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Great shopping experience at TJs (and I don't usually rave)

I was eyeing two kinds of dried cherries at TJs this afternoon but didn't know what the difference might be (Bing vs. Rainier). I saw an employee and asked him if he knew. He said no, he had no idea, and proceeded to tear open a package of each and offer me a taste. Now that's customer service for you! I was very impressed. Also, I would have bought the one I liked less if I had been left to guess. Rainier cherries are sweeter; Bings are sweet but have that great tartness I appreciate in a cherry.

You don't run into that kind of service in big stores much these days (one of the reasons I usually like smaller stores...).

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  1. Wow, which branch was that? The people at my store are completely clueless too, but I've never been offered a taste of anything. At most, they wander around the store with me, looking for something that doesn't exist. Or, more typically, they'll say "No we don't have that" right off the cuff. A few times when I've pressed the issue, the item I was looking for has shown up in a strange location or under a slightly different name.

    1. And it's not so much that the employer opened the packages for you, but it sounds like he did it WITHOUT THE 'TUDE! It sounds like he, too, was curious right along WITH you...

      Thanks, Anne H, for the good story! It's just so rare...we have forgotten about great customer service!

      1. In Glenview, north of Chicago. Yeah, the guy was curious and saw only one way to answer my question... I wasn't pressuring him at all, and it never occurred to me that he would respond the way he did. I did wonder if the fact that I had a cart full of stuff made him think I was a good profit center... I didn't see that he was some higher up type, nor did he check with anyone, he just whipped open the bags and held them out to me. (As I was walking away, he saw another clerk and asked him if he knew the difference or wanted a taste, and I'm sorry to say that guy brushed him off with a quick, no I don't eat cherries.)

        1. i have a great TJ's story, too. I had bought a case of wine there and it was just terrible. It was only $2.99/bottle so I chocked it up to a bad choice (not you get what you pay for, because I've made a lot of great wine discoveries at TJs, and no, it wasn't $2 Chuck!). About a year later I was in the checkout purchasing other wines, when the checker said, "you know, if you don't like any of these, feel free to bring them back". i then proceeded to tell him about my year-ago experience, and he credited me for the entire case, right then and there! i love TJs...matter of fact, my secret santa gave me a gift certificate just today for TJs. I must talk about it alot...

          1. I am a big Trader Joe's fan. If an item is missing from the shelf or rack, an employee is always willing to check for it in the back. If out of stock, a manager-type at the service counter is happy to call one of the nearby branches (there are three in close proximity here in West L.A.). The checkout people at the registers are unfailingly pleasant.

            1 Reply
            1. re: nosh

              They will always call for me as well, and hold it for me.

            2. They had gotten a new kind of Sheep's Milk Feta in brine on the shelf, which I had never tried. They went and opened it for me to taste. I promptly bought it.

              I have always taken stuff back, either for me or my clients and they always give me credit or an exchange. Sometimes I will save the package if it has a date on it, otherwise, it really never matters. I do keep all my receipts, so those I can show them.

              1. I had the same experience at a TJ's with dried Dragon Fruit, which had me curious enough to ask an employee if he'd tried it and could recommend it. He said he had and didn't care for it much, then opened a package so I could try it. It wasn't particularly tasty (I don't think TJ's is carrying it anymore), so I didn't buy it, and walked away very happy with TJ's willingness to please the customer: me.

                1. Somehow I was in brain-freeze mode thinking I could go to TJ's an hour before they closed on Christmas Eve and get the chocolate ganache torte and berries charlotte that I wanted to bring to the next day's party. The frozen dessert section was decimated -- almost no pies, tortes, etc. to be found. Their were a few of their New York-style cheesecakes and some Belgian profiteroles, so those I got. The cream-filled profiteroles, more creampuffs, were a hit, light, delicious, and there were two packets of squeeze-out chocolate sauce packed underneath! The cheesecake was rich and had a crisp graham undercrust. Thank goodness for Trader Joes. And two successful dessert offerings cost me all of less than $12.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: nosh

                    Shopping is impossible around the holidays, I had to shop for two clients right before AND after. Best to go when they open at 9 around hoilday times if you can. Everything is gone late in the day.