Thursday, June 13, 2024

The IT Loop!

You need an e-mail address to log in.  You need a phone number to set up your e-mail address!

Mark wanted to go to Michaels to get art supplies because, you know, he's an artist.  He has been tapped for another gallery show in 2025, which means he has to get busy now making things to have enough for then.

Michaels is one of those stores I love to hate. They offer 70% off coupons, which means the "regular retail price" is little more than a joke. And if you don't sign up for their frequent flyer discount plan, well, you end up way overpaying for your stuff.  So we set up an account and thought all was well and good.  Just type in your phone number at checkout and save!  Well, that and you can download the "app" and display bar codes from virtual coupons to get these 70% off deals or $15 off on a purchase of $50 or whatever.

So, on the way there Mark says, "can you go on the phone and see if there are any coupon deals at Michaels?" which I do.  But first, it wants me to update the "app."  Oh boy, do I hate smartphones!  Why do apps need updating every five days?  Oh, right, the IT Geek Employment Act of 2021 - guaranteeing perpetual and unnecessary updates to software into perpetuity!  Gotta keep those incels busy!

So ten minutes later the app is updated and I log in - or at least try to.  It asks me for a username (e-mail) and password.  I type in what I think is the correct combination and it says "error."  So I hit the "forgot password" link and enter the e-mail address.  "No such e-mail address found!" it says - for both our e-mail addresses.

OK, I'll just set up a new account.  I enter the e-mail address, name, and phone number as requested and it bombs out, saying, "there is already an account with that phone number!"

I try again several different times, but no joy.  It has no record of either of our e-mail addresses, but when I try to set up an account, it blocks me because our phone numbers are already associated with an existing account.  Perpetual do-loop.

And shitty programming.  And no, I don't want to spend an hour on the phone talking to someone in the Philippines or India trying (in vain) to get it fixed.  No thank you!

Fortunately, the coupons are still visible but today there is only one - 70% off on framing.  The can do a good job on framing at Michael's (depends on who you get - like so much else of corporate retail these days) but boy-howdy do they charge high prices!  I ask at the front why there are no coupons online and they explain they are charging "regular low prices" this month instead of using coupons.  Maybe the public has succumbed to coupon fatigue.  If so, this is a good sign.

A bad sign is that, other than three "Goth" teens (they still exist!) we were the only ones in the store.  How they stay in business is beyond me.

We tried visiting the Hobby Lobby (sort of a Jesus Office Depot to the Staples of Michaels) and weren't too impressed there.  It was also empty of customers and while they had some nice things, almost all of it had Jesus on it.  They did have some great deals in the closeout section on real authentic Biblical artifacts, though!

UPDATE: I finally got it to work today for some reason, but it insisted I set up a new account, so our "rewards points" were wiped out.  I was able to log in on the laptop, but on the phone, I got the message shown above - and it won't go away!  Even reloading the app brings it up again!

For some reason, it has Mark's "store" listed at Wichita Kansas.  When I try to change this, the local store comes up, but the bar to "change my store" won't work.  Glitchy!


UPDATE II:  It is interesting, but the "coupons" and "deals" are all directed toward ordering online.  Is Michaels going to become an online store and ditch brick-and-mortar?  It would seem so and the huge expense of renting store space, staffing it, and stocking it, isn't going to even begin to pay for itself based on the foot traffic I am seeing.  Something is up!

The "everyday low prices" idea is attractive to ME, but as the experience with JC Penny illustrates, a lot of older woman love sales and coupons and they are not attracted to everyday low prices, even if they are lower than "sale" prices.

Americans think a 1/3-pound burger is smaller than a 1/4-pound burger, too.  You can't fix stupid!

But you can market to it!