checkers sa #epicfail #brandfail

I am one of those few and far between people who takes the time to write compliments when they are due.  I have a HelloPeter account, as well as my twitter and Facebook accounts.  Yes I complain, but I also compliment, as I feel that people are far too quick to complain, and far too slow to compliment.

This post is not a compliment.

I can’t even call it a complaint.  It’s worse than a complaint.  I don’t yet have a word to describe a ‘worse than complaint’ word, but you get the idea.

There is one reason, and one reason alone that I shop at Checkers Hillcrest;  no it’s not the aisles so full of clutter and products that you can’t even maneuver yourself, let alone a trolley, it’s not the non-existent cellular reception making it impossible to retrieve the EeziCoupons that they offer, and it’s not the less than friendly staff.  The one and only reason that I shop at Checkers Hillcrest, is because of the eBucks that I earn.  eBucks are a rewards system through my bank, FNB.  Checkers at the moment, is the only retailer linked to the eBucks program.  So so unfortunate.

Tonight was the third time that I have had the exact same problem.  I have a chip debit card.  A chip debit card is not like the ‘old’ debit cards, BECAUSE IT HAS A CHIP.  The chip is there for security reasons.

Chip Based ATM Card (picture found on
Chip Based ATM Card (picture found on

Upon presentation of my card, the cashier did what she did on the till, and promptly swiped my card. As she was swiping it I asked her not to, well actually I said “DON’T SWIPE MY CARD!” to which she rolled her eyes at me and said that the card machine told her to do so.  I then explained to her (in a no-nonsense, I’m-sick-and-tired-of-this-BULLCRAP tone of voice) that it was a chip card;  it HAD to be dipped into the card machine.

A 'dipped' chip card (picture taken from
A ‘dipped’ chip card (picture taken from

She didn’t even tell me that the machine rejected my card when she dipped it;  she just immediately swiped it.  The problem with this, is that the purchase just goes through;  no need for my pin code.  And that’s when I lost it.  This is the third time in a month and a half that this has happened.  It doesn’t happen anywhere else, and believe me, my debit card has a LOT of mileage on it.  It gets dipped a lot, if you catch my drift.  This wasn’t even an isolated till incident;  the first time it happened was on till 4, then it was a middle-ish till, and tonight it happened on till 26.  When it happened the second time, I was able to stop the cashier and told her not to swipe my card, that she must sort out her card machine.  She then restarted her card machine, and hey presto!  All of a sudden it asked for my card to be inserted, instead of swiped.  I complained to the store management the first two times that it happened, and I was told both times that it was my card and my bank.  I followed up with my bank, and they said that this is a hardware issue with the store, and not a card or banking issue.  I tend to side with my bank, AS THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN ANYWHERE ELSE!  I did attempt to leave the store without my packet of groceries, but alas, the purchase went through WITHOUT REQUIRING MY PIN CODE, so if I left, I would have paid for groceries that I did not have.

I have worked in customer service;  I was a cashier at both Pick ‘n Pay and Woolworths in my younger years, and quite honestly, the cashier sitting at till 26 this evening should NOT be in front end customer service.  Working a till is a crap and boring and monotonous job, as well as stressful, especially when you’re over or under on your till.  I WILL NOT be treated in the manner that this cashier treated me tonight.  I am not doing her a favour by shopping there;  by shopping at Checkers yes I am spending money but I am also gaining my reward points via my eBucks.  There are 3 other major retailers in the 500m radius;  Pick ‘n Pay, Woolworths (in the same shopping centre as Checkers) and Spar.  I stopped shopping at Spar because I could earn eBucks at Checkers, not because Checkers are cheaper.  At least in Spar I can shop at my own leisure;  I don’t feel pressured to get in and out of the store as quickly as possible because I feel that I can’t breathe due to the lack of room in the shop.

I did call the store manager after I’d left Checkers Hillcrest this evening, as if I stayed and spoke to him face-to-face, I most likely would have created an even bigger scene than the one I did cause.  First of all, I was on hold for over 5 minutes whilst the operator was paging him, and once he came on the line I spoke to him for about 7 minutes.  I told him everything that I’ve mentioned above, and he promised to have someone come in first thing tomorrow morning to have a look at every single card machine in the store.

Yay, I'm so ecstatic (gif taken from
Yay, I’m so ecstatic (gif taken from

Yeah, ok.  If you say so.  He also said that he’d address the other issues that I mentioned, but seriously, what’s he going to do about it?  Sadly in my experience of that store, absolutely nothing.  He also said that the next time that I’m in the store, I must go and see him so that we can have a chat.  And he did actually take down my name and number, A FIRST.

The eBucks are just not worth the trauma that is visiting Checkers Hillcrest.

I am at the end of the day, just one customer that refuses to step foot in that store ever again.

But oh, the power of social media.

Checkers, better and better.

Checkers, good-bye!



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