Radio Shack Story

Radio Shack Story

Post by Gerry Bus » Thu, 08 Jul 1999 04:00:00


Quote:>Radio Shack -
>You have questions -
>We have blank stares.
>Just kidding.  Probably a clerk here and there who knows what to do.  But I've
>yet to meet them.

Those Radio Shack blank stares are quite familiar to me!  Anything I've ever
bought from them I've basically had to sell to myself, because the
salesperson didn't know a thing about the product.  They never miss a chance
to ask for my address, however, even with the smallest purchase, although I
rarely receive one of their catalogues in the mail.

Gerry

 
 
 

Radio Shack Story

Post by maryanne keh » Thu, 08 Jul 1999 04:00:00


Radio Shack:

You have questions?

WE even have MORE questions!

Maryanne

 
 
 

Radio Shack Story

Post by KK4T » Fri, 09 Jul 1999 04:00:00

Radio Shack -
You have questions -
We have blank stares.
Just kidding.  Probably a clerk here and there who knows what to do.  But I've
yet to meet them.
 
 
 

Radio Shack Story

Post by Peter Ma » Fri, 09 Jul 1999 04:00:00

Quote:>Those Radio Shack blank stares are quite familiar to me! (edit) They never
miss a chance
>to ask for my address, however, even with the smallest purchase, although I
>rarely receive one of their catalogues in the mail.

>Gerry

I rarely go into a Radio Shack anymore, after I over heard a clerk overselling
a pair of headphones to a customer with the immortal line, "these are 4 dollars
more, because they have more Megahertz."   I"m sure my mouth hit the floor.  On
the rare occasion that my usual sources for odd parts, or soldering supplies
are closed, I'll wander into a RS store, and when a clerk asks, "Help you?"
I'll point to an open place on the floor where there is no current display, and
say, "Yes, please go stand there until I've gone."

As for the capturing of names, I simply refuse.  And no telephone number,
either.  If the clerk insists, I can be quite intractable, usually attracting
the attention of manglement.  The Mangler usually insists, and eventually
pleads that if he doesn't get a certain percentage of names, that he'll lose
his franchise.  (something that one of my sources walking the hallowed halls of
Tandy has confirmed)  Usually retorting something like, "Then I guess it sucks
to be you today," I'll hold out until the decision is either made to sell me
the goods I've selected, or decline the sale.  At which time I can't help but
point out, "if your job depends more on the gathering of private information
for your database than it does on store sales, then perhaps you should look at
your career and reevaluate what your real purpose in this company is. There.
Now you have both a question AND an answer to find.."  

That usually results in the Blankest Stare of all.

 
 
 

Radio Shack Story

Post by Tom Sevar » Fri, 09 Jul 1999 04:00:00

I really find it hard to believe that anyone actually expects RS personnel
to know anything about electronics at all.

I once heard a customer who was interested in a scanner ask the salesidiot
about the frequency ranges of the unit in question.  The salesidiot replied
with something like, "It skips from 54 to 118 MHZ.  I don't know what's in
there that they don't want you to listen to, but they skip everything in
there."  To which I piped up and confided to him that the government doesn't
want people listening in to TV channels 2-6,FM broadcast stations, or
aircraft VOR's.  I think he almost believed it.

Tom

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Radio Shack Story

Post by Nei » Fri, 09 Jul 1999 04:00:00

Radio Shack trains their personnel in BUSINESS not technology.  The
only requirements are to know how to stock the shelves, and run the
register (and sell Cell phones).  Beyond that, if you find someone who
knows the difference between a resister and a diode, it's because they
taught it to themselves.

Seriously folks, they don't teach electronics in the schools any more,
and any EE who takes him/herself seriously wouldn't be caught dead
working in a Radio Shack store.  It's just not done.  Therefore, the
BEST we can hope to find is a retired ham or other hobbyist who wanted
to earn a few extra dollars.  The more typical case is what you and I
are all familiar with, and the only solution is to simply decline
their offer of "help" and answer your own questions.

I could tell you stories, but what's the point?  Just be glad there's
still at least one local place where you can buy this stuff.

Neil



>Radio Shack:

>You have questions?

>WE even have MORE questions!

