BIRMINGHAM, MICHIGAN -- One might think that if you were going to put a "Kroger" supermarket in an upscale community like Birmingham, Michigan...and even give it a fancy name like "Kroger Fresh Fare"...the be-powers at Kroger would make it at least AVERAGE on all fronts. On the contrary - the Birmingham, Michigan Kroger store is the worst-run (management is non-existent and what there is of management is composed of rude individuals who haven't a clue what it takes to "keep" a customer) supermarket or any food store I have ever shopped in.
They advertise their meat in the butcher display case as Angus, but generally it is more comparable to "steer". Not only is their routinely mold-covered fruit on display for sale, but I have actually seen produce employees putting out moldy berries, etc. The above are not isolated instances...each have happened more times than I choose to recant here.
The icing on the cake is if you dare take the berries back or the meat to their "non-customer service counter"...you are in for a real treat consisting of something close to a tongue-lashing by someone who claims to be "the manager" on duty.
I have personally called and written Kroger headquarters regarding these issues, particularly the browbeating by management of not only me, but so many others I have seen go through the same poor treatment. And guess what, absolutely NO follow-up by Kroger. Apparently they feel they don't have any competition in this area since Farmer Jack's closed and they own the only two major supermarkets in the immediate area.
I have found that it is far better to shop at Whole Foods and pay the dollar more a pound for "REAL ANGUS" beef, real fresh produce, and friendly staff and management. Apparently Whole Foods is far more particular in their hiring practices than Kroger. On a score of 1-5, I give the Birmingham, Michigan Kroger a -5.
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- My experience with Kroger on Montrose in Houston, Texas has been completely terrible and of great concern with being racist and bias. First I would like to start off by saying that the staff (Outside of the security unit) appears to be wonderful and in order with good customer care (At least they appear to be). But in any case, the only true problem that I have with this particular store (Which will keep me from coming back and shopping there again) is that the security staff was constantly harassing me (A well-educated, professional, career oriented individual of black decent) while I was with my 3 young children ranging from 6, 7, and 9 years old.
The security was constantly following me (And no other customer) in a VERY distasteful manner from a short distance, watching me extremely close while I'm attempting to peacefully shop as if I'm imposing a threat of some kind in which I clearly wasn't. From isle to isle they constantly followed me. And when I finally made it to the check out point, they stood directly by my side until I was done with checking out, paying for the items, and left the store. The security staff make me feel very inferior and uncomfortable.
Do not misunderstand me. I do not mind security conducting their job. But stalking me as I shopped shouldn't have been their assignment since I wasn't a threat of any kind. Two thumbs down for this particular Kroger on Montrose in Houston, Texas. I was completely DISSATISFIED with their security staff. And if anything, if they were truly concerned about me, maybe they should have also escorted me back to my vehicle to make sure I made it there safe - IN WHICH THEY DIDN'T!!! Honesty, from the experience of a well-educated, professional, career oriented individual of black decent who will NEVER shop there again.
Like most families today we are on a very strict food budget. I went into Kroger this morning to take advantage of the sale they were having on ground turkey and to pick up some groceries for the week. The ground turkey was advertised as $1.99 per pound of Perdue Fit & Easy ground turkey breast. I picked up three packages that had that exact wording since that was what the sales sign said.
When I got to my car to unload the groceries I was looking at my receipt and realized that I had been charged over 14.00 for three pounds of ground turkey. For that price I could have bought a whole bird. I went inside to customer service with the turkey packages and my receipt and the girl called the meat department. The gentleman from the meat department stated that I had the wrong brand and therefore was not getting the sale price.
I asked for a manager. I explained to the manager what the sign said, even went back there with him and showed him the sign along with my ground turkey and told him that these were the only packages that said Fit & Easy Ground Turkey Breast and if this is the wrong product the sign should be changed to reflect the correct product.
He agreed with me, and according to him the wrong product was programmed into the system and had an employee redo it so that the right product was on sale. He apologized and gave me a refund of 10.09. I know that 10 bucks doesn't sound like a lot of money, nor should I have been making such a big deal over 3 packages of ground turkey, but I can't help but wonder how many others were overcharged because of an error caused by their employees.
