DENVER, CO, COLORADO -- I wanted to tell you about my last experience at Safeway. It was Christmas day 2009 and my niece was baking the pies for the first time by herself and she burned them, so my husband and I ran to the local Safeway at 757 E. 20th Ave. (Denver, CO 80205) to grab a couple of desserts, because we knew you were closing at 3 pm that day. I arrived at 2:43 pm (I used my cell phone to get the exact time), my husband dropped me off so I could run in real quick. When I got to the door it was locked, and noticed the security guard was locking the exit doors so I was going to jump in there, when he yelled at me, "WE'RE CLOSED!!"
I being in shock and not really understanding (I was in an upbeat mood) said, "I thought you closed at 3 pm?" Again he rudely said again, "WE'RE CLOSED!!" I said, looking at my clock, "but it's 17 minutes until 3, I just need one thing." "That's what they all say. You should have thought about that earlier. WE'RE CLOSED!!" I said, "it's Christmas day, I just need a replacement dessert," when he said something under his breath and him and another employee that was leaving out the door started laughing hysterically at me. Until that point, I was not rude or shouting or anything - I was just in shock.
When my husband drove up to pick me up, he said "where are the pies?" and I told him what happened. During the time I waited for him, this security guard let 2 other people sneak into the store. Again, I was not rude or loud or anything to this man, I came in with a smile and was confused when he was telling me the store was already closed, when I questioned the time. I even got back to my house (without anything for dessert) right at 3 pm and my family even said, "what, it is just 3:01pm now??"
I could not believe how rude and disrespectful he was. I shop at this Safeway all the time, even when it has got a bad rap and called it the Crackway and there have been numerous other problems with this store. I am a local neighbor to this store and I could easily shop at Kings Soopers, but I continue to go to Safeway to do my shopping. I was not trying to get one over or do anything wrong. I was not trying to do a shopping spree before closing. It was Christmas and I needed one thing, I would have been out of the store in minutes, I know where everything is and had my money ready.
I did not try to come into the store in the last minutes and make people wait for me or do anything out of the ordinary for me. I came within reasonable time to get in and out before closing. I know how it is to work on Christmas and you wanting to go home, but my employers would never close the doors early, especially when we had customers and allow us to be so rude and to laugh and mock a customer like that. I was not rude or disrespectful when asking questions, I am a pretty quite refined person, that usually looks down on behavior that rude customers give to employees.
Although, by the time I left I did tell him, "happy holidays" and called him a not so nice name - but only at the very end of leaving - and asking him if he was joking with me and he rudely told me to go home. This Christmas was not easy to do this year, we just lost my mother and my sister this year and it was hard enough as it was to get together to try to celebrate. We were trying to make the best of it and this totally ruined my and several of my families Christmas! It put such a bad taste in my mouth for Safeway.
If the security guard was nice and explained, I am sorry but we have to get the store ready for closing so our people can go have their Christmas at home or just give a kind or nice response, but he was so over the top rude, angry and aggressive toward me. I was so shocked and did not know what to do.
ARIZONA -- I am writing this letter in hopes of reaching someone who cares, although I question if the timing of this letter is several years too late. The reason for starting this letter with such strong words is simple; your company is making a mockery out of what American business should be.
I have had the good fortune in recent years to befriend several Safeway employees. It was through these friendships that I noticed a common theme – they are all good people, they all worked for your company for five plus years, and they all feared how long their employment with you would last. “Why such fear?” I wondered. But then as time moved forward, my understanding of their fear became clear.
My first realization of your company's lack of care came about during your most recent contract negotiations. I understand that the relationship between the union and a company is a vital one and I am not writing this letter to get into those political debates, but I do question WHY an established company such as yours would hold out on negotiations when all the people want are guaranteed forty-hour work weeks and the health insurance that was promised to them upon first being hired.
