this isn't a knock on big box. that argument cannot be won by the most loyal steadfast diehard consumer on the planet. it simple economics, and as small towns across the land value supporting the little guy, the savings are just too great to compete.
a more scary reality of consumerism is the fact that literaly any commodity will soon be able to be purchased over the net, making almost all storefronts obselete. thats right, prices don't have to be marked up because there is no overhead in delivering them to the customer. click. purchase, deliver. no hassles, no fuss and no muss. pretty decent for the average consumer who has nary a second to spend with their kids, let a lone head to the shopping mall.
but thats not what irks me. what irks me is the same mentality is being utilized in the service industry where consumers come with their bartering chips in attemtps to drive down the price. people, the same tactics do not apply. while its understandible to expect bargain basement pricing (and sure there will always be someone who will bend to accommodate that), the quote goes something like this.
you get what you pay for.
and yes, you should care about what you are getting.
and yes, there is a difference between average / good and great and you likely know that.
so don't come to the service expecting the same big box bargain. decide what you want to spend, research what's out there for your price range, understand the differences and then make an informed decision.
the transition to big box comodity is understandible given the decreasing profit margin from an increasingly inept workforce, and related overhead factors but this will usher in better standards and practices for real "service".
it is at the point where we are able to systemize all service businesses you should start to worry about the direction of our lives.