Makro needs to think things through
I suppose I shouldn’t really patronize the likes of Makro because I believe that wholesalers like Makro and Walmart (which is entering the Indian market) are going to impact heavily on the small mom & pop operations in both countries.
But off and on when I am on a schedule, it is just so convenient to go to one place and buy everything in airconditioned comfort. It is a 15 minute drive from home, there is sufficient parking and I get all my grocery shopping done quickly. Of course it is quite irritating if you don’t want to buy in bulk … but if you don’t want to buy in bulk, i guess you shouldn’t be in a wholesale store.
Anyway, enough with the rambling. Let me go ahead with the story. Yesterday morning I got to Makro at around 9 a.m. There were very few people around so I quickly got the stuff I needed and made a beeline for the check-out counter that had no queue. There was a young lady at the counter who asked if I had a Makro card. This is a standard question posed to me each time I shop there. Usually they just say okay and proceed to check you out.
Yesterday was different though. She told me that without a Makro card number she could not proceed with the transaction. It would take a minute to get my “details” and I would have a card. I guess it would have been easiest to just give her the information and proceed.
However, I wasn’t in a mood to be forced into having yet another card made for no apparent reason. So I asked this young lady what the advantages were to having a Makro card. She looked confused so I elaborated. “In other countries if you apply for a store card, you get something in return. It entitles you to a discount or it’s a stored value card or something of that sort.” She thought about this and said that the Makro card entitled the customer to nothing like that. So I asked her again why I should want to have one.
Poor kid – it wasn’t her fault and I felt sorry for making her life difficult (actually it was nice to see so many young women working in different positions in the store) but I was trying to make a point. If Makro has a card for which they want customers to provide information about themselves, then in exchange for this information they should be providing a service. Why should my “details” be freely available to them or anyone else? Why have a card if there was no perceived advantage/value to the customer? Are they trying to restrict the number of customers who walk through their doors?
Anyway, the young lady went off to several of her colleagues and supervisors and I could imagine her saying to them that there was this argumentative woman asking all sorts of difficult questions and refusing to apply for a card (she needed my National ID Card to complete the registration – I asked her why I should be out on a Sunday with my ID card – although I did have it in my wallet). The saga ended when she came back and checked me out without another word.
It was only when I got home that I noticed that, in order to bypass the problem, she had been asked to use the ID of Ashraf General Stores whoever they are. Absolutely ridiculous! Shouldn’t the management of Makro think things through before trying to implement a policy such as this? Or is the customer just supposed to roll over and play dead because they say so?
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