Author Topic: prioritizing the single-item shopper and other costco fiascos  (Read 10522 times)

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wolfie

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Re: prioritizing the single-item shopper and other costco fiascos
« Reply #30 on: May 16, 2014, 12:23:36 PM »
I've become a firm "No, you can't get ahead of me" shopper.  It's particularly funny in my case because at a store I frequent I often have a full cart - but I'm buying in bulk so there's no more than 5-6 items in it.  Still I think people have gotten to _expect_ that I'll let them in if they're carrying a couple of items in their arms, and ( I believe ) they get behind me deliberately, ignoring the longer 'express lane' lines.

So I practice my friendly, happy, polite, smiling, "No, I'm sorry", and go ahead with my purchase.

And I also agree that the two item purchasers are inevitably the 'credit card won't work/club card won't work/can't remember which phone number I used/oh let me give you exact change/darn I know there's a dime in here somewhere' purchasers.

I get behind people like you not because I expect that you will let me through first but because I have noticed that one person with a fullish cart can be quicker then 5 people with only a handful of items. The bagging and paying process seems to take longer then the scanning process. If you let me through first I won't complain but that isn't why I am in line behind you.

TootsNYC

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Re: prioritizing the single-item shopper and other costco fiascos
« Reply #31 on: May 16, 2014, 12:34:34 PM »
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it's good to have a line or two ready for when i'm in the situation again.

For this, I really do like people's suggestion of "Not today." it's a nice thing to have handy on "auto-play"; it's more syllables than "no," and it implies that there's some special reason specific to the situation, so you don't look quite as ungenerous as you might (bcs I do agree w/ you about feeling like you suddenly look unreasonable--when you aren't, actually; they are).

whatsanenigma

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Re: prioritizing the single-item shopper and other costco fiascos
« Reply #32 on: May 16, 2014, 12:51:32 PM »
I think another important aspect of this situation is that it's Costco.

At least based on my own experiences, Costco is the kind of store where "stocking up" is the norm, not the exception.  Sure, some people pop in sometimes and buy only one or two items, but that's not really the intent of the way the store is set up KWIM?  The contrasting situation would be a place such as a convenience store or gas station, where buying one or two items is the "norm" and buying a whole cartload of stuff would be the exception, though of course both things can be done at both locations.

If the OP had experienced this situation in a connivance store or gas station, I would still not agree that the actions of the employee were appropriate, but I would have some sympathy for the employee and understand her POV a little better, because if the majority of customers are just buying one or two things and they have a reasonable expectation that the transaction will go quickly, and someone is out of the ordinary and has a whole cart of items, then those other customers might be justifiably annoyed. 

But at Cosco, it's the other way around.  Large carts, even multiple carts are the norm.  The few people that come in for one or two things know that they are the ones not following the "norm" and I would hope they would be prepared for the long wait in line that comes with the fact that the usual behavior is to buy lots of stuff.

So, in my mind, the cashier was even more out of line to put the OP on the spot because it was a Costco.  If a Costco wants to add an express lane for those one or two item buyers, great, but in the absence of that, customers should just be taken in their own turns (unless the customer with only a few items asks the person in front of them politely and is granted permission, or that person in front of them volunteers) with the full knowledge that lines are slow at Costco.

(Edited because a car is not the same thing as a cart, and a is not the same letter as s)
« Last Edit: May 16, 2014, 12:53:45 PM by whatsanenigma »

dirtyweasel

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Re: prioritizing the single-item shopper and other costco fiascos
« Reply #33 on: May 16, 2014, 12:55:30 PM »
I think another important aspect of this situation is that it's Costco.

At least based on my own experiences, Costco is the kind of store where "stocking up" is the norm, not the exception.  Sure, some people pop in sometimes and buy only one or two items, but that's not really the intent of the way the store is set up KWIM?  The contrasting situation would be a place such as s convenice store or gas station, where buying one or two items is the "norm" and buying a whole carload of stuff would be the exception, though of course both things can be done at both locations.

