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Australian store charges customers a $5 'just looking' fee

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#31 shakey

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 20:24

I'm not sure how I can possibly be clearer...

Now, please pause and READ the below response...

Because the service she is offering, the one that her business is built upon, is being STOLEN... This isn't bad customer service, it is an attempt to charge for the service she is marketing. No "better" customer service will solve the problem. People have no respect for her time, if she offered better customer service they would surely only steal that too. Above someone referred to it as a "consultation fee", that's a very good description of it. And this fee I guarantee would be waived for actual customers (In fact the article itself says that she will refund it if you purchase something), so in actuality, this likely won't impact her business much other than reducing the number of people that come to her for free customer service before going to the big supermarket.

Now, please read that again. Maybe a few times...


You can repeat yourself all you want, I've already shown I understand what you said. I'm showing you how in real business practices, it isn't a good idea.
It's not her time being wasted. Customers will and always will shop around for the best price/experience/convenience/whatever.
It is her job. If she can not get her business to make a sale, there is something on her end. And while she can do what she is doing, in the business world, this is a bad tactic and normally does not work. She is learning the hard way, and instead of taking a proactive solution, she is laying it onto the customers. While cost are 100% always passed down to the customer, this is something that most people will turn away from.

Oh, and stolen is the wrong word. Nothing was being stolen. If she doesn't want to talk to people who aren't buying anything, she should just make a sign that says that. It would at least anger far less people and wouldn't keep people from wanting to enter your building.


#32 .Neo

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 20:27

Charging is really is not the way to go IMO. People will just stop coming in to the store, research products online, and probably eventually end up buying the product elsewhere. You want to get people in the door, not keep them out of it.

Just not a good time to charge people more with the economy in lots of countries not doing so well.

My thoughts exactly. Imagine walking up to a store and seeing an "Admission: €10" sign... Who in their right mind would even bother to step inside? Fairly certain the fast majority will think "**** that" and walk away. Let's see how long they'll stay in business then.

#33 OP +techbeck

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 20:32

My thoughts exactly. Imagine walking up to a store and seeing an "Admission: €10" sign...


I wouldnt...unless its a movie theater and a movie I really want to see.

#34 Solid Knight

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 20:33

Gluten free products are easy to find. They're generally all in the same isle in the supermarket in the US. Even if they aren't, they always plaster it really big on the packaging so you can't miss it. There's no point to go into a grocery store to examine the product for purchase elsewhere.

#35 shakey

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 20:34

Gluten free products are easy to find. They're generally all in the same isle in the supermarket in the US. Even if they aren't, they're always plaster it really big on the packaging so you can't miss it. There's no point to go into a grocery store to examine the product for purchase elsewhere.


That's what I'm thinking as well. I think this lady is actually just a rude person in some way who probably drives away sales.

#36 Solid Knight

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 20:36

That's what I'm thinking as well. I think this lady is actually just a rude person in some way who probably drives away sales.


Or her prices are too high.

#37 Osiris

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 20:36

Yeah I predict this was only implemented to get publicity or is just a really bad business move.

You know I've gone into stores to 'showroom', mainly in relation to clothes or shoes but there have been occasions (last one was with shoes) where the service was so good and friendly that I copped the extra in store price (and in australia tax) and purchased it there when it was cheaper online. That is the way to go imo as I have recommended and gone back to that store and the profit off the sales is worth more than charging me $5 and me not buying anything and never going back.

#38 shakey

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 20:43

Yeah I predict this was only implemented to get publicity or is just a really bad business move.

You know I've gone into stores to 'showroom', mainly in relation to clothes or shoes but there have been occasions (last one was with shoes) where the service was so good and friendly that I copped the extra in store price (and in australia tax) and purchased it there when it was cheaper online. That is the way to go imo as I have recommended and gone back to that store and the profit off the sales is worth more than charging me $5 and me not buying anything and never going back.


Same here. If I find something at a store I like that I could get cheaper online, I still normally buy it from the store. It is about convenience, getting it here and now; instead of having to wait and wonder how and when it will arrive. But getting hassled as you enter the store for a "viewing" fee is something that will turn almost everyone off of.
Also, this is a food store. People don't go online to get groceries, usually. I'd suspect I have about 100x the "showrooming" that this lady complains about.

#39 OP +techbeck

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 20:45

Gluten free products are easy to find. They're generally all in the same isle in the supermarket in the US. Even if they aren't, they always plaster it really big on the packaging so you can't miss it. There's no point to go into a grocery store to examine the product for purchase elsewhere.


My nephew cannot eat Gluten and my 80 some odd year old grand father cannot either (recently). All the grocery stores around my have a gluten free isle and its becoming more and more popular. I have a friend as well who cannot have gluten and she can find gluten free beer now and even a lot of Italian places make gluten free pizza/pasta. When restaurants first started to do this, the food didnt taste to good. Now you cannot tell the difference.

There is a locally bakery next to where I live that started to provide the gluten free option. Gave free dozen cinnamon rolls to my dad. They said, if you like it...please pay. But they wanted our opinions either way. My dad ended up going back and paying for them even tho they were just OK. He likes to support local/small businesses.

#40 shakey

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 20:46

Or her prices are too high.


High prices don't always mean a lost sale though. If you can show something that makes those prices worth it, people will pay. But if you aren't showing why the service and item is not worth it, then of course, you are only helping to lose a sale with high prices.

#41 M_Lyons10

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 21:26

You can repeat yourself all you want, I've already shown I understand what you said. I'm showing you how in real business practices, it isn't a good idea.
It's not her time being wasted. Customers will and always will shop around for the best price/experience/convenience/whatever.
It is her job. If she can not get her business to make a sale, there is something on her end. And while she can do what she is doing, in the business world, this is a bad tactic and normally does not work. She is learning the hard way, and instead of taking a proactive solution, she is laying it onto the customers. While cost are 100% always passed down to the customer, this is something that most people will turn away from.

