customer service: What’s a 3-day old newspaper worth?

That’s what I wondered when I wandered into the CVS looking for their weekly sale circular after dropping off my Mother’s Day card for momz at the Post Office next door. There were no circulars in the wire basket by the door, but there was a stack of old newspapers, including last Sunday’s 5/7. So I thought, they couldn’t possibly still be charging for this, could they? and went in search of a manager to ask. Well after a quick peek across all the aisles I didn’t see anyone wearing CVS colors aside from the pharmacists so I got in the long & slow line to ask a cashier at checkout. The exchange:

me: Are you still charging for last Sunday’s paper?
her: *pointing* They’re over there.
me: I know, what I was wondering is if you’re still charging for them.
her: *pointing again* They’re over there, look over there.
me: Yes they are over there. They’re from last Sunday, are you still charging for them?
her: *pointing next to her* Ask him.

— at this point I notice that the gentleman working the register next to hers has “Shift Supervisor” on his badge —

me: *pointing over my shoulder at the papers* Are you still charging for last Sunday’s paper?
him: Yes we are.
me: Thank you, have a nice day.

And I walked out, a little perturbed at the fact that a 3-day old paper would still cost money, but in my mind I was only hoping to get the coupons inside praying that I might have use for one or more of them, so that passed since I know the paper’s still worth some money. What bugged me the most was the inability to find a manager and then the totally-unfunny-vaudeville like conversation with the cashier while trying to find some information!

In general I don’t buy newspapers from most stores, especially not CVS as they charge tax on them, which I’ve never really looked into whether that’s kosher or not, but since I usually come with exact change to buy a paper, it bugs me to have to whip out plastic to pay for it when those extra few cents ring up.

Well, at least I got the card off to mom in enough time.

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2 Responses

  1. Devon says:

    This reminds of an experience I had a year ago in Harvard Square. I was killing time before a job interview and wanted that day’s Post. There’s a well-known news stand in the middle of the Square that has just about every paper in Western world, yet their Post was a day old. I realized this after I’d paid for it, and it took the sales guy about 5 minutes to sift through all their Posts (all old) and realize that they didn’t have that day’s – and it was already early afternoon. It took him another 3 minutes to refund my money.

  2. K says:

    Dude, it was CVS! I’ll never forget, as often as I had to go into the CVS near Faragut Square, how the employees, if they bothered to look at me, looked at me with contempt, and moved at a glacial pace. They seemed to enjoy slowing me down on my way to work.

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