My friend who just celebrated twenty years with your company started out with a great pension, the ability to move to different Safeways and be guaranteed pay and position, he had flexibility in hours, decent pay, and great benefits.
To-date, everything that was promised to him upon hiring has dissolved away. His pension is almost non-existent; he is only guaranteed pay and position if he stays within a certain parameter of stores, and lately, it appears that because he gets paid more dollars per hour than the new-hires, he is being forced out. His hours have been cut, his department changes daily, his scheduled hours are random and in his opinion, his manager is attempting to do everything right by him.
Wow, if that is doing “right” by an employee, I would hate to see what doing something “wrong” would be. Being a corporate person myself, I know what you are thinking. He must be a problem employee, he must lack motivation, maybe his time is just up, but I assure you, his character is steadfast and true, it is the business practices that are being imposed by you that are wrong, not the employees that you are pegging as the problem.
So now your stores will be left with “newbies” – no one who knows the customers, no one who knows the business, and no one who is making any kind of sustainable living who will even care to go the extra mile. And it is because of this, that I am writing this letter. I want you to know, in print, that I will not be purchasing another item from your store. I will be very vocal about my opinions regarding your company and as they teach you in Marketing 101, word of mouth is everything, and I most certainly have the gift of gab.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA -- This particular SAFEWAY is located in San Francisco's Financial District (145 Jackson Street San Francisco, CA 94111) and is the closest supermarket for many of the local residents, including one apartment complex consisting of around 1500 homes.
Their customer service is shabby to say the least, with employees mostly having no clue where products are located. I asked one such individual where I might find the pretzels and he offered to go check. Ten minutes later, when he hadn't returned, I found him serving customers at the checkout. I said, “what about my pretzels?” to which he dozily replied, “oh yeah, dunno.”
Street bums are regularly seen in the aisles, stinking up the place, fingering the food, and sometimes even eating items on the spot before fleeing the scene, leaving a stench of decomposing human flesh in their wake. But stinky bums are probably the least of our hygiene worries, when we consider the condition of the ‘fresh' produce. It is on a daily basis that we encounter moldy tomatoes, moldy figs, and many other moldy fruits on the shelves at Safeway (see photos).
It is particularly surprising, as much of Safeway's produce is not organic, which begs the question, how long has this produce been sitting on the shelves in order to reach the moldy stage…? Fed up with this appalling situation, I asked, on two occasions, to speak to the store manager and was told both times that he was on a ‘late lunch'. The first time was at 5 pm and the second time at 7 pm!
I think the final straw came when I asked where I might find the tikka masala sauce. The employee looked at me, as if I'd just inquired as to where they keep their bottled water from Mars, before telling me that I could perhaps find this in a really large Safeway, but definitely not here. Perhaps, having lived in the UK and East Coast USA, I expect to see basic Indian sauces in mainstream supermarkets. Or perhaps they were fermenting a batch out back so it would match the fruit.
Either way, I could not help losing the will to live when, in all his wide-eyed ugliness, the employee frowned his deformed brow and said, “I've never eaten that before, is it good?” What would you do if this was your local supermarket??
PHOENIX, ARIZONA -- Please allow me to convey to you the story of my most recent grocery order from Safeway.com. On March 1, I fell and injured my knee and am still on crutches and a knee brace. Friends have helped me in many ways, but currently none are in town and available to bring me groceries. In addition, I also had breast cancer surgery in 2007, and have attempted to maintain good eating habits especially in support of my immune system.
Last night I placed a small order. I wouldn't be able to handle a large order. The most important part of that order, even the reason for placing the order when I did, was for yogurt – three 8 packs. I have been eating this every day in support of my immune system. When the order arrived a little before the beginning of the delivery window, one item was out of stock. However after the delivery person left, I noticed that while I had been charged for the yogurt, there was no yogurt at all.
