While I do enjoy the cheap prices at Walmart, I do believe in supporting local shops. Whenever I find a local computer store I try to get things from their store rather than online, or if there is a local coffee shop I would rather go there than Starbucks. I always prefer an LFS (Local Fish Store) to a petsmart or petco for my fish.
I was so excited after a friend told me about The Video Library which is a local video rental store here in Kansas City. I really wanted to not just go there but post about it online… but then I met the owner. I’ve had horrible customer service experiences but this one was one of the worse.
When I first moved to the US and was still learning English one of the people that helped me the most in understanding idioms and meaning was the owner of a local video store. I used to hang out at Steve’s shop all the time renting movies and video games but also chatting about pretty much anything. He was very patient with me even though I did not know much English then and really made me feel welcome there. I think that is the way to run a business.
I expected some of the same from the owner of the video library but I was met with rudeness, one of the worse I have ever experienced. I almost felt like if I should feel honored to be allowed to walk into his store or something. He was also very vocal about hating his job. I felt almost sorry but then I figured he did not deserve any free publicity. I learned a while ago about the power of a simple blog post.
Even though I did not want to post about it, I still felt like I had to give them business over my belief in trying to support the local guy over blockbuster. That and movie rentals have gotten more and more expensive. I even went as far as to cancel my online movie subscription. I started to rent movies from there about once a week even though I would have to pass the local blockbuster every time I went there.
I was very surprised when I pulled up there this weekend and saw huge red signs saying closing sale. I walked in to see if you could still rent a movie with no luck. Everything is for sale and the store is closing as soon as everything is liquidated.
I am not sure if the owner finally had enough of the crazy schedule or if the local people considered him a den of perdition because he also carried porn. I do know that he was probably losing clients because of his awesome personal skills and brilliant customer service. I am a little sad that everything is going to franchises now, and will have to go back to blockbuster to get my movie fix.