July 2, 2020

The Editor Speaks: Foster’s needs to do more with their customer service


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It has been widely reported, mainly through social media, when customers reported a bug had been found in a plate of food – ackee and codfish – they were refunded for the plate of food but not the portion that had been eaten.

Neither were they compensated for the trauma of the incident. Imagine wanting to eat anything immediately after that incident.

That the staff actually weighed the food that had been returned in front of them and other customers in the store is incredible.

Because of the attention the incident got through the media the owner of the store admitted mistakes were made in handling the situation.

The store was Foster’s Food Fair at the Countryside Shopping Centre in Savannah.

Owner, , has said he has been in contact with the customers to sort the matter out. He also informed the media that “finding a bug in the food from Foster’s was an incredibly rare occurrence and had almost never happened in their 35 years of operations”.

“Almost”. Is he inferring it has happened before? If it has then this makes the handling of the incident even more serious.

My wife, Joan, can vouch for a recent incident she had at the same store when she presented her debit card, something she rarely does, to pay for the goods she had purchased there. She normally pays cash as she says she loses accountability of her monetary transactions when using her card.

She handed over the card, signed the ticket, and left the store only to be apprehended outside by two store workers informing her loudly to everyone present that the card had been refused. She was marched back into the store like a common criminal. She didn’t have enough cash on her but they did allow her to pay by cheque. Something strange, as if the debit card had been refused, it would seem to mean their wasn’t enough monies in the bank account.

What had happened is the week before, Joan had misplaced her debit card, and incidentally that had also been at Foster’s Countryside, and contacted the bank to have a stop placed on it. She found the card in her car on the floor trapped between the seat and the car door. The following day she went in person to the Bank to get the stop taken off. She even signed a document they had presented. However, the bank attendant never did any more than that. The stop was not lifted. She did get a big apology from one of the managers there.

Back to Fosters. The staff there could see that Joan is elderly. She is also known there. She shops there (or did) regularly. When she arrived back home she was in tears and using her words, “fit to be tied”.

I, too, have noticed how some of the staff, the persons filling the shelves, are totally lacking in any customer skills. Their trolleys are in the way. When you are trying to get food having to get past that obstacle they watch you. No effort is made at all to move their trolley or get the item for you. It is not their fault they have obviously received no training.

As with the incident with my wife, there was no training.

As with the incident over the food bug, there was no training.

Customer service is going down the drain now and it is no wonder shoppers are buying on line.

The proof is in the eating – and hopefully not a bug.

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