Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Trader Joe's: "Honesty Is The Best Policy!"

Trader Joe's
Last week I went shopping on a whim at Trader Joe's.  I had been there in previous years, but it is out of the way and I just hadn't been able to work it into my schedule.  After an appointment, I found that I had extra time to run down to Trader Joe's, compare prices and check out the grass fed beef.

I was so excited about the prices, having spent only $85.67 for my weekly grocery trip!  It was a surprise to me to see how much cheaper some of their products were compared to my regular go-to stores of Giant and Redner's.

Surprisingly, things ran at least $1 cheaper per item and these were organic to boot!  I loaded up on fresh fruits, veggies, fish and several pounds of the grass fed beef.  Considering, all the meat and produce I purchased I was expecting to run a bill closer to the $130 range.  I was ecstatic when the teller declared, "$85.67."

As I drove away, thrilled with my cheaper than usual grocery store experience, I called Hubby.  This warranted his praise.  He seemed pleased at the savings, but that really wasn't enough for me.  I reiterated the fact that I had purchased several POUNDS of GRASS FED BEEF and WILD SALMON. He got the hint and lauded, with the appropriate measure of huge appreciation and awe, my excellent ability to hunt and gather at a cheaper rate!

While unloading the groceries at home, I came across the receipt in the bag.  Still elated from my stellar success at savings, I glanced over the bill before intending to recycle it.  Horror struck, I realized that the wild salmon, priced at $13.99, was nowhere on the receipt.

After several searches, my bubble was burst and I stared deflated at my Trader Joe's receipt, knowing that this meant a trip back to the store to pay for my unintended "stolen" fish.

Sigh.

Doing the right thing was quite annoying, especially when living a half hour drive from Trader Joe's.

I glanced back at the receipt for a phone number and promptly called the store.  I explained the situation and the fact that I would not be able to get back down to pay until I was in the area again the next week.  The gentleman thanked me for my honesty and said I could come back and pay for it anytime.

I hung up.  Annoyed.

Naturally, I had expected a "No problem, Ma'am.  Our mistake.  The customer's always right" response.       It had been their fault.  I saw the teller scan it and put it on the side.  Unlike larger chains, Trader Joe's takes your cart behind the cash register, unloads it as they scan each item and puts it aside to be bagged. So it is not as if I forgot to pull it out of the cart like some little candy bar or toothbrush.

Sigh.

I hoped my meatloaf, made with the grass fed beef, would cheer me up.  Unfortunately, I found the texture and taste to be much more like venison than beef: "gamey."  Perhaps the sting of the "stolen" salmon spoiled my appetite and I hoped  that I could find a better dish for the remaining pounds of organic grass fed beef I had purchased.

Sigh.

Today was the day I had planned to stop back in at Trader Joe's after my weekly chiropractor appointment in the area.  My visit went long and I debated if I had enough time to run in and pay for my "stolen" salmon.  Of course, I felt I should go ahead and get it over with as fast as possible so as not to drag it out another week.

Sigh.

I arrived at Trader Joe's, grabbed a few items on my way to customer service and pulled out my old receipt with the salmon price tag stuck to the back of it.  I explained the situation to the managers.

They stared at me in shock, glanced at one another, back at me, hesitated with a few "uh?, uh?"

Clearly, neither of them knew just what to do with me.

Finally, the one gentleman told the lady that they would write it off and happily declared to me, "Honesty is the best policy!"  And they both thanked me immensely for coming back.

No, no, THANK YOU, Trader Joe's!  That salmon is gonna taste even better now!

25 comments:

  1. I have ALWAYS been pleased with their customer service - and if you had told them you weren't thrilled with the beef - they would have refunded your money - even though you ate it - it's their policy and they stick with it. =)

    Hillary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I made beef stroganof with the rest of it this week and it was very yummy!

      Delete
  2. It's also nice how everyone who works there appears to genuinely want to be working there...they are all friendly, courteous, and kind.

    ReplyDelete
  3. We have had positive experiences there, too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad I gave them a try and will certainly be keeping them on my grocery store circuit!

      Delete
  4. you're a better person than me. I wouldn't have made the effort to pay for "stolen" food that is unless I had actually stolen it LOL.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. lol! It took a lot of motivation, but I'm glad I did it...made me feel much better about my experience there too and much more likely to go back.

      Delete
  5. I think the guy who first answered the phone couldn't just say forget about it; because that would probably be against store policy. It probably took a higher up to just "let it go." I commend you on your honesty; but at the end of the day it wasn't your fault and I think you spent an enormous amount of energy (even writing the post LOL) on this "event".
    Estelle

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yup, I figured he was probably limited or just completely shocked that anyone would bother to call to pay for it...lol!

      Delete
  6. LOL - I loved Melinda's comment!

    What a great story! I love shopping at Trader Joe's despite the small aisles. Everyone is friendly and helpful. I've never had to take anything back. Knock on wood.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am certainly going to keep going there on a regular basis!

      Delete
  7. I love Trader Joe's too, but there isn't a location in our state, so we make a point to stop there when we are traveling. We love to stock up on their coffee, nuts and chocolate and Lacey's cookies are a family favorite. On our last visit, the cashier missed ringing up a small bag of chocolate. When my husband noticed it, he pulled out his wallet and the cashier said it was on the house.

    I hope your salmon tastes fabulous!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We're having it for dinner tonight and I can't wait!

      Delete
    2. BTW the salmon was scrumptious!

      Delete
  8. Replies
    1. I told Hubby that Trader Joe's is my new best friend!

      Delete
  9. I am a HUGE Trader Joe's fan and go there every chance I get. Kudos to them!

    ReplyDelete
  10. sounds like you did the right thing, and so did they. I love trader Joe's . last time we were there are total was an even amount so we got to spin the wheel and won a snack item. my DD picked out the biggest bag of nuts she could find, It was like 7$ and we got it free. so cool.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Neat! I didn't know that they have a winners wheel!

      Delete
  11. I think where as it worked out in the end. I think the person who answer the phone should have directed you to a manger and they should have written it off then. The thought of asking you to come back and pay is horrible it was not your fault. Leave a customer with any bad taste is wrong. Because you now wrote a post about how you were unhappy for a week. #fail for the 1st guy answering the phone. I hope Trader Joes reaches out to you.
    Nicely written post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yup, he probably just didn't know what to do with me! I'm glad that they other people made it a very pleasant experience and now have a repeat customer in me!

      Delete