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