Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Word Of Mouth Advertising

I am all about telling someone if I enjoy a company's products and I also know that Word-of-Mouth is the most effective advertising tool around and that companies rely on it, so here is my word-of-mouth for today. It is the letter I sent to Winco today.

August 19, 2008
Dear WINCO Foods;
The reasons for this letter are 2 fold, and since they are interconnected I will try my best to sort them out for you. Let me begin by saying that I like your prices and I am often willing to drive 25-30 minutes to get to your store for the price savings. I understand that there are certain frills that you do not offer to keep prices down, such as having a courtesy clerk bag my groceries, having a stocker unpack boxes of freight onto the shelves, and accepting credit cards, and I truly do not mind the value that is passed on to me as the customer.

Having said that, though, I was very unhappy with my shopping experience in the Marysville, WA store yesterday, August 18th.

I do not understand why people think that they can carry their dogs into clothing stores, movies, the mall, etc. I chose not to have animals because I find them repulsive. This phenomenon seems to be gaining ground, however. Imagine my surprise yesterday when, in the meat and deli section, I saw a woman with her pug, not in her arms, but following her on a leash. I do believe I stood there with my mouth agape for a full minute, staring at the brazenness of this woman for letting her dog walk in the store. This dog was not marked as a service animal, nor was he wearing any service gear. Isn’t this against every health code in the nation? As I was debating whether or not to say anything to this woman 2 of your meat employees rounded the cooler, looked at the dog and said nothing. NOTHING. Does WINCO not have to follow health codes? I decided I would inquire at customer service about this matter when I checked out. It took me 2 hours to spend $245 in your store. In the course of these 2 hours I saw this woman and her dog in other areas of the store. Surely she was seen by other employees. Why was she not told to take her dog to her car where it BELONGED?

At the check out I allowed my children to pick a candy treat, and consume it while I frantically bagged my groceries. My 3 year old picked Nerds candies, and managed to spill a few on the ground where someone would have to walk and push their cart through the check stand. I have worked in retail and I know that the first rule is to immediately clean any spills so there is less chance of lawsuit through injury. I am also trying to teach my children personal responsibility. I sent my 3 year old to the customer service area directly across from the end of the check stand to ask the employee if she could sweep the candy up for him. Apparently it was an imposition for your service worker who only came after I indicated with my fingers the size and shape of the candy.
As she was sweeping the candies off the floor your employee said rather sourly,
“You kids need to stop walking through this.” This prompted my perceptive and honest 6 year old to ask,
“Why aren’t you very happy?” To which her reply was,
“I am perfectly happy.”
“You don’t look very happy.” Was the response from my child. To which your clerk answered my daughter very curtly,
“Well, I’m sorry you feel that way.”
At this point I decided to say nothing about the dog and resolved to send this letter instead.

As I said, I don’t expect frills when I come to your store, but my shopping experience left me wondering, at what point did cleanliness and courtesy become frills that I am obligated to pay extra for? I do plan to return to your store, but if I continue to observe the same shoddy standards, I will gladly pay more and return to my “frillier” stores in my area.
Gina Gae

For those of you in the south, this store is much akin to Cub Foods.


Gramma 2 Many said...

I really want to know where are my rights??? I prefer not to interact with animals. I choose not to have any and do not enjoy other peoples pets sniffing at me, pooping in my yard and barking all night long. Cats are allowed to roam at will and dig and poop in my gardens. When I try to work around my flowers, I am constantly grabbing handsful of poop.
What does this have to do with Gina's post? I don't know. Maybe that pet owners need to be more respectful of others. Keep your pets at home (out of stores), quiet and clean up after them.
Don't get me wrong, I would never abuse an animal and I respect your right to have them, but pet owners, you need to respect my rights also.

Cookie said...

They do say Dogs have the cleanest mouths! They also eat poop!!! Yucky!!

Gina said...

Who are "They"?

They need some sense slapped into them.

Cookie said...

I don't know who they are but that's what they say!

Debbie said...

I didn't just read that did I? It was a dream, I'm sure of it. A dog in a grocery store??? You should send that letter. NOW!

By the way, Washington is my spotlight state on Monday, Aug 25. Are you game? I want your Mom, Trish and you to be the spotlight bloggers that day. A family thing. Get out your fine china and your quick wit!

I'm totally cracking up at the dog barking and then "You sexy thing."

Kathi said...

Gina, That is terrible! I can't believe it, but I know it is true. I just saw a very large dog in the video store. Same thing; no special service dog, just your average Fido. The management needs work in your WINCO, mine so, far is still a very and great place to shop. I'm glad you are sending that letter. Kathi ps, when we were in Germany, dogs came into the restaurants and lay under their master's tables. They were in airports and everywhere.

Kat said...

We have cats. So naturally I would never take them to a store. Nor would I if I had a dog. Even when we have people over, I am always concerned that the cats not bother our guests. And especially aware of allergies. Some people with those small dogs look at them like accessories - rather than living, breathing animals.

BUT I cannot believe the store did nothing. And the attitude you were given while your kids tried to clean up their own mess. Unbelievable...

Susie Harris said...

Hi Gina. Thanks for visiting my blog today. Thanks for the comment..I think?.. ouch! Anyway Im glad that you liked my blog and I will have to check out yours... Is that a sweet little foot in that picture... love it!

Lula! said...

I am seriously loving your child asking "why aren't you happy?"

Awesome stuff, Gina.

Trish said...

I hate dogs and I hate Winco.

nuff said.

now get that barking dog off your playlist pleeeeeeeeeeeze.