MARIETTA, GEORGIA -- I have always shopped at Kroger and have moved around never having any serious complaints about Kroger food. Recently I moved to Delk Road and was happy to be right next to the grocery store where I could shop easily. One week I bought eggs, and once I cracked them in a frying pan I found embryos, very gross but that is a manufacturer problem (how would a Kroger employee see inside the eggs?) so I kept shopping there only different brands of eggs.
One week I bought bread and found it to be rock hard on the inside with tiny holes on the bottom of the package. One late night I bought a pork loin for the next day, I woke up very early for work the next day (four hours later) and prepared sauce in a crock pot to slow cook while I worked. I then put the loin on a chopping block and sliced in completely in half through the plastic, I was met with the most horrid smelling food ever and at a closer look saw that other than the skin the entire thing was puke green. I wanted to take it back but could not tolerate that rank thing in my car.
Every fresh fruit or vegetable I bought went soft by the next day, and I even found bugs in my celery and cabbage. Even the organic vegetables I bought in snap and seal packaging turned out soft and slimy once I opened them the same day.
We also had to throw out many packs of chicken because of strange color or odor once they were out of the package. Chicken wasn't something I was willing to risk. The first few issues I let slide, everyone makes mistakes and accidents will happen, but after several problems I had to shop elsewhere. I was tired of throwing food out the next day, or fighting over whether something was safe to eat the day after I buy it. I shop in a nearby Publix now and do not have problems with the food.
FORT WAYNE, INDIANA -- I recently visited a local Kroger store in Fort Wayne IN, (Southgate Plaza) and I purchased my weekly produce as usual. Well I seen that they had a sign that read "sweet blanco cherries". Well cherries are not in season and it's very rare that Kroger carry them this time of year. So I was going to try them. I ate 2 of the cherries and not only were they sour but most of the bag contained rotten cherries. So me as a consumer I decided not to buy the bag, now don't get me wrong I've done this in the past with no problem. I've even purchased a watermelon took it home and cut it open found it to be not ripe so I returned it (no problem).
On this particular day I went on with my shopping, spending my usual 100.00-150.00 Dollars a week on groceries and checked out. On my way out I was stopped by a lady who identified herself as "Kroger security" and told me that I had to go back and buy that bag of cherries or she would have to call the police. Not wanting to make a scene I proceed to tell her the cherries were not ripe so I didn't buy them. She said that Kroger policy is you can eat. One cherry but because I ate two it was considered stealing.
So I said "OK I'll buy them but then I'm going to return them because of false advertising" (they were not sweet). She said "OK," however when I went to the customer service desk she followed me and said she just talk to the manager and he said I couldn't do that, because the bag "looked" like I ate three of four cherries out of the bag. When I asked to speak to this manager on duty they let me wait in line for twenty minutes before they said he wasn't available.
So I left and tried to call back about 20 minutes later, the lady on the phone told me "One min." Then she asked was I the lady calling about the cherries. I said "Yes" she stated "Hold for one min please" I held for 15 mins and he never answered my call... Now that's what I call horrible customer service.
Had the manager came to me and said "Yes it is the policy that you can try only one cherry" I would have accepted that and went on as a avid Kroger shopper, but he didn't even have the balls to speak with me. Like I said, I am a avid weekly shopper and Kroger and all my scripts are filled there. But from this day on I will never shop at another Kroger, so I hope that three-dollar bag of cherries was worth losing a faithful customer.
CHAPEL HILL, NC -- Get this... I usually shop at the Chapel Hill Kroger and my daughter wanted one of those miniature doggies in one of their vending machines so we ended up taking 50 pennies with us. I asked the customer services lady if she could change our pennies into 2 quarters. She told me to go straight to the end, to the green machine. So, I did. I checked the machine and it turns out unless you're exchanging your coins for an e-card or a coupon, it takes off 8.9 cents off every dollar you exchange on the machine. And, I just needed 2 bloody quarters!!!
So, I go back to the customer services desk and asked her to change them again, then she says, "look, if I needed them, I would, but I don't, and hey, nothing is for free in America!!! I don't know, go talk to any of the cashiers and see if they need change." What the!!! Am I their bellboy that provides them with pennies when they're in need of them! Why the heck do they call themselves customer services. My goodness! I went to one cashier and she won't do it, she said, "if the customer services wouldn't then it's not my problem." Is this the way Kroger trains their staff? I will make sure none of my family and friends ever shop there again!!!
