Last night I did a little Christmas shopping. OK, I did A LOT of Christmas shopping. And still have more to do. But I thought I would share an experience I had at the very first store I visited. I went in with my list, knowing what I wanted to purchase. I picked up the two items and began looking around for the "checkout counter". This was a hi-tech kind of place and I had a hard time finding where to go.
The look on my face must have given it away and a sales person asked me if I was ready to check out. He said he could take care of me right there, in the middle of the store, as long as I was paying with a credit card. He and about seven others had these hand-held computers that can complete transactions from anywhere in the store. When I told him that I was paying with cash, he said he couldn't help me and that I would need to go to the front of the store. Fine. I went to the front where there was a small line and only one person at the computer. I waited and waited. During my wait, at least three different employees came up to me and said they could help me if I was paying with a credit card. Each time I said no, I was paying with cash. I actually felt like I was being penalized for doing the right thing.
Is is any wonder why credit card debt continues to grow in this country? What's next - a bailout for credit card debtors? Business Week has a very good article on that here.