Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Tale of Customer Service...

I drive an hour and a half (total trip) to do most of my grocery shopping. Sound crazy? I don't think it is. We make the trek three towns over to Aldi once a month where I stock up for the next four weeks of meals. It's worth it for us. It helps me stay within my "$200/month for my family of 5" food budget.

I love Aldi. While I enjoy using coupons (and do!), I also enjoy the convenience of not having to bother with them and the simplicity of "one size/one brand". That makes shopping quick and simple.

And so, on May 1st, when we set out for the monthly stock-up trip, I assumed everything would go smoothly, just like always.

I was so disappointed.

My Aldi was out of: baking powder, baking soda, slivered almonds, old fashioned oats, swiss cheese, and yellow onions.

My careful plans were falling apart. I made do, sure. But it was so frustrating to not be able to get all that we needed. I can understand running out of a thing or two, but that seemed excessive.

A couple days later, I emailed Aldi's customer service. I just wanted to let them know. I had no intention of stopping my trips there and I said as much. I wasn't actually angry at anyone, just disappointed; I brag about Aldi all the time and I think my friends and family would be unimpressed if they made the trek only to discover so many gaps in stock!

A week and a half went by and I heard nothing. Until yesterday.

I received a personal phone call from the regional manager of Aldi. She listened to me. She apologized. She offered some explanation, but not an excuse. (Their truck was delayed and they got hit hard on the first of the month since that's when food stamps are issued.) I was satisfied with the call and prepared to say my goodbye. The manager said this:

"I just want you to know that, while the trucking situation obviously impacted us, what is most upsetting is that it impacted our customers. I've given your name to the manager of your store and, next time you're there, please stop to see him. He will bag up every item you were looking for that was out of stock and give them to you free of charge. Is there anything else I can to help restore your confidence in Aldi?"

I almost dropped the phone.

I wasn't prepared for that kind of service.

One more thing to love about Aldi? Truly phenomenal customer service. Talk about going above and beyond.

Aldi is always a frugal part of my month... this past week, it became one of the finer points of my month as well.

This post is linked to Frugal Friday and Finer Things Friday.

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