quote:
Originally posted by jhcwine:
quote:
Originally posted by shavez:
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Originally posted by VinT:
According to a well-placed informant deep inside the KGBO, the excess inventory has indeed been cleared. It's back to gouging as usual.


I realized while reading these posts that it's actually been quite a while since I've bought anything more than a daily drinker from the KGBO. With all the frustrations stemming from poor selection, ridiculously high prices, impossible-to-win lotteries and the new first-come, first-serve approach for extremely low-inventory wines, I'd now estimate that about 75% of my wine budget goes to US or German wine retailers. My cellar is now housed in about 4 different places...which is another problem altogether (but a MUCH cheaper one for now)!


Shavez: Retailers in Germany or retailers of German wine? If German retailers, I have been toying with the option of buying wines on-line from European retailers, for shipment here or just across the border, but have not taken the plunge yet. Would enjoy chatting about that, if you have time. jhcolman at rogers dot com.


Hi jhcolman - I mean retailers located in Germany. I never have the wines I buy there shipped to Canada or the US, but am in Munich for business on a regular basis so I can pick them up then. I also have 1-2 close friends in Munich who are kind enough to let me have wines shipped to their homes.
Agree 100% with futronic. I managed to get a wine in the Apr Classics that I never would've gotten before. I made an effort to get online at 8:30am and my effort was rewarded this time. I'll likely strike out more often than not in the future, but at least it's better than <1% odds that I was batting under the "unfair" lottery system.
I'm fine with the 8:30 am start but there should be bottle limits of 1 for wines with less than 24 in the system, 3 for less than 60 in the system and 6 for less than 120 bottles in the system.

If they bring in a case of something there should be 12 individuals that get it, not one who gets a case.
quote:
Originally posted by Rob_Sutherland:
I'm fine with the 8:30 am start but there should be bottle limits of 1 for wines with less than 24 in the system, 3 for less than 60 in the system and 6 for less than 120 bottles in the system.

If they bring in a case of something there should be 12 individuals that get it, not one who gets a case.

+1
I like the tiered limit suggestion, Rob. Wish there was transparency about their current limits, instead of their current claim of a "per-person limit on high demand product until noon on the first day of sale" (or some similarly vague language). Which bottles? What's the per-person limit on those bottles?
quote:
Originally posted by sunnylea57:
I like the tiered limit suggestion, Rob. Wish there was transparency about their current limits, instead of their current claim of a "per-person limit on high demand product until noon on the first day of sale" (or some similarly vague language). Which bottles? What's the per-person limit on those bottles?


Setting my LCBO frustrations aside, I agree with this. Transparency on this info would help.
I have yet to participate online, but do prefer the apparent transparency of that, to the behind closed doors lottery.

Just curious: does the LCBO make public the total number of bottles purchased of a given wine for the Classics and make ALL of those available, or are bottles being reserved for a fortunate few?
quote:
Originally posted by Rob_Sutherland:
I'm fine with the 8:30 am start but there should be bottle limits of 1 for wines with less than 24 in the system, 3 for less than 60 in the system and 6 for less than 120 bottles in the system.

If they bring in a case of something there should be 12 individuals that get it, not one who gets a case.


According to the Classics ordering info: "... but regret that sometimes customer demand exceeds supply. Products in this offer are subject to per-customer limits on the first day or ordering. Limits will be removed at Noon on launch day."

If only 12 bottles, then I'm guessing the limit should be one. So it should already be happening.
quote:
Originally posted by 7smcb:
If we think that system-wide delists are on the wane, does anyone have any tips for which stores are worth trolling for regular in-store markdowns?

I haven't been in a while - has Laird given up on markdowns since they moved to larger digs?

Since the rebuild, Laird St is under the steely gaze of the brain trust that manages the LCBO downtown. That means that there are 100 pairs of eyes, none of which are attached to a brain stem, running things and life is totally frustrating for the PCs who work at Laird. It also means that any initiative taken at the store level will be mercilessly crushed.

Things won't get better at Laird until they have another store opening.
quote:
Originally posted by 7smcb:
If we think that system-wide delists are on the wane, does anyone have any tips for which stores are worth trolling for regular in-store markdowns?

I haven't been in a while - has Laird given up on markdowns since they moved to larger digs?


The Stittsville store regularly has markdowns at that store only. Luckily for me, it tends to be the higher priced Burgundy and Rhone wines too!
quote:
Originally posted by Riddler:

The Stittsville store regularly has markdowns at that store only. Luckily for me, it tends to be the higher priced Burgundy and Rhone wines too!


Would really appreciate it if you post any markdowns that you see.... Stittsville is a short drive for me, but I wouldn't normally frequent that store.

Thanks!
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Originally posted by bman:
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Originally posted by Riddler:
2010 Beaucastel, 375ml, for $32. 6 left as of yesterday.


In Stittsville or elsewhere?


There is stock at the Dorval and Cornwall stores, but I didn't notice it marked down earlier this week.

