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June 8th, 2008

Grocery Store Woes

Yesterday I went grocery shopping and we spotted an end cap that had a huge 10 for $10 sign on it. The items on display were instant noodle lunches in a rectangular container that Maruchan and Nissan both started making recently. Both brands were present on the shelf, so we grabbed two, one of which happened to be Maruchan brand and one happened to be Nissan.

The store we go to has a policy of giving .03 for every bag you bring in. Since I use cloth bags, I usually wind up with a .30 or so credit on my bill. When the cashier forgets to add it, I always stop at the customer service counter to make a suggestion to put a sign at each register to remind the cashiers of the policy, and I usually have to show them my receipt. Today was no exception, as the cashier had once again neglected to give credit for the bags.

While I was waiting to make my suggestion, I noticed on the receipt that only one of the instant noodle lunches rang up at $1,with the other one ringing up at $1.39. I pointed this out to the woman behind the Customer Service counter and she asked me where I had gotten the items and I told her the specific end cap. She went and looked, came back and told me I was right, the item I purchased was on the same shelf, but the sale only applied to the one brand and not both. I pointed out to her the store policy where if something is shelved wrong you get the item for free but I also told her I would be satisfied with getting the .39 back, and she told me she couldn't do it because the tags on the shelf were for the correct item on sale. I tried to explain again and got so far as having her admit that the 10 for $10 sign in front of the items was misleading if both items were not $1, but she still maintained I couldn't get the difference back or get the item for free because it wasn't the item on sale.

Not in the mood to ask for a manager, I wound up returning the item. After all, we wouldn't have purchased them if they hadn't been on sale. It might have only been .39 extra, but it was more out of frustration over the misleading sign that we returned it over any other reason. Honestly, if we had discovered the discrepancy when we got home we'd have probably said "oh well" and just chalked it up as an unfortunate mistake.

My main frustration is that this is one of the nicer/cleaner grocery stores in my area, and yet half the employees don't know store policy or fail to understand the policies.

What about the other 5 layers?

I decided to treat my boyfriend to lunch the other day and we ended up at Taco del Mar. I noticed a tasty-sounding item on their menu called the Six Layer Nachos, and asked what it included. The older of the two men working told me it was "exactly like the meat nachos without the meat", and I went ahead and ordered it.

Now, at this same location not a week ago, my boyfriend ordered their meat nachos and they were topped with beans, pico de gallo, sour cream, guacamole, and plenty of cheese. What I received was a plate of dry, plain chips with maybe a tablespoon of cheese on top of them, right in the middle. Literally four of the several dozens of chips on my plate had any cheese on them whatsoever. Confused, I asked the cashier if anything else was supposed to come with my order, and the older man yelled angrily across the counter at me "They are just CHEESE nachos". When I asked if I could have more cheese on them they told me I would have to pay $1.25 extra.

I told the cashier that I was a bit confused and thought that the "six layer" nachos would come with more than one layer of toppings, so he asked the other man if he could give me some sour cream and guacamole. He gave me a small amount of each (while speaking angrily to his co-worker in a language I couldn't understand) which still left nearly all of my chips plain. I asked if I could order a burrito instead but I'd already paid (I paid at the cash register while the older man made our food) and apparently no one at the store knew how to do refunds on their register (I'm not sure I believe this).

I tried to spread the toppings out and ate as many chips as I could, but they were just too salty to eat plain in that quantity and I ended up throwing probably 2/3 of my food away. I was pissed; the menu and the man who I asked about the item were misleading, I'm almost positive they shorted me things that were supposed to come with my order, they were rude to me and refused to compensate me in any way, and I was charged almost $7 for what was basically a side order of chips with a side of sour cream and guacamole (which would be around $3 and come with much more sour cream and guacamole than what I was given). Obviously I won't go back to that location again, and I did send an email to their corporate office. It is a franchise and I'm pretty sure the older man working was the owner though, so it's likely nothing will come of it.

Telstra woes

I posted a couple of months ago, about the lack of service from Telstra.

I am now taking bets on how long it's going to take for Telstra to connect the phone to our new house.

We booked it on the 15th March. We were initially promised they would connect on April 1st, then 2nd May, then 2nd June...still no phone.

The problem is they have to upgrade the cabling in the street. At present we are the only new house in the street, so we are only one, wee little voice and not important enough to consider, or even tell the truth to. So far I have been assured, each time that it's going to be done, and last time I was told it had been done.

A telstra contractor did come to our house last week, and did his bit, from the street to the house, but couldn't connect. He was surprised that he had been sent to the house, when he couldn't actually do anything about it.

So far I've had to buy a new Next G mobile phone...couldn't get a service at all with the old phone, and wireless, which is expensive and gives me hardly any download. The service is okay, and the speed is fast...that's all.

I've been told that we cannot even get any compensation from Telstra, because we didn't take up their offer of a mobile phone so that we could get calls while we were waiting. She didn't tell me at the time, that we would be forfeiting any chance of getting compensation.

And yes I have a complaint with the TIO (Telecommunications Ombudsman), and an official complaint number with Telstra, and I have been allocated a Case Manager.

It's very hard to run two small businesses from home without a landline...and expensive to boot, having to use mobiles and wireless.

This is not actually bad service...but NO SERVICE.

I cannot go with another carrier, as Telstra are the only ones, who actually do any of the cabling. We have no choice what-so-ever.

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