Monday, December 29, 2008

No Extra Credit for Aldi

"Wait!"

I can hear you warning me.

"Be careful about what you blog! As the most current company with whom you have taken issue may find the post and call you out on it, and ask you to remove it, and then you'll have to grapple with your convictions about forgiveness and reconciliation and relationships, and, well, you know, all that stuff that you struggled with the last time this happened."

But, reader, this time, my gripe is not with a local business concerned about retaining their reputation so that they can actually remain in business in this awful economy, but rather a large international company, that doesn't offer one the ability to even call a customer service number to share comments and complaints. Seriously, I've combed their website. I can write in, as in U.S. Postal Service write in, but email, phone call, fax? Nada. Nope.

Aldi's prices are cheap because they sell "off" brands of many goods, (although one can also pick up Tyson chicken as well - antibiotic free even), do not offer free bags (I bring my own), or free carts (one needs a quarter to borrow a cart), nor do they take credit cards or personal checks. Cash? Yes. Debit cards? Yes . . . er, well . . .

Debit?

Debit?

Debit?

Yes, unless their machine can not read the customer's card.

And so there I stood, after shopping for 45 minutes with two kids, staring down a really long line of customers, (isn't that always the case when there is trouble at the register), and a full cart of groceries waiting to be bagged, only to find that the machine wouldn't read my debit card. My debit card which I had just used in another store. My debit card. The only way I could pay for my groceries at Aldi.

To his credit the cashier did attempt the old "wrap the card in a plastic bag and swipe" method.

Nothing.

"Can you just enter it manually?"

"No. It's illegal for me to enter it manually."

Illegal?

As in, against the law?

Ok, I'm no law enforcement officer, or lawyer, and perhaps in this day and age of identity theft, there could be a small sliver of truth to this statement, but isn't that why a cashier would then call a manager? To get "Manager Approval" or "Override" or whatever the term is that allows at least one employee to enter a number into the system so that a purchase can be made?

Apparently not. He turned and started ringing up the next customer.

So we turned to leave.

But not before Harper got her quarter back from the shopping cart rental. She wasn't leaving without it.

I guess Aldi did stand up their promise of saving me money, as the $90 allotted for groceries is still sitting in my checkbook.

But I'm pretty hungry.

1 comment:

Debbie said...

I have had dealings with stores like that, and I decided that if their policy is to be as customer UNfriendly as possible, then I would take my business somewhere else. Of course, that is in a town the size of your pinky finger with only two "grocery stores" and one mammoth retailer whose name everyone knows. But if a company is determined to put themselves out of business, I'm determined to let them. Although a phone call to the top person you can reach is not out of the question...good luck, and may you be more forgiving than I was... :)