Total wine Coupons and treatment of customers

Discussion in 'Pacific' started by mhksuccess, Mar 14, 2013.

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  1. mhksuccess

    mhksuccess Zealot (579) Jul 7, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    Well I had gone to total wine since it opened in my area 2 years ago and it was my go to store
    Until they stopped sending me coupons, store there beer improperly, and do not appreciate a return customer. I was spending approximately $300 a month on an average and basically now have went to about $20 to $40 a month if I happen to find something there. The prices have went up to where I can go other stores and pay less get better service and they appreciate that I come back. The other day I called the customer service and asked them why I have not received a coupon for months and they told me they didnt know and could not tell me when I would get another. Also they always send me coupons which I don't use like wine why not send those along with the 4-6 pck and bomber coupon so I can actually use them. Needless to say I have found many stores which appreciate me spending my money there. Does anyone else have similar issues
  2. tjensen3618

    tjensen3618 Initiate (0) Mar 23, 2008 California

    I haven't gotten a coupon in a while either, don't know what's up with that.
    But, I can say that even without the coupon, their prices are lower than anybody on every damn beer and six pack they have in the store.

    Customer service has been fine for me, the cashier takes my money with a smile every time. What kind of customer service experience are you expecting?
  3. Hanzo

    Hanzo Initiate (0) Feb 27, 2012 Virginia

    Eh, I never expect much out of Total Wine just as I don't expect much out of any big box retailer, they are there to provide you a good selection for a good price which the ones in my area do. That said, I'll gladly pay a few extra bucks to shop at a local shop so I can deal with people that care about me and the products they are selling.
    SidSquid, Angst, johnyb and 4 others like this.
  4. Kreko7

    Kreko7 Initiate (0) Mar 5, 2013 California

    They don't treat customers the correct way. Asking an employee a question is like having to pull teeth.
    messanthrope, Oisin, opwog and 2 others like this.
  5. BearsOnAcid

    BearsOnAcid Savant (958) Mar 17, 2009 Washington
    Beer Trader

    All you people complaining about shit like coupons, and happy hour the other week, don't realize how good you have it.
  6. kojevergas

    kojevergas Poo-Bah (7,309) Aug 15, 2010 Texas
    Beer Trader

    Didn't know Total Wine had coupons. I'll look into that.

    Their employees are clueless and they definitely let bottles linger, but I go there for the pricing only.
  7. RMTWM

    RMTWM Aspirant (216) Jul 28, 2011 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    They only mark up there craft beer 10-15% and BMC products pennies above cost. They just want foot traffic and hope they can turn a few onto private label wines.
    HoppySuds likes this.
  8. Holsie

    Holsie Initiate (0) Jun 27, 2012 South Carolina

    I am a huge fan of the local guy and almost never frequent TW. I recognize that if you know what you want and can determine it is fresh, then where you get it doesn't matter. However, the local guy knows what I like and is quick to recommend something new I may have overlooked. The extra 1$ a six is worth it.
    SidSquid and jp7161 like this.
  9. Obsidian

    Obsidian Aspirant (214) Dec 9, 2012 California

    I love Total Wine. My "go to" store is the one in Huntington Beach, and I have always received fantastic service. Whenever I can't find something I just ask and they get it instantly. Prices are lower than most everywhere else also.

    I also love that I can browse their inventory online even before I go to the store, I save a lot of trips that way when something I want is out of stock.
    kojevergas likes this.
  10. Trilogy31

    Trilogy31 Initiate (0) Jan 13, 2011 California

    Rob??? Think he is a bit gun shy after his last post in the Pacific thread.
  11. HoppySuds

    HoppySuds Initiate (0) Aug 6, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    It's pretty standard marketing strategy to open up with super low prices and coupons and then as you build up a customer base (and for Total Wine's case, kill off competition) you slowly raise prices back up.
  12. queens1130

    queens1130 Initiate (109) Nov 21, 2008 California
    Beer Trader

    While I like that they have their inventory online, it seems like often their online database isn't on the same frequency as their stock. Frequently I'll notice something available online, go to the store only to find it's out of stock.
  13. ZombieJester

    ZombieJester Initiate (0) Jan 26, 2013 California

    I don't mind the store as the prices are ok and they do have stuff that I can't get in my LBS. My only problem is the customer service in their Laguna store is a complete mess. I have had to ask someone for help a couple of times and I got blown off with the standard "Uhh let me go find someone else" or treated like I was an idiot. I now treat TW like i do Frys, You go in there knowing what you are looking for and get the hell out.
    vurt likes this.
  14. 01Ryan10

    01Ryan10 Initiate (0) Sep 10, 2011 California

    I like Total Wine, because I know what I want, I can find what I'm expecting to find there, and they have the lowest prices...for the most part.

    I'm not sure what kind of customer service you're expecting when they typically have the lowest prices around. Did you want them to save a bottle of the super specail releases just for you?

