American Capitalism, an experience.
by
Doug Wall


A year ago, I had an unpleasant experience at a shipping store.

Last week, the unpleasant experience repeated itself.

I, many times a year, ago to a shipping store and have had great customer service, and enthusiastic help from every employee. Over a year’s time, I may spend four to six hundred with these people.

A year ago, when I was ten or twelve miles away from the great shipping store, I tried another shipping store with the same name. I needed four copies of one document and two of another. First, the price of each copy was almost 25% higher, but for six copies, I thought, ‘Okay’.

I handed the lady my memory stick.

“There will be a two dollar and ninety five cent charge to open each file.” She said ready to insert the memory stick into the computer.

“Stop.”, I said quickly and perhaps a little loudly.

Last year, what I did not say was, “I will not pay you three dollars for opening a file. I will take my business elsewhere.”

This year, I extended my hand for the memory stick and said “You know, don’t you that I will go to another store, and they will make my copies without the opening file fee?”

She said “Yes, I know. But those are the headquarters rules. I just work here.”

I drove the fifteen miles to the other shipping store with the same name and the same corporate rules. I got my copies. I did not pay for opening a file. There were two employees, and they had a couple of customers while I was there. The other store only had one employee and no other customers while I was there.

To me, this is the beauty of American capitalism. I do not have to buy from a company if I do not like the service, or the price, or for that matter, the color of the employee’s hair. I have the right and the opportunity to go elsewhere, where the customer is treated reasonably and fairly.

I don’t think I saved any money on the transaction (because I spent more money on gas), but I was able to deal with the people I wanted to, and not to deal with those I did not. And that’s as it should be. One store will not be given a third chance, the other, customer loyalty. American capitalism at it’s best.

My wife and I run an original art business. If someone came to my wife with a photograph, not on paper, but had an electronic copy, I would happily use the electronic copy to print the picture for my wife. No charge. I would be happy to get their business and happy to put a few extra dollars in the till.

There is good, and there is bad. Choose the good.