Author Topic: Need some help with email comment/complaint to grocery store..  (Read 5743 times)

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Danika

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Re: Need some help with email comment/complaint to grocery store..
« Reply #15 on: December 31, 2013, 05:01:44 AM »
As a (small) business owner, I would want the feedback. Then, I could decide if I liked the suggestions or didn't care to do anything about it.

So I definitely do think you should send a letter, and mention Mark by name, and then the managers can decide if they think many customers might feel as you do and if they want to do something about it or if it's not a big issue to them.

Danika

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Re: Need some help with email comment/complaint to grocery store..
« Reply #16 on: December 31, 2013, 05:06:33 AM »
Personally, here's what I'd write. Just my 2 cents. Additions are in green.


I have a been a customer at your GroceryStore for X years. Generally, I'm pleased with the service and happy to shop there.  <== start on a good note, butter them up a bit, indicate that they've made $$ off you in the past and for a long time so they don't want to lose you as a customer

I am writing to express disappointment with the customer service at my local GroceryStore on a shopping trip tonight.

I went to GroceryStore at Location. I arrived there around 11:30 PM, and shopped for about an hour. As I'm preparing for a holiday meal tomorrow, and bought a few last minute gifts, I had a full cart when I got to the checkout lanes at around 12:40 AM.

I looked for an open lane, but the only lanes open were the self checkout lanes. While I don't mind using the self checkouts if I have a smaller order, I really do not like using them as they frequently can't read things and I find them frustrating. I asked the employee who was overseeing the self checkouts, a middle aged man named Mark, if someone could open a regular lane, since I had a full cart. His response was that there weren't any regular lanes open, and I would have to use the self checkout. I expressed concern that I wouldn't be able to fit all of my items in the small bagging area. To this, he responded, "Oh sure you can.. I do it all the time. You can take your bags off of the turnstile and put them over there." (pointing to the extra space, which is still small). He then turned around and walked back to his register.

Since I did not want to waste the hour I had spent shopping in your store, or go to another store and redo my shopping at that hour, I went ahead and started checking my groceries. It ended up taking me about 10 minutes to get all of my groceries checked and bagged, and I did have to stack several bags and items on top of each other in the bagging area because there wasn't enough room.

At no time did Mark come back and offer to help, he stayed at the front of the checkouts talking to another employee.
I do realize that shopping late at night comes with some minor inconveniences such as aisles being blocked by stock carts or littered with packing boxes, and some departments being closed. I do not expect poor customer service such as this, especially when I had asked for assistance in getting a lane open and was refused.

I would like to know if it is company policy that only self checkouts are available at certain times/hours. If it is, I would suggest that this be posted at the entrance of the store so that customers can make the decision whether to stay and shop. I would not have stayed, or at best I would have bought much less, if I had known I'd be checking my own groceries.
I spent $247.76 on this shopping trip, and had 72 items. I have to say that having to check out this order myself has not left me inclined to return to this store.

Aunt4God

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Re: Need some help with email comment/complaint to grocery store..
« Reply #17 on: December 31, 2013, 05:29:33 AM »
I'm with those who don't think this is a valid complaint. You were shopping at gone midnight and I don't think you can expect the same level of service at that hour.

But.. why not? It's not as though they were doing me a favor by letting me in. They are a 24 hour grocery store. Sure, the pharmacy and deli and meat counter are closed, but the hours are posted out front so I know ahead of time. I don't really get why the service should be expected to be less just because it's late.
Going back to my Denny's example.. would you be okay with being asked to bus your own table because it is 3 AM and they didn't staff a busboy?

I just don't think it's a reasonable expectation, given that the store is going to be far quieter overnight. A business isn't going to pay people to sit or stand around on the tills all night on the offchance someone comes in at 3am and doesn't want to use the self-checkout.

They're not supposed to just stand around, doing nothing all night.  Most large chain stores' 3rd shift cashiers are responsible to clean the front end between customers.  This includes all, and I mean all, register's conveyer belts, the front manager's office, the service desk, the U-scan, and any little hallways in the area.  Also, if properly staffed, the one I worked at made us go out and push carts in, instead of having a dedicated cart boy.  We were also the last security defense, so we had to be constantly alert and watching for suspicious activity.  Third shift cashiering involves way more than just ringing up customer's purchases.

POF

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Re: Need some help with email comment/complaint to grocery store..
« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2013, 06:31:22 AM »
If they advertise open 24 hours, I would expect a cashier line to be open.  I think it is a valid complaint.

If their policy is no cashier at certain hours - they should note that. 

I disagree that late night shopping should expect a decline in customer service.  They advertise it to pull in customers, they should provide routine / customary service.




