Radio Shack Turned into a Hardcore Sex Shop so Gradually, I Didn't Even Notice

RadioShack Yesterday I bought a new video card for my “I hate my new TiVo and want to build my own” project. Unfortunately, it only had S-Video out and my TV only has RCA and Coax in. So I headed to my friendly neighborhood Radio Shack for an RF Modulator.

It turns out, a modern day Radio Shack bares a closer resemblance to a used car dealership than an electronics store. I explained my situation to one of the employees, who offered me a $40 RF Modulator as the solution to all my problems. I told him that I thought it would work, but that I’d pass because the video card only cost $30 and I could just take it back and get one with RCA outputs. He started on this whole rant about how it wasn’t worth my time to take back the card, I should just spend the money and be done. His logic was that it would take me 3 hours to return the card and it would only save me $40. Surely my time is worth more than $13/hour (he actually said $20/hour but you can’t expect people to do math in their head these days).

Eventually, he lost interest in me, and that gave me an opportunity to find a cheaper solution to my problem – a $20 modulator that did the exact same thing and was located directly above the $40 one. As he’s ringing me up, he gets chatty:

Radio Shack Guy: What kind of phone you got?

Me: This fancy Samsung number (shows guy)

Radio Shack Guy: We got some great deals on phones.

Me: That’s okay. I just got this one a year ago. Works great.

Radio Shack Guy: You might be eligible for a loyalty rebate. What’s your number?

Me: [gives out my number]

Radio Shack Guy: Yeah, you can get $75 off now or $150 off on August 1. Don’t you want a new phone that works better than this one?

[At this point, my phone rings. It’s Toli.]

Me: See? This one works fine.

[At this point, Radio Shack Guy 2 comes in]

Radio Shack Guy 2: You should buy one today and then you just call on August 1st and say you want the loyalty rebate. It’s really easy.

[At this point, Radio Shack Guy 1 is explaining how the rebate works. They have all these phones priced around $50 or $100 for the nice ones. But you don’t get your “loyalty rebate” off that price. You get it off the retail price, which is about $250. I didn’t think I had any interest to lose, but I found myself actually less interested.]

Me: But I don’t want a phone!

Radio Shack Guy: Need any batteries? We have a great deal on batteries this week.

Me: Can I have a bag for this please?

Oh, I forgot the part where he offered me a $15 warranty on my $20 RF Modulator. I know he’s trained to ask but honestly, does it do any good to let your customers know you think they’re dumb enough to pay a $15 premium on a $20 product?

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