I have been doing some work on a rent house we own and this morning I needed a somewhat esoteric part for an old Moen fixture. I went to my locally owned small business plumbing supply store to get it. They carry the neat stuff. While there I was also buying some general plumbing supplies (as small businessman myself I think it is good to support the local guys). Bill came to $129.00. I write out the check, name, address, phone number, and DL number on check. THEN they want my date of birth. That ripped it. I am so tired of folks to whom I am trying to give my money treating me like they think I'm going to steal from them. We are told to protect our personal information and then everybody and his dog is asking for more and more. I gave them the option of taking the check as presented or restocking their merchandise. They actually chose the latter. Told them I might be back with cash. Went to Lowes and found everything but the one part. Went back to local guy with cash so as not to write a check. Lady behind counter says she kept all the stuff together for me. I told her I only needed the balancing spool. She said "you're kidding? You are going to do that just because I asked for your birthday?" I said yes (didn't say that her boss who was there during the initial encounter had, because of his policy caused me quite a bit of inconvenience, not to mention getting my hackles up). She said that well they wouldn't sell me just that one part and could refuse service to anyone. I said fine. Called moen and they sent me to someone who mentioned that Moen fixtures have a lifetime warranty and gave me the part (saved me about $80.00). The local guy will NEVER see me again (did I mention that I own my house and five rental properties making me responsible for 7 water heaters, 10 toilets, 6 kitchen sinks, 10 bathroom sinks, etc. and that I do most of my own repairs so I decide where the supplies are purchased?). I am so sick of businesses (especially the local guys) making it hard for me to give them my money!!!
As a counter point, I was at a small nursery that specializes in native plants buying some plants for my photo site and hadn't asked what forms of payment were accepted. Turns out that they didn't accept credit cards and I didn't have my checkbook with me. That owner (who doesn't know me from Adam but was aware that I lived about 120 miles away) said "just send me a check when you get back home". Now, he will not only be seeing me again, but I will be passing his name around to all I know who might need his services. (Have also already started telling everyone I see the plumbing story including folks standing inline at the store etc. so may be able to cost them even more business). Really hacked me off.