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How Fucked-up is the LCBO?

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By @paddockjudge @paddockjudge on 25th Jul 2018, show post

Replies: page 8/8

@Hewie
Hewie replied

@Hewie whoops - not sure what happened with that last message. Gremlins at work in my phone methinks laughing

19 days ago 0

@fiddich1980
fiddich1980 replied

A contrarian view point on How Fucked Up is The LCBO:

As @paddockjudge's thread states "Share your tales of woe, concerns, outrage, bewilderment ..."

From the LCBO side:

  • screwy inventory

  • atrocious lack of production knowledge (beer, wine, spirits)

  • poor customer service from both on-line customer service reps. to poorly trained floor staff

  • their inability to co-ordinate product releases

  • a flaky APP and Website (@Nozinan clear your cache)

  • the shady dealings of management and agents

  • messed up warehousing and logistical system

  • piss poor product pricing

  • avoidance and inability to answer basic customer questions, "why do you recommend this The Macallan?"

  • or (from myself) having to inform a sales rep. about a wine or spirit (flavour profile and uniqueness) because he/she doesn't drink alcoholic beverages

  • the dirty condescending looks when you return a product, you know "why do I have go through the bureaucracy of processing your return"

  • inability to co-ordinate policy regarding product purchase limits on product releases

  • ghost product listings

Observations and Recommendations:

I've had the luxury of being at home the last few weeks with a bit of a health issue. I've been keeping a look out for a few products which have been released. Laphroaig Cairdeas Triple Wood was released a few days ago in stores maybe a case of six bottles to about ten stores. They sold out quickly. Then the following day over 120 bottles released on line and few more store releases. The 120 on-line were sold out by noon. Day three, saw another 62 bottles on-line and a few more store releases. The on line sold out by noon.

Another product I was watching came up on line and sold out within minutes. This is not an isolated occurrence @BlueNote experiences with the BC Spirit Release and @cricklewood's experiences are similar - products that sellout the minute once released for sale.

It was rather bewildering. Who do I blame for this manic whisky craze? In the words of the NHL Nashville Predator Fans "It's all your Fault".

How to increase your chances of getting a limited release bottle:

Those on Connosr(geographically close) start forming relationships with fellow members and co-ordinate purchases and product information among your cliche. Yes, it's not about exploiting them besides, you may never get invited to another tasting. All trades are fair and reciprocal.

If your a lone wolf take @Nock's policy regarding ECBP "don't leave any on the shelf". Someone is always willing to pick up spares in your possession. If not return it to the LCBO as a last resort.

5 days ago 5Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote replied

@fiddich1980 It's like deja vu all over again. You could easily substitute BC Liquor Stores for LCBO.

The whole business with the almost instant sellouts on these special releases has a bad smell. On the day of the annual Spirit Release, they opened the major stores at 5:00am. By 8:am anything of note and/or affordable was sold out. Rumour has it that much of it has already been appropriated for restaurants and bars. This, even though they state that nothing will be sold or held before opening time on the first day of the sale. If you don't live in Metro Vancouver and aren't willing to camp out half the night before, you are pretty much S.O.L.

5 days ago 3Who liked this?

@fiddich1980
fiddich1980 replied

@BlueNote I hate to say this in public but, you don't follow me on Connosr:

If I were to strategically buy from the BC Spirit release it would not be in Vancouver. I would book an overnight stay in Victoria and hit the BC Liquor Store on Fort Street. I think there would be less competition.

5 days ago 2Who liked this?

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge replied

@fiddich1980, well said. That is quite the précis of LCBO performance..... they do get it right once in a while, but not often enough for me to start a thread “ How Great is that LCBO!”

5 days ago 4Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote replied

@fiddich1980 I'll rectify the follow situation right now. Somehow I thought we followed each other.

Good point about getting out of Vancouver for the Spirit Release. I should have thought of Victoria as I have friends over there. We don't live in Vancouver, we are on the Sunshine Coast which is still on the mainland, but accessed by ferry. That's what makes it difficult to get a look in on the Spirit Release offerings. BC Liquor Board really couldn't care less about us outlanders.

