How Zellers Sucks

Zellers is in the realm of K-Marts, Targets and Walmarts and other low-cost stores of cheap stuff. They carry some clothing, some shoes, some pharmacy, some every day living stuff, some food. They’re okay but not high on my list of places to shop. If I need a pair of cheap socks or stockings or a few cans of cat food I’ll stop in and buy them on my way home. But the biggest thing that deters me from Zellers is the service. I’ll go to the comparable London Drugs over Zellers even though I’ve noticed their prices are not that cheap anymore.

Kevin Yarr/CBC

I have never yet found a Zellers that has a fast checkout. I don’t know if this is the way the cashiers have to scan things (with a scangun as opposed to a scanning plate like grocery stores have) or the way the cash register seems to need five steps to get to a receipt, and heaven help you if the cashier’s been told to get people to fill out a credit form. But I do know the combination of these things with the stupidest cashiers in existence makes the checkout a tediousΒ  and frustrating experience that would never have me shop there even if the quality was great and the prices low. Swimming through quicksand would be faster.

Here are some examples of the idiocy I’ve encountered. If I bought 10 tins of Yummy Salmon cat food, the cashier cannot run one through the scanner and then hit the “X10” buttons but must scan each one individually. Imagine if you have many multiple items. Sometimes they have trouble scanning an item because it’s not reading. If you have a multiple item, they never think of scanning another of the same to see if it goes through but will punch the number in and usually incorrectly at least once.

I tend to bring my own bag, to save all those plastic trees, but if you tell the cashier you have your own bag, she will not bother to put the items in the bag but just leave them on the counter. WTF? Having your own bag dictates less service? Or perhaps their little brains cannot fathom that a bag comes in other than Zellers logos.

Yesterday, this was my latest experience. I was buying two items total but wanted to pay for them separately because one was for work. I tell the woman this. She says, which one? I say, both but I’m paying separately for them. But which one, she asks. And I say, it doesn’t matter because I’m buying both. Choose one. And of course she cannot place these two items into my bag, slowing everything down because as I’m getting my money the items are still sitting out and then I must take more time to put them in the bag before having my hand free to take the cash, causing everything to slooooooow down. I give her exact change for one item: four quarters, a nickel and a penny. She gives me back a quarter and says, it’s American. I say, you can take this. It’s the same amount. Oh. Arrgghh! This exchange for buying two simple items took about five minutes. Of course there’s a line-up.

None of the cashiers I’ve ever seen at Zellers can do a multiple scan, grab items quickly, bag immediately, figure out simple math, let alone complicated math, or use a full brain. Zellers must pay so badly that only rotting zombie brains turning to sludge in the gene pool will apply. Or there is some ephemeral honey that attracts dumb bees. I don’t know but I tend to think people are more intelligent than maybe they are. But even if they’re not, what ever happened to common sense? Maybe Zellers should sell it on the shelves.


Filed under consumer affairs, people, shopping

9 responses to “How Zellers Sucks

  1. Karma Doc

    Wonderful! Wonderful! This was the best laugh I’ve had all day!

    We have the same problems with the cashiers at Walmart, and Kmart, and Like you I don’t shop at either of these stores unless I have no choice.

  2. troy

    I have my own bag at times and expect to put things in there myself because I know how they fit best …what with all the little pockets and all. I imagine other people do as well, so it may likely be the case cashiers have come to expect people to pack themselves.

    If I was standing in line and someone in front of me wanted to pay for two items separately and one of the items was $1.06 I’d be internally shaking my head and thinking “It’s One dollar and six cents …what’s the point!?”

    Sorry, no sympathy πŸ™‚

    • colleenanderson

      Ah, but Troy, I’m not allowed to steal. And does it matter if I’m buying one item that is $45 or $1, or two items separately that are $89 and $12? And you know, work doesn’t like to pay for my items and I don’t like to pay for work’s. Should I go through the line twice? I still should get service and seriously, a person should know a quarter is a quarter whether American or Canadian? I don’t think that’s too much to expect. And tell me how hard is it to put something in a bag that I give to them that has no pockets and is voluminously empty? You may have no sympathy but I have no sympathy for that kind of stupidity. : P

      • Reis

        Also might I add we at one point did have a quantity button but management in each store took that off of our keyboards. It’s for “inventory purposes”. Hah

  3. The Canadian department stores like Zellers and Walmart should take a lesson from their US counterparts. I visit the Florida area frequently, my items are scanned promptly, bagged and the customer service, helpful, friendly and approachable. Likewise, the shoppers do not leave a big mess everywhere like here where certain consumers do not think twice about discarding unwanted items throughout the store regardless if they are perishable.

    I try not to shop at Zellers or Walmart unless it is necessary and when I do, I shake my head at the disarray in the store, and the lack of customer service. With that said, if a segment of canadian consumers don’t care whether they leave merchandise lying on the floor, in the change room and would rather run over it with their cart than pick it up, can you blame the store’s staff for not caring either?

  4. troy

    Does work pay for your personal travel/transportation time …or maybe you pay for your work’s travel/transportation time? One way or another you’re killing two birds with one stone by making the combined trip …which is why I don’t see the issue of you (or work) coughing up the $1.06.

    I’ll grant you the ‘bag’ and the ‘quarter’ incidents, but in my experience Zellers is no better or worse than any other retailer when it comes to ‘stupidity’.


  5. Reis

    No one is properly trained. You’re hired buy one of the incompetent supervisors who themselves aren’t 100% sure of what they are doing. They put you with someone who will teach you everything they learned incorrectly by the person who trained them..its cycle of idiots. The first day on the job, get the basics, debit, and credit and most importantly in their books is asking for credit applications. You have no idea what the credit card even offers people (30% interest don’t tell anyone!). Most of the Zellers are understaffed so they each person on the floor has huge work load.( Trust me guys, its not just folding clothes and putting things back nicely) so when people come up to them with questions, of course they are frustrated. They have no time to complete anything and they get belittled by their (again incompetent) supervisor. No one is treated with respect, no one is very logical at this store. I work for Zellers and its been truly an awful experience.

  6. silviamg

    Whenever I bring my own bag (at any store, Save on Foods, Whole Foods, No Frills) the cashiers tend to leave them on the counter, not putting them in the bag. I think it’s very rare for them to take my bag and bag it for me, actually.

    • colleenanderson

      Perhaps if I shopped nowhere else I wouldn’t have grounds for my observation but all other stores, whether grocery store, mom and pop store, department store or other have in fact put my items in the bag if I supplied it. Only in Zellers do they act like it’s made of some toxic substance, because after all it’s better to slow down the line and have the customer juggle getting out money, putting away money/card and bagging their own items while the cashier stands there.

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