Shopko Stores LLC / poor customer service made someone cry

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Dear Shopko CEO;
An incident occurred on September 2, 2009 that I think you should be made aware of. In the town of Kimberly, WI their was an elderly couple that would shop at the near-by Shopko store quit often. You could tell be watching them that after all these years they were deeply in love. They always came in together too. That is until the day the incident occurred. On this day the man came in alone picked up a few items and brought them to a register. As it happens there was a special sale going on and it was senior savings day. When it came time to present his savings card to the cashier nothing happened. No discount. The cashier tried the card several times but nothing worked. The manager was called over. The manager looked at the customer’s items and said that nothing qualified because it was all paper products and snatched up an ad to prove it was there in the fine print. At this point, the elderly man’s eyes welled up and he began to cry. The manager would do nothing and the cashier could not do anything without manager approval. The man tottered off with none of his purchases explaining to the cashier as he went that he had got up early specifically to come to this sale. The ad said a day of fun and savings and he guessed he was going to have neither. His wife had died three weeks ago and nothing was going to go right for him anymore.
The point of the story is many depending on how you approach it. One having a senior discount that is not on basic items can lose your company sales. Two not letting cashiers be empowered to make their own judgment calls is frustrating to all involved, is poor customer service and again can lose sales. Three it hurts Shopko’s image. Because of this one incident, that customer may now hate Shopko, the cashier hates her job, and I no longer wish to work for Shopko although I was just considering applying. Those are the current known consequences, but what if more people hear about this story. As you can probably see, it is time for a few policy changes. Please do something to fix this mess.

A Concerned Citizen

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  • Re
      Feb 17, 2010

    Although I can feel for the man since he had just lost his wife I see no wrong doing here.

    Why is it that in this day and age we EXPECT companies to bend over for us?? So the discount doesn't apply to paper products, chemicals, electronics, etc... It has been this way for at least two years! The company has every right in the world to offer sales or discounts on items they choose. Rather than be thankful that there is a senior discount at all, the general discussion on this is complaints on what isn't given.

    More and more I stand in lines listening to complaints about what someone isn't being given. I rarely, if ever, have to wait in line for someone to say "thank you" for what you do receive.

    Again, I feel sorry for the gentlemans situation, but the fact is that the store has a policy... we as consumers should learn that we have to follow it. Complaining about it just makes us look like 3-yr olds that are ticked off mom got us a blue cup, not the red one!

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  • Up
      Mar 01, 2011

    Love the blue cup-red cup analogy!

    Concerned Citizen,

    Your complaint is terribly unfounded. The man wasn't crying about his discount, he was crying because his wife died. If everyone with a dead relative could get unofficial discounts from Shopko, then Shopko would be no more. If this were a small community mom-and-pop store where everyone knew one another and store credit was available for people in need, then we might be talking. That is not the case. How many people shop at shopko who have had spouses die? How many people could get away with making up a dead spouse story to get a discount? I'm not saying this man made up a sob story to get unwarranted discounts, but a vast majority of people would. How long do they get the discount? 3 weeks? 3 months? What is the average period of mourning? Do we require proof of recent death?

    Understand that Shopko, Walmart, Kmart etc. are large companies that have little to no regard for feelings outside of customer satisfaction. If you treat one person with a discount, you have to give everyone else the same privilege. Besides, paper products, electronics etc are so close to at-cost for Shopko, that any discount on these items will be a loss for the company.

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