case discounts) as well. I have also found that they are frequently have the best pricing and selection in the valley. Therefore, while I do buy some of my wine there, they are not my excusive source.
As an owner of a service business myself, it's amazing that a retailer can't understand that price is not everything. The consmer likes to be treated fairly and will gladly go down the street and pay a few bucks more for service, as I'm sure Gambit did.
I went into K&L in SF to buy an Italian wine from Montelfalco that I had seen in their newsletter. When it was rung up, there was a price discrepancy of $5 in the store's favor. I mentioned it to her, and she checked the newsletter to confirm the pricing, said there was an increase but gave it to me at the newsletter price.

That's how retail stores should handle these things.
I wonder how many thousands of dollars that store is going to lose in the effort to chisel 3 more bucks from your wallet. Where I buy wine, they often give me a case discount when I buy five bottles. They gave me my last mixed half-case at a 20% discount. Guess who doesn't buy from their competitors any more? I'm buying at least twice as much wine from them as I used to, so they're cutting me a break and making more money in the bargain.
I am 10000% on your side, Gambit.

"Oh, it's our mistake, it should have been marked $41. We'll be happy to give it to you for $38, though. Good choice, we love that wine!"

(okay, maybe not that last line)

Gambit, I want YOU as a customer. I don't sell wine, but nevertheless, a regular customer is worth its weight in gold......or something like that.
quote:
Originally posted by Golf&Pinot Nut:
quote:
Originally posted by MiamiAtty:
quote:
I figured you'd want the shelf tag since you're being such a dickhead about the $3."

Big Grin

Ever hear the saying "If brains were dynamite, you couldn't blow your nose"? Unfortunately, you delt with the guy it was invented for. A retail retard who is the bain of every store owners existence.


Don't you think that attorneys deal wth problems like this a little differently than the rest of the population?


Q. Mr. Dickhead, how long have you been working here?

A. About three years?

Q. And you are responsible, are you not, for pricing the wines?

A. Uh. Yeah. I guess so.

Q. And Mr. Dickhead, isn't it true that on occasion, if you are marking a wine down, you'll put a little tag on the shelf right in front of the wine to advertise the lower price?

A. That's right.

Q. And, you would also agree, wouldn't you Mr. Dickhead, that once the sale is over, those little tags are removed form the shelf?

A. Well, sometimes if things are hectic, we....

Q. (Interrupting) - Mr. Dickhead, a "yes" or "no" will suffice. Answer the question, please - when the sale is over, you take down the shelf tags, don't you?

A. Uh. I guess we do.

Q. Mr. Dickhead, I'm showing you what we've marked for identification purposes as Exhibit 372. Do you recognize that?

A. Yeah. Its the sales tag for the 2003 Ch. De Plonk wine.

Q. And it says that the wine is $38.99, is that correct?

A. (examining the tag). That's what it says.

Q. And was this tag on the shelf in front of the Ch. De Plonk on September 18, 2007? And let me remind you sir that you are under oath!!

A. After consulting with counsel, I invoke my 5th amendment rights.
LOL! Well done! Cool
quote:
Originally posted by Golf&Pinot Nut:
quote:
Originally posted by MiamiAtty:
quote:
I figured you'd want the shelf tag since you're being such a dickhead about the $3."

Big Grin

Ever hear the saying "If brains were dynamite, you couldn't blow your nose"? Unfortunately, you delt with the guy it was invented for. A retail retard who is the bain of every store owners existence.


Don't you think that attorneys deal wth problems like this a little differently than the rest of the population?


Q. Mr. Dickhead, how long have you been working here?

A. About three years?

Q. And you are responsible, are you not, for pricing the wines?

A. Uh. Yeah. I guess so.

Q. And Mr. Dickhead, isn't it true that on occasion, if you are marking a wine down, you'll put a little tag on the shelf right in front of the wine to advertise the lower price?

A. That's right.

Q. And, you would also agree, wouldn't you Mr. Dickhead, that once the sale is over, those little tags are removed form the shelf?

A. Well, sometimes if things are hectic, we....

Q. (Interrupting) - Mr. Dickhead, a "yes" or "no" will suffice. Answer the question, please - when the sale is over, you take down the shelf tags, don't you?

