My Worst Grocery Shopping Nightmare
Something I never expected to happen....happened early this morning. I received an e-mail from the corporate offices of Dollar General expressing their concern for my negative shopping experience. They asked for further details so that they could address the situation.
Keep in mind that I did not reach out to contact Dollar General, they somehow saw my story and reached out to me. No one and no company is perfect. Mistakes will be made The measure of a great business is addressing mistakes and improving the customer experience. I overwhelmingly applaud Dollar General. It's a breath of fresh air in today’s sometimes apathetic business climate.
This overall incident with Dollar General has shown me just how protective they are of their brand and reputation and of the customer shopping experience. Well done!
Let me first say that I have shopped at Lufkin/Nacogdoches area Dollar General locations quite a few times, and I've never had a bad experience. I'm usually in and out quickly, and the checkers have been professional and pleasant. However, an experience that I had today at a Dollar General in New Braunfels was the worst, shake my head shopping incidence I have had, and sometimes venting is just good therapy.
My family is on vacation this week and we were coming back from a rain-shortened day at Fiesta Texas in San Antonio. We needed to make a stop at a Dollar General in New Braunfels to pick up just a few items before we stopped to stay with friends. I quickly got the items I needed and headed to the check out. There were three people ahead of me. The folks at the counter checking out had a rather large amount of groceries, so I knew I'd be waiting several minutes. In this case, several was another way of saying at least 20 minutes.
I overheard the conversation between the store employee and the customer, and realized there was some confusion going on with the customer's method of payment. The customer was finally able to get across that he was attempting to pay with food stamps. Obviously, the checker was thrown for a loop because he headed to the back of the store to get directions from a manager.
The line had grown to about 5 or 6 deep when the checker returned and explained the situation. Apparently, the only register that was equipped to handle food stamps was the other register at the check out counter. So...guess what that meant? Every one of the items had to be taken out of their bags and then re-scanned.
I was frustrated all right, but really, my strongest feeling was that of sympathy towards the customer. He tried his best to make conversation with us all and apologize for all of this, but it wasn't his fault. Really, it wasn't anyone's fault. Mistakes happen, and I think everyone in line understood that.
As the checker continued to re-scan the multitude of items, I started thinking about something. The employee had gone back to get direction from the manager about how to ring up a SNAP card. As the line had now grown to about 10 deep, why wasn't the manager helping out on the other register? The more I waited with every scanned item, the more I became angered...and tired, did I mention that I had a 24-pack of bottled water on my shoulder?
Finally, as the last few items were getting scanned again, here she came, the manager. Better extremely late than never, I suppose. She went to the other register and started to fiddle with a few things, and after a few minutes, she still had not opened the register, nor did she offer up any explanation or apology to all of us. I had seen and experienced enough. Twenty minutes for four items was my limit. I wasn't about to give my money to a business that completely ignored me. I'm a parent...I have kids that do that.
I left and found someplace else to shop. Oh, and to the person that found the ketchup by the fingernail polish, sorry, I wasn't about to go back and place the items in their proper places.