Liz is wondering what’s going on at her local Hobby Lobby. She’s a professional doll maker and she buys a lot of supplies from the craft store chain every month. So far, she and her husband have been able to use the company’s in-store coupons for separate purchases even if they stand together in line at the register, but it looks like her Hobby Lobby may be cracking down on that. Should it?
Last week, Jon wrote to us asking how he can help protect his grandmother from falling for any more direct mail scams. She’d answered a piece from psychic Maria Duval, and subsequently her mailing address was sold to all sorts of scammers who thrive on easy marks. We suggested filing a prohibitory order via the USPS, but the core problem remains: how do you convince someone who wants to believe in psychics that she’s being lied to?
If you live in Chicago, New York City, or Philadelphia, expect to start hearing some noise about Walmart in the coming months. The retailer has announced that it’s going to “step up efforts to mobilize local political support” so that it can finally open stores in those cities, reports the Financial Times.
Seth wrote in to describe the response he got from Dell recently, and compared it to the response he got four years ago. That was a more innocent time, before rags like BusinessWeek blew the lid on our EECB strategy by printing it in old media that execs would read.
Trent at the Simple Dollar describes the “one month coupon strategy”—a cool trick that lets you line up coupons with in-store sales for massive discounts. Set aside grocery coupons for a month, then go through and select the ones you’re interested in. Bring them to the store and you’ll find that many of them are for products that are now on sale. On Trent’s last visit to the supermarket, approximately 40% of the coupons matched on-sale products—in the most extreme example, he was able to purchase some ice cream for 19 cents.
Netflix is investing in superior customer service to differentiate themselves from Blockbuster as the two rental giants remain locked in a vicious price war. The company has completely shunned email-based support, instead relying on 200 friendly Oregonians to answer calls around the clock. Netflix CSRs, unlike most, are not given target call durations, and are encouraged to “err on the side of generosity” when dispensing compensation. They have one shockingly simple goal: satisfy the customer.
Free Money Finance has a good strategy you can employ to help solve customer service disputes in your favor: ask for more at the same price.