Thursday, January 3, 2008

HM Shouts At The Devil

I am incensed. Fit to be tied. Beside myself. Hot under the collar. Hot to trot (as Mabel says). Fightin' mad. Having a cow. Teed off. Ticked off. Pissed. My panties are in a wad.

Darn The Devil to Heck!!! I am having none of it! The Devil's Playground and their business tactics really PISS ME OFF! Remember their gift card faux pas on December 26? When millions of people with Wal*Mart gift cards braved the huddled masses and tried to pick out bargain gifts for themselves on the day after Christmas, and the gift cards wouldn't work? So the unfortunate ones with no other way to pay had to leave their booty at the checkout. All was for naught.

I'm thinkin' this was premeditated. Think about it. The gift cards brought people into the store. They shopped. They gave up hours of their lives. Then when the gift cards wouldn't work, they still wanted their bargains. So they paid cash. Or charged. Because they knew they wouldn't find those items at those prices if they came back another day. Oh, and guess what. They still had those durn Wal*Mart gift cards to bring back another day! Uh huh. Think about it. Not only had The Devil lured them in to buy things after the holiday--he had also assured himself that they would have to come BACK. Two shopping sprees for the price of one. I know it happened with some other retailers. But THINK about it. It was a master plan.

The basis for my conspiracy theory is found in the following vignette:

The #1 son received a gift card to The Devil's Playground for helping out with the church audiovisual doohickeys. It was for $25. He had another one from his birthday, which he believed to be $15. Having spent all his money on a Zune shortly after Christmas, he decided he needed to spend the gift cards as well. He wanted a cooling station for Lappy. We wouldn't want Lappy come down with heat stroke, having surived these past two years without a cooling station. The boy also wanted some recordable DVDs. (Though I am sure he has no violation of copyright laws in mind). I also asked him to pick up two boxes of little chocolate donuts to feed our sugar addiction, and a Scrubbing Bubbles Shower Cleaner. We go through them like money through a teenager.

I suggested that he make his electronics department purchases first by using the gift cards. Then he would have that stuff in a bag, and could carry the shower cleaner and donuts up front. I was only thinking of him, because he refuses to use a cart. I suppose it's not masculine. Anyhoo, I gave him some cash in case the gift card thingy didn't work. Did the boy follow my suggestions? I might better ask: "Is Mabel imaginary?" NO!

The boy carried everything up front. He deviated from his normal pattern. He did not use the self-check. He said NONE of them were open. Again, THINK about my conspiracy theory. Those things are always open. They do the job of 10 people, people! So my boy put his things on the conveyor belt. It came to $61 and change. He handed the checker his gift cards. Because he knew he had only $40 in gift cards, he also handed her two $20s. That's all I gave him. Just $20s, nothing smaller.

The girl scanned both gift cards. He said they came up 'invalid', so she did something else to them. She gave them both back. But she didn't give him any change. She told him: "I put the change on the gift card." My boy is 13 now. He didn't know any better. He thought that's what she was supposed to do. He couldn't understand why I hounded him for the change. "There IS no change, Mom. She put it on the card. She scanned both cards, and gave them both back. They always do, even if it is used up."

I took the receipt. It showed $40 cash received, then a $25 gift card scanned. Change of $3 and something was shown left on the gift card. According to the boy, she did not tell him if the $15 gift card was used, or no good, or what. At least she didn't keep the $15 one and let him think it was used. But still. This is the work of The Devil.

It's not like I sent him in to buy a pack of gum with a $25 gift card, and wanted the change in cash. He purchases OVER the value of the gift cards. Those gift cards should have been used, and his change given in cash. That's where they get you. If you had your change in cash, you could spend it anywhere. At Save-A-Lot, on fast food, perhaps even on lottery tickets. But with the gift card, you have to come back to The Devil's Playground. I was fuming. I told my mom, "I think I'll walk in the door, pick up whatever they have on display that adds up to $19, buy it with the gift cards, and then go to the service desk and tell them I want a refund. Then I'll have my cash."

I didn't. I went back to The Devil's Playground today. I spend about $60 on necessities. I gave the girl my gift cards. She took $18 and change right off the top. I paid the rest in cash. And got change back. And the self-check checkouts were open. It's been over a week since Christmas now. New Years's is past. I suppose the scam has ended.

But in the grand scheme of things, this scenario worked out well for Mrs. Hillbilly Mom. Tune in tomorrow for more.

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