A. Uh. I guess we do.

Q. Mr. Dickhead, I'm showing you what we've marked for identification purposes as Exhibit 372. Do you recognize that?

A. Yeah. Its the sales tag for the 2003 Ch. De Plonk wine.

Q. And it says that the wine is $38.99, is that correct?

A. (examining the tag). That's what it says.

Q. And was this tag on the shelf in front of the Ch. De Plonk on September 18, 2007? And let me remind you sir that you are under oath!!

A. After consulting with counsel, I invoke my 5th amendment rights.


WAY too funny... ROFL Well done!!! Big Grin
quote:
Originally posted by SD-Wineaux:
To play Devil's Advocate a little bit here, I wonder if Gambit wound up purchasing this wine elsewhere and at what price. I'm not sure if AZ Wine Company falls into this category, but I'll cut some slack on the service side of the equation for retailers who can maintain rock bottom prices.

So let me understand, you're willing to "cut some slack on the service side" and let discount stores treat you poorly just to have the discount?
Where is it written that customers buying at discount prices are to be less valued by the discount store? It is still the customer that keeps the discount store in business. It does not cost even the discount store to treat customers well, it pays.
quote:
Originally posted by EagleGrafix:
So let me understand, you're willing to "cut some slack on the service side" and let discount stores treat you poorly just to have the discount?

Yes, although I think you're pushing the envelope with the way you've worded it. The case in question has the retailer unwilling to honor the shelf-talker. If I knew that the price on the bottle was still lower than I could find elsewhere, I'd be unhappy but would still purchase it.

Let's take another case. Let's say a retailer was unwilling to accept returns of any bottles, except in the case of errors. Certainly this is an example of poor customer service. Would you do business with this company?
quote:
Originally posted by SD-Wineaux:
quote:
Originally posted by EagleGrafix:
So let me understand, you're willing to "cut some slack on the service side" and let discount stores treat you poorly just to have the discount?

Yes, although I think you're pushing the envelope with the way you've worded it. The case in question has the retailer unwilling to honor the shelf-talker. If I knew that the price on the bottle was still lower than I could find elsewhere, I'd be unhappy but would still purchase it.

Let's take another case. Let's say a retailer was unwilling to accept returns of any bottles, except in the case of errors. Certainly this is an example of poor customer service. Would you do business with this company?


-I wouldn't buy it. It is not the dollars, it is the principle of the thing. Fark 'em. I'd rather give $45 to someone who is not a Dickhead than give $41 to these guys.

-If their written policy said that you could return them, and when you bring them back, they said "Oh! That was a misprint. The real policy is no returns". That would be the same scenario, and the answer would also be no.
Syd, on the first point, that's a personal choice and one I certainly wouldn't fault you on. But not everyone would make the same choice.

On point two, I'm not sure that many retailers have a written pricing error policy (a quick search didn't turn any up, although apparently Arizona requires all retailers to have a written policy on what they will do when an item scans wrong, but it doesn't seem to address incorrect shelf signs). Anyway, the case I was talking about was a written policy of no returns. Premier Cru has such a policy, which I imagine is also true of many internet-based retailers.
quote:
Originally posted by SD-Wineaux:
To play Devil's Advocate a little bit here, I wonder if Gambit wound up purchasing this wine elsewhere and at what price. I'm not sure if AZ Wine Company falls into this category, but I'll cut some slack on the service side of the equation for retailers who can maintain rock bottom prices.


Let's be clear AZ Wine does not offer rock bottom prices - and that is not what I value. I did not purchase it elsewhere yet. I am sure I will at some point. The price is not the issue.

I for one am more than happy to pay a premium for convenience and/or premium service. Frankly the prices at AZ wine are reasonable, but nothing amazing. They have a good selection, although poor storage IMHO. I have gone out of my way to patronize them in the past as they are local owned and not a chain.

Candidly, the wine manager at our local premium grocery (AJ's Fine Foods) wants my business, calls me regularly, buys from the same wholesalers as AZ Wine, and will bring in any wine I ask him for. THAT is service.

To reiterate, it was the fact that they made me feel as if Iwas doing something wrong by asking for the advertised price.

They made it clear that my business (which by a quick look in the cellar was about $1200 YTD) is not valued. Fair enough. But I am going to make sure that everyone I am acquainted with knows that.
quote:
Originally posted by SD-Wineaux:
Syd, on the first point, that's a personal choice and one I certainly wouldn't fault you on. But not everyone would make the same choice.

