What do you carry around in your wallet? I myself carry my cards (my account, joint account, credit card) and usually a few coins for car parking. Today I found myself with just the cards and no coins. Not usually a problem.
The day had been going great. The children had been behaving themselves. The new fridge freezer had been delivered on time and looked great. It was time for shopping and running errands. First was a trip to the post office to post a package and card, next was a trip to Boots to get some more formula powder for Samuel. And last on the list was to get a card from a card shop. Card Factory is usually a good place to go for cheap cards, so that’s where I went. I picked out the “Baby Boy” card that was appropriate and took it to the till. Since I had about 15p in coins left I had no option but to offer over my credit card as payment method. I was then promptly told that I could not pay for cards for any transaction under 5 pounds. And that was that, I wasn’t offered any choices or suggestions from the sales assistant, he just took the card and put it to one side and proceeded to cancel the transaction on his till. I was left to leave the store with double pushchair without a card!
Whilst on my way out I wondered how customers were supposed to know they couldn’t pay by card for transactions less than 5 pounds. I looked in the Card Factory shop window and could only find information about various things, a head office address, a warning regarding taking card in adverse weather conditions, no eating or drinking and no shopping trolleys, and that was it. I went back to the sales assistant and asked how customers were supposed to know about this minimum transaction amount, he then pointed to a sticker on the till. It read:
Card Factory, Please Note we only accept credit card & switch transactions for purchases over £5.00 Thank you for your valued custom
I certainly didn’t feel like I wanted to give them my valued customer since all I wanted was a 59 pence congratulations card. I then asked if the head office address was the one I had seen in the front window and was advised it was.
Now I didn’t actually mind that there was a limit on how much I needed to spend (even though 5 pounds is a little steep!), it was the fact that my custom was cut short because I didn’t have cash. There was no suggestions or alternatives offered to me, the sales person just left it up to me to decide what to do while he cancelled the transaction that he seemed to be more concerned about. He could have suggested I purchase more items to make it up to the minimum spend, or given me information about where the nearest cash machine may be, or even apologised and explained why that limit was in place. It was this simple lack of consideration that turned my day from a good one, to one where I felt hard done by.
As I left on my way I had a few options going through my mind… I could go and get a 20 pound note from the cash machine and buy the 59 pence card with it and hopefully clean out Card Factory’s till of change. I could go home without anything. But I decided to go with my last option of going to Clinton Cards and getting the card I needed from there. As I arrived I asked the nice shop assistant if there was a minimum limit to spend if paying by card and was nicely told that the limit was 1 pound. So I carefully selected the card I needed and paid for it by credit card without any problems.
Thank you Clinton Cards, and boo to you Card Factory.
I am still undecided whether I should still write to Card Factory at Century House, Brunel Road, Wakefield 41 Industrial Estate, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF2 0XG and explain what has happened, or whether I should just ignore the shop in Fleet Hampshire altogether. I started going off Card Factory back at Christmas when I found I couldn’t actually get in and around the shop with my double buggy because the isles were too narrow. I hope no disabled people in wheelchairs want to get their Christmas cards from that shop! Thanks, but no thanks Card Factory of Fleet.