"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." ~ Benjamin Franklin

Hy Vee Customer Service- A Love Letter (Kind Of)

>> Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Yesterday was a. bad. day. It started off bad and never fully recovered. So by the time we made it to the grocery store (around 4pm) I would have been much better off closing the blinds on all the windows and wallowing in the dark until Doug got home.

But... We needed groceries. So off we went.

The free cookies from the Hy Vee bakery didn't last long and soon the girls were whining about "Out. Want to walk, Mommy." and "I want a drink of water." Ugh. I muttered something about selling them but was told by a woman coming my way that she wouldn't buy them. I said that I didn't blame her.

After what felt like much more than an hour in the store we were in the parking lot loading the groceries.

Now, if you've been reading this blog for any time at all you know that I take my own bags to the store. Not to be environmentally friendly but because I hate plastic bags. And you know how annoyed I get when people can't bag my groceries.

So as I was loading the groceries into the car I saw two things that just topped my day.

  1. The sackers put some of my groceries in plastic bags. Which wouldn't have set me off if they hadn't left a couple of the bags I brought inside another bag I took. Yep, a few of my items were triple bagged in heavy reuseable bags.
  2. My milk, which I had requested not be bagged, was in a bag with two glass containers of salsa and a loaf of bread. These items were bagged early and were on the bottom of my cart. You can imagine how my bread fared.

Well, this took me over the edge. As the girls were both in the car and in the process of melt downs I was calling the grocery store from the parking lot. And I fully expected someone to come out to me.

Fortunately for me (and quite unfortunately for him) an employee happened to walk by. I snapped my phone shut and said, quite loudly, "Are you a manager?"

To which he replied,"Yes".

"Are you working?"

I'm sure he didn't want to answer in the affirmative, but he said,"Yes," as he walked over to my cart. Where I showed him the horrible condition of my bagged groceries- including my squished bread and shattered cookies (they had been bagged in plastic with canned goods. Lucky for the store I plan to use them as pie crust.)

I have to tell you that this poor guy I ripped in to was the Bakery manager. But he listened, he made sympathetic noises, he apologized and he took my name and number so he could give it to the grocery manager.

And I felt a little better.

Later my phone rang. It was the grocery manager calling to follow up. He apologized profusely and explained that the boys who bagged my groceries were actually working their first day and the cashier was supposed to be helping them learn to bag groceries. (What a change- when I was a sacker at Hy Vee we had a week long course on correct sacking procedure.) That said, he apologized again, said that he was at fault for not keeping a closer eye on them, said that sacking training would be addressed thoroughly and said that the next time I was in to stop by customer service, there would be something there for me.

Not necessary, but ok.

Forward to today. I get a phone call shortly after 5pm. It's the grocery manager and he is saying that he feels really badly about what happened yesterday and he was getting off work and would like to apologize in person and save me a trip to customer service.

"It's not like I won't shop at Hy Vee again, " I said. "In fact, I'll probably be there again this week. It's not necessary."

"I'm heading home and it's really not a problem," he said.

"I'm on the west side of town; I suppose it's ok if it's not out of your way."

Turns out I can see this kid's house (oh yes, he was maybe 24, tops) from my back deck. But he was very nice and apologetic (again. I gotta tell you, I was beginning to feel like an a$$.) And he brought me a $10 gift card.

So, while I am not a fan of the sacking techniques (and will probably continue to have issues) I do heart the customer service I received. From the bakery manager who didn't know what he was getting in to to the grocery manager who really went out of his way to rectify the situation (as much as he could).

But, honestly, sometimes it's just nice to know that you're heard... And that someone is listening.


Melody 11:18 PM  

I completely understand how you feel about your groceries. I actually put my groceries on the conveyor belt in the order I want them to be bagged. One of the babysitters I used to have for the boys was also working for the grocery store. When I went in she was floored over how picky I was about my groceries being sacked but I guess until you are the one putting them away you don't really care.

Jill 1:53 PM  

Wow- in this day and age that's something to even get a call back, let alone a $10 gift card personally delivered. Would never happen here. I'd be happy if they even spoke English so they could understand what I was complaining about.

Sally 2:58 PM  

Oh, I'm SO with you on this one (actually, I usually agree with whatever you post)...this is one of my biggest pet peeves.

My first job ever was a bagger for Albertson's, and I STILL remember the training we received. It burns me every time my tomatoes end up on the bottom of my bag. And I put my groceries on the belt in the order I want them bagged, to...but they insist on smashing all my (super expensive) produce.

Grr. This week it was the ripe nectarines that were UNDER the onion and lettuce.

Glad Hy Vee worked with you to make it right!

Anonymous 4:17 PM  

Good for you for complaining. I take my own bags, too, and they still try to put stuff in plastic. I don't think they believe that you can put a lot of weight in the bags we have. Like those above I put my things in order on the belt...veggies together, dairy together, etc. but they never get bagged that way. Most of the time I'd rather just do it myself. I usually get my stuff out to the parking lot and reload my bags so I'm all set to unpack them when I get home. Good to hear that you got a response.

Anonymous 10:28 PM  

i don't work for any grocery store...fyi...if you are that picky, just request to bag it yourself. i mean really, once you chew it, it all looks the same! get over how glam you think you are! and remember the kids working are probably only 16 or 15 anyway, what do they care!!!

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