Within minutes I called Customer Service. The first response was to offer me re-delivery from in a 4-hour time period beginning an hour after the initial delivery window. I explained about being on crutches and that it is difficult to get around, and the need to wait for them. I also explained that I have sleep problems and had gotten very little sleep recently, so I really wanted a re-delivery within the same time frame as the original order since I'd set aside that time to be awake and available to take delivery. I even asked that it simply be left on my patio, which UPS frequently does with items of large cash value.
I was told I had to be here to sign for the yogurt. I was promised a call back. I was feeling upset by the seeming indifference of Safeway representatives toward a customer in need, as well as to the impact of their own errors. I was in need of sleep and engaging in another futile discussion would not help me to sleep. So the call came and I didn't pick up. When I listened to the message, it said that they had put in for re-delivery, but it had been denied. And they would give me credit in the amount of the yogurt.
So when we (the public) order from Safeway dot com, there is no guarantee of actually receiving all the items which are in stock and charged to one's account. It has happened before, and usually it is either all frozen foods are left out, or all refrigerated foods are left out. Until today it didn't matter to me that much when it happened. Today it did. I have slept much of the day.
I would choose sleep any day over waiting for a re-delivery in an entirely different time slot since sleep is such a scarce commodity and so vital for health. I doubt I will ever choose to have groceries delivered by Safeway again, the grocery shopping store dot com without a heart and little in the way of a conscience.
MILWAUKEE, OREGON -- I went to the Oregon store #2696 at about noon on 1/03/13 check out was 1302. I was waiting in one all-check-out line, 3 people with full carts. I heard them call for cashier. I'm now next in line, as the cashier finally showed up and look down the line of checkout lanes (nobody there) then beckoned me over. Since I was the only customer there she (**) was able to clear product fast as I could, put on belt and that was OK. I attempted to put things in order such as meat/bread etc. to make it easy for bagging. Pleasantries were right out of the book (have a nice day).
When unloading into my vehicle, I notice the raspberries I purchased were open and all over the bag, because they were put in on end and NO rubber band around them to keep them closed. (This is a good idea for store policyrubber band item that might pop up).
I returned to find a different checker, but young lady walking around ask if she could help. I identified the problem showing her the mess in my bag. The cashier now was somebody new and quite pleasant. They called ** (who was behind the service desk (that's a joke)). I showed her the error and they were going to get a replacement when I ask for just a refund--for all of this--not just the berries. She still gave the attitude (I was the problem), but gave me the cash and then said have a nice day like I again was the problem. I replied, "how your day improves."
I spent 41 year in customer service (not everyday is a wonderful day, but your words to customers can change a not-so-good day into something better. I remember being reamed out by a customer and set the stage for the next customer--I was ready for and not planning on taking another reaming--when the next customer (whom observed what just happened) walk up and said I hope to make your day better than the last person and that changed my attitude--treat every customer as an individual.
I thought you might like the rubber band suggestion (saw it at another store, not my big idea) and give ** a Starbucks card for morning coffee. My card number ** - I'm not just a casual shopper with Safeway.
SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA -- I am 8 mos. pregnant & was shopping at this location when I slipped & fell right in front of the check-out lines. When I was on the floor, I felt water dripping on my head. I looked up to find an HVAC vent dripping water onto the floor. The store had several yellow cones off to the side (pushed up to the end cap). Obviously those weren't properly placed nor did they have a bucket to capture the water that was landing and splattering across the floor (then dragged by carts).
Needless to say, not a soul bothered to help me get up nor attended to the situation. Absolutely no satisfaction from the employees on shift (6 PM on a Thurs). I made several attempted to reach the Store Manager, to make him aware of what happened. When calling the store, several times the phone was never answered or I was hung up on or provided misinformation etc... Finally I spoke to a very nice Asst. Manager & she assured me that her manager was on vacation (something that everyone previously neglected to tell me). She took down all my information and assured me he would call me upon his return (dates provided).
