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Not Prince Hamlet

"Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse."

No (Big) Box For You

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

NPH and Mrs. NPH are moving. For weeks now NPH has run back and forth to the local bookseller picking up their old boxes. It's been a really good experience, one that has boosted our opinion of the national big box chain. NPH has even gotten to be on a first name basis with Todd, the guy in receiving who has so thoughtfully taped these broken down boxes together and labelled them for us. We're moving across the country with this store's brand name all over our stuff.

But this morning we called for the first time in about a week and were told by the "bookseller" who answered the phone that they recycle their old boxes and don't make them available to customers.

NPH was a little stymied. "Actually, we've picked up boxes from there about four times in the last three weeks. Todd in receiving is who---"

"Actually I just spoke to the store manager," she interrupted. "And he said no."

What can you say to that? NPH was made to feel like a third grader denied access to the drinking fountain. We kindly said, "Thanks," and hung up.

Sure, NPH is sort of a parasite in this relationship. We're getting something for nothing. But the store's not really giving anything anyway. I mean, how much trouble is it to make old boxes available to people, boxes you're going to be getting rid of anyway? (we should point out that the whole chain isn't this way, as we've already arranged for one of their other stores across town to give us some boxes later today)

That "the manager said no" is a really terrible reason for a company to do anything. It's paternalistic and uncooperative. Which, of course, is how corporate business are designed to be. It's just that NPH had found a nice little soft spot in the midst of that chain, and our outlook on the whole thing was improving drastically. All that's changed now.

Now the prospect that we'll spend much time or money there is markedly diminished. The warm fuzzies of the public are good for something; they build trust and affection among prospective customers. Treating them like children "because you said so" is a really bad move.
posted by Not Prince Hamlet, 6:32 AM

2 Comments:

So do you think Todd got in trouble? I wonder if that mean woman you talked to ratted him out...
commented by Anonymous Point of Order, 9:15 PM  
Excellent point. You should have given Todd your car. He's going to need it (they pay less at Borders, you know).
commented by Blogger Scott, 10:47 AM  

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