Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

This post has been a long time coming. I have had parts of it in my mind for it seems like a month now. I just wanted to give credit to some folks and boo hiss some others.

First the good and this is a big good. Kudos to the Armed Services YMCA for recognizing that the families of deployed reservists don't necessarily live close enough to a base/post to utilize the support and programs offered there. They came up with a wonderful solution and worked with the National YMCA and launched the Military Outreach Initiative which provides free or discounted family memberships and nursery to qualifying military families and personnel (and not just Reservists so go check it out if you are military). Yoohoo! Especially since we qualify!

The Bad - my local Safeway for getting rid of their car shopping carts. You know the ones that have the little car in front that the kids can sit in and pretend to drive while mama shops. Safeway used to be where we shopped exclusively but not anymore, not if I can't contain and entertain my kids. There are four other stores in town that either have car carts or have another option that multiple children can sit in so they are getting my business instead. When this happened about 4 months ago I did e-mail the corporate office and the assistant manager at the store and neither one gave hope that they would be replacing the car carts. They've had their chance, now their on my bad list for not responding to the needs of families. I know I can't be the only one who at least partially bases their shopping choices on this type of convenience.

But hey, I'm not as mad at them as I am my local Petco which is brand new. I've found that these chain pets stores leave a lot to be desired in general. Rarely if ever do you actually find an employee that knows anything about pets. Most of the time when I walk in to the fish section I know ten times more about fish than the staff. To give them a little credit sometimes I only know five times more than the staff. Last week, not only did I know more but this girl was so flat out rude that she earned Petco a bump up from merely bad to downright ugly. All I wanted were some whiteclouds. I waited forever for someone to show up in the fish section. When no one came around I finally got the attention of someone at the check out and he sent some one over. When she E.V.E.N.T.U.A.L.L.Y. showed up I asked her if they had any other cold water fish than goldfish. She waved her hand in the general direction of some other tanks and said "Just what we have over there." I told her "Those are tropical fish." and began to explain what I was looking for and in the middle of my question she turned from me and asked a pair of young guys what they needed help with. Wha'?! I didn't even finish my sentence. As in, I was STILL speaking to her. So I said "Fine, I guess I'll go shop somewhere else." and walked away and she did nothing to stop me. Fuming I went to pay for my other purchases since I really did need the dog and cat food in my cart. Conveniently the guy at the register couldn't get his to work and had to call the manager over so I took the opportunity to let her know how unhappy I was at her staff member's rudeness and what happened. Lacy I understand her name was, shrugged, turned and mumbled "Hm, I'll have to go ask her what happened." and walked off. Right. I have so much confidence that you're going to do ANYTHING! Arg! So Petco, there is a Petsmart just about right next to the YMCA where I take the kids three times a week now and not only is their fish selection considerably larger than yours but their staff is a million times friendlier (even if I still probably know more than them). I know. I used to shop their before the Petco went into town, but hey, I can be convinced to drive further for better service and your staff here in town is pretty convincing.


Joel said...

Good for you, and hooray for the YMCA. Rob told me about that when I saw him. I always write corporate offices when I have particularly good or bad service. Friends think I'm crazy for wasting my time writing, but they need to know. And I usually get coupons out of it, so it works out well for me, too.

Julie said...

Joel, I'm the same way. I'm a self proclaimed "customer service snob", probably because I worked Consumer Affairs for seven years. I did e-mail Petco but haven't heard back and a thank you letter to both Ys is in the works.

Jeremy and Laura Lebow said...

Our Safeway still has the "car carts" . . I don't really like them as they are so hard to turn, but when I have all three kids with me, they are a must!

The Schueler Family said...

See, to us moms it is the little things that count. I shop at Cub simply because they give each kid a free apple to eat WHILE they sit in their car cart. Something healthy and something that lasts. They will keep my business!