Sunday, August 13, 2017

Velvet Ice Cream Factory-- Utica, Ohio

The hubby and I went on a little date the other day to a peach farm in Newark, Ohio. It was a place his co-workers told him about called, Legend Hills Orchard.

We didn't do any picking but we stopped in their cute little store and purchased a few small snacks. I bought two black licorice candy sticks that were exactly what I was craving that day. They tasted like heaven and were only .20 each.

My husband bought a mini apple pie and a package of garlic cheddar biscuit mix.

I think we spent less than $5.00. The prices were very reasonable and the service was friendly, but it was sadly underwhelming considering we visit the immaculate Lynd Fruit Farm several times a year.

Lynd is the place to go if you like fruit farms, in my opinion.

As we exited the shop, in search of our next adventure, we decided to follow the billboard signs to Velvet Ice Cream.

This is the gem of Utica.

This is more than an ice cream shop. There is an ice cream factory with free tours and demos, an old time ice cream parlor where they serve unique and traditional flavors, a cafe that serves hot food, a large mill, hiking trails, a pond, picnic tables, and a playground.

It felt like we had traveled to another state, but it had been right in our own backyard all these years.

While I have no complaints about this place, the only thing I would suggest is to either pack a lunch or plan to purchase a meal because you'll want to stay for a while. Go on a sunny day so you can enjoy the beautiful grounds.

Velvet, we'll be back!

Walgreens--FSA Fiasco

I promise I don't go into stores looking for problems.

I was in Walgreens the other day, shopping for sunscreen. This was my second trip to this particular Walgreens for personables. The last trip ended in frustration as I tried to use my Flexible Spending Account to pay for my purchase (which I knew was totally fine). I chalked it up to poor employee training and hoped I would have a different cashier this time.

At check-out, I put my items on the counter and  politely told the cashier that I was going to use my FSA. I explained to her that the last time I used my account in their store, we ended up having to ring up each item separately or the transaction would decline.  She cut me off in mid sentence and stated rudely, "We don't have control over transactions declining."


I explained again: "Well, if you ring every item up separately, it won't decline".

She repeated that they don't have control over FSA accounts. She tried to tell me that Walgreens has no way of knowing what items qualify and which ones don't. I explained that the Walgreens website has a list of FSA qualifying items. I also pointed out that if she looked at the transaction screen, the qualifying items had "FSA" listed next to it.

She shrugged off my statements and began ringing up my items as one transaction. Of course, my payment declined.

I was growing warm with impatience, as she tried to tell me there was nothing they could do to help.

I asked her was she the manager because her attitude was horrible and I couldn't believe someone so unprofessional was in charge.

She was.

I once again explained to her that I had already been in her store a few weeks prior and had the same issue. I told her once again how to resolve it.  She looked past me at the other customers waiting in line and addressed them with deep sorrow, "I'm so sorry. I will call someone else to help you".

Now I was angry.

If she had just done what I asked from the beginning, we could've been done.

She had to go to a different cash register for some reason, to restart the transaction. As she rang up my items one by one with a frustrated unapologetic attitude, I stated how badly they needed to be trained on FSA accounts and that it was not the customer's burden to know how they work.

Each of my transactions went through this time.

A 2 minute transaction took 15 minutes because I knew more than the manager. Story of my life.

Walgreens: train your staff on FSA transactions. There are too many other stores I can spend my pre-taxed dollars in.

Friday, August 11, 2017

IKEA- One Banana Didn't Spoil the Bunch

This will be brief and to the point. Our family ended up in the new IKEA in Polaris on Father's Day somehow. Wasn't planned. Just sort of happened that way. As we stepped into the building, I was immediately drawn in by the low prices, organized showroom, and hustle and bustle of 30 somethings who looked like they knew exactly how it all worked.

While everyone whipped around us with their weird looking carts, we crept through the large warehouse, hoping we didn't get lost.

But of course we did.

It didn't take long to find someone in a blue shirt to help us. I explained to her that we needed help getting back to the front of the store. In an irritated and frustrated voice (yes, both) she basically asked if we were stupid, "Do you know how you came in? Just go back that way."

Blank stare.

We proceeded to explain to her that if we knew how to just go back the way we came, we wouldn't be lost. She angrily put down whatever item she was stocking and proceeded to speed walk to the route we needed to take. In her fury she left us in the dust. We became separated by a crowd as she faded into a sea of shoppers.

Thankfully we bumped into another employee who had already helped us earlier. She asked were we okay. We explained the situation and were kindly escorted to the entrance. She was our IKEA angel.

Overall, we liked IKEA and even made a purchase that day. We plan to eat at their restaurant during our next visit.

Pros: Immaculate showroom,  low prices, better than expected quality
Cons:  None. One banana didn't spoil the bunch... this time.

Are These Businesses Taking Advantage of Kids?

We've had this incident happen 3 times at 3 different retailers. Cashiers appearing to take advantage of our teen daughter when she shops alone.

Our daughter was dining at Rusty Bucket with some friends. When it was time to pay her bill she gave the waitress, let's say $10. She was supposed to receive .20 cents back. The waitress told her, "We aren't able to give coins back as change."  Apparently, all of her friends were told this.

What? Excuse me?

My daughter came home and told us what happened, just as a regular part of her story of how dinner was with her friends. Apparently teens these days don't care much about change. I overheard a mother talking about how her daughter throws her leftover change on the ground, like trash.

Well we're teaching our child the value of a coin and we explained to her that people are required to give her change back, even if it's a penny.

We called Rusty Bucket and spoke with a manager. She was very sympathetic and offered us a free meal the next time we came by. Unfortunately, this happened to our daughter more than once at this same establishment and her friends complained that it happened to them frequently.

Another incident involved Aldi grocery store. Our daughter was buying something and when it was time to get change back, you guessed it. The cashier asked if she wanted it back! By this point, our daughter knew enough to look at the cashier like she was crazy, and she politely held out her hand to receive her just due.

We never called to complain about that one.

This last incident involved tax free shopping day. We purchased several items from the discount store, Five Below, with no problem. The transaction was smooth and no tax was charged. When we sent our daughter in for something else, a few hours later, she was charged tax! We literally couldn't believe it.  We had to go back into the store and go through the hassle of a refund. No apology. No explanation at all.

We wish we could say this has taught our daughter to pay attention to her transactions, but she still comes out of stores with the wrong change way too often. We're not sure if businesses are taking advantage of her youth or her absent mindedness. That will all change, as soon as it's her own money she's spending and not ours.  We're certain.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Cap City Diner--TO GO!

We have eaten at Cap City before, but it was many years ago. I don't recall being very impressed with it even then. The meatloaf was over priced but the carrot cake was better than average. So, recently my family and I found ourselves at the mercy of Cap City once again, due to a gift card we recently won. 

We decided to place a to-go order. I researched their menu online before calling to make sure we were charged appropriately for our meals and that it came with everything it was supposed to (for some reason restaurants don't like to tell you how much your to-go order will be until you pick it up and they also seem to leave out certain items that come with your meal). 

Our order came with 4 drinks, which the young lady did not mention when she read our order back to me. When I questioned her, she said that it did NOT come with drinks. When I informed her that drinks were mentioned on their website, she asked what kind of drink I wanted (instead of apologizing).

I asked her why she told me that it did NOT come with drinks and she said she didn't know, and admitted that she was wrong. I didn't press the issue any further but was slightly aggrevated. We picked up our food, which was ready promptly on a crowded Friday night. The burgers were thick and tender and the fries were warm. No complaints about the food quality.

Pros: food was okay, but not up to "Mitchell's" standards
Cons: Staff needs to be more familiar with the menu