The Crime: “Shopping While Black”?

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Photo Creds L-R:( Trayon Christian)NY Daily News, Barneys.com, (Juelz Santana “AY!”) SplashySpash.com

The Cliff’s Notes: In a recent article, a 19 year-old African American college freshman, Trayon Christian, was arrested for purchasing a $350 belt from Barneys- under (the cashier’s) suspicion that he could not afford it.  The clerk asked for ID, believed  it was false, then called the police. Trayon was then taken to the local precinct.  Despite producing all the identifying documentation in his wallet, the cops called Chase Bank to further prove that the card belonged to Trayon. Once Chase confirmed, he was released. Trayon returned he belt out of disgust for his treatment and vows never to shop there again. He is suing NYPD and Barneys for unspecified damages. The article also mentions that Trayon saved up several paychecks to buy the belt that he saw worn by rapper Juelz Santana.

 

Let’s talk about it: Judgement and Values

Shame on the Barney’s associate for prejudging the young man AND calling the police even when he showed proper identification. Where does it say in the employee handbook that even when a customer shows a government issued ID, call the cops? The clerk took it upon him/herself to accuse this young man of fraud- WAY out of line. They made a judgement on the young man, primarily because of his ethnicity. Everyone knows if a young white man did the same thing, it would not have involved the police. That’s the ugly truth.

Shame on the young man trying to keep up with the joneses and splurging. I’m sorry that he experienced this treatment but there’s still a lesson here. He was inspired by a rapper- a rapper who doesn’t have to “save up” for luxurious items.  What’s the difference between the Gap belt, the Ferragamo belt in Barneys? The label, the endorsement and about $325. He was chasing the dream that many of our youth chase- which usually involves something a celebrity did, wore, said in a song, etc. Trayon is a bright young man with a bright future ahead of him, but he needs to reevaluate his values- particularly around money. I bet that $350 could help pay for some college books, no?

 

The takeaway: Shop where your patronage is appreciated.  One bad seed does not reflect the whole (both ways). Realign your values to fit your actual lifestyle. Or conversely, create a lifestyle that matches your values. Teach young people how, where and why to spend their money- which means leading by example.

Technical Difficulties

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We recently detected an issue with our app and understand that some people may be experiencing difficulties seeing the business listings. We are working to fix the issue and hope to have it resolved ASAP.

 

All is not lost. The businesses that have been added (web or app) are still in the app. They’re just not appearing in the list/map view- but they’re there!  Users can still search for businesses by name and save them to favorites in the interim.

 

We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience as we resolve this issue.

 

-Janine Hausif

CEO | Around the Way App

If You See Something, Say Something

bad service

Have you ever run to your local coffee shop for your morning cup of joe and the hours of operation on the glass door say they SHOULD be open yet they’re no where to be found?  Or have you ever moseyed into your neighborhood restaurant for a nice quiet dinner and received subpar service?

As a consumer we have expectations- and rightfully so. We expect the business to be open on time, the waiter to be pleasant, the food to come out in a timely fashion, the item to be in stock, the event to start on time- to name a few.  When these things don’t happen, it’s like a breach in the unwritten “business/customer contract.” You automatically feel that you nor your patronage are appreciated. This can translate into a myriad of reactions. I won’t waste time on the useless/negative reactions, I’ll shed light on the useful/constructive ones.

The next time you experience subpar service here’s what you can do:

Say something…

Kindly tell the manager (or owner if he/she is available) that you did not enjoy your experience and explain why.  Say all of this to someone who matters- someone who can affect change. No one cares more about your patronage than THAT person.

Write something…

Take it old school. If there are comment cards, write a comment. They have these comment cards because they actually want your feedback. Give it to them. You can go as far as writing a formal email, letter, or online review. Business owners read these.  Some of them respond, as well.

The moral of the story is it’s a business’s responsibility to meet or exceed your expectations. If this doesn’t happen, it is your responsibility to tell them when they haven’t; otherwise, how else will they know? This is groupthink at it’s best/worst. Tell someone who matters. Get to the core of the issue, sans the emotions. A heated discussion distracts from the facts. The fact of the matter is that you had an unpleasant experience.

Let’s face it, in today’s economy, customers are hard to come by for some businesses. Losing one can make a big difference. As a consumer, you have more power than you think. Understand that power. Understand that your voice matters when you express it in a constructive way.

MESSAGE: Be heard. Don’t let your message fall on deaf ears.

The Accelerate with Google Partner Summit held last week in Mountain View, California was a huge success…

The Accelerate with Google Partner Summit held last week in Mountain View, California was a huge success! Thanks to all our wonderful partners who attended and to our special guest speakers, including Google CFO +Patrick Pichette. There were great panels, presentations and conversations covering a variety of topics including: creating access to minority businesses, evangelizing our communities, and celebrating our partners. 

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