The ol' bait and switch.
They wonder why people get irate in the stores. I don't, I try and avoid the mall this time of year. There are enough other detatched stores in my area where a person doesn't get trampled.
Yesterday, after a 13 hour shift, Kimmy and I went to buy TV's for our boys. I was planning on getting one at the local Superstore (a grocery/department store)and so was she although she was after much bigger fish. In, out that was the plan.
Then I pick up the flyer for WallyWorld. 20" TV for $99. Can't beat that right? But what are the chances they actually have any left? I have to give it a hook.
New Plan, slip into WallyWorld (located in the mall) if they have the TV, great, if not we are out of there. It was a good plan, a brilliant plan but WallyWorld is an evil place.
We get into the electronics department and Kimmy spots a TV that she likes at a better price than Superstore. I also see one that is cheaper than the one I had planned to purchase. But I have to ask about the ones in the flyer first. We locate a WallyWorld employee, Gordon.
Gordon is a 40 something bald on the top man, who just won't let go of the long hair on the sides. You have seen them before. "Oh Man, those didn't even make it to the store! They were gone on layaway before we ever got them shelved."
Ok, plan B. "Fine, we will take that one and that one." I point to the two TV's that we have chosen that, incidentally, have huge sale signs on them and are currently playing the Garth Brooks Christmas Special.
"Ah, I might have one of the big ones, but the other ones we are out of."
I look at him like he has clearly lost his mind, "Ah, Gordon, they are not out of stock, I am staring at them right now."
"Those are display TV's."
"Ok, and it has served it's purpose, it has displayed, it has announced it's price, it has tugged at my heart strings, it has sold me. Now it is time for me to take it home. Wrap it up."
"I can't sell it, its a display item." Gordon is starting to get on my last nerve.
"Then why the hell are you still displaying it? Why is there no sign on it saying 'sorry we are all out'? Why have we just stood here for 20 minutes considering a purchase that you have no intention of letting us go through with?"
"I just work here, we don't have any of those either, but they are still displayed." He indicates a long shelf of stereos.
I yell to a guy who is perusing that same isle, "Don't bother, Buddy, they won't sell you any of them." He looks at me like I lost my mind and I am very close to losing my cool.
"So, you are telling me that in this entire massive store, there exists not one of these TV's?" He checks with his price gun thingy and it indicates that there are 6 of the big ones and zero of the ones I want.
"So, you have six, wrap one up."
"That just means that there are six in stock for WallyWorld. But we have none here. Those six could be in layaway."
"But you don't know that, somewhere in WallyWorld's universe this TV sits on a shelf, but what shelf?"
"Unless they are in storage upstairs, I don't know." He has clearly missed that I have picked up on the fact that there are storage spaces that could be searched. Kimmy has not, she has started to move away from me.
"Ok, we'll wait here."
Gordon gives me a blank stare. He looks around the store that is filling up with people and has only two employees. The line for the cash register is starting to snake around the back of the store. But do I look like I care? NO! I do not give a shit.
"You said there might be one upstairs, off you go, we will wait here."
"It could take a while, I have to go to the other side of the mall and up to the storage and ..." He trails off, thinking I will tell him not bother himself with it. Clearly he does not know me, I have been tricked into coming into this store and I am not leaving without that TV if it exists at all in this Wallyworld universe.
I slow it down for Gordon. "I said we will wait."
So off Gordon goes, he is not happy with his journey either, you can tell by the way he is mumbling. I amuse myself by telling anyone who picks up a piece of merchandise in this department not to fall in love with anything, they don't actually have any of this merchandise for sale. Its just for show.
Half an hour later, Gordon returns. WITH BOTH TV's!
"See, Gordon. This is why you get the big bucks." He does not see the humor in it as he tries to negotiate two huge TV boxes through a crowded store.
Kimmy is no longer embarrassed to be seen with me, she now looks around as if to say, 'Don't you wish your best friend was a bitch like mine? You would have your f'ing TV's right now!' Other shoppers are getting that look in their eye, they are planning on sending Gordon back into the darkness to search for the rare and illusive stereo's.
Kimmy gets on the horn with the delivery guy, he is on his way and Gordon is ringing up the TV's. I get an evil grin on my face, "You know what, Gordon? I changed my mind, I don't think I want a TV." He looks at me, face red, the veins in his neck are about to burst.
I can't take it, I burst out laughing, "I am just fuckin' with ya Gordon. You should see your face!" He is not amused but I don't care, the important thing is that I am. And now that people are informed, I can see a lot of trips into the attic in Gordon's future.
And another thing...
To be fair to WallyWorld, they are not the only place that does this Bait and Switch.
I have been in Superstore a lot this season and I have priced the GameCubes (that is what the boy wants) and I was planning on purchasing it from the SuperStore, they had a good price and a stack of (what I thought were) GameCubes six feet high.
I went in the other day to pick one up. "Ya, give me a black one." He looks behind the counter, there are two.
"One silver and one purple, is all I got."
"Ok, what about over there." I point to the giant pyramid of GameCube boxes.
"Those are empty."
"What happened to the ones inside?"
"There was never any inside, that is a display."
"Are you kidding me? So you lure people in here thinking they can purchase one of these hundred GameCubes, then you tell them that you have none. So what? You can get them to buy one of the more expensive game consoles?"
He gives me a blank stare. I know this kid was not in on the evil plot and I also see that he has just realized there is one. He is white faced. "I do not want to be you after you sell that last one." Clearly he does not either.