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May 19, 2009 03:51 PM

whole foods customer service - rant

I went to the Whole Foods at Lincoln and Rose (Venice) today. I bought both pork and beef ribs, already cooked, at the smoke house counter. The pork ribs were sold by the rack, at $17.99 for a 24 ounce rack. The beef ribs were sold by the pound. My beef ribs weighed 1.5 pounds (24 oz). I felt a discrepancy in weight as I picked up one package in each hand. I mentioned to the counter woman that the pork ribs felt significantly lighter than 24 oz. She shrugged. She then told me that they're sold by the piece, not by weight. I asked why, then, was 24 oz stated on both the sign and the label. I told her that they should fix their signs to not state that something was a weight when it was clearly under it. I asked her to weigh it. She didn't, so I placed my double wrapped ribs on her scale. They came out as 1.2 pounds including her wrapping. There were three ribs just sitting on top of the other slabs. I thought she would add them to my order to make it closer to the stated weight. She didn't. I didn't ask her to. It was clear that she was over it. My problem, not hers.

I thought she might acknowledge the discrepancy, and the need for a change. She didn't. She looked at me with major attitude. It was quite disconcerting and sad to me. I'm not someone who complains, ever, and I chose to speak up because their pricing and advertising were just wrong. It was the point of the matter. How she chose to respond and act really turned me off. Am I off base here? What would you have done?

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  1. Did you talk to the manager? They are really good at fixing the issue.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jkao1817

      I actually did go to customer service, immediately. Nobody was there. I waited a few minutes and then got someone. This person was clueless and ineffective. I explained the situation to her..about 3 times. She didn't understand the weight/piece discrepancy issue. She called the answer. She weighed the ribs, agreed they were too light, but didn't know what to do. She said she was going to speak to the meat dept manager and that I should continue to shop and she's come find me after she spoke to the mgr. Well, 20 minutes later..after shopping and looking for her, I went back to customer service. Someone else was there. Her got her. She was sitting in an adjacent area, having never looked for me.

      After 5 more minutes of discussion, she said they'd concluded that, in this case, they would charge me the per pound price of $10.

      Never a sorry uttered. Never an acknowledgment of the time and energy I spent due to their false advertising. That's why I asked for CH opinions.

    2. You are right to feel put out, but that's just one employee and not necessarily representative of Whole Foods, which generally has excellent customer service. As jkao pointed out, the thing to do is talk to the manager.

      1. misomom, I think that the counter woman was wrong, way out of line. But on the other hand - and I don't mean to be disrespectul - but as a person who has never wanted to pay $18.00 for a 11/2 lbs cooked rack, isn't WF set up to take advantage of customers like you?

        4 Replies
        1. re: Sam Fujisaka

          I agree that it was a crazy price. but my teenager was getting his braces off today after two, I was buying an assortment of foods he couldn't eat during that time..pork ribs, beef ribs, corn on the cob, a caramel, special occasion, combined w/no time to cook ribs before dinner...that's why I felt really stuck and conflicted..I wanted these ribs, but almost left them at the store...twice...customer service was horribly inept..and lacking the concepts of both customer..and service. I assure you, I will not buy them again. Haven't decided yet about whether to continue to support Whole Foods with any future trips. Just soo dumb on their easy to fix...and they really screwed it up.. Dishonesty of posting weight and not honoring it was totally lost on each of the people I encountered

          1. re: misomom

            I would have done the same for my daughter - but probably wouldn't go back. Your son is named Miso?

            1. re: Sam Fujisaka

              No. Miso is a nickname for my daughter

              1. re: misomom

                No need to justify what or where you buy food.

                If you feel like your problem was not solved to your standards, contact corporate. I did that once after a VERY bad experience at WF.

        2. misomom that really sucks. I rarely complain too. So I find that when something finally gets my blood going enough to stick up for myself I'm not very good at it. But I'm starting to get better with practice. If I care enough now, I'll politely ask to speak to a manager when I sense that I'm not getting anywhere. I tend to do it early on now, to save me and the other person extra time and aggravation. If I don't want to put forth the time and effort I just leave without buying the item or tell the cashier I don't want it. I did that about three weeks ago at, guess where? Yup, whole foods. I bought the other stuff but the item that was giving me trouble stayed in the store. I was nice and polite about it but it was very liberating to just walk out of there without it. You are not off base at all. Did you buy the ribs? If you feel up to it you can still call the manager. Right now the college kids are off for the summer and adjusting to their new summer jobs. I've had a few small issues, nothing like yours, and chalked it up to people having to switch modes.

          1 Reply
          1. re: givemecarbs

            Thank you for your empathy. As you can see from my above replies...I did buy the ribs..because I really wanted to feed them to my son. Neither of the people I encountered was college aged...I would've been much more understanding if that were the case..I probably would've just sucked it up and kept my mouth shut. And you're right..I spent waay too much time at customer (dis)service and am caring enough, as a nonranter, to post a rant

          2. The original comment has been removed