But at Cosco, it's the other way around.  Large carts, even multiple carts are the norm.  The few people that come in for one or two things know that they are the ones not following the "norm" and I would hope they would be prepared for the long wait in line that comes with the fact that the usual behaivor is to buy lots of stuff.

So, in my mind, the cashier was even more out of line to put the OP on the spot because it was a Costco.  If a Costco wants to add an express lane for those one or two item buyers, great, but in the absence of that, customers should just be taken in their own turns (unless the customer with only a few items asks the person in front of them politely and is granted permission, or that person in front of them volunteers) with the full knowledge that lines are slow at Costco.

POD.  When I go to Costco, even for one item, I realize that I'm probably going to be there for an hour based on how busy it always is and how much food other customers are buying.  I never walk into Costco expecting to just get something and go quickly.  Now, if someone offers for me to go ahead because I have a small selection of items that's cool, but if I saw that someone was upset like OP I would refuse to budge.  I definitely think that the Costco employee was out of line in this situation.



TootsNYC

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Re: prioritizing the single-item shopper and other costco fiascos
« Reply #34 on: May 16, 2014, 12:58:06 PM »
I totally agree w/ whatsanenigma!

I switched from Costco to BJ's because the BJ's had an express lane and Costco didn't. I liked to sometimes just buy three laundry detergents, or something. I assumed a long wait was part of the deal, when there was no express lane.

And if an express lane had organically arisen, I'd have honored it.

turnip

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Re: prioritizing the single-item shopper and other costco fiascos
« Reply #35 on: May 16, 2014, 01:02:57 PM »
I've become a firm "No, you can't get ahead of me" shopper.  It's particularly funny in my case because at a store I frequent I often have a full cart - but I'm buying in bulk so there's no more than 5-6 items in it.  Still I think people have gotten to _expect_ that I'll let them in if they're carrying a couple of items in their arms, and ( I believe ) they get behind me deliberately, ignoring the longer 'express lane' lines.

So I practice my friendly, happy, polite, smiling, "No, I'm sorry", and go ahead with my purchase.

And I also agree that the two item purchasers are inevitably the 'credit card won't work/club card won't work/can't remember which phone number I used/oh let me give you exact change/darn I know there's a dime in here somewhere' purchasers.

I get behind people like you not because I expect that you will let me through first but because I have noticed that one person with a fullish cart can be quicker then 5 people with only a handful of items. The bagging and paying process seems to take longer then the scanning process. If you let me through first I won't complain but that isn't why I am in line behind you.

Oh - I'm sure not everyone gets behind me with ill intentions!  But I've had everything from direct 'can I get in front of you?' requests to people standing suspiciously close to my elbow, 'politely' clearing their throats and repeatedly crinkling their packaging with repeated glances in my direction - as close to a non-verbal "Look, I've only one item!" as I can imagine.   I find it endlessly amusing!

mich3554

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Re: prioritizing the single-item shopper and other costco fiascos
« Reply #36 on: May 16, 2014, 01:03:04 PM »
The people who lined up behind the OP could see she had a huge order so it's on them to wait. I've never seen a large store without a small purchase checkout anyway.

I do sometimes let people with one item, with a fussy child, or someone who looks at the end of her physical limits go ahead of me, but where I shop there are usually enough registers open that it is no necessary.

Why wouldn't the OP use the safety belt? Just because the child doesn't like it seems kind of odd because she is in one in her highchair at home and in the car.

Costco does not have one.  If there is someone behind me (and believe me, the lines are huge here, even with all registers open) that only has one or a few items and I have a full cart, I would (and have) let them go ahead of me.

m2kbug

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Re: prioritizing the single-item shopper and other costco fiascos
« Reply #37 on: May 16, 2014, 01:08:17 PM »
There's one thing I don't understand about padua's OP.

She has a big order, the children are restless and the check-out lines are long.  Why did padua decide to get in line behind another shopper with a large order?  To me, it would have made sense to join a line behind people who only had an item or two.  People behind me could see that I had a bulging cart and choose their check-out lines accordingly.