In my experience, in-store markdowns are becoming more infrequent, usually when stock has been on the shelves for a while, and even then only with management approval.

One employee made a remark to me that auditors note any store with higher than normal markdowns relative to sales. (It might have been in jest.)
quote:
Originally posted by Beta P:
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Originally posted by bman:
quote:
Originally posted by Riddler:
2010 Beaucastel, 375ml, for $32. 6 left as of yesterday.


In Stittsville or elsewhere?


There is stock at the Dorval and Cornwall stores, but I didn't notice it marked down earlier this week.

In my experience, in-store markdowns are becoming more infrequent, usually when stock has been on the shelves for a while, and even then only with management approval.

One employee made a remark to me that auditors note any store with higher than normal markdowns relative to sales. (It might have been in jest.)


Thanks! I don't think I've ever seen a bottle marked down there, even though the PCs are amongst the best I've met both in terms of customer service and just being good eggs!
quote:
Originally posted by bman:
quote:
Originally posted by Riddler:
2010 Beaucastel, 375ml, for $32. 6 left as of yesterday.


In Stittsville or elsewhere?


In browsing other stores, it looks like it's only the Stittsville store that has it marked down.

They had Jadot Beaune Boucherottes marked down too, but they didn't last long.

Manager and Consultants at that store try to keep a high turnover on product, so there are always a couple dozen in-store markdowns. Also, Sherry White (consultant) is always giving me a heads up of things that are getting marked down "soon". Apparently 30% off is the max they're allowed to mark it down at the Manager's discretion.
Alright, who snapped up the last of the 2010 Beaucastels from Stittsville..... bahsterds!

Couldn't wait to try one, so I popped one on Saturday at noon, and after an 8hr exhale, drank it over the next few hours.

WOW.... powerhouse, a bit heavy on the prune, but that's right in my wheelhouse. Can't wait to try it in another few years!
Interesting experience at lunch today. Went to my local outlet to ask if they could arrange for some bottles at another store to be shipped down to them, since there were only a few left and I knew I wouldn't be able to drive across town to get them. I was asking for 4 bottles - an order that came to roughly $225 (although the value is irrelevant).

The store manager and the PC were off today, so I spoke to an assistant manager (I believe). I explained what I wanted and he immediately started to berate me: "What, you can't drive up there yourself? How do you think the wine gets from there to here? You think it just flies here? No, seriously - how do you think it gets here?? They've gotta put it on a truck that burns diesel fuel. You're going to burn a hole in the ozone layer just so you can get 4 bottles of wine."

This is verbatim. And he continued in that vein for another minute or so.

At first I thought he was joking, but he wasn't. Later he half-heartedly apologized saying, "Sorry if I was rude earlier."
quote:
Originally posted by Darcy:
What an asshole. Call customer service and file a formal complaint. I'm told they get investigated and that negligent employees get "coaching." The LCBO people in cust service are very decent. Not sure what else you can do. #monopoly


+1

I asked for 4 bottles to come from Cobourg to Oakville and got no backchat at all from the PC, much the opposite she could not have been nicer and in fact called me back twice after our initial conversation, once to say that she had left a message for the PC in Cobourg then again to say that the latter had confirmed the bottles were en route.
I've done inter-store shipping numerous times without a hassle.

BTW, the PC (who has always been very helpful to me) came back from lunch and called to let me know that the LCBO has apparently changed their policy on inter-store shipping. It can still be done, but she said it now has to be vetted through head office. As well, it's not a hard and fast rule, but they're trying to cut down on low-volume (1-2 bottle) inter-store shipments.

Anyway, she won't be able to finalize the shipment until Wednesday... by which time the product I want could be gone at the other store.
So, they get decide which stores the bottles are initially sold at, and now they get to step in and veto where those bottles can be transferred to?

Pretty much anyone in the province who doesn't live in Toronto gets the short end of the stick.
quote:
Originally posted by AML:
So, they get decide which stores the bottles are initially sold at, and now they get to step in and veto where those bottles can be transferred to?

Pretty much anyone in the province who doesn't live in Toronto Ottawa gets the short end of the stick.


Fixed! Not sure how many times I've been looking for something with low inventory and the only bottles left are in Ottawa. Shame about the policy change, I've found that the consultants typically have no issue with inter-store shipping. As for diesel fuel costs I find it hard to believe that inter-store shipments aren't simply moved via trucks that are already going to and from the stores in question, so management of the shipment is merely administrative in terms of ensuring that it gets onto the truck from the sending store and makes its way onto a truck going to the receiving store, so no excess fuel used...but then again this is the LCBO so who knows.
quote:
Originally posted by sunnylea57:
BTW, the PC (who has always been very helpful to me) came back from lunch and called to let me know that the LCBO has apparently changed their policy on inter-store shipping. It can still be done, but she said it now has to be vetted through head office. As well, it's not a hard and fast rule, but they're trying to cut down on low-volume (1-2 bottle) inter-store shipments.