>Maryanne

 
 
 

Radio Shack Story

Post by Peter Ma » Fri, 09 Jul 1999 04:00:00

Quote:>Radio Shack trains their personnel in BUSINESS not technology.  The
>only requirements are to know how to stock the shelves, and run the
>register

While that's certainly true, BUSINESS runs on far more than stocked shelves.
This kind of disregard, if not thinly disguised contempt for the customer and
his needs, for expertise is becoming an entire division of corporate culture in
the hobby worldwide. Sony has long been a bastion of arrogant disregard for the
customer.  

Piaggio, makers of the Vespa, have similarly been unconcerned for the other end
of the business, the customer.  And that has left North America with but 1 or
two distributors for parts and service; something for which the Corporation is,
by and large, unconcerned.

While Sony has convinced the general market of their indispensibilty, and
Piaggio will always have a loyal following for the Vespa, bottom up
supplementation for corporate shortcomings will keep them in business far after
we are all gone.

Tandy, however, does not enjoy such strengths, and this is reflected in the
worldwide closures of RS stores, as well as the dwindling product lines carried
by RS.  Corporate in Fort Worth does not consider this a problem apparently, or
the nature of the beast would have changed long ago.  (The front line of any
business only reflects the culture of the corner office, after all. )  

And this is further evidence that the things that are the worst about corporate
culture are being brought in by highly educated MBA's, who have never stepped
behind a counter in any of their stores. Business is not built by
businessmen...it is built by customers, and that's a reality that hasnt' been
taught in the MBA programs for decades.  Which is why the real success stories
in business in this country for the last 30 years have been stories of
entrepreneurs.

 
 
 

Radio Shack Story

Post by Rick W 9 » Fri, 09 Jul 1999 04:00:00

I went in to my local store and headed to the back of the store and informed
the salesman I was looking for a pot. He didn't know what I was talking about.
I told him I wouldn't be smoking it unless I put to much voltage through it. He
looked blank and went to consult with the store manager. He came back showed me
some plastic knobs. (In the sixties, plasic meant artificial or not real
referring to the establishment) I told him that knobs went on the pot, but they
were not pots.I explained to him what they were but he was confused. I then
told him I just wanted a little pot and that I didn't need a large one. He had
a far away look in his eyes. I think he was remembering marijuina brownies or
something. Ever notice that those guts like to take a lot of cigarette breaks?
 
 
 

Radio Shack Story

Post by Alex » Fri, 09 Jul 1999 04:00:00

I  treat Radio Shack as only a source and kind of like my own supply house. Many years ago you could usually find someone who knew the local scanner freqs., but don't ask any technical questions of them. I've found I can't call on the phone and expect to get an honest answer about stock.

Alex

    I went to my local Radio Shack to look at their 398. I had done a lot of research beforehand. Obviously they didn't.
    When I asked how the "page" system worked, the saleswoman told me that each page corresponded to a page in the manual. She then went to find a manual to show me. For the next ten minutes she searched the manual looking for that darn "page" system. Since there are 29 pages she knew it had to make up most of the manual.

    I just stood there and let her look. Its a good thing I didn't ask her what double conversion heterodyne meant.

 
 
 

Radio Shack Story

Post by Dav » Fri, 09 Jul 1999 04:00:00


<snip>

Quote:

>Tandy, however, does not enjoy such strengths, and this is reflected in the
>worldwide closures of RS stores, as well as the dwindling product lines carried
>by RS.  Corporate in Fort Worth does not consider this a problem apparently, or
>the nature of the beast would have changed long ago.  (The front line of any
>business only reflects the culture of the corner office, after all. )  

>And this is further evidence that the things that are the worst about corporate
>culture are being brought in by highly educated MBA's, who have never stepped
>behind a counter in any of their stores. Business is not built by
>businessmen...it is built by customers, and that's a reality that hasnt' been
>taught in the MBA programs for decades.  Which is why the real success stories
>in business in this country for the last 30 years have been stories of
>entrepreneurs.

Believe it or not, Radio Shack is not hurting financially.  Yesterday,
in Fort Worth, they threw a huge party for all of their employees
because, during the first half of this year, they set rather
impressive revenue records -- apparently, for each month of 1999, they
were AT LEAST 10% over their 1998 levels.  

