Family Dollar Stores — poor customer service
RE: Family Dollar, store #03696 28 Broadway, Menands NY
On July 6 at 2:16pm, I attempted to purchase Tide's Pods along with other laundry supplies. There was a smart coupon for the item. I am not extremely familiar with "clipping coupons" from the Family Dollar app, but this was the only way to redeem the savings so I gave it a try.
I did not easily find the item on the app after searching; instead I found one similar for Tide's "SIMPLY" pods. The scanning feature on the app did not work, so I was prompted by the cashier to enter my phone number on the key pad. The cashier, Julie, told me that the coupon was not for the item I was purchasing. At that point, I exhausted all search options for the items on my phone, even entering "TIDE" in the search field, to no avail. I got two images for Tide products, neither one looked like the item I was purchasing. So I asked for help. This is where I struggled.
Unbeknownst to me at the time, I asked the manager Aleathea for assistance. I told her that I couldn't find the product on my phone. I told her that I used the search feature and typed in Tide. She told me that I shouldn't type in Tide. I looked puzzled for a minute then asked for her to go with me to the aisle where the product was advertised, so not to "waste time"; the line behind us was growing. She told me that I would be wasting time anyway, and that I should, once again, search on my phone and she walked away. Meanwhile, cashier Julie was of no assistance.
Judging from the number of items that have security tags (even of small monetary value), I made the assumption that this store is accustomed to dealing with a particular customer base and that they aren't able to discern between a decent, paying customer and a thief. So why would Manager Alethea go out of her way to help me?? I wondered. The funny thing was, she was standing behind the counter seemingly doing nothing.
At this point, I notified them that I was going to report them for poor customer service. I left the items on the counter and left the store.
I returned to the store with a colleague who was determined to purchase the item the same way. She was able to succeed because she insisted that Manager Alethea go with her to the aisle, where the product was advertised, and help her with the phone/app. Surprise, surprise, Alethea found the item on the phone. It was not without difficulty but she persevered and found the coupon. My point very simply, Alethea could have done this all along when I first asked for assistance but she didn't. It should not have taken another person nor an additional trip to the store, on top of mounting frustration, to make a purchase. Perhaps, if the app was more user friendly (making products easier to find), this would not have happened the exact same way.
However, the difficulty with the app is no excuse for poor customer service.
I don't know how staff are trained, but a basic principle should be, "You can't judge a book by it's cover". When I was in retail, I learned that customer service is paramount. This is what ensures repeat business.
I will probably not return to this store, but I do hope the staff, Julie and Alethea, do a little more than "waste" their time, by stepping out from behind the counter to provide a little more help.
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