Craftymom

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Re: Need some help with email comment/complaint to grocery store..
« Reply #19 on: December 31, 2013, 06:47:54 AM »
I have had the same experience with our local Big Box 24-hour store.
Once in awhile, I have gone to pick up say, Dayquil or a couple of non-perishables before work so that I don't have to stop in to a crazy store on my way home. I mean, a handful of items tops, so no full carts.

They have now instituted a policy that between 12-6 ONLY the self-checks are open. For whatever reason, I am woefully incapable of completing an order with a self-check station without help. They seriously go wonky on me EVERY time. I feel like I am at a slot machine in Vegas with noised emenating from the machine that ends up requiring a key to fix, whenever I can get the attention of the attendant to rouse themselves to assist.
I have experienced the same, the self-check guardian will chat up others or disappear completely while I am there struggling.

The guardians are usually also pretty smarmy about how "easy" it is to operate, then scold me if they have to help on ANYthing and are forced to leave their chatting post to you know, actually work.

I told the last skater punk looking young man with his striped cap ( as politely as I could), that I needed to express as a customer that it plain was not worth coming in to shop during these hours to save me time, to essentially end up taking 2-3 times as long in the long run at the checkout. He was unimpressed. I now do not visit that store during those hours under any circumstances.

BarensMom

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Re: Need some help with email comment/complaint to grocery store..
« Reply #20 on: December 31, 2013, 06:50:29 AM »
I can just see the OP trying to stack bag upon bag at the self-check and the bags toppling over - what a potential mess!  And the two employees just standing around chatting while OP is trying to do this - not good.

At our local Lucky's the opposite is true - after a certain time, all self-checkout machines are closed and there is one manned checkout lane open. 

Belle

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Re: Need some help with email comment/complaint to grocery store..
« Reply #21 on: December 31, 2013, 08:58:05 AM »
Like Amylouky, I would be somewhat upset if I purchased a full cart of groceries only to find that only self-checkout was available. The self-checkout at several of the larger stores near me are not designed for larger orders - there isn't room to stack more than two bags, before you have to start juggling putting bags back into the cart while still trying to take food out of the cart.

And with a larger order, having a cashier is almost always quicker. I always inevitably have an item that won't scan, or won't scan at the right price, etc., etc. At the self-checkout you have to desperately wait for the one cashier who's attending to 5+ self-checkouts, all of whom are also having problems. If you're going through a cashier, they know how to fix the problem and you don't have to fight for their attention.

I can understand if it's the store's policy, but as AmyLouky said, I would want to know beforehand. I wouldn't do a full shopping trip late at night if it means self-checkout.

NutellaNut

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Re: Need some help with email comment/complaint to grocery store..
« Reply #22 on: December 31, 2013, 09:02:45 AM »
I think it is a valid complaint and I like Danika's wording changes.  If the store is open 24 hours, a cashier is a minimum level of service to be expected.  As the OP says, it's not like the deli or pharmacy where special hours are posted.

What is a disabled person supposed to do in this situation?  If it had been me, with my hand problems, I would have had to leave the cart and go shopping elsewhere.  There's no way I could have dealt with a 72-item order at a self-checkout.

Like some others, I think the problem really was Mark.  I rather doubt that the actual policy is to not have any cashiers at all.  I suspect it was an issue of break time or someone called off, and Mark just didn't want to go to extra trouble calling the someone up to open a till.  But once he saw the size of the cart the OP had, he should have been assisting in some way or another.  At least, he should have been attentive, overridden the system when the bag area was full, and helped her get the bags into another cart.

OP, I say go ahead and write that letter.

Miss Unleaded

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Re: Need some help with email comment/complaint to grocery store..
« Reply #23 on: December 31, 2013, 09:20:06 AM »
Personally I love self checkout, but I agree with AmyLouky that hers is a valid complaint.  If they don't have a manned checkout at certain hours, this should be posted somewhere obvious before customers enter.  A lot of people don't like to use them, or cannot use them because of a disability or something.  Also, often they're not designed for large purchases.

At the very least, Mark should have picked up on the OP's reluctance and either opened a checkout (if possible) or helped her manage her purchase on the self checkout.  It's just bad customer service.

I like Danika's changes.  My only concern with the original letter is that it's way too long and personal and the message is diluted by irrelevancies.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2013, 09:23:16 AM by Miss Unleaded »

perpetua

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Re: Need some help with email comment/complaint to grocery store..
« Reply #24 on: December 31, 2013, 09:24:49 AM »
Personally I love self checkout, but I agree with AmyLouky that hers is a valid complaint.  If they don't have a manned checkout at certain hours, this should be posted somewhere obvious before customers enter.  A lot of people don't like to use them, or cannot use them because of a disability or something.  Also, often they're not designed for large purchases.


