Discussion:Radio Shack - how has it survived this long?

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Discussion Forum Index --> General Chat --> Radio Shack - how has it survived this long?

Harry Boscoe (talk|edits) said:

17 September 2011
I've had a couple or three very recent experiences with Radio Shack that make me wonder if their days are numbered. Is *all* their sales staff in drug rehab? Or just the three that together failed over 72 hours to find the product I was looking for, probably the most common rechargeable battery in the universe?

I'm the customer, damn it, and I represent a potential sale. That's revenue and cash flow for the company, damn it. Don't just lay the phone down on the counter and start helping another customer in the store.

If you take my phone number and tell me that you're going to call me back when you find the "availability" of the product I'm looking for, then call me back one way or the other. That's why I gave you my phone number, jerkoid.

If you owe me 97 cents in change, don't just hand me a dollar bill and expect me *not* to comment. The three cents wasn't yours to give away, damn it.

What a whiner I am! Grumpy Old Man, youbetchersweetassyoupiercedlittlewhoopersnapper.

MWPXYZ (talk|edits) said:

17 September 2011
You remind me of my dad. I guess that is what happens when you turn 85.

NMexEA (talk|edits) said:

17 September 2011
I've never figured out why Radio Shack succeeded in the first place. I actually WORKED for a company store in the mid '70s...it was bad enough back then but at least we sold all kinds of stuff from quadraphonic music systems to ten packs of resistors and capacitors. Now, I think they sell cable tv related stuff and cell phones.

Once upon a time, they sold their own personal computer line running their own operating system. They sold amateur, CB, and SWL radio stuff. I remember a nearly worthless wire antenna "kit" that long since left the catalog. Thing is, for the most part, R/S stuff was neither cheap nor of the best quality. My OWN ham gear usually didn't come from there. Couple of exceptions; I have a few pieces of R/S equipment that, for the day, did an acceptable job and I could get it the moment I wanted it. No shipping involved.

It's not that the market disappeared, either. Everything I used to be able to get from R/S (if I was desperate) I can still get from a dozen online sellers offering good proces, good quality, and outstanding service.

Well, R/S must be doing SOMETHING right. They're still around as a retail operation while Lafayette, Allied Radio, Heathkit, B&A, and many others have gone to the land of the Dodo Bird. Just two nights ago, I needed a watch battery andsure enough, R/S had it. They also continue to stock a rather expensive silver plated cable connector that I need from time to time, So there it is...R/S/ is still there and I am still complaining about them!

Spell Czech (talk|edits) said:

17 September 2011
Middle age starts at an age five years older than I am today. And it's been that way for oh maybe going on thirty years now...

CrowJD (talk|edits) said:

17 September 2011
I have a bone to pick with Harry over this one. They better wait on me if I take the time to drive to the store. If I owned a retail store, there wouldn't be a phone. If my employees needed the police, they could run in the street and holler. Serve the customer in the store.

I've had store employees jump to answer a phone while talking to me, interrupting me in the middle of a sentence to answer their d*mn phone. No sir. I took the time to drag my butt to the store.

(However, I do agree that if they told Harry they'd return his call, they should definitely return his call when they have the first opportunity to do so.)

Taocpa (talk|edits) said:

You have a right to complain, Harry. I've not been in a Radio Shack for some time. Three experiences caused me to go elsewhere:

Once, I gave a cashier at a Radio Shack a $20 bill for $5 in stuff. He gave me back $5 saying I only gave him a $10. I really don't argue too much with people, but I know I gave him a $20 (I always know how much cash I have on hand). Well, we got into it. It wasn't pretty, but I unfortunately lost.

I had two other incidents, one where my CC info was stolen and one when they claimed a product was mislabeled and would cost me more $$. My bank caught the fraud and I had to get the store manager involved to give me the product at the price as labeled (funny thing, the website listed it for the price I got. They claimed that was an error.)

