I am sure your post resonates with many people here. The days when such techniques as those you describe were acceptable (if ever they were) are over. One thing all consumers have learned from the internet is that they have a wide choice when it comes to buying pretty well anything, and they don't have to walk the streets to exercise it.
High street retailers know it, or they should, and they must react accordingly or die. Big stores are now only viable for companies like B&Q and cash & carry operations.
Amazon has transformed the way we buy things, and there's no going back.