On point two, I'm not sure that many retailers have a written pricing error policy (a quick search didn't turn any up, although apparently Arizona requires all retailers to have a written policy on what they will do when an item scans wrong, but it doesn't seem to address incorrect shelf signs). Anyway, the case I was talking about was a written policy of no returns. Premier Cru has such a policy, which I imagine is also true of many internet-based retailers.


My point was made because there is a disconnect between the thread's initial scenario -which is living up to what you put in front of the customer- and your return policy question.

I see nothing wrong with doing business with guys like PC, since their policy is right there for everyone to see, and they do what they say they are going to do. I don't consider it bad customer service. I consider the AZ case to be HORRIBLE customer service.
I think sydthesquid's analogy is bang on that the written shelf sign offering $38.99 and then reneging claiming it was a misprint is like a written sign or policy offering to accept returns and then reneging saying it was a misprint.

Your case of not accepting returns as an example of "bad" customer services is correct, but just not a good analogy here because the retailer, in your case, is doing exactly what the sign said, which was not what Gambit experienced.

quote:
Originally posted by SD-Wineaux:
On point two, I'm not sure that many retailers have a written pricing error policy (a quick search didn't turn any up, although apparently Arizona requires all retailers to have a written policy on what they will do when an item scans wrong, but it doesn't seem to address incorrect shelf signs). Anyway, the case I was talking about was a written policy of no returns. Premier Cru has such a policy, which I imagine is also true of many internet-based retailers.
quote:
Originally posted by Stevey:
I think sydthesquid's analogy is bang on that the written shelf sign offering $38.99 and then reneging claiming it was a misprint is like a written sign or policy offering to accept returns and then reneging saying it was a misprint.

Your case of not accepting returns as an example of "bad" customer services is correct, but just not a good analogy here because the retailer, in your case, is doing exactly what the sign said, which was not what Gambit experienced.

I disagree, if you're trying to apply that generically to all stores. For the store in question, Arizona law (see page 3, section M, and page 7) requires that stores have a written policy on how they will handle price scanning discrepancies, but it does not place any requirements on how they should be resolved (i.e., there is no requirement that the lowest price be honored).

Perhaps Gambit or another Arizona forumite would be so kind as to request AZ Wine Co's written policy so we can see if they violated their policy or simply practice poor customer service as a rule.

quote:
Originally posted by Gambit:
To reiterate, it was the fact that they made me feel as if I was doing something wrong by asking for the advertised price.

That changes things considerably for me. You said it in your original post and I didn't pick that up - sorry. It's totally different circumstances if the response is:

"I'm sorry, sir, but it's our policy to charge what the computer tells us to charge. I'm afraid there isn't anything that I can do about it."

vs:

"You want what!?! He, he. Hey, Larry, listen to what this big spender is asking for."

The latter is an exaggeration, of course, but if they were anything but polite about it then all bets are off.
quote:
Originally posted by Ne Kulturny:
To decide not to buy the wine because of the pricing mistake is a matter of principle.

To make a stink on a public board over three dollars is petty.


It is not the dollar amount but the fact that the store will not stand behind their Sales price. Kind of a bait and switch if you ask me and I was in the car bidness for years and know all about bait and switch.

Would you feel the same if it was a TV for sale at Circuit City and the shelf price said $599 but when you went to the check out they said no it is $899?
quote:
Originally posted by Ne Kulturny:
To decide not to buy the wine because of the pricing mistake is a matter of principle.

To make a stink on a public board over three dollars is petty.


I made a stink about the treatment - not about the price.

Noting a perceived slight at a wine retailer (right or wrong) on a wine bulletin board seems appropriate.

Making a personal attack on any bulletin board seems innapropriate.

Also, as I preface my "rant" by stating that my position is a bit persnickety - your personal comments smack of redundancy as well.

Peace,
Last edited by gambit
quote:
Originally posted by Ne Kulturny:
To decide not to buy the wine because of the pricing mistake is a matter of principle.

To make a stink on a public board over three dollars is petty.


I think that the whole point is that it IS three dollars. It is about customer service, not money. If the price difference had been $50, he would never have expected them to charge him the lower price, nor would it be reasonable to expect them to cover such an obvious error. However, since the difference is only three dollars, it seems taht the unwillingness of the store to eat the 3 bucks in the name of customer service seems petty and may be indicative of lousy customer service in general.

That the STORE is being so petty over three bucks warrants a rant (maybe not by me or you, but certainly is within the realm of ranting acceptability, in my opinion.) Hey, you open your doors to the public, the public has a right to complain.

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