Ever since these incidents, I find somewhere else to get my stuff. They hire some of the dumbest people alive.


Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

17 September 2011
I bought a 4.99 Y-adaptor today at R.S. It took the employee 10 minutes to understand what I needed it for (in order to tell me which of the two that I had in my hand was the correct choice). That was my fault for not being a tech geek and knowing the correct words to use so that he could understand. He remarked that he wished he were Spock so that he could do a mind-meld with the customers who came in to the store and had difficulty communicating their precise needs. As I left, I handed him a Tribble. He gave me the Vulcan 'peace' sign/salute. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vulcan_salute

I don't know how many 4.99 items per day they need to sell to break even, but I'd bet that the Tribble has a better chance of multiplying than R.S.'s profit.

IN any event, perhaps Radio Shack HAS taken a clue from its Vulcan employees: Live long and prosper.

NMexEA (talk|edits) said:

18 September 2011
10,000 years ago, when I was a kid and hadn't even gotten my first ham license, Radio Shack was a six or seven store chain in the Northeast. They knew what they were doing in terms of their market and had a good reputation among the (then) vacuum tube hobby set. Then something called Tandy Leather Co. bought them out and made them into a HUGE multinational operation with thousands of company stores and hundreds of fanchise dealers. The last franchise dealer I visited was in, oh, maybe 2003 in Alamosa Colorado. The franchise folks were always more interesting than the company outlets because they carried their own stock as well as the R/S stuff.

Tandy never knew, or cared, anything about the electronics hobbyist. Strictly a profit center, that's all it was, and it showed.

But again, they are still here!

NMexEA (talk|edits) said:

18 September 2011
Hm...I remember that they did some weird stuff...they sold a large selection of replacement tubes, all with GOLD PLATED PINS! Whaaaaa? What was THAT about? Even the military in WWII didn't see the need for that. But if you needed a 6U8 on Saturday afternoon for your six-meter converter and the band was open to Australia so you needed it NOW, R/S was where you went, gold pins or no gold pins.

NMexEA (talk|edits) said:

18 September 2011
But you DID feel kinda silly plugging it in. See, YOU knew better.

Taxaway (talk|edits) said:

18 September 2011
I don't know if Radio Shack still maintains the practice of asking for your phone number when making an in-store purchase...would drive me crazy esp when buying a 2.99cent gadget. "No number" and the clerk would give me a dirty look until my exclamation "What's your problem!?". I used newegg or tigerdirect online mostly now anyway.

Tm ea (talk|edits) said:

19 September 2011
The only reason I go into Radio Schack is to drop off my dead batteries.

94nole (talk|edits) said:

19 September 2011
RS is making it with cell phone contracts...that is how they are staying in business.

and in my experience, RS has always had that obscure item that I seem to always end up needing.

But agreed...quality customer service is hard to find there.

Lizzit (talk|edits) said:

20 September 2011
When they started, they were manned by ham radio enthusiasts who knew everything. In the 70's and 80's in Central Square Cambridge, Eli's was where all the nerd enthusiasts went leaving the C2 RS to be manned by the local pot dealers. I understand there was excellent quality service provided you weren't going there for transistors and cables and whatnot. The C2 RS went under shortly after a big bust in the early 90's. Perhaps you're not asking for the special stuff underneath the counter?

Riki EA (talk|edits) said:

20 September 2011
Maybe you've seen this article from The Onion:

Even CEO Can't Figure Out How RadioShack Still In Business http://www.theonion.com/articles/even-ceo-cant-figure-out-how-radioshack-still-in-b,2190/

NMexEA (talk|edits) said:

20 September 2011
I laughed pretty hard over that!

R/S will still sell you many of the miscellaneous parts and supplies it used to sell in its stores but apparently only online through their catalog sales. No more tubes, alas! the Gold Plated Pin is a thing of the past!

(I didn't see any mota supplies listed.)

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