Another thing with Kroger... Be careful everyone!! Kroger Chapel Hill sells Kroger labeled Mexican peppers that have expiration dates of December 2007. I bought two last week and returned the expired one. At that very time, customer services told me to go grab another one to replace it, so I did and guess what? I found a whole stack of them on the shelf!!! So I told them and they called somebody to take them off the shelf... Don't they do a proper stocktake there!!! This is serious! You, the reader could be eating that right now! I am never going back to Kroger again!
DOUGLASVILLE, GEORGIA -- Every time I come into this store everyone is so kind and helpful. Today which is my favorite day because it is Senior Citizen discount day and not a lot of stores offer that. I was having trouble finding an item that I usually get on a regular basis and I ask a young lady to help me find it while she was in the middle of stocking the shelf. I can't remember her name but she had really short hair and glasses. It was around 3 p.m. She went out of her way to go into the back of the store and try to locate the item.
I was about to lose hope because she was gone for a few minutes, but lo and behold she returned with them item. I did expect her to come back at all because most young kids today don't care about the customers that much. She asked me if there was anything unless I needed help with and I told her "no I think I have found everything else I was shopping for" and I told her thank you and she replied "My pleasure" which really put the icing on the cake for me. She was just a pleasant young lady. I definitely will return to this Kroger because of the experience today.
LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY -- My local Kroger has great employees and good service. However, the meats seem to be becoming saltier and many are injected with substances vaguely explained in tiny letters on the packaging. Today I went in to buy some form of lean ground beef, round, sirloin, or chuck and noticed the "natural flavoring" reference, a salt content reference, and no ingredient list. So what is the "natural flavoring"? Needless to say, I bought none. No one in the store could explain the label. Is the "natural flavoring" MSG? I have a friend who is very allergic to that. Is it salt?
Many people are on low salt diets and unknowingly buy "moist and tender" pork, chicken and turkey shot with salty "broth" and whatever else. A really good cook recently was complaining that she used to marinate pork loin and it was wonderful but now, it just never tastes right. I asked her where she bought her pork and indeed it was Kroger's "moist and tender".
Since many people are on salt-restricted diets, Kroger needs to come clean about ADDED salt, any tenderizers, the 12% and up "broth" added to meats and poultry which is not in teeny tiny writing which most consumers do not see and of which they are unaware. Kroger is not the only grocery chain doing this. Tyson chickens are everywhere and they're doctored. Butterball too. But Kroger is making it very hard to find meat that is simply meat in their stores.
Several time I have purchased bad ground beef from Kroger. I stopped buying ground beef and started using ground turkey because I had so many bad experiences with beef. Recently, I purchased some pork chops on my way home, at a store that was not in my neighborhood. We got home and as I was putting up the groceries a rancid smell hit me. I picked up the pork chops and you could smell them through the plastic wrap.
I took my receipt and the meat to my neighborhood Kroger. The person at the customer service center call the manager who proceeded to tell me that I should take the meat back to the Kroger where I purchased it. I said that's across town and I am not driving all the way over there with this rotten meat in my car. She said she would handle it this time but gave me the speech on how her store was taking the loss for another store.
I feel that as a chain store, you should be able to go to any Kroger to return a bad product. What if the product was purchased in another city? With today's technology you should be able to key in from which store the product was purchased. I had my receipt with me so it shouldn't have been a problem. I also noted the addition of the up to 12% solution added to the meat recently and have decided I will not be buying much meat at Kroger in the future. Their product quality is going down and so is their customer service.
ACWORTH, GEORGIA -- Several times now I have had to return a meat product to Kroger because when I arrived home and opened it, it was BAD! The smell was awful! In one case, the butcher was nice enough to replace the salmon that I had bought with fresh salmon (a LOT of it) directly from their ice display in front (originally, she asked for me to take the pre-packaged meat on sale). Well, the salmon in the display was bad too! I had to go to another store at the last minute for meat for a dinner party!
And to top that off, my husband and I have noticed that Kroger has started to add water (they call it a "Flavoring Solution") to their meat! The packaging says that it accounts for 12 to 15% of the product weight! I'm not paying for water and salt! It also gives the meat a rubbery consistency! We will NOT buy meat from Kroger anymore, no matter how cheap it is. They should be ashamed for taking advantage of their customers in this way!