Of course, I never heard from the manager until I sent an unfavorable review to Safeway's customer service. I asked that no one from the actual location contact me and they disregarded that request & made the store manager contact me. (The store manager lacked comprehension skills and is certainly a liability to the company. I can see why this location has unfavorable reviews on many opinion websites.)
He initiated the call by addressing me by the wrong first name. He was unable to identify if the HVAC unit had been repaired, he "imagines it's been fixed but, not sure". I just wanted assurance that this won't happen to anyone else and he was unable to confirm that. He went on to tell me that not all his employees are trained on the "new" phone system, hence my difficulty reaching him. His monotoned "uh yeah" leads me to believe he has no comprehension of what potentially could have happened to myself (& unborn child).
I wasn't looking to sue or make anyone's life difficult...I just wanted to make sure this wasn't blatant negligence, rather just a mistake that won't happen again. If this guy is running the show, I can guarantee this will happen again & Safeway will be paying a lot to someone legitimate or an opportunist. Either way, maybe Safeway will get the point and provide safer conditions and certainly have better individuals communicating with their customers.
I am a value-conscious consumer and I always check the sale ads before I go shopping. Safeway has good deals every once in a while, but their everyday prices are so high that I often leave without buying what I went in for. Last week their avocados were $1.99 each and at other area stores they were $0.99. Broccoli was $1.99/lb and elsewhere it was $0.99.
But the real reason for my complaint is the checkout register. The way the prices ring up it is impossible to read. If something is on sale for $1.99 and the regular price is $3.49, it will ring up as “$3.49; savings $1.50.” So I have to do quick math in my head to make sure it rang up right. Why not just ring up as $1.99? And, if I use one of their coupons, it doesn't calculate until the end, so I have to remember the regular price and then do mental math. What I do instead is add up the prices of all the items in my basket before I get to the register, and then hope my total at the register is close. This is the only way to make sure I am not overcharged for anything.
The final part of my complaint is what happens when something rings up incorrectly – which is often. In spite of all my coupon-clipping and circular-watching, I still get overcharged at Safeway. Last week I bought a bottle of wine with a red tag price of $5.98. It rang up as $6.98.
I had to go to Customer Service, and then walk the employee to the wine section to prove the price, then walk back to customer service, and then get my $1…what a lot of trouble for something that should have been done correctly to begin with. I asked about price-guarantees and the employee just shook her head. If I hadn't caught it, Safeway would have stolen that $1 from me. This is a common occurrence at Safeway and I often wonder why I bother to go in there.
BAY AREA, CALIFORNIA -- I've lived in the Bay Area for quite a few years. It's disappointing to see Safeway, a company that used to have a pretty good reputation, go downhill with regards to their customer service, something I believe will only further damage their relationship with the public.
Lately, I'm noticing more and more dissatisfaction with Safeway's customer service on online forums. In many of those forums, suggestions are made to file complaints with Safeway's Main Office to resolve issues. I think it's useless to complain to Safeway. In my opinion, they already know how bad their hired help is getting. Frankly, I just don't believe they care anymore. Sure, they'll release PR statements, blah, blah, blah. But, in the end, nothing really seems to get done.
What Safeway doesn't want, I believe, is customers sharing their bad experiences on forums like this website. Here, Safeway can't control the flow. They can't just patch it up and make it go away. If a customer has been wronged by Safeway, posting their experience online will have greater effect. People do consider this sort of information when looking for a place they can rely on to shop for their families. It's a personal thing, and it does matter.
For me, Safeway sucks, plain and simple. I see the tactics their employees and managers use. I believe they're meant to discourage dissatisfied customers from complaining about a particular store. The Safeway staff just seem to want that customer gone. They seem to want to make the customer out to be the problem, instead addressing the real issue, bad customer service. Really, I don't believe Safeway's HQ is much better, so contacting them is pointless to me.
