Goods, services ain’t what they used to be

Things aren’t what they used to be.  Older students on this campus may remember a time when goods and services were better quality than they are today. This summer I had a couple of experiences that demonstrated how inferior goods and services are running rampant.

Shopping at your local supermarket is supposed to be an enjoyable experience, but lately it has been hazardous, frustrating and time consuming. This summer my husband and I bought some groceries, including a box of graham crackers and some of my favorite blueberry yogurt cups.

As we were putting our items away, I noticed the expiration date on the graham crackers and was shocked to find they had already expired. The yogurt cups, too, had expired just a couple of days before we purchased them.

If I had eaten either item, I probably wouldn’t have died, but I’m not willing to take a chance on food that has expired.

The Blue Bell ice cream fiasco a couple of years ago caused me to buy other brands of ice cream. I’m gun-shy when it comes to negligence in food products.

A couple of weeks later, my husband and I bought some items at our local drugstore, including a box of Mucinex. When I later went to take one, I noticed that it, too, had expired.  We had to take all of the items back, which was a complete waste of our time.  Consumers expect stores to keep their products up to date. It’s just negligence when they don’t.

With mail-order catalogues, it’s tempting to order things you can’t find in your area. I usually don’t order mail order products because the sizes vary, but I fell in love with a red jacket and a pair of denim sandals that I hadn’t seen anywhere else, so I ordered them. By some miracle, the red jacket fit perfectly but when I tried on the denim sandals, the strap was defective and wouldn’t go around the back of my foot. I called the company to complain and the person I spoke with said it would cost $9.99 just to return them, which was more than I paid for the shoes. It was ridiculous!

I decided to find a shoe repair store to see what could be done. Fortunately, there was one in the Casa View shopping center. The owner said it would cost $15 to fix the shoe and add some leather on the other shoe to make them look alike.  I thought it was foolish to pay $9.99 and get nothing but agreed to pay $15 to have the denim shoes I loved. The approach worked.

I did, however, write a nasty letter to the mail order company letting them know what I thought of their return policy, and vowed to never order anything from them again.

Just a few weeks later, another catalogue arrived in the mail. I promptly threw it in the trash.