Oh, and stolen is the wrong word. Nothing was being stolen. If she doesn't want to talk to people who aren't buying anything, she should just make a sign that says that. It would at least anger far less people and wouldn't keep people from wanting to enter your building.


And yet, with each post, you show more that you don't understand what I'm saying than that you do... Which is why I keep restating this in hopes that I find a way of putting this that you will understand. You seem very confused by the practice of operating a business to be entirely honest.

You say that "stolen" is the wrong word because you rationalize that products are the only thing that can be stolen when in fact you could not be more wrong. When you as a company are selling a service and someone does not pay for your service, they HAVE stolen from you.

I am trying to be as nice here as I possibly can, but I feel as if I am talking to a wall. You do NOT understand what you are talking about, no matter how many times you tell yourself (And us) that you do. You simply do not. Not even a little bit. Operating a service business is different than a product based business (And as much as I try to explain this to you, you just do not get it.).

And having some experience with this sort of thing myself, I can say that charging a nominal fee, which is applied to a customer's bill, does not hinder sales. It only weeds out those that had no intention of purchasing from you in the first place.

I understand that you seem very passionate about this discussion, and I appreciate that. But in order to understand (or theorize on) the ramifications, you have to first understand the problem. You don't.

#42 shakey

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 21:34

And yet, with each post, you show more that you don't understand what I'm saying than that you do... Which is why I keep restating this in hopes that I find a way of putting this that you will understand. You seem very confused by the practice of operating a business to be entirely honest.

You say that "stolen" is the wrong word because you rationalize that products are the only thing that can be stolen when in fact you could not be more wrong. When you as a company are selling a service and someone does not pay for your service, they HAVE stolen from you.

I am trying to be as nice here as I possibly can, but I feel as if I am talking to a wall. You do NOT understand what you are talking about, no matter how many times you tell yourself (And us) that you do. You simply do not. Not even a little bit. Operating a service business is different than a product based business (And as much as I try to explain this to you, you just do not get it.).

And having some experience with this sort of thing myself, I can say that charging a nominal fee, which is applied to a customer's bill, does not hinder sales. It only weeds out those that had no intention of purchasing from you in the first place.

I understand that you seem very passionate about this discussion, and I appreciate that. But in order to understand (or theorize on) the ramifications, you have to first understand the problem. You don't.


No, I understand it. You don't seem to understand what I'm getting at, and also you don't seem to understand what Good Business Practices are, as well as what running a business is about. You can go on and on about "her time being stolen". But you don't understand that what she is doing, is what every single business does. Nothing about it is anything special or different. If she feels that her time isn't worth the sale and what good customer service brings, she can then try this sign and see how much more business it brings. But as I have said, this is the wrong way for a small business to go.
You think her time is "stolen". You do not understand what business is about. Her time isn't stolen, it is being used, and then rejected by her customers. If she was providing a good service, most people wouldn't go somewhere else to buy food. There is obviously something wrong with either her store or herself that is driving customers away.
I'm no expert in business, but it doesn't take one to understand it and run a good one. It only takes understanding people ( at least the ones you want to provide service to ), sales, and advertising.
Again, if she think's her time is being stolen, then she should make a sign that says, " I will not talk to people who are not interested in buying product. My time is better served upon those who are our customers and in need of an actual service." This would make it seem like she is busy and wouldn't be rude. It would also not hurt her foot traffic into the buildling by putting people off with a "fee". But again, I'm a logical person who does understand what it takes to make a company thrive. If I wanted to run my company into the ground, I'd follow the actions this lady has begun.

Also, not only does this make her lose customers, it will also cost her money. Either her store isn't busy enough and she can police who enters from the counter (which would make all of this already a moot issue ) , or she has to hire/assign an employee to watch the door and "collect fees".

#43 Solid Knight

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 21:36

My nephew cannot eat Gluten and my 80 some odd year old grand father cannot either (recently). All the grocery stores around my have a gluten free isle and its becoming more and more popular. I have a friend as well who cannot have gluten and she can find gluten free beer now and even a lot of Italian places make gluten free pizza/pasta. When restaurants first started to do this, the food didnt taste to good. Now you cannot tell the difference.

There is a locally bakery next to where I live that started to provide the gluten free option. Gave free dozen cinnamon rolls to my dad. They said, if you like it...please pay. But they wanted our opinions either way. My dad ended up going back and paying for them even tho they were just OK. He likes to support local/small businesses.


I suspect that I have an intolerance as well albeit it might be something else since I can eat some wheat products and be fine but others will give me problems--maybe a particular additive is the issue (like I'm allergic to some chapsticks but I can't pinpoint which ingredient).

#44 McKay

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 21:38

I honestly wonder how this will hold up in a courtroom.


Well it's private property right? They could charge an entrance fee if they wanted.

#45 shakey

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 21:40

I suspect that I have an intolerance as well albeit it might be something else since I can eat some wheat products and be fine but others will give me problems--maybe a particular additive is the issue (like I'm allergic to some chapsticks but I can't pinpoint which ingredient).


You're not supposed to eat chapstick :p

Well it's private property right? They could charge an entrance fee if they wanted.


Wouldn't ever get to court. Now she has to waste time "feeing" people who enter, hearing people complain before they storm out , and other such issues. I bet this ends up wasting more of her time than her actually helping would be customers. My question is, is it $5 per person, or party? What's the age limit? Seniors get a discount ? :p