Wondering on Wednesday: Whatever happened to Customer Service?

I have been experiencing a spell of bad customer service lately.

You know, the kind where you walk away shaking your head and thinking “Really? Did I really just pay money for THAT?”

Case in point.

Grocery shopping. I am a loyal Publix shopper. I love their customer service, am quite happy with their selection and love the fact that they know me as a regular patron and treat me like a queen when I’m there.

Last week, on the way home from school and a quick stop at the chiropractor, I needed to pick up a few things. Publix was all the way on the other side of town, so I decided to stop at the grocery store that was right across the street from the chiropractor.Wondering on Wednesday

This store (whose name begins with K) is not one I frequent regularly, although I used to go there weekly before Publix came to town.  I don’t know the layout very well, since I don’t go too often, and it took me a little longer than normal to pick up the items I need.  The monkeys were with me, so, of course, we ended up with way more than I had originally planned to pick up.  They had some in-store specials we took advantage of and I was thinking to myself as we walked to the checkout that I might need to make this a regular stop (maybe once a month) to check out the deals that they might have that other stores don’t.

And then it happened.

We were ready to pay. I wrote a check – yes, I know, no one writes checks anymore these days. I do, because it’s all too easy to mess up your budget when you slap down that debit card and don’t pay attention to the total bill. (but that is another blog post for another day)


I wrote a check. Handed it to the cashier with my ID.  She entered all the information and her register beeped at her.  She looked perplexed and I explained (because I remembered, too late, why I don’t write checks at the K store) that every time I write a check they have to get the Customer Service manager to come down to sign the check because some glitch in their system doesn’t recognize me as a customer. (In spite of having a loyalty card)

So, she calls the Customer Service manager down to approve my check.  The Customer Service manager comes down and I explain to her the same thing.  She looks at me and says (and I’m not joking)

“Well, if you shopped here more often you wouldn’t have this problem.”


I’m standing there, with over $200 of groceries and I just could not believe she said that to me. And, no, she was not trying to be cute. It was said very snippily.

I just looked at her and said, “Well, if I didn’t get treated like this every time I came in here, I might come in more often.”

And I asked her if she was going to accept my check or not.  She said that she wouldn’t. (are you kidding?)  So, I asked what she proposed I do if I didn’t have an alternative form of payment. 

“We’ll just take your groceries back and you can go somewhere else,” she said.

At this point, I was BOILING mad. But, I had the monkeys with me and I didn’t want to cause a scene and demonstrate to them how not to behave when people are rude and hateful to you.

So, I quietly pulled out my debit card and paid my grocery bill.

But I can promise you. I won’t be setting foot in that store (that begins with a K) again.

But, this is just one example of the terrible customer service I’ve received lately.

Whatever happened to people taking pride in their jobs? To people truly providing Customer SERVICE to the people that it is their job to serve?  When did it become OK to do the very minimum (at best) and then walk away, not caring that you could’ve done more to serve your customer?


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