Probably my first post of 2008 shouldn't be a complaint post, but it is. I've been wanting to post this for a little while, and since I had a new crap list experience yesterday, I really felt it was time to share my crap list with the world.
Offender: Albertson's on Center Street in Provo
Offense: I was getting some items on Christmas Eve. I was already in line to check out. My mom called me to tell me that they'd been all over Salt Lake and were unable to find suet (beef fat) for our traditional Christmas carrot pudding. When it was my turn, I asked the cashier if the meat department sold suet. She said, "Uh... No. I'm pretty sure they don't." After she said that, I was pretty sure that she had no idea what suet was. I paid for my items and went back to the meat department myself, found the butcher who ground some suet for me, and went back to the same cashier to buy the suet. She said, "Oh! You forgot the hamburger." I said, "It's not hamburger. It's suet." At least then, she had the good sense to apologize, and explained, "I'm a vegetarian, so I don't really know what they sell in the meat department."
What she should have done: Instead of assuming that the store didn't sell suet, she should have gotten on the phone with the meat department and asked a butcher herself. That's customer service.
Offender: Target in American Fork
Offense: I went all the way to that particular Target because it seems that only the non-Super Targets sold the chair I was looking for. I already had one, but I wanted one more, especially in time for my family to come over to our house. When I found the display model, I saw that there were no boxes underneath. I got the attention of the first employee I could see. I may mention here that he was a teenager. I asked if they had a chair in stock that I could buy. He said, "I don't know." Then he got the attention of a coworker and asked, "Can she buy the display model?" I looked up at the display model. It had a huge tag sewn onto it that said "DISPLAY ONLY." I didn't want to buy the display model. The teenager apologized and said that I couldn't buy the display model. I asked if they had any in stock in the back. At this point, he brought out his scan gun and scanned it. He let me know that it was not in stock. I asked if it was a product that would be restocked. He said, "I don't know. They don't tell me these things."
What he should have done: Scanned the product immediately to see if any were in stock. Offered to find me other stores where I could buy the same product. Find out from someone else if the item would be restocked.
Offender: Allen's grocery store in Springville
Background: I loathe Springville's lack of decent grocery stores. There's Walmart, Allen's, and Ream's. Although Walmart is closest, I feel that I should limit my patronage of them because I care about humankind. Also, I don't want to have to deal with their massive lines when I'm just buying groceries. I've avoided Allen's because I used to live close to the Provo Allen's and it was a horrible grocery store. The produce especially was terrible. I haven't tried Ream's yet because 1) I'm not sure where it is and 2) it is like unto Allen's in my mind.
Offense: I decided to try Allen's just once. I went in with my list, and they lacked so many of my needed items that I had to modify one recipe and scrap another one altogether. What did I need? Prosciutto, blue cheese, arugula, and cilantro. They carry cilantro, but were out of stock. They had plenty of parsley, but those aren't the same things. Anyway, I know that those items are a little above average in the food snobbery pyramid, but they are still items that I reasonably expect to find in stores like Smith's or Albertson's. Probably even Walmart. Anyway. I vowed never to return. Except last night, I went back. This time I needed parsley, which I knew they had in abundance. But no. They were well-stocked on cilantro and had no fresh parsley.
What they should do: Close down and have a Smith's or Albertson's open in their place. Or at least start stocking items that appeal to above average food shoppers.
Offenders: Wells Fargo bank and Toronto Dominion bank, while I'm at it.
Offense: We received a money order as a wedding gift from a family friend in Canada recently. When we went to deposit it yesterday, our bank told us that it was not signed and therefore not valid. TD bank, the issuing bank, had failed to actually endorse the money order. Wells Fargo was the other bank listed on the money order, so we headed over there. At Wells Fargo, we explained the situation and asked what they could do about it. A manager came over with the money order, handed it back to us, and said matter-of-factly, "There's nothing we can do about this. It's not signed and so we can't cash it." I explained that we didn't expect them to cash it, and that we understood that it was not negotiable because it was unsigned. But, because their name was also on the money order, I did expect them to help us to resolve the issue. Again, we were told that they couldn't cash it and that we could call TD bank and work it out with them. I suggested that perhaps she could call TD bank and fax over the money order and work out with them what could be done about the money order. And so she did. And she did a great job of figuring everything out, and we'll be getting the money in the mail from TD bank next week. And then on our way out, she told us AGAIN that there was nothing they could do about it because it was non-negotiable. And then I told her that she DID what I'd wanted her to do in the first place and that I didn't expect them to cash the money order.
What she should have done: Apologized that they couldn't cash the money order, and volunteered immediately (without prodding) to resolve the issue for us and get us our money---if not today, then soon.
Unless you've made a New Year's resolution to not complain, what's on your crap list lately?