37 thoughts on “June 18, 2017

  1. Partly the stores fault for the shitty connection. There are reasonably simple means (assuming it isn’t an ancient heritage-listed building) that you can use in order to ensure mobile connectivity in the building.

    Disclaimer: Don’t know if they apply in the USA as they are quite primitive and failing further by the day with their rules for…. well almost anything.

    • No, this is the customer’s fault for deciding to look for a coupon after her purchase has already been rung up.

      • Ok. If she was just googling it then I’ll give you that.
        If on the other hand she was trying to bring up the section of her favourite site then I insist on my point.

        I have, on a couple of occasions, abandoned the purchasing of items, or whole shopping carts, after finding myself with poor reception in an otherwise high-signal locale.

        Sorry this is 2017 and people should expect that if the entire surrounds has signal, that the store will too. If the store is putting in a black spot for their own perverse reasons (see the whole instore-wifi not showing special-prices scandal a few years back) then they are shooting themselves in the foot. I’ll head to the competitor either that time or next time.

        • Use your data, you are complaining cause you want an internet connection for free. You can have a free but slow one or you can use your paid data and get it quicker.

          • I don’t take chances I download the coupon into my phone, when I see it, before shopping. I do the same with tickets purchased online. (almost couldn’t enter cinema, because of connectivity issues)

    • “Partly the stores fault for the shitty connection.”

      No. This is ALL the customer’s fault, for waiting until the last second to start searching for a coupon.

      • See my post above.
        The store is blocking the signal with legal means (i.e. not as effective as signal jammers) to increase profit.
        Also Norm isn’t showing a queue of other customers (I’ve read the strip long enough to know that he would if it was relevant).

        • @Sally Smith

          Yeah I gotta disagree with you. An internet connection is not a right for a customer. It is an extra add on for being in the store. You can just as easily print out the coupon or bring it up before hand and save it to the phone.

          Furthermore, the proper etiquette in the US is to have your payment and coupons ready before you are at the register. That way you are not holding up other people in the line; and not dragging down the cashier’s average transaction time .

          If you are wondering what an average transaction time is, it is how fast a cashier checks out a customer. At the end of the day, the amount of time the cashier rang is added together and then divided by the amount of customers he or she had. The formula gives an average time per customer which is then factor into the employees overall performance. If the average transaction time falls below a certain point (or goes above a certain time limit), the employee is then reprimanded with a mix of verbal warnings, written warnings, and/or termination. When customers don’t have there payments or coupons ready, it drives this average number up despite the employee finishing much earlier.

          From my own experience, most companies expect a cashier to ring out a transaction of 150 or more in under 60 seconds along with getting any required up sells. Not exactly easy when a customer decides at the last second to start looking for coupons.

          • It really is wrong to blame the cashier for things that are beyond her control such as the customer deciding to look for an online coupon at the last minute. Or in the past with paper coupons digging through her purse. Or not even beginning to write the check til they know the amount (could’ve had the date, store name, etc. filled in ahead of time). I knew this happened to CSR’s (getting in a certain number of calls in a specified time) but not to retail cashiers. Don’t they have enough pressure and agonies as it is? I guess Corporate doesn’t think so if they add on this extra burden.

          • While I agree the customer should be ready and I hate waiting in line behind people who aren’t or who are slow for other reasons (wrangling kids, not paying attention because they’re on the phone, having a conversation with the cashier), average transaction times are not the customer’s problem or their concern.

        • Buddy, signals get messed up all the time for various reasons, not because the “store is blocking the signal”. Layout of the land and building materials factor into this. Certain areas of my university were complete dead zones to data and wifi (even the university’s OWN WIFI).

        • “Also Norm isn’t showing a queue of other customers”

          Assuming that there was really no line at the cash registers (which is unlikely) …

          What, wasting Amber’s time isn’t sufficient cause to fault the customer?

          As long as the customer isn’t hurting other customers, it’s okay? The cashier doesn’t matter?

    • Nope. It’s EASY to get cell phone coverage in old buildings. It’s the newer steel frame construction with mesh reinforced stucco walls that do a good impression of a Faraday cage to block reception.

      As for store supplied wi-fi, that also depends on how many people are using it at the moment. If they’re only paying for a router that supplies 20 connections but there are 50 phones trying to connect, there’s going to be problems. Lots of phones connect automatically, whether or not you’re trying to use the net.

      • That’s what I wanted to say. Dozens of people come to our store to “study,” which means they park on the wi-fi all day and make it hard for customers to use. We’re not blocking the wi-fi, there are just too many people on at the same time. There is no benefit in luring people into a store with a coupon they can’t use, because they will be upset and ignore all future offers.

        It’s also often possible to avoid this problem by taking a screenshot of the coupon, assuming it’s the actual coupon and not the email with the “click here for coupon” link.