    I do miss the $10 off $50 purchases they were doing during the holidays.
  15. 01Ryan10

    01Ryan10 Initiate (0) Sep 10, 2011 California

    Again...with such low prices, they are not going to hire Cicerones man.
  16. ZombieJester

    ZombieJester Initiate (0) Jan 26, 2013 California

    Not trying to be a prick here but I think you are assuming my level of "Want" with their Customer Service. if i am buying a bunch of stuff I expect not to be treated like an idiot when i ask as simple question.

    I am not asking things like "How many layers of lacing should be in a glass?" I am asking things more on the level of "Can you point me to where item A or B is" and "Can you recommend type a or b of stout"
  17. besaunders

    besaunders Initiate (0) Nov 8, 2007 California

    Even the last question above might be asking too much.
  18. 01Ryan10

    01Ryan10 Initiate (0) Sep 10, 2011 California

    They should know where beers are at on a shelf, i'll give you that, but I think it's a little much to trust any recommendation they would give.
  19. grilledsquid

    grilledsquid Devotee (485) Jul 10, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    Therein lies the problem.
  20. abecall98

    abecall98 Devotee (448) Aug 11, 2007 California
    Beer Trader

    They rose a lot of the prices on the six and twelve packs by a buck or two in the past year. I used to get $2 off coupons all the time, but now I can't even find a $1 off coupon that isn't expired. Oh well. If anybody has some links to fresh new coupons, let me know.
  21. grilledsquid

    grilledsquid Devotee (485) Jul 10, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    You're expecting too much, OP. TW carries a lot of product at very reasonable prices. That you get a coupon every now and then is just icing on the cake. If you find what you're looking for, you can expect your bottles to cost MSRP or sometimes even below. If you want more personalized service, go to a small, independent bottle shop. Do you go to Best Buy or Fry's expecting the red carpet treatment? WTF.
    davelag likes this.
  22. ZombieJester

    ZombieJester Initiate (0) Jan 26, 2013 California

    fair point and I learned the hard way which is why I now only go in when i know what i want.
  23. mhksuccess

    mhksuccess Zealot (579) Jul 7, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    Maybe I am expecting too much, because I want to be treated like a person when I go into a store. I would like them to appreciate that I spend thousands of dollars through the course of the year and maybe just maybe give me a coupon that I can use once in a while. Other big chains have rewards programs but whatever I will can just as easily go elsewhere and get the same price if not better.
  24. MikeTen

    MikeTen Initiate (0) Apr 3, 2009 California

    They don't treat you like a person? That's pretty horrifying. How exactly do they wrong you? Do they spit on you, call you a dog? Please share specifics. I will write the UN on your behalf. What can I tell them to do to elevate your dignity to that of a human being?

    I see.
    BorisKarloff, jmm380 and kotayk like this.
  25. 01Ryan10

    01Ryan10 Initiate (0) Sep 10, 2011 California

    And you expect all employees to know you spend thousands of dollars a year there? Lol...dude #expectations.

    So...the point of this thread is to complain that other shops are cheaper with better service and you're forced to shop at TW. i'm confused.
  26. Zhiguli

    Zhiguli Aspirant (245) Jul 12, 2012 California

    They were entering a new market. They were trying to get customers. I dont feel don't owe us low prices or coupons. I used to go a lot as well and also found alternatives mainly because of proximity. But I couldnt fault a business for price setting or discount offers. In a big company customer recognition is always nearly impossible. Their staff are making minimum wage. I have found that over time their beer staff did become more knowledgable on beer.
  27. imyourhero21

    imyourhero21 Devotee (498) Oct 9, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    If you sign up for the emails they email you coupons every other week and you can use them more then once. I know some people dont like giving their email addresses out but if you want the dollar off you gotta bite the bullet.
  28. banger1228

    banger1228 Initiate (0) Dec 18, 2010 California

    I've frequent them when my local guys run out of shipments, haven't had a problem with them, prices are reasonable but i do give both small bottle shops and chain stores a chance equally.
  29. RobH

    RobH Devotee (480) Sep 23, 2006 Maryland

    Funny you should bring that up. We have a program about to kick off where we are training and sponsoring store staff to get Cicerone CBS certified. Won't happen over night, however in time you should see changes.
    jmm380 likes this.
  30. RobH

    RobH Devotee (480) Sep 23, 2006 Maryland

    In addition to coupons that go out periodically to those on our email list (varies by market), we give out $1.50 off coupons every month to those who attend our beer tasting classes (in states allowed by law). That's $1.50 off bombers/750's and packs priced $6.99 or higher (limit 12 bottles and 4 packs) valid day of the class. Those coupons CAN be combined. That's $24.00 in savings if you max out the coupon values.

    Also included is a coupon for future use for $1.00 off packs.

