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To earn your business, stores can't be rude

Date published: 1/29/2013

To earn your business, stores can't be rude

As the owner of a business on Caroline Street in downtown Fredericksburg, I am writing in response to the letter ["You want my shopping dollars? Try being nice!" Dec. 23] from Sophie Wince.

I must say that I too have experienced the same rude and unappreciative treatment that Wince described in her blistering comments about some downtown merchants.

Are these comments justified? I believe they are, but not every merchant deserves being tainted because of the way certain shops treat their customers.

When I am ignored, I leave the shop without making a purchase and make a vow to never return. Those shops have nothing to sell that would make me go back on my personal vow.

I wish Wince had left without putting a single dollar into the hands of a business that does not appreciate its customers.

Unlike Wince, I do expect to be greeted by big-box store employees. I am spending the same hard-earned dollars at a big-box store as I am at a small shop, and I expect the same level of customer service.

I think Americans have lowered the bar regarding the type of treatment they expect from merchants. They are responsible for being treated in an unacceptable fashion because no one complains directly to the source.

People are uncomfortable about voicing a complaint, and they shouldn't be. Management cannot change something about which they have no knowledge. You don't have to yell or behave rudely, but you do have to stand up for yourself.

Your money has power. I encourage you to take your dollars where they, and you, are appreciated! I hope that our residents will continue to support downtown Fredericksburg, because we exist solely because of you.

Heather Stapleton