I'm guessing she had the mindset of "15 or fewer" lane like regular grocery store shopping and was trying to be accommodating to other people.  I would have gone after the quickest, shortest line myself, without much worry about single-item shoppers.  It's Costco, after all.  She made things a little harder on herself, but regardless, the cashier was out of line.  If Costco is that concerned about the wait for single-item shoppers, they can create an express lane.  A shopper shouldn't be forced to forfeit their turn.

siamesecat2965

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Re: prioritizing the single-item shopper and other costco fiascos
« Reply #38 on: May 16, 2014, 01:40:27 PM »
I think another important aspect of this situation is that it's Costco.

At least based on my own experiences, Costco is the kind of store where "stocking up" is the norm, not the exception.  Sure, some people pop in sometimes and buy only one or two items, but that's not really the intent of the way the store is set up KWIM?  The contrasting situation would be a place such as s convenice store or gas station, where buying one or two items is the "norm" and buying a whole carload of stuff would be the exception, though of course both things can be done at both locations.

But at Cosco, it's the other way around.  Large carts, even multiple carts are the norm.  The few people that come in for one or two things know that they are the ones not following the "norm" and I would hope they would be prepared for the long wait in line that comes with the fact that the usual behaivor is to buy lots of stuff.

So, in my mind, the cashier was even more out of line to put the OP on the spot because it was a Costco.  If a Costco wants to add an express lane for those one or two item buyers, great, but in the absence of that, customers should just be taken in their own turns (unless the customer with only a few items asks the person in front of them politely and is granted permission, or that person in front of them volunteers) with the full knowledge that lines are slow at Costco.

POD.  When I go to Costco, even for one item, I realize that I'm probably going to be there for an hour based on how busy it always is and how much food other customers are buying.  I never walk into Costco expecting to just get something and go quickly.  Now, if someone offers for me to go ahead because I have a small selection of items that's cool, but if I saw that someone was upset like OP I would refuse to budge.  I definitely think that the Costco employee was out of line in this situation.

I agree. More often than not I pop into Costco for 10 items or less. I usually try and pick a line that's not too busy, but sometimes that just doesn't happen. I also try and go first thing when they open on weekends, so by the time I've gotten my few items, everyone else is still shopping. That being said, I've had to wait in line sometimes, and that's just the way it is. I have had, a couple of times, someone offer to let me go in front of them, if they have a full cart, but I'd never ask, adn if teh cashier wanted to take me ahead of a full cart, I'd tell them no, I'll wait.

The cashier was out of line, and if I were you, I'd call and speak to a manager. Not so much to complain, but maybe to see what their policy is, and explain your situation, and that you weren't happy as it impacted you.

cicero

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Re: prioritizing the single-item shopper and other costco fiascos
« Reply #39 on: May 16, 2014, 02:18:07 PM »
I think another important aspect of this situation is that it's Costco.

At least based on my own experiences, Costco is the kind of store where "stocking up" is the norm, not the exception.  Sure, some people pop in sometimes and buy only one or two items, but that's not really the intent of the way the store is set up KWIM?  The contrasting situation would be a place such as a convenience store or gas station, where buying one or two items is the "norm" and buying a whole cartload of stuff would be the exception, though of course both things can be done at both locations.

If the OP had experienced this situation in a connivance store or gas station, I would still not agree that the actions of the employee were appropriate, but I would have some sympathy for the employee and understand her POV a little better, because if the majority of customers are just buying one or two things and they have a reasonable expectation that the transaction will go quickly, and someone is out of the ordinary and has a whole cart of items, then those other customers might be justifiably annoyed. 

But at Cosco, it's the other way around.  Large carts, even multiple carts are the norm.  The few people that come in for one or two things know that they are the ones not following the "norm" and I would hope they would be prepared for the long wait in line that comes with the fact that the usual behavior is to buy lots of stuff.

So, in my mind, the cashier was even more out of line to put the OP on the spot because it was a Costco.  If a Costco wants to add an express lane for those one or two item buyers, great, but in the absence of that, customers should just be taken in their own turns (unless the customer with only a few items asks the person in front of them politely and is granted permission, or that person in front of them volunteers) with the full knowledge that lines are slow at Costco.

(Edited because a car is not the same thing as a cart, and a is not the same letter as s)
I absolutely agree.