    • Our connection is horrible. We can’t even use our handheld scanners that we need to do our jobs half the time.

      But the customer didn’t even TRY until her items had been rung up and bagged. When I go to Target I have my phone out for Cartwheel before I even get in line.

      • Also keep in mind that some types of cell phone signals penetrate those wonderful concrete, steel, and stucco walls better than others.

        For instance, T-Mobile is well known for not being able to penetrate worth a damn. If you’re at the back of a big store, don’t expect to get cell signal.

        GSM (ATT&T, T-Mobile) has wonderful spread and doesn’t need the towers as close together to get coverage, but doesn’t penetrate well. CDMA (Sprint, Verizon) is the opposite, and can penetrate very well but doesn’t spread as much, and so needs the towers closer together to get the same coverage.

    • Sally, we don’t know if the customer was using their data plan (which might have been on a cut-rate carrier), or the store’s WiFi (which could have been overloaded). It’s not the store’s fault if the carrier sucks. I doubt if the store is deliberately doing anything to block the signal. It’s just a factor of location and building construction. Then again, it might have been a crappy website or a slow phone. The real issue here is that she decided to look for a coupon after she got the total.

      • Sally, please not the dialog in the forth panel – she’s looking to see if she can find a coupon. Something that’s going to take time even with a fast connection. Secondly, she says her browser just opened. Sorry, that’s not a slow connection, that’s a slow phone!

    • All this entire thread shows is how utterly cluelss you all are about how business finance and/or technology works. It’s a shame.

    • See my post above.
      The store is blocking the signal with legal means (i.e. not as effective as signal jammers) to increase profit.
      Also Norm isn’t showing a queue of other customers (I’ve read the strip long enough to know that he would if it was relevant).

        • Bosch,
          I agree. Sally needs a tinfoil hat.
          This is a goddam comic strip, not a real store. And this is the first time I’ve ever heard of a store deliberately blocking cell phones
          Although there are times when I wish, really wish, they could

  2. Sally – why are you assuming the store is blocking the signal?! You also state something about the USA to show that you do not live here so obviously things are different here! MANY places do not have their own wifi here in the States. Our cell signals are pretty bad unless in cities for the most part. This comic takes place “somewhere” in New England (I’m in Maine, so most DEFINITELY in New England!) and I can tell you FIRST HAND that New England is WAY behind in things like technology.

    It’s a comic. To start a weird rant about blocking signals is just, well, weird.

    • I agree. Norm must shake his head when (if?) he reads many comments. Why people look for deep, hidden meanings in a simple comic is baffling.

      The entire premise of this comic is simply about a customer who isn’t prepared once reaching the cashier — nothing else. It’s not full of hidden subtleties ala Breaking Bad and other tv shows. Lol.

      • What I find especially weird is that Sally thinks it’s wrong for us to assume something as basic as that this customer is delaying customers behind her (because Norm Feuti didn’t show us a line of other customers) …

        … but it’s okay for Sally to assume that the store is intentionally interfering with the customer’s signal, an assumption that is not only unjustified, but probably wouldn’t occur to most readers to even think of.

  3. The store in which I do a fair amount of shopping is brand new – less than ten years old – and I *never* have cell reception inside.

    • There’s a less than 5 year old Dollar General just up the road from me. I can get signal up until about 10 feet inside the doors and then nada.

  4. Yes, this just a comic strip. People look a little too deeply for meanings. The funny part is that Amber used an absolute and regretted it.

    About the cellular/wifi signal, maybe the customer has an old/cheap phone.

  5. From my experience, depending on the structure of the building, use your own network (ATT, Sprint, T-Mobile, etc…) instead of the store’s WiFi. Devices are constantly “competing” for the usage of the WiFi system and more often times than naught it’s extremely slow when compared when using your own network.

  6. @ Sally Smith: Did you read the article where it talks about customer’s God-given right to a strong Wi-Fi signal? You didn’t? Maybe that’s because there’s no such article. There’s no such law as “Stores must provide wireless access to the internet during operating hours”. I’m so proud of you for abandoning your full shopping cart if you couldn’t find a Wi-Fi signal! Now, not only have you provided some meaningless employee with “something to do” (sarcasm there), but you have also wasted your own damn time in the process, and you get to do your shopping all over again somewhere else (no sarcasm there)!
    All for a signal that’s probably available ten feet away from where you were standing.

  7. This was me today, sorry! I went in with the intention of price matching an item with amazon, and when i told cashier i somehow hadnt thought to already have the site pulled up on my phone and had to stand there like an a-hole. Thankfully no one was behind me in line.

  8. Thank you for running Retail on this site. Our local daily does not print on Monday’s and never runs the Monday strip! This is the only way I can keep up!

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