Thursday, June 23, 2011

And I thought Joe Da CEO was clueless...

Check out this tone-deaf defense of the wine "kiosk" debacle by PLCB Chairman PJ Stapleton in today's Inquirer.So much amazing stuff here, like this: "it is worth remembering that Wegmans made an investment with full knowledge that the kiosk reached far outside the face-to-face customer service Wegmans was accustomed to providing." So it was Wegmans' fault that the "kiosks" were so far to the left on the customer service bell curve that you couldn't see them with binoculars; they knew that these machines were supposed to operate on their own and should not have been surprised by that. Got it, PJ! Wegmans is crazy! (Well, except...the "kiosks" didn't operate that well on their own, which is probably what surprised and eventually seriously disappointed Wegmans.)

More? How about this petulant foot-stamping: "The wine kiosk was evidence of innovation at its finest, something the wine and spirits industry had not seen before. This made it an easy target for criticism." It clearly was not "innovation at its finest," since it didn't work the way it was supposed to. It was a kludge, an ATM welded to a soda machine, bolted to a security camera, with a breathalyzer duct-taped on the front (note: that was sarcastic, and no actual duct tape is used in the "kiosks." I don't think so, anyway). That's what made it an easy target for criticism...which both Wegmans and the Inquirer recognized. Not to was unnecessary "innovation," since there's already modern technology available to do what the wine "kiosk" was supposed to do, and do it better: it's called shelves.

Then he winds up with this whiny crap: "...what we could use is fewer inaccurate political attacks and more productive discussion and action on behalf of all Pennsylvania consumers." First: not political. It's an unpopular bureaucracy. No politics involved. Second: not inaccurate. Wegmans said the "kiosks" didn't work and made their stores look bad. They demonstrably didn't work as advertised, and that definitely makes the stores look bad (not to mention, taking up valuable retail space while they weren't working).

Finally, what would be "more productive discussion"? They give PJ space with a straight face, and that's not the first time the PLCB has been allowed on the editorial page. The PLCB doesn't want to discuss this, they want to keep doing what they're doing. Sorry, no longer on the agenda. Privatization hearings are coming, PJ: put on your dancing shoes.

And be sure to read the comments. Wow. Hope these people write their reps with anger like that.


Anonymous said...

I have it on pretty decent authority that PJ will not be kept on as Chairman once his term is up.

Chuck Cowdery said...

In other words, "Wegman's knew it sucked when they put it in." Nice!