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Monday, March 10, 2008

No customer service at Dominicks

Dominicks supermarkets (a division of Safeway) have been losing market share in Chicago in the last few years. Maybe this sort of thing is why:

This morning, my wife noticed the lamb chops I'd bought March 8 had a sell-by date of March 5. Since it was now March 10, prudence indicated I should return them rather than eat them. I found the receipt and looked up the store hours. They opened at 6 a.m. (well, not pharmacy or deli or seafood, but ...) so I could return them by walking a few blocks out of my way when going to the train.

When I arrived, the one cashier informed me Customer Service didn't open until 7. But, perhaps, I could go see someone in the meat department. The butcher reviewed my situation and called up front to indicate a refund of $8.13 plus tax.

The cashier rang up a refund of $8.29 including tax, but then said she could only give me $8 because she didn't have any change. And, indeed, she didn't. All the change was in an automated change dispenser, which doesn't work for refunds. She said I could come back later or wait until 7, when Customer Service opened.

After some discussion as to the value of my time relative to 29 cents, the cashier indicated she's just give me a dollar. So, I made 71 cents on the deal, although the overall experience was still unsatisfactory: meat 3 days out of code? no customer service personnel? no change for refunds?

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