Local consumer neglect | AspenTimes.com

Local consumer neglect

Dear Editor:Why is it that as a consumer in your own town, neglect can be an ugly seasonal reality?While the local consumer sometimes has lots of disposable income, some of us don’t have a dollar tree, trust fund, gold mine, nice granny or well-enough-paying job to constantly pump hundred-dollar bills into local retailers for our beloved high-performance toys.After supporting local businesses year-round (this means even in the “offseason,” remember that time?) you would think a little loyalty would be in order from retailers. On a recent visit to a local bike shop where I buy thousands of dollars of parts and service throughout the year (even in winter – cycling’s offseason) I was confronted by the seasonal mechanic. When I asked for a clarification on why my newly “repaired” equipment didn’t work right, the response was as if I was the ill-informed person with a bad attitude. Maybe it’s being overworked that caused the reaction, but I have another theory.The customer’s always right when they spend $6,000 for a new bike, handbag or dog collar every year, but wrong and unvalued when they don’t fork over the cash extravagantly with the black AMEX. How much does it cost for a retailer to simply remember your name after years of patronage? Although I have largely avoided it in the interests of supporting local businesses, it’s time to go online for shopping, because obviously the locals aren’t valued as consumers when there are bigger fishes in our pond. Sorry, Aspen, I would rather buy from complete strangers without exclusive bad attitudes on a computer than be abused at home for spending my money locally – you obviously don’t need me to help pay your $15,000 rent anymore.Patrick StoreyAspen

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