Here is a story about one time when I was one of those customers that the associates groan about for an hour after you leave. I felt so bad! So, I have a long history with Express. I worked there for 2 years, have the Express card, always liked the store.
One day I saw a sale going on, and it had been a really long time since I bought any clothes. I was in desperate need of new jeans, and their BOGO 50% off was a perfect excuse. Even though I was pretty broke, I went armed with a coupon and my Express card, knowing I could pay off my purchases within 2 months. So I spent a good hour finding the right jeans, and decided to add a couple clearance shirts too. The associates were along with me the whole time, spending lots of time helping me with sizes and colors.
It was finally time to check out, my total was a healthy $100...and whoops- my Express card isn't swiping. I was not surprised, since I had not used the card in 2 years and it was super old. No problem, the cashier said, I will just call it in. Ohh man...at this point I was already holding up the line and I know that a cashier's tolerance decreases by about 90% as soon as they have to "call something in".
Well a 10-minute phone call later, and it turns out my account is NOT active, they have to reactivate it, but that means you cannot use your card today...it will take 7-10 days. AHHHH. I had no other way to pay for it...so I had to abandon! The dreaded "cancel transaction"!! The sales girl who helped me was giving me dagger-eyes!! I apologized 100 times and said how embarrassed I was, promised I'd be back as soon as my account activated and that I'd remember her name so she'd get credit for the sale.
Oh wait...this story actually happened today. And there's no way I'll be back- my embarrassment will definitely keep me away from shopping for a LONG time. This is probably the universe's way of telling me to not even THINK about buying clothes.