How Signal Graphics Lost My Business Over 22 Pennies

Maybe I was just having a bad day.

Maybe not.

If you're like me, you pay all your bills online, all you're correspondence with people is via email, and even sending a Hallmark card is done online. And then you have those once-in-2.5-year occurrences when you actually need two postage stamps. If I needed to buy a book of stamps, it would take me about a decade to go through them all.

So, my wife starts calling around to various businesses that lie nearby because a trip to the post office is farther than it's worth. She calls to Signal Graphics to see if they sell stamps. The kind lady explains that while they don't sell stamps, she'd be glad to sell us some. So, I hop into the car and drive down to pick them up.

When I arrive, I noticed that a lady is about to leave through the door I am about to enter through, so being a kind gentleman, I open the door for her. She thanks me kindly, but explains that she was going to leave through a different door instead. No sweat. I explain to the people behind the counter that I needed to pick up the stamps they said that they would sell to me. The lady I offered to open the door for pipes in and says, "Stamps? Oh, I'll get them for you."

Sweet!, I'm thinking as she walks from the side door, back behind the counter, and pulls out two 39¢ stamps. I pull out 78¢ and ask, "Seventy-eight cents, right?

"Well, actually, they're fifty cents each."

I look the change over that I scooped out of my pocket and realized that I only had seventy-eight. No problem, I thought to myself. "OK, well, I don't have a dollar in cash, so I'll just use my card."

"I'm sorry, you can't do that," she replied.

"Why not?," I asked with a puzzled look on my face.

"You need to have a minimum five dollar purchase...otherwise all the money is spent on the service charge."

"Hmmm...," I mulled, wondering what I was going to do. "Well, I guess I can't buy them then. We'll cya later." And that was that. I left.

How's that for Karma? You open the door for someone to be nice, and then they jack you over for 22¢! I went to a few more stores in the strip mall, begging for someone to sell me a two stamps, until someone in a line at The Dollar Store overheard me and offered to sell them to me.

And he sold them to me for 75¢.

So, here's to you, Mr. Willing-To-Sell-Me-Two-Stamps-For-Less-Than-Their-Worth: sure, you looked like you could have killed me with your huge, greasy bare hands, but hey, kudos to you for doing what the 'nice' woman that I opened a door for wouldn't do.

...and for those at Signal Graphics: I will not EVER buy anything from you again because of twenty two cents. I hope it was worth it.

Posted on Feb 12
Written by Wayne Hartman