    If you are looking to stock up, and even if you think you already know all there is to know about beer, it's more than likely worth the price of entry to taste 12 beers during the class (8 beers in SC by law) and then make purchases using the coupons.
    Callmecoon and DrunkenMonk like this.
  31. abecall98

    abecall98 Devotee (448) Aug 11, 2007 California
    Beer Trader

    Thanks for the tip. I will see if I can make it happen. The potential to save $1.50 a bomber or sixpack is very much a great incentive too. Cheap way to stock up the old cellar.
  32. RobH

    RobH Devotee (480) Sep 23, 2006 Maryland

    Indeed, we can do these coupons in Calfornia, so you can take advantage of them where you are.
  33. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Poo-Bah (12,229) Mar 18, 2010 California

    I have no real problems with Total Wine. The Northridge location is about a mile from my job, so I visit a few times a week on my lunch break (like I did today). I have been getting a steady supply of coupons over the past year in their e-mails, but I can say the past 3 or 4 e-mails haven't included them. I spend most of my beer dollars there and to be honest, even without a $1.00 of coupon their prices are solid.

    Here are a few issues I have seen since shopping there since it opened:

    * Some dusty, out of date beers lingering on the shelf - solution = don't buy them
    * Canned beers have to be looked up individually (most of the time) if you are buying singles
    * Singles for sale in the specific singles section with an actual shelf tag but don't show up in the computer - I have had to walk back and show staff the beer is OK to be sold as singles
    * Beer distributors taking up most of the beer aisles stocking the shelf during day time hours - I know they have a job to do too but sometimes when there is hardly room to squeeze by stacked up cases of beer it gets annoying, especially if a beer I want is hiding behind said stacks

    And to create a balance in the universe, here are some great things about TW:

    * Installing a beer tasting area
    * Putting beers on clearance/sale at the end of a season - I have scored numerous bottles of perfectly tasty beers for dirt cheap this way (best deal so far = $20.99 magnum of Mikkeller Red/White Christmas marked down to something like $3.99 a few years ago)
    * Giving coupons out without stupid systems (like BevMo - spend $250 over time and get 5% off your purchase)

    PS I have one completely petty complaint about the Northridge location. The parking lot is complete shit.
    Rollzroyce21, jmm380 and jmgrub like this.
  34. mhksuccess

    mhksuccess Zealot (579) Jul 7, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    I am glad that you took the time to reply. I have been on the mail list since it first started and called up total wine numerous times to ask them why I no longer received coupons prior to being upset about the service. I understand it hard to please everyone when running a business. thanks maybe if they ever send me another coupon I will give it another shot.
  35. RobH

    RobH Devotee (480) Sep 23, 2006 Maryland

    Hi UCLA good feedback that's genuine and appreciated.

    Wish we had a magic bullet to abolish out of date beer from the Earth. Should you inadvertently end up with one bring it back and we'll make it right. In the industry it's actually the distributor's responsibility to ensure no outdated beer is on store shelves, but as the store we take responsibility too. Sorry it happens, but it does and will again, unfortunately.

    As for the canned beer issue, the challenge here is that often the can has the bar code on it with the 6-pack price. Since most other stores don't sell singles and only sell packs, brewers put the pack price on the can so it scans as the sixer passes the scanner. With bottled beer in packs, the pack price bar code is on the carton, and then the bottle label bar code is different and has the single bottle price. Pain in the neck, yes.

    Not sure what's causing the next issue. I'll send that one to our ops guys.

    And I hear you on the last one. In many of our stores the distributors load the shelves o dark thirty in the morning, and then come back to re-load in the afternoon because the fast moving items need to be re-stocked during the day, otherwise they'd be empty the rest of the day. Seems it's always lunch hour in that store so you hit it. Alternative is shelves would be empty, but that's not good either.

    Thanks for shopping with us!
    jmm380, tjensen3618 and SageO like this.
  36. abecall98

    abecall98 Devotee (448) Aug 11, 2007 California
    Beer Trader

    You should do an episode of UnderCover Boss Rob.
    whiskey and blguillen like this.
  37. SageO

    SageO Initiate (198) Jul 13, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    We San Diegans are mostly jealous of you guys who get TW. I try to make it a point to stop at TW whenever I'm in LA - usually I can get SD beers for cheaper there than in SD!
  38. Beerandraiderfan

    Beerandraiderfan Initiate (0) Apr 14, 2009 Nevada

    I don't like TW because
    1) Some employees are ill informed.
    2) Some employees are cocky while being ill informed.
    3) Employees take half of the limited releases, then stash the other half behind employee only doors.
  39. Saxmusik45

    Saxmusik45 Aspirant (260) Nov 18, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    I've experienced this one before when a TW got a couple cases of limited release beer. The employee told me that he and a couple other people had bought like a case and a half. It was fairly disappointing and probably would have made it better not knowing that and assuming other patrons like myself who are in there regularly bought it up.

    However, generally speaking, I really like the TW I go to (Northridge). So keep up the good work and thanks for still being better than BevMo.
  40. blguillen

    blguillen Initiate (0) Apr 19, 2011 California

    I frequent the Tustin location. Love it! Love the area. Love the beer selection. Great time just wandering inside and coming out with whatever I find. :slight_smile:
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