Monday, January 12, 2009

"America And The Death of Customer Service!"

I was in this major grocery store, right around Thanksgiving, and never had I gotten so angry as I was in there. I walked in for one item. My Wife wanted some macaroni salad so I walked over to the deli and waited. I was there with an Elder who having grabbed a Rotisserie Chicken was waiting to ask the deli clerk for a deli bag so his hands would not burn as he waited in the line to pay.

We waited and waited. Finally, the deli clerk, clearly a high school er, walked up to serve the elder. The Elder asked for the deli bag and he said No! We don't give deli bags for items that have not been paid for yet." He wasn't mean, but he wasn't nice either.

I chimed in " Excuse me but he's an old man and there are at least a hundred people waiting in the lines." I am not making that up! "You gonna let this old man's hands burn? You see that line!"

The young clerk held the company line. Was he wrong? He was quoting policy! Yeah, he was wrong! That Elder probably won't come back and he will have a bad taste in his mouth and tell others. Whatever Money the store may have saved was nullified by the ill feelings.

I got my item and a some mustard potato salad and went to wait in line. The Elder got a plastic shopping bag and insulated his hands. There were about eight grocery lines open. All full!

There were about three self serve lanes open. They were full, one with a lady who was arguing the price of an item with the manager and self scanning WIC items. WIC, Women, Infants and Children. It's a state program, very helpful, but you have to be precise on every aspect of it. The right foods, the right sizes, every card must have the right signature. Now, even the self serve is blocked with ten people with full baskets, waiting!

I left those deli salads and got the heck on. Later that evening I went to the same store in a more affluent neighborhood. Plenty of lines, courteous clerks and checkers with out the aggravation. So what happened?

I have a theory! We settled. The stores began to charge us more and we dealt with it. They began to break the grocery unions by reducing the amount of hours, two tiered pay and closing lanes. It helped them to maximize profit and minimize labor. They made commercials promising low prices! LOW PRICES!

The prices have never been low. They conned us with double coupons or some club memberships.

They open six lines when they should have at least 11 lanes open during rush hours in order to alleviate overcrowding, they eliminated baggers, you gotta bag your own. But most of all they eliminated customer service. The grocery chains don't give a flying monkey flip about you!

The Grocery Chains have consolidated and merged! Prices high, service low!

The Unions are all but broken! Prices high! Service Low! Labor low paid!

They just want to see how long we will put up with it!

Is the store the cleanest? No!

Is the produce the best? No!

Is it easy to get out and affordable? Hell No!

So why do we go there? Cause we've been trained to accept less! To accept poor quality and even worse treatment. The difference is the affluent are not asked to take less or accept bad service. They are affluent right? Well, I'm working class but I refuse to take crap! Good Service is not a commodity reserved for the affluent. It should be the standard. It used to be the standard.

No More! Pick up one of them surveys and write in. Tell them to hire more baggers and more checkers and let em know You will go somewhere else.

It can and will work!

BE Careful! BE Mindful! BE Prayerful!


Miss.Stefanie said...

That is such a shame...I am a SURVEY TAKER! I will complain until I am blue in the face and I dont give a rats ass. If the service/.store/or workers are unpleasant I will speak up. I will cause a ruckus! Sometimes my friends are so embarrassed but I am so serious. I refuse to settle.

I have such a big mouth....but I refuse to take any kind of crap from people who are servicing me or others.

Big mouth Stefanie! :) and I aint ashamed and very proud of my big mouth and survey taking! lol

I guess now you know how I feel...Hahaha!

Athena Christine. said...

man, i hate when it gets like that in stores. it's uncalled for. we're the ones who help make that check since we shop there dammit! lol.

Miss.Fortune said...

I agree..I've always wondered whatever happened to baggers..
I am a receptionist/sales assistant in a hair yes i have to ring up customers who purchase hair products..I've been there for 2 yrs and treat them all with respect..ESPECIALLY the elderly..even if I'm having a bad day i dont bring that to work. Common courtesy is what I'm good the ppl like me..
I begin to notice change when the debit/credit machines begin to make the customers do all the work..we no longer touch or see the cards unless we match up I.D's but its like they came in for a service and have to do all the work!