Tale of a stroller

There are two places in Vancouver that sell the stroller we wanted to buy, and only one of them is within walking distance from our house. It’s called Crocodile and we don’t really like it because we feel that they sell fancy, snobby, overpriced items, but they do say on their Website that they will match the price offered by other stores so on Sunday we walked the 30 minutes needed to go there. We looked at the stroller, liked it, and wanted to buy it, but they sold it for $10 more than their competitor. Unfortunately, we were told that none of the 2 people authorized to match prices were in on that day, so we would have to come back another day.

We should have went to the other store (TJ’s Kids), but that would involve taking the bus or booking a car (and they don’t have a wonderful record either when it comes to customer service), so on Monday I walked back to Crocodile to buy the stroller (after calling first and being told that they would, indeed, match the price). When I got there, I spotted an older saleslady (which I hoped was the one I talked to on the phone) and explained that I had called earlier about a price match. She seemed really doubtful, but another saleslady said that she heard the conversation and that such-and-such had authorized the price match. The first lady then went to the computer.

- What color do you want it in?
- Yellow and black.
- Do we have yellow and black?, she added with a frown.
- Well, I was told you had it!
A few seconds passed, then:
- Oh, we do have it.
She seemed really disappointed!

She went to the back-store, came back with a box and as she was taking the stroller out to show me the color and verify that it was what I wanted, she asked:

- So where did you see the stroller?
- TJ’s Kids.
- Did they have it in stock?
- Yes!

To be honest, I have no clue if they have it in stock. I didn’t go and I didn’t call. They advertise the brand new 2008 model on their Website, and that was enough for me. But I was thinking that it was a little bit late for that lady to change her mind about that price match! Anyway, I liked the color of the stroller and the saleslady went to the computer to finish the sale.

- Can I have your first and last name?
- No.

Call me paranoid if you want, but I don’t like giving my personal information away. Not only can they use it for bad purposes or sell it to other companies, their computer system can also be hacked into and I just know that they don’t need it. But they don’t know that I know…

- I need your name and phone number for the warranty.
- No you don’t. I’ll have to keep my receipt and if I loose it I’m screwed, but I don’t legally have to give you my personal information.

That’s when another older saleslady (this time, I assume, the one I had talked to over the phone) intervened and said it was ok, even though they did need it and MacLaren was going to call them to obtain it (!!!), but they’d deal with it. That’s when the first saleslady dropped the last bombshell.

- So you know it’s a final sale…
- Emm… Sorry? Why is that?
- All sale items are a final sale.
- That’s not a sale item!
- All price matches are considered sale items.
- Well, I guess I really should have bought it at TJ’s kids!

So am I the customer from Hell, or am I in my right when I refuse to give my personal information and when I find it exagerated that they make it a final sale for a rebate that really comes down to 5,5%? Anyway, I bought the stroller and made it home, and I have to say it is an excellent stroller, but I will really try to avoid buying stuff there from now on. On top of everything, I realized that on Sunday the saleslady gave me false information (she said that the 3 lower models of MacLaren strollers had the same wheels, but comparing my stroller to that of my friend I can see it’s not true). So I am not a satisfied customer.

And I encourage all three or four readers of my blog to consider this if they ever travel to Vancouver!

2 Responses to “Tale of a stroller”

  1. daniel Says:

    Sales people can be idiots, especially when it comes to anything out of the ordinary (except for those who used to work at Blacks).

    In any case, I’m glad you like the stroller as Kerith (my wife) is talking about getting a MacLaren stroller. Which model did you get?

    (I used to work with Zak at Blacks…for a short time. I’m not just some totally random stranger reading your blog!)


  2. sophie Says:

    We got the Volo, the lightest, smallest, cheapest model. Cons: the seat doesn’t recline and is soft (sling-like) whereas the other models recline and have a firm seat, which is better for posture. But we decided that for the use we needed it we couldn’t justify the $60 more for the next model up since we have a bigger, more comfortable stroller already. We wanted the Volo mostly for buses and to use as backup when our babe starts walking (which could be sooner than later if he keeps up with his current rhythm).