I like the "not today"  line.


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JeanFromBNA

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Re: prioritizing the single-item shopper and other costco fiascos
« Reply #40 on: May 16, 2014, 03:02:10 PM »
If just saying "No" bothers you, you can say "No, thank you."  That's what I say when asked if I want to donate to charity at the register.  Throws them off.

Also, I would talk to the manager.  That cashier was way out of line.

SoCalVal

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Re: prioritizing the single-item shopper and other costco fiascos
« Reply #41 on: May 16, 2014, 03:26:50 PM »
If just saying "No" bothers you, you can say "No, thank you."  That's what I say when asked if I want to donate to charity at the register.  Throws them off.

Also, I would talk to the manager.  That cashier was way out of line.

I would go (and have gone) further than talking to a manager.  I'd fill out one of the comment cards (I don't know if they still have them, but I know, when I needed to complain about the Costco Optometry dept employee's rudeness 15-20 years ago, I filled out a comment card).  I've learned that a complaint/concern in writing makes it not possible to ignore (and does go a long way to getting the business/employee to address the concern or, even, to change its ways).  The cashier never should've gone ahead and taken the other customer ahead of you without you stating it was okay (I can understand if the cashier had said to you, "I'm sorry; this woman had been waiting and had to come back so she's next then I'll be able to ring up your sale.").  My degree of complaints varies according to how severe the bad customer service is.  If I'm annoyed enough to complain, it's a verbal mention.  If I want a hard copy that would likely go into the employee's file, I'll fill out a comment card or send an e-mail.  If it is so bad that the business needs to be held accountable, I've either written to the corporate office or contacted the BBB (fortunately, I've only had to contact a corporate office twice and contact the BBB twice, none of these for the same occasion).  I rarely feel so annoyed that I want to just let someone know without making a written complaint (something that's just worth a verbal mention isn't worth the effort to me).



Redneck Gravy

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Re: prioritizing the single-item shopper and other costco fiascos
« Reply #42 on: May 16, 2014, 03:28:15 PM »
Quote
i should have found a better way to convey how i felt in each of these situations (it's amazing how sensibility can fly so quickly out of one's head).


Yeah, right? Hard to think on your feet. And hard to think when your head is buzzing w/ all that blood that just rushed there.

I will say, I don't think you needed to worry a whole lot about finding such a terribly polite way to say it. As long as you don't yell, swear, or hit someone, I think you could completely say, "Leave us alone!"

Or interrupt the cashier even as he's saying something to the woman, and say, "No, wait, I'm not happy with her going ahead of me, let me go first now, is there a manager?"

It's OK to sound angry when you are, irritated when you are. (Of course, it's also easy to not realize exactly how angry you -do- sound; I have the instinct to not say anything bcs I don't really trust myself not to be over the top, bcs my filters are flooded with all the blood in my head.)

I just want to say, both of those people were out of line.

Sometimes maybe buy time? Hold out your hand and say, "Wait--give me a minute," and then a deep breath.

Also, I think that you could have said to the cashier, while he was checking you out, "I think you should know--I'm not happy. You made me wait 10 minutes while you checked her out, my ice cream is melting, my kids are fidgeting and *I* was in line first. That was really inappropriate; I'm spending more money, for one, and there are other lines for people with just one item. Is your manager around?"

It's OK to tell someone in a business setting that you are unhappy with the service they are providing. It's feedback. It's useful to them. Again, don't yell, swear or hit anybody. But it's ok to sound upset.


Exactly!

I have said those very words - I am not happy with the service I am getting here...


TootsNYC

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Re: prioritizing the single-item shopper and other costco fiascos
« Reply #43 on: May 16, 2014, 03:30:02 PM »
There's an email us button!
http://www.costco.com/call-us.html

One Fish, Two Fish

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Re: prioritizing the single-item shopper and other costco fiascos
« Reply #44 on: May 16, 2014, 03:43:26 PM »
Did the employee apologize when it was your turn?  I'd have been furious.  Generosity is MINE to give not YOURS to offer. 
I'll get there.  Eventually.