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More PALCB Fun

It seems the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, the state’s wine and liquor monopoly, is sending their employees to charm school:

Added bonus, Heyl finds in this week’s column that customer complaints have actually increased since the LCB sent its employees to Charm School, going from one complaint in every 324,000 liquor purchases, to one complaint in every 288,000 liquor purchases.
Say what?
Asked for an explanation, Joe Conti, the liquor board’s CEO, didn’t really give one.
“Eighty to 100 complaints is really so anecdotal that I don’t know that we’d use those as a barometer” of the [charm school] program’s success, he said. Contialso told Heyl that the courtesy training was part of an overall strategy “to provide our patrons with a superlative shopping experience … the (LCB) board felt strongly that we had to do this.”
Fair enough. But if you’re going to spend $173k in public funds, you usually have the right to demand that things get better. Or ask for your money back. If the LCB is serious about running itself as a business, it might want to start acting like one.

Recently a patron at our local LCB store became so irate, he threw a bottle through the window. I wonder if that was registered as a complaint? I grow increasingly tired of having to trek over to New Jersey to get any reasonable wine selection, or buy real top shelf liquor. I can’t believe we’ve been unable to create a constituency for privatizing the LCB in Pennsylvania.

5 Responses to “More PALCB Fun”

  1. Bob says:

    Not to mention that importing liquor from New Jersey may not be legal:

    http://noplcb.blogspot.com/2009/10/bringing-any-alcoholic-beverage-into.html

  2. mobo says:

    I can buy a bottle of Lagavulin in DE for under $60. The same bottle is just under $100 in PA, and it’s special order. Privatized or not, I refuse to py these prices when I can simply drive to another state for much more reasonable pricing.

  3. joated says:

    The liquor and beer distribtion system in this state really stinks. When you do have a liquor outlet nearby, it’s small and poorly stocked. Luckily, I’m close enough to the NY border–and the wine region of the Finger Lakes–that I can usually find what I want if I’m willing to make an afternoon out of it.

    Oh, and the PA folks will seldom hear a complaint from me only because I don’t shop there.

    • Bitter says:

      Hmm, you have a point, joated. Perhaps those of us who try to avoid shopping there should be complaining about their lack of selection and higher prices. There’s a form here that we can hit so we don’t even have to waste time and gas getting to a store. It’s not just about driving their numbers up, it’s really a silent majority finally saying something rather than just voting with our wallets which they can’t see.

  4. Laughingdog says:

    “I can’t believe we’ve been unable to create a constituency for privatizing the LCB in Pennsylvania.”

    I can’t believe that there’s an economic sector where New Jersey is superior to any of the states that surround it.

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