Monday, December 16, 2013

Hey PetCo, We Will Shop At PetSmart

Dear PetCo,

Thank you for deleting my posts and messages to you in an effort to let you set this straight. I can only assume you have no explanation and do not care about how your manager treated us. No one deserves to be treated like that, and I hope to help keep others from the same.

I was at your Newport News store #2730 last night. There was no one at the register. We milled around the front for a while hoping to see a store associate near the register. No one came. We got tired of waiting and approached the register. No one came. We heard someone talking, so my husband went and looked in the manager's office. 

The manager was sitting there talking on the phone. He kept his back to my husband as my husband told him "We need some help at the register." The man did not move. He asked the person on the phone if he could call him back. 

My husband came back to the register to me. We waited. Then we heard the manager laughing loudly on what was clearly a personal phone call. He was still on the phone! 

I loudly asked if we could have someone ring us up. The manager did not move. A woman in the back heard me and called over the intercom for a cashier. No one came. Then, SHE comes and rings us up. She apologizes and tells us that the manager said he would run the registers up front, but she had no idea why he didn't ring us up. I told her we had informed him we needed help, but he kept talking on the phone. She kind of looked at me like "yeah, that's him." 

The manager then came out and was grinning and chuckling. He asked us if we found everything. He did not apologize for the wait time or explain why he treated us like that. My husband commented that we had some trouble finding someone to ring us up. The manager just walked away without a word. I asked the girl if that happened a lot, and she looked back at where he was walking away and let me know nonverbally he could still hear her and then looked down.

The girl who rang us up was Malinda. She jumped into fill a need left open by a store manager. She is the kind of employee who will grow your business. The manager of this store, Jacob I., will do the opposite. This is the THIRD bad experience in a row in your Newport News location. 

As a farm, kennel, aviary, and pet owner who is responsible for over 100 living creatures, I will be taking my money where it is appreciated. If you go into the Pet Smart location just down the road, you will see many customers and a cashier present at the front. PetCo is normally empty when I go. I am pretty sure I know why too. 

PetCo says they put the animal first, but you can't put the animal first if you are scaring away potential homes or the purchase of care items for an animal. 

Sincerely,
A Family Who Will Be Shopping PetSmart from now on

I normally let things like this go, but no customer should have to wait until the manager finally decides it is time for a shopper to check out. I worked retail for many years and was trained in customer service excellence. I carry my training into my current business and have many repeat customers. Mr. I. could have put his call on hold and rang us up in two minutes. When he appeared at the register as we were finishing being rung up, he could have apologized and offered an explanation. Instead, he had a cocky attitude. Generating sales is why the store is there. Managers, you need your customers. They are not annoying interruptions. Your store "guests" keep the doors open and you employed. There are three witnesses to this incident as well as five to the two previous incidents. PetCo lost a $120 sale from us a few weeks ago because we could not find someone to help us in reptiles. We left and went to PetSmart. We work hard for our money and prefer to spend it where we are treated well and are appreciated. PetCo, I highly recommend frequent secret shoppers at this location for an extended period to work out the issues with customer service.

Update 12/17/2013: Another manager called us and said they were sorry we were treated like that, it isn't their policy. The manager who did it was brought into the office, confronted, and has been written up for poor customer service which is now part of his permanent record as an employee there. We have been invited back into the store to try them again. There really isn't much incentive since we have had so many issues and have found PetSmart much friendlier and efficient, but will keep them in mind to try again in a couple of years. My suggesting to PetCo still stands...frequent secret shoppers for an extended period to iron out the customer service issues.