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.
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.
SILVER SPRING, MARYLAND -- Recently picked up (to try) Safeway's Select brand of frozen chocolate croissants and the frozen baklava rolls. Oh, my - think these are made with phyllo dough, and I am sure they are very bad for me, but I was impressed. The little chocolate croissants bake up in 15 minutes and are to die for - semi-sweet chocolate with the flakiest tender pastry. The heavily sweet, rich baklava rolls just have to be defrosted and are fragrant, tender, and flaky with nuts and the tiniest hint of lemon.
Rarely am so ecstatic about a dessert, but both of these are a lovely way to finish dinner or a rotten day with a little fresh fruit and drinks. Don't usually make special trips for desserts (except for Trader Joe's Raspberry Macaroon cake) but I'll be stopping by Safeway to stock up on these for New Year's.
MARYLAND -- This is probably not unique to Safeway, but it is where I noticed it. I am not a people person and I love the convenience of the self-checkout lanes. This past weekend, my son asked me to get him some bagels. I stopped at Safeway and noticed that they were around $3.99 a dozen. I got a dozen. When I got to the register, I pushed through the on-screen display, found the bagels and entered my quantity (12). The total came out to $7.xx, almost double what the sign said in the bakery.
I eventually got some assistance and found out that I should have searched more until I found the "dozen bagel" button. It all got straightened out, and I now know that 12 is not the same as a dozen at Safeway. Point is this, be very careful at self-checkouts; the lack of cashier experience can cost you $$$ if you are not careful.
I had been using Safeway's home shopping delivery service, but decided to check prices in their actual store. This a partial letter I sent to Safeway...
"You people are finished ripping me off..I didn't purchase the following items or weren't able to, but when I went into an actual Safeway store...this is what I found online: iceberg lettuce $2.59 - store $.98; Lucerne butter $2.59 - store $1.99; delicious apples, none offered online but expensive - in store .98 a pc; oranges, online 1.69 pc - in store .98 a pc; Tillamook Jack cheese, online 3.99 - store 3.79; Tillamook pepper Jack, $4.49 online - in store 3.79.
Will I shop online again?? Absolutely not!!! Will I shop Safeway again at all? Probably not. I don't know how many times you ripped me off before online, but you WILL NEVER have the opportunity again. You also earned all of my free word-of-mouth advertising.
FAIRFIELD, CALIFORNIA -- I now go out of my way to a competing grocery story simply because I am tired of getting pummeled by charity requests in and outside of the store. Here is a typical customer experience at your store. Customer parks, they get hounded for money on the way in by a different charity every week. Then, once the customer comes in and buys an item, we get asked to donate again by the cashier to another charity. Then, on the way out, the customer leaves through the exit door, in which another charity person has his hand out.
It's absolutely ridiculous and I personally know of 2 other people in my neighborhood that go out of their way to a different grocery store because of this same problem.
AURORA, COLORADO -- I ordered the Prime Rib Dinner for Thanksgiving 2009 about two weeks prior to Thanksgiving, with a two hour pickup prior to my guests coming. Safeway states re-warm should only take 1 1/2 to 2 hours after getting Prime home. I sent my wife to pick up Prime actually a 1/2 hour earlier than set time. When she came home she told me that the deli mgr. said one of their employees had "stolen" our prime rib so instead sent us a raw prime rib with limited instructions on preparation and cooking.
Of course my oven was packed with other food such as a turkey and side dishes with barely any room for the Prime especially from raw to cooked at 325 degrees. Everything else was set at 225 degrees. Well we used their instructions and came out with a very nice medium well-cooked prime instead of the medium rare as promised by Safeway. There was no reduction in pricing nor did they send their "chef" to cook it for us. What a rip off!! I will never darken the doors of a Safeway for any product again in my lifetime, nor my kids, wife, nor any of the 12 guests and their families who came to dinner that day.
Safeway's claim of "low prices" is a lie. Pumpkin pie spice: $6.50 at Safeway, $1.99 at Trader Joe's. Sriracha ("rooster") sauce? $2 less at Cost Plus for a 17 oz. bottle. Safeway claims to have low prices, but I believe they gouge consumers on everything but staples. Even with the Safeway Club Card and the endless "special promotions", I believe I end up spending more at Safeway because the prices on things that AREN'T on sale are double or triple what they ought to be. I spent MORE using a $10 off w/ $50 purchase at Safeway than I would have shopping elsewhere.
MENLO PARK, CALIFORNIA -- I ordered some groceries two days ago. I can't leave the house right now and I needed these groceries. I gave them a 4-hour window. 1 hour into the window, I received a phone call that the driver had an emergency and there would be no delivery. I tried to call back to find out more, but the phone number was "disconnected". Then I went online, and tried to find a contact number. No such luck.
I called a store and (yes all these options, waiting and waiting) I reached a customer representative who explained to me (wearily) that he can give me a phone number to call. Which I did. Waiting. The lady who got on the phone told me she could transfer me. She also seemed quite weary. By this time I was quite angry.
The final person I reached told me this is how it is is, she can only reschedule to the next day, they don't have backup drivers etc. and for all my time and hassle, she offered me one delivery free of charge (which I had anyway, being my first time). She then told me my money would be credited back to me if I cancelled the order.
Thanks a lot for not having me pay for products I didn't receive. As for not fulfilling my order - doesn't bother her. I won't use their service again. Don't they have to fulfill a contract with me? This is an urban area, no warnings are given while you order that you may not receive your order.
FREMONT, CALIFORNIA -- The cashiers at the Safeway store on South Mission Blvd. in Northern California seem to abide by the motto of "It's all the customer's fault!" When their system failed to honor good coupons from their own ads, they blame the customers. Their cashiers may leave for breaks suddenly without warning when there's still a line of customers waiting. Their mostly white cashiers at the checkout also can turn very cold if their next customer happens to be Asian. However, their staffs including manager, supervisor, meat/seafood counter, bakery, shelfers, or even baggers are all typical friendly Safeway type.
What is going on with their cashiers? They have since address their system problem with the coupon recognition. But racism and work ethics among cashiers apprantly is tougher to fixed. When there is option, run and stay away from this cult!