I am growing increasingly annoyed with Sam's Wine & Spirits. In the interest of brevity, I'll keep this to three recurring issues.
--The Rating Game
All wine stores do this to an extent, but these guys are amazing. The practice involves posting a glowing rating by Wine Spectator, Robert Parker, etc. in front of a wine display, but the vintage or other designations will not match the wine that was actually reviewed. I'm sure it's just an honest mistake.
--The Checkout Choke
Double-check those receipts, as the posted price sometimes doesn't match what you actually pay. This has happened three times in my last three visits. Again, I'm sure it's just an honest mistake.
Where do they find these people? I won't even get into actual wine knowledge, which I presume all of them have. Two that I know of are absolutely great and courteous resources. Most of them simply frighten me. They speak way too loudly and often obscenely to their fellow employees regardless of whether a customer may be within earshot. They make a point of getting in your way regardless of what remote corner of the store you might be in. Sam's is justifiably zealous when it comes to loss prevention, but I can't help but wonder if these lurking folks in the maroon aprons are actually spying on me. On my last visit, I actually walked up to one openly-staring substantial gentleman employee and asked if I could help HIM. He muttered and walked away.
I've taken the time to voice these concerns because I really like Sam's. They're still unmatched in terms of selection and other services like the gourmet shop, pre-offer e-mails and futures. What annoys me is that they could be so much better.
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