5 days ago 2Who liked this?

@cricklewood
cricklewood replied

@fiddich1980 that's a precise summary of the major issues with the LCBO.

Through the lens of the disastrous LCBO I have come into a new appreciation of the SAQ, there's still plenty to complain about but I have come to appreciate the little things I took for granted.

It still blows my mind how little spirits/wine training the LCBO provides as well as the lack of sampling options in stores other than the few which have a tasting bar.

5 days ago 4Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

I have to say I was impressed when I went to the Crossroads branch of the LCBO to return 5 bottles in exchange for 2 they had listed as available.

The agent refused service to someone ahead of me not because he was under 19, he looked mid to late 20s, but because the ID was fake. I was really worried that she would find something wrong with my ID but she accepted it, and had some trouble with a couple of bottles listed but not in stock (the packaging might have changed) but got someone to help her and took care of everything. Courteous and professional.

Why do I bring this up? Not to refute anything @fiddich1980 or @paddockjudge have written, but to point out that if competent service sticks out in my memory, there's a reason for it...

5 days ago 5Who liked this?

@fiddich1980
fiddich1980 replied

@Nozinan I am sympathetic to the floor staff at the LCBO. They are civil servants working 5 hour shifts and are barely getting ends to meet.

The post was about just how crazy and manic the demand for "limited releases" has become. The LCBO is par for the course "It not their fault". We're (Ontarions) are getting what we pay for when it comes to the LCBO. The fault is ours. Anyone who wants a special release bottle needs to start hunting for those bottles pro-actively and in concert with like minded people. This is what sites like reddit and connosr have the potential to become. Maybe more social and interactive than what was previously possible.

5 days ago 5Who liked this?

@talexander
talexander replied

@Nozinan He was probably under 19 - otherwise, why would he have fake ID?

4 days ago 1Who liked this?

@talexander
talexander replied

@fiddich1980 I'm sympathetic to the staff as well, but any retailer - especially one that is a monopoly - should feel more responsibility to properly serve their customer base. As a film distributor, I deal with Cineplex on a daily basis, and ever since they became a monopoly they have been more and more difficult to deal with; and I know a lot of people who feel they are better served by independent cinemas who work harder to please their customer base.

4 days ago 3Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor replied

Yes, I see that obtaining the special release whiskies in Canada is very much already going the way of obtaining Pappy Van Winkle. This I saw coming with the first release of Lot 40 CS and the first release of the Northern Border Collection. I then gave it 2 to 5 years to develop. It has been 2 years at this point. Getting the high end bottles was so much easier 10 years ago when only @paddockjudge was buying them.

Next step: masses of irate customers making demands of the politically controlled monopoly distribution systems. Step after that: all limited release bottles by lottery.

Carpe diem. Get them now if you can. You are now in about 2012 in the US for BTAC and Van Winkle. By 2014 the odds on obtaining any of these became "slim and none".

And, it was in the third quarter of 2012 when the prices of Van Winkle and the BTAC whiskeys went vertical on the secondary market price charts. .

4 days ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

@Victor speaking of BTACs. This was advertised on radio in Calgary. 200 people showed up (including 4 people associated to me) at one location and were given raffle tickets. By the time my BIL’s number was drawn everything good had been distributed. But at least it was fair.

The store is selling Lag 16 for under $100 as well. Great compared to KGBO.

4 days ago 1Who liked this?

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@Victor
Victor replied

@Nozinan this is the sad state of current affairs. I remember seeing about 7 bottles of Van Winkle 12 yo sitting on the shelf at Summerhill in Toronto in about 2011. At the time I thought to myself, "These Canadians do not know what this is. If this were the US these would be gone within a day's time, and there would be zero bottles of Van Winkle 12 on that shelf." At the time I didn't want more of them enough to buy any of the bottles. With what I know now I would have bought them for later barter.

4 days ago 1Who liked this?

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