SuperAmerica / stunning verbal abuse and mistreatment of loyal customers
I am still livid and furious two hours after this incident. I am just going to copy and paste what I sent to SuperAmerica's website about this, but I'll remove the names.
To whomever is in charge of customer services issues, I am not a person who normally sends in complaints. This is the first time I've ever felt that I absolutely needed to do so in my entire life, actually. I would like to start by saying that I am probably one of the most "regular" customers that this store has. I live one block away and I come into the store to shop multiple times a day. Before tonight I was an extremely loyal customer. On an average week I probably spend close to seven hundred dollars at SuperAmerica. I have gotten to know all the employees working at this location simply because I come in so often, in fact one of your managers at this location has literally been begging me to come and work with them because we all get along so well! The majority of the staff are such great people that I really liked coming to this store so much. I buy everything from snacks, drinks, gas, cigarettes, lottery tickets and household items from you guys. Even when it isn't the most convenient or the most affordable option I always chose to spend my money with you, and when I think about it, that choice was always made based on the (usually) fantastic customer service I am used to getting there. After tonight I am really unsure as to whether I will be coming back or not. I was treated like trash tonight, like less than a person, I've never received such horrible treatment anywhere in my life. Here is what happened, and I assure you I am not exaggerating - if it hadn't been THIS bad I wouldn't be spending my time writing to you about this.
I came into the store just after 9. The store was busy, and there were only two employees visible. Both were behind the counter, but only one person (the new guy) was on a register. I feel that I should mention here that I am not complaining about him at all. He was only trying to do his job and doing as he was told to by his fellow employee, and I know he is new and still training. When I went to get in the line it was stretching all the way to the back wall, there were about 15 or more people in front of me. This entire time that I was waiting, I was wondering to myself why the other employee behind the counter wouldn't get on one of the open registers to help ring up customers, but I kept that to myself. After waiting quite awhile it was my turn to get checked out. I had planned to fill up a full tank of gas, hand in 3 lottery tickets and buy more and also to purchase cigarettes. At this point the line behind me was just as long as when I had first gotten in it myself, there were people lined up all the way to the back wall again. I handed my tickets to the cashier, and as he went to scan them he finally asked (name removed) could she please help him ring some people up. She was instantly annoyed and started saying to him that lottery customers aren't important and when its busy that lottery customers need to go to the back of the line until every other customer has been helped, and that he needed to tell me this even though I was someone who should "know better". I am a polite person. I make a point of making my purchases in a timely matter and not making other people wait on me, and at the point when he asked her for help he had only spent about 10 seconds on me. She spent a little more time hassling him, all the while all of us are still waiting and no one is being served while she rants at him. Once she finished, she grudgingly got on another register and he somewhat timidly came up to me and said that in the future I will need to go to the back of the line and wait until every other customer has been served. This was repeated to me 3 times throughout my time there. I don't like being treated like trash or "less than" any of the other customers.
My response, said to both of them, is that with the hundreds of dollars I spend at this store every week that at the very least I deserve a place in the line like any other customer. To me, (name removed) then said that wasn't true (exact words were an emphatic "nuh-uh you don't"). She told me "we don't make any money on lottery tickets so technically you're not even a customer and definitely no priority" and again, told me that in the future I will "need to stand at the back of the line and wait until every other customer has been helped". At this point there was no way that I was going to buy a full tank of gas, cigarettes, more lottery tickets, or anything else from the store until something was done about this. The bottom line is, it shouldn't matter what I am buying, or how much I am spending, all customers should get the same treatment and no one should EVER be told that they are less important and much worse, that they will need to stand at the back of the line and let 30 people go in front of them regardless of how long they've been waiting because their transaction doesn't matter to that cashier. I was about to spend close to $200 at your store, but even if I was just spending fifty cents I should've been given the same respect as anyone else. To be told these things really, really upset me.
It mind sound silly but I enjoyed shopping at your store, enjoyed the rest of your employees, and this left me much more bothered than it would've somewhere else because of this. Even worse, is that she was telling a trainee to treat customers the same horrible way. It was obvious that the new cashier did not want to repeat to me what Phyllis told him to tell me, but she was standing there arms crossed glaring at him waiting for him to do so and wasn't going to get on the register to help him ring people up until he did, that was obvious. On top of all that, I didn't appreciate being treated like garbage and called out and shamed like that in front of all the 20+ customers who were waiting in line just like me when I got to the register. She basically told all the people in line that it was my fault that there even was a line at all, even though the line was just as bad when I got to the store. If she hadn't made a scene and spent all that time verbally abusing me, and had just gotten on the other register, things would've moved a whole lot faster! Words really can't describe how furious I was when I left the store and headed to a different gas station to do my business. To be told that I don't deserve a place in line like everyone else, that I am "no priority" and "technically not a customer" because the store isn't profiting off the lottery portion of my purchase (she didn't take the time to find out that I had wanted to buy other things either), to treat me that way in front of all the other customers, and to teach that kind of behavior to a trainee is beyond rude, beyond "poor" customer service, it is simply unacceptable. At any place of business I've worked, this would never be tolerated, regardless of that employees rank or time spent working there.
I have seen her mistreat other customers plenty of other times (I have a memory of a man approaching the register with a lot of items and upon seeing she was the only person there, he went and put back all the things he was going to buy and told his friend he wasn't going to do business with her because of her bad attitude), people have speculated before that she gets some "free pass" due to seniority or something. I've seen the other employees react to situations where she abuses the customers by just shrugging it off "oh that's just (name removed)". But whether or not she despises her customers, it is her JOB to provide CUSTOMER SERVICE. Maybe I am just wasting my time writing to your company about this since she seems to get away with everything, but maybe no one has actually taken the time to report one of these incidents before. I just really can't put into words just how upset and offended I am.
It's too bad because before this event your store was the first place I would go to for any of the goods that are sold there, and I was happy to be a regular customer who came in multiple times a day. I truly hope that someone will tell the trainee that this is a completely unacceptable way to treat your customers and that in the future no one is ever mistreated like this again. It was wrong on so many levels.
I would appreciate a response in regards to this incident. I am considering speaking to the general manager as well. Sorry if my letter was so long and wordy but it feels like words on a page don't really describe the magnitude of what happened or what it was like in the moment. Thank you for your time.
"technically not even a customer and definitely no priority"
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