NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA -- Recently, I went into my neighborhood Ralph's Supermarket (Magnolia Blvd. North Hollywood CA). I had patronized their store regularly for three years. One evening I was approached sheepishly by a security guard, who reluctantly told me that I now had to check my back pack at the manager's counter up front. I went through the checkout where the current night manager was working and politely asked if this was true. He acted surly and with a 'put-off' attitude answered yes with no explanation or apology.
I asked if this pertained to woman and their hand bags no matter how large or small they might be. He said no. I told him this is not fair. They could be as guilty of theft as anyone with a backpack. I also told him that I wasn't comfortable leaving my belongings in their care when all they were going to do to care for it was throw it on the floor behind a counter up front. He became rude and told me that they had no choice,"This is a BAD Neighborhood!” That was when I got angry and told him, "This is 'OUR' neighborhood!" and I motioned to the people waiting in line overhearing the two of us. Someone behind me yelled "Yeah!" in agreement.
The manager walked away from me and ignored my complaints, telling me to leave the store. I came back to complain to a head store manager the following day. He did listen to me and told that the other manager did handle the situation wrong, but this manager fell short of apologising for his behavior. He upheld the new policy even though he had no answer for how ill-conceived I pointed out to him it was, and unfair to one particular customer.
I have also sent a complaint to corporate Ralph's and they didn't bother to acknowledge my letter. This has been one of the least hospitable or helpful grocery stores I have ever regretted patronizing with my business. Their staff for three years has been glum, surly and apathetic. If they are having theft problems at an epidemic level I believe they have brought it on themselves in not engaging their customers with more sincere and thoroughly conscientious service. As well as more thorough security efforts on their part.
It shouldn't be an inconvenience on any particular customer part over other customers, to do their job in securing their store and products from theft. I told them that I would be shopping down the street at HOWS where they are markable more committed to customer satisfaction.