I've seen a pattern of behavior at various Safeway stores which appears to have developed over the last few years. It comes across to me as showing nothing short of contempt for any customer who's not happy with poor performance.
Safeway seems to have gotten so competitive that this aggressiveness has now become displaced, in my opinion, and it's now being directed toward any customer that challenges Safeway's impression of good customer service. It's like the employee/manager takes it personal, so he/she makes things personal. Then, it becomes a more contentious situation resulting in nothing positive getting done, and another customer is lost.
I'm grateful for Safeway's competition. I see it as a haven for folks who've had enough of what I see as Safeway's strong-arm mentality. I think Safeway has lost its way, and if it doesn't get a grip on its hiring standards, they'll be going the way of the dinosaur.
This is something that I get fairly often though I work for Safeway. I believe that this can likely apply to employees at most grocery stores. The store is busy, and every open line has at least two to three orders. I'm ringing up my orders but I have my light off indicating that I am closed. Nonetheless I still get someone every now and then that asks, "This is all I have, can you take me?" or they gesture by showing me the few items in their hand or basket. I kindly say "I'm sorry I'm closed" and I usually get a disgusted and/or frustrated look out of it.
I don't want to be a prick, but in this situation I'm usually getting off of work and I've told another customer whose filed into a line next to mine, the same thing. If they see me taking YOU in my non-express line, but I refused to take their order, that customer should he or she choose to complain to either the manager or the corporate office, that IS a legitimate complaint. I may sneak someone if I know it won't cause me any trouble, but technically even though it's an inconvenience to you, I cannot refuse to checkout one person in my non-express line, but then take someone else.
I try my best to put my the plastic rope up when I can ask another indicator to customers that I am closed, and I will call for help on the checkout lines if I see it's needed without the managers already ringing people's orders up. And just another observation. I highly advise customers to read the whole sign, for items that are on sale. I say this not to be rude but all too often I see that we have a sale for example where you buy two 12 packs of coke products, and get 3 free, and the customer will come through my line with 2 24 packs thinking that it was buy one get one free by making assumptions and not taking the time to read the sign carefully.
Or another might buy a Marie Callender frozen dinner because they see a bunch of them on sale for say $2.00, except for the one that they got where the sign underneath that particular said $3.50. "That's supposed to be 2 dollars! I put my savings card through!"
I hear that then I have to run back to the frozen food section and identify the tag for the item as store policy says I myself or employee verify the price in any kind of dispute. This creates more time in checkout for that customer and anyone behind him. So I say check the tags carefully and be sure to read more than just the price. Even though you may be in a hurry, that might save you time in the long run. Just some friendly insights here.
KING CITY, OREGON -- Recently, I went to the Safeway grocery store in King City, Oregon, for cat food. I was looking for a specific brand that both of my cats had eaten before and loved. I knew this particular brand of cat food came in two different sizes because I had seen different sized bags at a different store earlier.
I wanted to buy the larger size but unfortunately didn't see it on the shelf so I picked up the smaller size bag. Thinking maybe I had missed it, I scoured the shelves one more time and lo and behold I found a larger sized bag. I took it to the register, purchased it and went home.
I cut open the bag to feed my cats and when I saw the huge chunks of kibble, that's when I realized I had accidentally purchased dog food of the same brand. I knew it was entirely my fault for not paying closer attention to the writing and pictures on the package. Although the store keeps cat and dog food on opposite sides of the aisle, I had reached to the very top shelf where excess product is usually stored and they must have stored extra dog food above the cat food.
I called the store and explained what happened and was told to come back to make an exchange. I wish I could recall the name of the woman who helped me so I could mention her personally. She accepted the opened bag of food without question and made the exchange even though it was made complicated by the fact that the dog food was more expensive than the cat food and that I had used a coupon for the original purchase. Again, making the wrong purchase in the first place was nobody's fault but my own but I truly appreciate that Safeway was willing to make the exchange anyway. I'm sure my cats appreciated it, too.