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Re: Okay, enough complaining...who are the GOOD companies?
Old 01-17-2006, 04:28 PM   #21
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Re: Okay, enough complaining...who are the GOOD companies?

We have Sam's club and Costco across the street from each other, and both have only been opened a couple of years. Costco is always packed and the lines are very long. Sam's has much shorter lines. The products are comparable, so I go with the less busy Sam's usually.
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Re: Okay, enough complaining...who are the GOOD companies?
Old 01-17-2006, 05:17 PM   #22
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Re: Okay, enough complaining...who are the GOOD companies?

I love Trader Joe's.

Leapfrog toys a big hit in our house, too.
Costco too.

Super-obscure:

"Signing time" videos. Very well done videos that teach your childrent to sign and every parent I know who has bought it has loved it. Not just for kids who are deaf. You want to avoid the "terrible twos" as much as possible? Imagine your child using a sign instead of a tantrum to communicate their needs. Kids can learn to sign way before they get spoken language down. Our daughter, 15 months old, with Down Syndrome, signs Mom, Dad, eat, milk, more, hat, show (she uses that to tell me to keep doing my song and dance to make her laugh) and is on the verge of a dozen other signs.

One DVD was kind of jumpy/bad video, replaced with no questions asked.
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Re: Okay, enough complaining...who are the GOOD companies?
Old 01-17-2006, 06:38 PM   #23
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Re: Okay, enough complaining...who are the GOOD companies?

Quote:
Originally Posted by justin
I love the Sam's Club cafe food - $8 for a humongous monster of a pizza loaded with toppings - can't beat it!* Big 16 oz cup of ice cream (plenty for 2!) - $.97.* My favorite is the pizza.* The problem I have is when I call to place a to go order, I get there and literally half the time they deny that any to go orders were ever placed.* I think they shuffle my order onto the "by-the-piece" rack and then lie to me (I caught them last time).* Needless to say, I keep going back because they are the best source for good, cheap pizza (they are within walking distance too).* The Cafe is always busy with long lines.* They have good food for a good price, but their order management is pitiful.
You need to report this situation to CostCo HQ. I'm sure they'll break ground across the street next week.

Weekly for the last few years we've been buying a similar gigantic pizza & two cups of ice cream for $12.97. Costs a bit more than Sam's but they've never screwed up an order, it only takes 10 minutes, and they're also very busy. In fact on big sports weekends they cut off their phone-in orders after a certain time just to keep up with the demand. The food is sold from an outside stand so you don't even have to be a member.

The CostCo here has just expanded their gas station (by taking away parking spaces) to keep up with the demand. It's probably a loss leader-- it's usually exactly the same price on the closest military base-- but boy does it suck the customers into the store.
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Re: Okay, enough complaining...who are the GOOD companies?
Old 01-17-2006, 10:04 PM   #24
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Re: Okay, enough complaining...who are the GOOD companies?

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
Put me doen for another for Costco.

I also have to put in a good word for Schwab. Since they decided to stop driving all their customers away by trying to go up-market, I've had nothing but good, cheerful service at good prices. If I get someone on the phone who can't help me, they either immediately patch in someone who can help, or call me back with the requested information.
I'll second the vote of confidence for Schwab, particularly since they got rid of their annual "maintenance fees."
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Re: Okay, enough complaining...who are the GOOD companies?
Old 01-17-2006, 10:25 PM   #25
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Re: Okay, enough complaining...who are the GOOD companies?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry
I'll second the vote of confidence for Schwab, particularly since they got rid of their annual "maintenance fees."
Why would a tire store have a maintence fee?
Les Schwab Tires
http://www.lesschwab.com/home.html

Lotta people in the Northwest love these guys. Me I'm not so hot on them. They run out to your car. Hire clean cut young men. Etc. But with me they tried to strong arm me into using them. We have a fleet of trucks. Lots of tires on the trucks. Was kinda sorta dissatisfied so started poking around for a new tire store. More convinient, etc, Tried Schwab for about 6 months for flats, etc. Then they said time to go full on. All trucks, all tires. All or nothing. So we left. Coupla fresh face kids get to learn that lesson every year when they come out lookin for more business. I tell em that little story and they go away with the puppy just died look.

Sorry to hijack
My votes:
Costco is awesome. Just be prepared for massive quantities
I love REI .....people are energetic, knowledgable, helpful, just very nice
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Re: Okay, enough complaining...who are the GOOD companies?
Old 01-18-2006, 06:27 AM   #26
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Re: Okay, enough complaining...who are the GOOD companies?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
You need to report this situation to CostCo HQ. I'm sure they'll break ground across the street next week.

