The following is real correspondence written to and from GPA:
May 29, 2007
It's a wonder you're the only online grocer in town. I understand that in a city where many people don't have cars, home delivery services are very appealing and therefore companies assume they can get away with murder in the delivery of said services, but the serice levels of the outfit y'all are running is ridiculous.
First of all, my order was late today. According to my clock, 8:50pm does not fall between the hours of 6pm and 8pm. The driver was very nice, apologetic, and called to let me know he was running late, but oddly I was still annoyed (not with him--he seemed like a nice guy).
Then, to top things off, "a couple" items were out of stock. NINE items does not constitute "a couple". Nine constitutes a real supply chain problem. How do you run a grocery store when (for two weeks in a row) you can't deliver ground beef? Or Gatorade? OR LETTUCE???? The list of "out of stock" goes on. I just can't begin to fathom what y'all are doing so that you can't sell me ground beef. Is this a political statement? Doubtful, because if it were, you'd at least deliver my vegetables.
In order to VASTLY improve your business model, I'd recommend checking out the grocery delivery service simondelivers.com. When I lived in their service area, I had few problems -- they were able to deliver ground beef to me EVERY TIME I ordered it. Odd, they didn't seem to have the same supply chain issues you do, AND THEY DON'T HAVE STORES TO STOCK.
Finally, your scheduling system sucks. I have to put in an order nearly a week in advance in order to have the delivery time I want. Mind you, this isn't the delivery time I NEED -- this is the delivery time that I have to default to. And, to make it even sweeter, YOU CAN'T DELIVER MY ORDER INTACT OR ON TIME. Since I have to put it in so early, I typically have additions.I had additions this week. Oddly, despite confirming the adds, these items are nowhere to be found. At least you didn't charge me for them.
Oh yes, a fascinating little quirk my "personal shopper" has developed lately....I request no substitutions. I request this for a reason. The last time I ordered granola bars, you were out (seems to be a theme -- can you figure out the primary source of my frustration??), and the shopper very carefully substituted cereal. Hmmm....granola bars that I can put in my bag for a snack on the go....Yes, cereal is a fitting substitute. Despite my "no substitutions" request, items continue to be replaced. I order what I want, and don't want the "personal shopper" to decide what I want.
And for all this, I have the pleasure of paying you $10. Awesome. Truly, truly awesome.
June 5, 2007
Dear Ms. GPA,
I would like to offer my apologies on behalf of Safeway.com for the difficulties you have experienced while shopping online with us. I realize the importance of providing our customers with an excellent value each and every time they use our service. The incident you reported certainly does not reflect our standards for superior service, and I am confident that should you use Safeway.com again, you will not be disappointed.
I would like to assure you that I have made our Home Shopping Manager aware of the issue with your recent order. This action will provide information that can be utilized toward our endeavors to provide the excellent service our customers have come to expect at Safeway.com.
I do hope that in time you will give us the chance to restore your confidence in our Home Shopping service. If we can further assist you with any questions or comments, please write us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our toll free number 1-877-505-4040 to speak to one of our customer service representatives. Please reference contact id 11438810, so we may better assist you.
Customer Service Representative
June 5, 2007
Dear Ms. Rowry-Smith:
It seems surprising to me that it would take Safeway one full week to send me this generic, cut-and-paste, one-size-fits-all response. I would be surprised if you haven't created a form response, or written a macro to type something this generic out for you. But, then again, why would you be any more prompt in responding to my complaints than you are in deliverying my groceries? I do note that all of your words and letters were delivered, which means your email service works better than your grocery service. Additionally, none of the words or letters appear to be substituted with foreign words or characters totally unsuited to what you meant to write. So, once again, your email delivery appears to work better than your grocery delivery. Maybe you need to let the IT guys run the whole company?
I look forward to my next disappointing experience with your company. At least this way, I won't be disappointed.