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I went to get some keys cut yesterday. Here’s the notice that the shop had up (I tried to get a picture but the man frowned at me):

Please ask the price of keys before you request to have them cut. If you do not ask the price and the keys are cut, you will be liable to pay for them.

Here’s a thought: tell your customers the price before you cut the keys. Then you won’t cut keys they don’t want to pay for, *and* you won’t have to put up silly notices.

I’ve also been buying furniture for our new office, and I’m shocked by the number of websites with “price on application” against items they have in stock. When I phone, if I phone, they tell me the price straight away. Why not put it on the site, and I don’t have to sit there wondering if I can be bothered to phone up (I usually don’t).

What are you doing that puts customers off before they’ve even bought anything?

16 Responses

  1. Great point Sue. I always think signs like these indicate that the operative has either been “doing it too long” or is too idol to alter their method of operation to take into account something in their customers behaviour that annoys them.

    One of the best signs I saw recently was in a cafe down in Clevedon Somerset that angrily exclaimed that items on their breakfast menu could not be exchanged. Ie if you didn’t like eggs, you couldn’t change them for an extra rasher if bacon! I understand that some items can be slightly more expensive than others. So in order to maintain your profit margin, cost the meal so that it is possible to chop & change items and still remain profitable. I know this is an obscure example, but its caused me to downgrade to a toasted teacake instead! 😀

  2. When I was on the road I used to like Tesco Cafes for that very reason. There was not a set breakfast. A Sausage was say 30p, a fried egg was 25p a rasher of bacon 25p etc. So I would stand by the counter and look at the various items on display and then the prices and say something like Can I have 5 rashers of bacon, 5 sausages, etc while quickly adding up what I had spent so far. Then they changed it all. Now I have to(thats when I am on the road-not very often these days)have one cooked breakfast of whatever specification and then if I am still hungry go back for another(I tend to have a big breakfast and then nothing until the evening). One point about the “Price on Application” wasn’t it said about such as Rolls-Royce Motorcars “That if you had to ask the price you probably couldn’t afford it”. Note when my Lottery Tickets are finally drawn I’m having a Bentley Mulsarne Turbo(not a New One).

  3. POA on websites is usually there so their competators don’t know their prices, or they don’t have stock.

  4. I’m a door……

    I must say I wish I coukl shout sometimes.
    I mean it says…..PULL…. SO STOP F**KING PUSH ME ALL THE TIME.

  5. I thought it was law to show prices, and to indicate if prices include or exclude VAT. Does anyone know how to find out if Google thinks a sites a link farm?

  6. My favourite is the sign in our leisure centre
    “Due to the installation of our new till system , you may have to wait longer to be served”


  7. A good point Sue.

    Some T&C’s (Silly notices) or perhaps too many T&C’s (Silly notices) can put some customers off.

    With on-line selling displayed prices, IMO are a must. There are too many competitors just one click away.

    With B&M shops it depends on the location. Parts of the west end of London still have quite a few shops that do not display the price of the item. They tend to attract the customer that says “i’ll have one of them and two of those plus anything else that you have in that colour” and throw their platinum credit card on the table before the items are packed in Twenty Quids worth of paraphernalia.

  8. My particular hate is websites that don’t show P&P anywhere. I was doing some internet shopping the other day and the only way to find out the postage charge was to add the items to my basket and register an account. They were only very small items so weight and courier zones etc wouldn’t come into it.

    Needless to say I bought elsewhere.

  9. Websites may not display prices if items are not held in stock, instead being ordered on-demand. Keeping the prices upto date would require more admin work.

    Another reason may be that different customers have negotiated special pricing on some/all items and they don’t want to make these public.

  10. POA means just one thing to me
    its not the best price or the price is made off the cuff depending on how daft they think you are

  11. I recently had the same thing happen at a local hardware store! Once I paid for the new house key… I found my old one in my executive desk at home. Office Furniture and couches will eat your keys. Oh well, at least I have an extra for next time :0)



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