Weekly for the last few years we've been buying a similar gigantic pizza & two cups of ice cream for $12.97. Costs a bit more than Sam's but they've never screwed up an order, it only takes 10 minutes, and they're also very busy. In fact on big sports weekends they cut off their phone-in orders after a certain time just to keep up with the demand. The food is sold from an outside stand so you don't even have to be a member.

The CostCo here has just expanded their gas station (by taking away parking spaces) to keep up with the demand. It's probably a loss leader-- it's usually exactly the same price on the closest military base-- but boy does it suck the customers into the store.
We are getting a Costco a mile or two from my neighborhood in a few months. About the same distance as Sam's Club. I've heard great things about their pizza too. I'm definitely going to do my "due diligence" on them when they open. The nearest one right now is on the other side of the metro area.

Sam's lets you in with no membership if you are just going to their Cafe. But you do have to go inside the store to access the cafe.
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Re: Okay, enough complaining...who are the GOOD companies?
Old 01-18-2006, 08:43 AM   #27
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Re: Okay, enough complaining...who are the GOOD companies?

The sams pizza you buy and take home to cook, or have them cook to order is okay. The stuff they cook and sell by the slice, at least at this particular outlet, sits there for hours until all the oil from the cheese seeps out. Last time I bought a slice I wrapped it in about 10 napkins that all soaked through immediately with grease. Took it back for a hotdog. The hotdog had sat in the steamer for so long when you touched it, it fell apart. "I'll just have my money back please...".

A side note; costco prices seem fixed from one store to the other, but sams club (and wal mart), at least around here, index their prices to the local neighborhood. I've seen stuff at a sams in the "nice town" about a half hour away charge 10-30% more for some items as the one in our "not nice town". So shop around if you have multiple sams clubs to find the "cheap" one, at least for major purchases. Some Sams clubs also resell their own 'salvage'. Stuff thats been opened in the store and messed with, returned but is operable, "last one", display models, etc. Its worth looking for one of these and snooping through once or twice a week. This past couple of months I've netted a tv marked down from 2600 to 2000 because someone tried to put the stand together and screwed it up, then brought the tv back to the store without ever opening the tv carton. Took me 2 minutes and a squirt of elmers glue to fix the stand. A 32" lcd tv/monitor for $499 marked down from 999 returned by the customer because "the speakers dont work". Speakers work fine. A pair of really nice FRS radio walkie-talkies for half price. All their boxes of holiday chocolates (good until next september) marked down from $10-12 to under three bucks. Fresh organic turkeys marked down from $1.25/lb to $.38c. "Last one" top of the line salon quality hair dryer for Mrs. () for half price. Costco appears to sell their 'salvage' to 3rd parties. We have a store in town here called "CostLess", run by some guy and his wife. He buys all the stuff from all the costco's within a few hours drive of here, sells it in a small mall storefront operation. Sort of fun to walk through, looks like a Costco thats had a small gang of crazy people ruffle through all the stuff.
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Re: Okay, enough complaining...who are the GOOD companies?
Old 01-21-2006, 02:05 PM   #28
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Re: Okay, enough complaining...who are the GOOD companies?

Sennheiser
I've had my HD424 headphones for 22 years. They sound great and are very comfortable. Every 10 years or so the foam pads wear out. The first time they sent new pads for free. The second time they charged a modest fee. Recently the left channel stopped working (it's the element, not the wiring). I sent their service department an email. They responded the next day -- send them in. The cable and connectors are all original and still work fine. In the same time I've been through dozens of earbud and cell phone headsets.


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Re: Okay, enough complaining...who are the GOOD companies?
Old 01-23-2006, 06:48 PM   #29
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Re: Okay, enough complaining...who are the GOOD companies?

Home Depot - I watched a guy in the returns line get a full price credit for 2 year old, 1/2 full paint cans. Said they wouldn't mix .... no kidding! The befuddled cashier had to call a manager but they refunded the guys money (as a store credit).

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Re: Okay, enough complaining...who are the GOOD companies?
Old 01-24-2006, 09:11 AM   #30
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Re: Okay, enough complaining...who are the GOOD companies?

I'll have to offset the home depot goodness with the time they said they'd deliver an appliance to me, never did, never called. Although I had a computer printout with the date on it, the gal at the store assured me that such a piece of paper couldnt exist because they wouldnt have been able to deliver on that date, with the full implication that if such a piece of paper existed, I created it. When they rescheduled, they didnt show up again, didnt call. Turns out "the truck broke down" and the load of appliances didnt make it to the store. As to why they didnt call, "well, why would we call? Theres no truck, we didnt have anything to deliver!". After spending a few minutes on the phone trying to explain the benefits of customer communication, it was determined that I was 'wasting their time' and hung up on. Then when I tried to cancel the order they tried to charge me a 15% restocking fee for something that had never been unstocked...which of course didnt happen but resulted in about an hour of arguing with those 55 hour a week managers...
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