Oh yeah, no argument there - I don't like them myself because they're really awkward with the crutches. But I don't necessarily think it's bad to operate them instead of full checkouts overnight, as long as there's someone on hand to help in the event of problems - who hasn't used a self-checkout and got the 'unexpected item in bagging error' message being shouted at them? :) I don't really see this as something that has to be advertised (although it's a nice courtesy if it is). They probably don't think someone's going to do a full shop in the middle of the night; the core of their business at that time is probably people popping in for one or two things, for which they're perfectly appropriate.

Girlie

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Re: Need some help with email comment/complaint to grocery store..
« Reply #25 on: December 31, 2013, 09:33:34 AM »
I used to work the overnight shift in a grocery store, and the transition from having one regular lane open to the policy of only having the self-checkout lanes opened was a pain for me.

Moving within the same chain, but to two different stores, the nighttime policy was ALWAYS that if someone came through with a larger-than-average order, the cashier was supposed to assist in any and every way possible. Depending on how many people were in the store at the time, this could mean actually doing the scanning for the customer (to completely override the scales, we had a handheld device), assisting the customer in loading up already-bagged items into a second cart in order to make room for more, or just making sure that we were watching carefully and could enter barcodes or override scales as necessary.
That being said, I think a letter about the level of customer-service provided at night is not out of the question. Either the store's policies or the cashier's desire to be helpful need some work.

The cashier was probably being truthful about not being able to run a register, though. It was a corporate matter when I was a cashier, not a store-level issue. If you try to address THAT part as being the more serious infraction, you're not likely to get anywhere. I recommend staying on the topic of your desiring a better level of customer-service, and feel free to add in the suggestions that I gave. Maybe the store will adopt them.  :-\

perpetua

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Re: Need some help with email comment/complaint to grocery store..
« Reply #26 on: December 31, 2013, 09:36:53 AM »
The cashier was probably being truthful about not being able to run a register, though. It was a corporate matter when I was a cashier, not a store-level issue. If you try to address THAT part as being the more serious infraction, you're not likely to get anywhere. I recommend staying on the topic of your desiring a better level of customer-service, and feel free to add in the suggestions that I gave. Maybe the store will adopt them.  :-\

Yes, this is kind of what I meant when I said I didn't think it was a valid complaint. Expecting them to open a checkout just for you (you general) or complaining that they had plenty of shelf-stackers who could have done so isn't valid, because you don't know their level of training or the store's policy. But pointing out that the checkout guy didn't help with the order is probably reasonable.

Jones

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Re: Need some help with email comment/complaint to grocery store..
« Reply #27 on: December 31, 2013, 09:52:19 AM »
Once at my local grocery store, a worker in the self checkout area directed me to self checkout as lines were long. When I expressed concern with "bad luck" using those machines she said she'd check me through, and did! Did the self checkout and bagging herself, and cheerfully left me to pay.

That is the type of customer service I would expect in a quiet time, not employee. Standing and chatting while I struggled. OP, give the store your valuable feedback, please.

lowspark

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Re: Need some help with email comment/complaint to grocery store..
« Reply #28 on: December 31, 2013, 09:58:10 AM »
I think you should have gone over Mark's head and asked for the store manager then and there. I can really see not having a cashier on duty at that time of night as I'm guessing the bulk of their business is people coming in to pick up a few items with very few (if any, on any given night) actually doing a full cart's worth. So having a cashier standing around manning a lane is probably counter-productive.

However, once you asked, they should  have opened a register for you or at least helped you in some other way. To me, the real infraction occurs when Mark gives you the brush off, essentially saying, "that's the way it is, you're on your own."

And honestly, that's what I'd be complaining about loudest in the letter. He should have helped you in some way, or gotten someone else to. But again, I would have asked for the manager immediately if I'd been treated that way, regardless of time of day.

Peppergirl

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Re: Need some help with email comment/complaint to grocery store..
« Reply #29 on: December 31, 2013, 10:37:52 AM »
I agree with the PP's who stated that it was really Mark's attitude that would have done it for me. 

I would have easily just sucked it up and gone to the self check out and wouldn't have complained, but then to have to witness him standing there chit chatting?  *That* would have gotten my goat a bit.  He could have at least helped her bag or something. 

I work for a company that's 24-7, and actually work graveyard.  We are given tasks to do during the down time.  My company does, however, insist upon operating with a support staff (IT dept, for example) who keep bankers hours.  If our computers go down during the night, there's no one to call upon to help.  This is not fair to the customers, but it's the customer who suffers. 

Point is, if you're going to offer a service and shout it from the roof tops like a benefit, then you damned well better have staff to keep things running smoothly during those times.