Adventures in a Hardware Store

Today I set out with the goal of buying some new power tools. The old set of Ryobi cordless tools have long exceeded their life expectancy. The batteries are dead and the tools don't have the features that want in my tools. So off my wife and I went in search of a good deal.
I am always interested in the technology that goes into new cordless tools, batteries, chargers, motors and ergonomic design. I was on the lookout for not just power tools, but tools that had some cool, new technology integrated into their design and function.
We found ourselves walking up and down the power tool isle (at a major hardware retail outlet) looking at the various manufacturer's tools when a great deal presented itself. I love looking at tools and I enjoy it even more when those tools are on sale. I've been keeping my eye on the newer 18V & 24V volt tools, patiently waiting for them to go on sale. Well today I spotted the Ryobi 18V lithium 4 piece combo kit with the auto shift drill on sale. These tools are just loaded with new technology and the sale price was too good to pass up the chance to replace my old worn out cordless tools with new, feature laden cordless tools. Here in Canada, specifically Edmonton, (at the nameless retail outlet), the price is $349. Today, the displayed sale price was $199 (wow). I could only see a single box left on the shelf and quickly picked it up (I didn't want to miss out on this deal). In order to ensure that I was getting a good price and not something that they had reduced to make way for a newer product, I wanted to find a sales person to explain (to me) the details of the various tools in the box.
Now, finding someone can be a challenge (if they are really busy). I've learned that the most efficient way to find an answer is to take a picture and ask the closest sales person that isn't busy with other customers or ask at the customer service desk. So I snapped a few pictures and went off in search of a sales associate.
I eventually found a tool specialist and asked him about the tools and why they were on sale. To my surprise, he pointed out that the 4 piece combo kit that I had grabbed wasn't on sale and then walked me back to the power tools to point out a different set that was on sale. I was taken aback as the big sign hanging on the wall display in front of the tools showed the price of $199 / regular $349.
I was very surprise with this statement and thought that he was mistaken. I told him that I would take the new tools to the till and have them scan the box and verify the price.
The young lady at the till scanned the box and told me that the price would be $349 (plus G.S.T). I showed her the picture (on my iPhone) that I had snapped and asked if she could clarify why they were listed as being on sale but not showing up that way in the system. She immediately called a manager over to ask for clarification. The manager didn't even pause for a second before telling me that someone had made an error with the sign but that they would honor the price as displayed on the display. At this point in time, the sales associate who was assisting me, arrived at the till with the sign from the tool display. He was trying to explain that the sign was for a different model number (for the older tools) and not the tools that I had at the till. I felt sorry for him at this point in time as he was told that he had made a mistake and was then asked to correct the error before (I'm assuming) anyone else saw the sign.
Thank you Bonnie, wherever you are (name changed to protect the innocent). You truely inspired me today with your people management skills and the calm, cool and professional way in which you dealt with the entire situation.
We walked out of the store with a new set of tools, ready to tackle our home renovation projects with our brand new 18 volt lithium powered tools.
All of this reinforces in me what affects a mistake can have and the ripple effect that it causes. Policies and procedures have to be followed to avoid mistakes, which reminds me: I just have to work on my measure twice, cut once policy and procedure.
Have you used your iPhone or other cell phone to help you get a good deal on some cool new toy or gadget? Drop me any comments or suggestions for a future blog post.

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