Marshalls / horrible service, bait and switch pricing, and suspicion of racism

Co Glen Burnie, MD Review updated:

I also posted this on a similar site the day this occurred.

On september 23, 2010 at around 3:10p.M. As my mother and I were placing our items on the check-out counter, the associate who is caucasian, middle-aged (40s), picked up one of our many (approx.8) clearance marked cookbook would-be purchases, turned around walking to the counter and, although her back was facing us, we moved to see her peel the red clearance sticker back and off.

She peeled for nearly 3 minutes, and whilst ruining the cover jacket of said book proceeded to turn around and in an accusatory voice say "this price does not match the sticker", no polite words whatsoever. How would she have even suspected this when the clearance sticker with its current upc covered any original upc? (all our clearance items were found in their clearly segregated clearance section) this was her own (we believe racially biased) suspicion. We explain that this was their mistake. We are honest, hardworking people, seeking bargain items.

We insist the associate, and marshalls honor their pricetag, that they hand-marked, (we are not thieves, nor do we have the capabilities of switching stickers, it took her 3 minutes to remove!).

I say to her, "you guys marked this book, we did nothing wrong, you mis-marked it" to which she replied "we do nothing, the machine does everything",
I say "the machine marks it's own price?"
She says "yes",
I reply, "the machine makes it's own price, and holds itself under the sticker machine, and the machine walks it over to the clearance section and goes with the other clearance books?",
And she has the audacity to say "yes".

Fast forward, we are not backing down, this is the second bait-n-switch pricing practice from this particular marshalls, and I will not let another slide. She calls the manager, while another associate (who didn't try to resolve anything) sees to it to come to the counter as well, and the three of them intent on intimidating us, argue with us about their policies.

We say, "you are wrong, you mis-marked this, we found it with these other (approx. 7) books in the same clearance section" the manager, sharita, is loud and domineering, which causes us to be loud, and continues to say "you need to calm down" before we can even finish our side of the story and that we also believe racial discrimination is playing a role, (we are asian-american), when she finally says, "if you can't calm down we will be forced to remove you from the store", we say fine and we leave saying we will file with the bbb.

I warn shoppers not to waste the money their worked hard to earned and their time on these shady businesses. The commercials show what great products they sell, but does not show their poor, grade f-, associate and manager attitudes and practices.

Not happy!!!

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  • Po
      Sep 26, 2010

    There is no evidence of racism here, silly. Bad customer service, but no racism.

    0 Votes
  • Co
      Sep 27, 2010

    Let me clarify.

    I was there, you were not. Whether you believe my suspicions or not, it does not negate the fact that my mother and I were mistreated, based on we believe to be not only bad customer service, but also racially tinged customer service.

    Racism is not only displayed in the use of racial slurs, but in the actions, differential treatment, and negative suspicions cast upon those of a different race than your own. Neither the Caucasian woman at the station nor the African-American associate and African-American manager need to call us Asian-oriented slurs to show racism in their actions.

    +1 Votes
  • Po
      Sep 27, 2010

    From what you described, there was no racism (in any manner). So if you want to convey that there was racism, then please describe the behavior that led you to believe they were being racist to you rather than the fact that they were just giving crappy customer service. You made it seem above as though you assumed their crappy customer service was centered around racism, rather than describing any racially biased actions or behaviors. It was poor judgement on their part to assume that you may have swapped the labels on the books, but they most likely would have taken a similar stance regardless of your race.

    +1 Votes
  • Co
      Sep 27, 2010

    How can I prove racism to a person by way of writing?

    As you have pointed out, you and perhaps others seem to believe that it can be deemed just bad customer service, so it is up to you whether to believe it or not.

    I have experienced racism in many of my past shopping experiences, (but not all of them), and I use this in analyzing; have you too been the victim of racist cashiers? Unless you hear a racial slur, it is hard to prove. Therefore I put "suspicion of racism" in my header.

    Also, whether you agree or not on the racism suspicion, my mother and I still received horrible service, and my father complained to the corporate offices. They said we would receive an apology from the manager by way of phonecall and still haven't received one. Basically, we expected better from a store we normally enjoy patronizing.

    0 Votes
  • Li
      Oct 01, 2010

    I worked on the Markdown Team of the Arborland Marshall's for years. The Markdown crew scans the item, and the machine spits out the new price if the item is up for a markdown. The employee then pulls the item from the rack or shelf, places it in a cart, and takes it to the clearance section. The employees of Marshall's know the department numbers, which are encoded on the bottom of the red clearance tag. MANY customers will peel a clearance sticker off one item and place it on a different one. Seriously, it happens ALL the time. I've seen a $1.00 clearance tag from a Housewares department item (most likely a washcloth) stuck onto a leather jacket that I knew for a fact wasn't on clearance. People try to get away with that crap EVERY day.

    Who knows, maybe some other customer switched the ticket and then had to leave for whatever reason.

    I'm sorry if you were accused of something you didn't do, but I very much doubt it had anything to do with race. It's just such a common problem that Marshall's has all the time, they're used to looking for mis-matched tags, and your item happened to have one on it.

    0 Votes
  • Co
      Dec 08, 2010

    It is unfortunate that some people still have to pull the "Race" card. Especially when no race remarks or anything have been part of the conversation. So it sounds to me like the one with the race issue is the consumer, just assuming!!

    0 Votes

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