And I'm sure the change in policy is clearly addressed on the KGBO's website and has been communicated clearly to all PCs as well Roll Eyes
quote:
Originally posted by Darcy:
What an asshole. Call customer service and file a formal complaint. I'm told they get investigated and that negligent employees get "coaching." The LCBO people in cust service are very decent. Not sure what else you can do. #monopoly


Haven't called for years, but I will say that if I ever ran into anything like this, or a store refusing to take a bottle back because I didn't buy it there or it was too expensive for their store (telling me to drive to a bigger store to return it...even if I picked up the order in question at the store refusing to take it back), 100% of the time customer service said the employee was wrong.
Yes, my experience, too, and I do think people like Peter in customer service are very decent and earnest. Cornwall Road in Oakville used to be very arrogant - I'd call and they'd say for sure the tasting bar was open, and low and behold I'd transit out there and be told to come back another day because they were "too busy" to staff it. Totally unacceptable. But they've improved - somewhat. Still worth escalating. And, the store-to-store policy, typical of LCBO, is applied inconsistently. They need to formalize it, and no screwing around. 2+ bottles or $100+ in total price would seem fair to me. Shouldn't be a surcharge, either, as there isn't when Canadian Tire or Home Depot does the same, without cost.
I called customer service. She wrote down the conversation as I recounted it as well as the description of the employee in question, and she said she will follow up with me.

She also said that there is no new inter-store policy that she is aware of.

However, she looked up the product I wanted and it's a discontinued item - and therefore cannot be shipped inter-store.
quote:
Originally posted by AML:
Not the first time that a Product Consultant has tried to misrepresent LCBO policies for their own convenience.

It sounds like sunnylea57's interaction was not with an actual PC, but with what a friend of mine calls the "red hat manager". That's the guy who likes to think he's in charge but in reality is just another overpaid clerk.
quote:
Originally posted by sunnylea57:
However, she looked up the product I wanted and it's a discontinued item - and therefore cannot be shipped inter-store.

I don't understand the logic behind that... does being discontinued mean that they do not wish it to be sold? Must be some new inventory management concept that I am not aware of.
I've worked to develop friendships with the PC's and some staff in my neighbourhood store and some of the flagship stores. They then always try to help me out, in finding stock, transferring items from other stores and giving me a heads up on arrivals of interest to me. One nice fellow used to set aside bottles for me, but was transferred to another store. On one occasion, I had to have a chat with the Manager about a interpersonal relationship challenged staff member manning the service desk; that individual was moved to general cash and eventually moved out.

The LCBO will always be the LCBO, but most people are or can be good people, if you give them a chance. Most are just doing the best they can, to do their jobs as they know best. Being respectful and asking for their help generally works.
The ozone layer guy was just a clerk. He's the one who first told me that the interstore transfer would have to go through head office, and that they had to prove to head office that they had exhausted every other option to procure the wine before head office would allow the transfer. Which sounded like BS to me, since all they had to do was look at online inventory to see there was only one store that still had product.

But it was definitely the PC who called me back later. I've dealt with her numerous times. She said it would take until Wednesday to arrange the transfer, and she did say that head office was trying to reduce the number of transfers of small orders. Perhaps she was just protecting the clerk who labelled me as a lazy carbon-emission spewing arse for wanting to transfer four bottles.

EDIT: then again, she's also the one who told me that the LCBO was going to do a soft launch of the new online ordering system, and that the February Classics would be available about a week prior to the official launch.... Which proved to be BS.

So perhaps she isn't the most reliable PC.
quote:
Originally posted by jhcwine:
I've worked to develop friendships with the PC's and some staff in my neighbourhood store and some of the flagship stores. They then always try to help me out, in finding stock, transferring items from other stores and giving me a heads up on arrivals of interest to me. One nice fellow used to set aside bottles for me, but was transferred to another store. On one occasion, I had to have a chat with the Manager about a interpersonal relationship challenged staff member manning the service desk; that individual was moved to general cash and eventually moved out.

The LCBO will always be the LCBO, but most people are or can be good people, if you give them a chance. Most are just doing the best they can, to do their jobs as they know best. Being respectful and asking for their help generally works.


Jhcw, being "respectful and asking for help" isn't helpful advice given the situation I described. I was polite enough when I asked about the possibility of doing the transfer. His attack was without provocation and out of the blue. When he finished I was so stunned I didn't know what to say. I just said "wow". Oh, and then I reminded him that if I were to go and pick up the wine myself, I'd be driving there and back and killing the ozone with my own car, so what difference did it make. Smile
Fair point, Sunnylea57. Seems like you had a run in with abit of a character. We should (as customers) not have to be subject to behavior like that.

I'd suggest chatting with the store manager, if you wish. He can either offer the offending individual some coaching or discipline or both. And sometimes, folks are just in the wrong job, relative to their skills sets. I once had a similar run in with an LCBO clerk. When I mentioned it to Store Manager, he was not surprised and thanked me for coming to him, as it gave him the information he needed to deal with this employee, in a union environment.

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