Everything was fine up to that point. Trader Joe's could have gotten themselves a steady, if modest, customer. But the final impression is the one that will follow me, and has lost them a customer. Was it worth it, Trader Joe's?
Let's start with the idea that I had never shopped there before. I had a completely open mind. As long as they had battery carts, I was willing to spend as much time there as needed to check them out. And the first impression was great: There were more than enough carts for the two of us.
Yes, Steve came along shopping. We had gotten a gift card to the store for X-mas. (Much appreciated, and a heartfelt thanks! I know you read this.) So, once the holiday rush passed, time to go check it out, see what we'd both like. We found some great looking avocados, Steve's favorite. The cheese selection was awesome, and we picked out varieties I hadn't seen in years, perhaps not at all, definitely not as good. (I will say the pepper jack has peppers you can actually taste! Yummm.) We found flavors of brats that are intriguing, breads to completely spoil us, and with the remaining balance on the card, found a pair of steaks that were the first things to please our palettes.
So what went wrong? They decided to get greedy.
We shopped carefully, keeping track as we went through the store of how much we were spending and the balance on the card. When it rang up, we had a few pennies left to spend, so we threw on a last impulse item to slightly overshoot the card. I dug a dollar out and handed it to the cashier along with the card.
I expected change back. Only 22c, but still: change. Wouldn't you? What happened instead actually shocked me. The clerk spent the dollar first, then took the balance off the card. So I now have a card to Trader Joe's with a whole 22c on it.
I think they believe it will bring me back to their store to spend more money.
They are wrong.