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Friday, August 07, 2009

Home "Rip-Off" Center

If I could, I'd open a Home Depot franchise in Israel, if only to give Home Center some grief.

I LIKE the Home Center at the Malcha Mall. They're pretty no-nonsense, and usually helpful.

However.....there is a notable exception.

Home Center in Talpiot in Canyon Hadar.

Today's was the worst of several bad experiences there.

Home Center at Malcha was out of those drying racks that screw into the wall of your mirpesset. But the staffer told us, "I'm sure they still have them in the Talpiot store," so off we trundled to Talpiot, the place that I suspect invented gridlock.

Once we slogged through traffic and parked, we went to Home Center. Two staffers assured us that yes, this item was still in stock and still on sale. Great!

We find that staff member in charge of this section, and he shows us the dugma (the model). "But it's small!" The picture in the brochure showed something that looked like it was two feet across.

"This is only the display model!" he tells us. He takes Yossi to the shelves and pulls down a box that is two feet in length. "And it's 399 shekels?" Yossi asked, reading the sign on the display. "Yes," the salesman answers.

An aside here: the display has two nearly identical sides, the only difference being that one latched in place with a bolt and the other had a hand crank. There is NO other difference, and nothing on either model that identified them by model number. Prominently displayed on the display item is a sign reading "399 NIS" with the number 600 crossed out. Clearly a bargain!

We go to the checkout stand and the clerk says, "No, it's 600 shekels."


I said, "Wait, I'll bring you the sign." I raced back to the display, yanked the sign down, and brought it to the checkout stand, where Yossi is now explaining to the clerk and some slightly-more-senior staffer that not only does the sign say "399 shekels" but the salesman told us it was 399 shekels.

I showed the senior salesman the sign. "Too bad, giveret, that's not the price for this model," he sneered.

"Yes, it is, it's ON the display model," I said, puzzled. "Come, I'll show you," and led him away despite Yossi's protest to let it go.

I show him the display. "That's not the price for the model on THIS half of the display--that's the price for the OTHER model on the other half of the display," he says with a brush-off gesture.

"That can't be correct--look, there's only ONE price on this display." I pointed out.

"Yes, and it clearly says "2002" for the model number," he retorted.

"Okay, so where on here do you see a model number? There isn't one!" I retorted back, getting annoyed. "This can't be legal--you put up a sign on a display with two models, don't distinguish between them with any markings, and then claim the sales price is only for 'the other one'?"

He starts to turn away. "This is called bait-and-switch where I come from, and it's illegal. Are you telling me that your store policy is to allow this?" I called after him.

Now he's angry. "I'm not going to make him a gift of it!" he states, his voice rising. "This is the price--600 shekels."

"Listen, if this were an honest store, you would admit an honest mistake and let the customer have the item at the price advertised--which is the price on this sign," I said, trying to sound reasonable.

"Maybe the clerk made a mistake when he told you it was 399 shekels, but its not my mistake, it's not the store's mistake, so the price is the price." He turned away with that very Israeli I-don't-have-time-to-talk-to-a-mere-woman dismissiveness.

"Really?" I said, raising my voice. "You don't care if people think your store engages in illegal pricing? YOU don't care if your store makes a practice of cheating people?"

We're now drawing a crowd.

"You're not the manager, are you?" He conceded he was not, and when I pressed to talk to the manager, he told me to tell the checkout clerk to call him---and started to walk away, again with a dismissive shrug of the shoulders.

"Maybe the manager would care that his staff is cheating people? Maybe the manager would care that your pricing is illegal? May he should know you treat your customers LIKE GARBAGE!"

"And what are you going to do about it?" he sneered.

I'm going to put it in my blog and tell everyone that the Home Center at Canyon Hadar engages in bait-and-switch tactics, doesn't care about making the customers happy, and treats their customers like garbage -- that's what I'm going to do about it.

I looked at the half dozen people watching this exchange with interest. "Don't buy here--they're cheats and liars," I told them. I have enough Hebrew to tell that truth.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good for you!!!!

Saturday, August 8, 2009 at 6:33:00 PM GMT+3  
Anonymous westbankmama said...

They prosecute stores now for bait and switch - I read an article about it in Jpost? Ynet?

Sunday, August 9, 2009 at 2:50:00 PM GMT+3  
Blogger Unknown said...

I was about to shop in this store tommorow and changed my mind after seeing your comments. Feel free to forward my comments to the store manager.

Sunday, August 23, 2009 at 10:54:00 PM GMT+3  

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