How they have managed to do this, I am not sure:  My experience with
Radio Shack is the same as everyone else's -- the employees are
typically morons.  Nevertheless, you cannot question their business
model or expect them to change it -- they are making BIG bucks in
spite of their general incompetence.  

 
 
 

Radio Shack Story

Post by Michae » Fri, 09 Jul 1999 04:00:00


> Radio Shack:

> You have questions?

> WE even have MORE questions!

> Maryanne

In the 1960's Radio Shack was a serious source for electronic parts and
communications equipment. They sold high quality goods (I bought a
15-band Nord-Mende Globetrotter portable there) and the employees were
knowledgeable. The company, however, made a business decision to become
a seller of low to medium priced consumer electronics and toys and to
pay its employees as little as possible. Electronics parts are now only
a side-line business for them.

Interestingly, the same company has begun opening Tech America stores
which seem to be large versions of the Radio Shack stores of the 1960's.
I have shopped in their Atlanta area store and found it to be well
stocked and, upon asking a technical question, was referred to an
employee who was a licensed HAM and electronics experimenter.

73's de
Michael K.

 
 
 

Radio Shack Story

Post by defendi.. » Fri, 09 Jul 1999 04:00:00

Have you ever tried TechAmerica? It is a branch-off of Tandy and those
guys know their stuff. 25+ years ago, Radio Shack was a good place for
electronic hobbiests, but now finding anyone there with a room temp IQ
is a ***shoot.


Use it up, wear it out. Make it do, or do without.

 
 
 

Radio Shack Story

Post by Derek Piet » Fri, 09 Jul 1999 04:00:00

Can anyone tell me if there is a TechAmerica store in the
Phila., Pa. area? Until this thread, I've never heard of
such a beast.
thanks.

---

Derek J. Pietro
Principle Software Engineer
Picker International
Wayne, Pa. office

 
 
 

Radio Shack Story

Post by Zenith # » Fri, 09 Jul 1999 04:00:00

Michael
The Radio Shack of the 60's was a horse of a different color. I remember the
one in downtown Atlanta, just as you described. Knowledgable people and
decent product line. It was about that time that Tandy took them over and
really fouled up things.

Butch



>> Radio Shack:

>> You have questions?

>> WE even have MORE questions!

>> Maryanne

>In the 1960's Radio Shack was a serious source for electronic parts and
>communications equipment. They sold high quality goods (I bought a
>15-band Nord-Mende Globetrotter portable there) and the employees were
>knowledgeable. The company, however, made a business decision to become
>a seller of low to medium priced consumer electronics and toys and to
>pay its employees as little as possible. Electronics parts are now only
>a side-line business for them.

>Interestingly, the same company has begun opening Tech America stores
>which seem to be large versions of the Radio Shack stores of the 1960's.
>I have shopped in their Atlanta area store and found it to be well
>stocked and, upon asking a technical question, was referred to an
>employee who was a licensed HAM and electronics experimenter.

>73's de
>Michael K.

 
 
 

Radio Shack Story

Post by Rod » Fri, 09 Jul 1999 04:00:00


> I went in to my local store and headed to the back of the store and informed
> the salesman I was looking for a pot. He didn't know what I was talking about.
> I told him I wouldn't be smoking it unless I put to much voltage through it. He
> looked blank and went to consult with the store manager. He came back showed me
> some plastic knobs. (In the sixties, plasic meant artificial or not real
> referring to the establishment) I told him that knobs went on the pot, but they
> were not pots.I explained to him what they were but he was confused. I then
> told him I just wanted a little pot and that I didn't need a large one. He had
> a far away look in his eyes. I think he was remembering marijuina brownies or
> something. Ever notice that those guts like to take a lot of cigarette breaks?  

   I too had run-ins with these robots at RS. One store I went in the
manager was a HAM. As I listened to him I believed less and less of what
he was saying. Another store I was trated with such disregard that I
wrote corporate an email and the one I received back sounded like I was
to appolgize to him! Now I am my own sales-person at Radio Shack (I
select my own stuff) and I do not patronize the last mentioned store!

                            Rod  KB8DNS