Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fortinos Customer Service Report

Who would have thought that buying three bags of President's Choice potato chips at Fortinos could be so annoying?

Who would have thought that the Customer Service counter at Fortinos would be so unfriendly to overcharged customers?

The many signs on the shelf said, “3 for $4.98”

Looked like a good deal. The President’s Choice potato chips at Fortinos are regularly $1.99 each so I could save $1.00 if I bought three bags. I had intended to buy one or two bags but the sale enticed me to buy three.

I picked up three bags, checked out and went home. Then I looked at my receipt and noticed that I had been charged the full price of $1.99. I was over charged by one dollar.

The next time I returned to Fortinos I took my receipt to the customer service counter.

I put the receipt on the counter and pointed out that I was over charged. I then watched what happened next.

On the receipt each bag of chips was listed and calculated at the price of $1.99 even though the second line of each listing described it as “3 for $4.98”. The math didn’t match. I was charged $6 instead of $5.

The first customer service woman looked at my receipt for awhile, looked around and seemed confused. She then asked the second woman behind the counter about the pricing on potato chips.

The second woman approached and proceeded to explain to me about their computer system and the dictates of head office. I didn’t care about either. I only wanted my refund for the over charge. She also spoke annoyingly loud.

The first woman said she would refund me and printed a receipt that she asked me to sign. I asked her, “How much are you refunding me?” It was $1.02 – the difference in the overcharge. At this point I recalled that Fortinos has a policy of giving the item free to the customer if the item scans at the wrong price.

I pointed this out and suggested that because it was a three-for special, I had purchased three to meet their conditions and all three had priced wrong – therefore I should receive all three potato chips bags for free. They should refund me approximately $6.00 that I had paid.

At this point both of the customer service woman started talking at me – explaining how I was wrong, how their computer system works and blah, blah, blah. The second woman was annoyingly loud again. This time I asked her to stop yelling at me. Her loud response, “I’m not yelling.” I calmly repeated, “Stop yelling at me.” She went on to say that she just talks loud. She did not apologize but she did lower her voice a bit.

So far neither of the Fortinos customer service representatives had apologized to me. They seemed to be in a defensive mode.

Finally the first woman offered to call the in-store manager. I patiently waited. The second woman made a call on her cell phone then stated, “The manager will be here in a sec.” “A sec?” I repeated with a raised eyebrow. Clearly this person did not understand the meaning of a sec.

Several minutes later a third unsmiling woman walked up to me. She looked at me and said, “How are you today?”

What an annoying and stupid thing to say. I was clearly not interested in small talk.

Her next question was equally annoying and stupid, “Is there a problem here?”

I asked her who she was. Then she identified herself as the assistant store manager. (No name and her name badge was covered)

Customer Service Tip for store managers everywhere
Approach your unhappy customers with a smile and say, “Welcome to Fortinos, I’m Mary, the manager on duty. How can I help you?”

After I explained what I wanted she started with, “I’ll tell you what I can do for you…”

Another yucky line.

At some point in our discussion, she finally said, the words, “I apologize…” I immediately said, “Thank you and by the way that’s the first apology I’ve heard since I’ve been here.”

The manager responded with, “You’re wrong, I apologized earlier.”

Me, “I said that was the first apology that I heard.”

Fortinos store manager, “Then you weren’t listening.”

I don’t know if she had apologized earlier. Maybe I missed it. Perhaps I was too annoyed by the stupid things she said to hear her apology. Maybe it sounded lame and insincere. Perhaps after 10 or 15 minutes I was simply aggravated at how difficult it seemed to be to buy a few bags of potato chips at the advertised price.

And who should be the better listener – the customer or the customer service staff and store manager.

The Fortinos staff seemed more interested in vindicating themselves then listening to my concerns.

None of the Fortinos people said, “Thank you for bringing this problem to our attention.”
This in spite of the manager saying that she didn’t like this new pricing method.

The Result
I had paid $6 for a $5 special. According to my understanding of Fortinos policy I should have been my full $6. Instead I received a partial refund of about $3. Not a big deal but not consistent with their policy.

If you are buying specials from Fortinos there are two significant changes you should be aware of.

If the special is 3 for $3 you will no longer get the prorated price on one or two. You must buy 3 to get the special price.
If you are buying Presidents Choice potato chips you must buy three of the same flavour to get the special price even though the special is on several flavours.

I wonder how many people have innocently bought and overpaid for the President’s Choice potato chips at Fortinos believing that they would get the special price.

Whatever you do – don’t ask the customer service representative at Fortinos to stop yelling at you.

Fortinos Customer Service Report

George Torok


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Power Marketing Tip 40: Grab More Attention

Grab more attention

Your marketing must grab attention away from your competition. Everything in marketing is measured against your competition. Nothing else counts. And sometimes your greatest competition is complacency or sameness.

Use these four attention-grabbing pillars in your marketing.



The simplest way to stand out is through contrast. Contrast is the opposite of camouflage. Too many businesses use camouflage marketing. They promote in the same places and manner as the competition. There's no contrast, so prospects don't notice them. Camouflage is good for snipers but disaster for marketers. Contrast yourself from the competition by looking, sounding and acting different.


Conflict is the biggest seller of the news. It's attention grabbing, emotional and graphic. You can inject conflict into your marketing by taking a controversial position. Make an offer that upsets your competition. Issue a challenge that stimulates conversations. Pick an enemy to which you are the conquering hero.


Lighten up! We love to laugh. Make your audience laugh and they will pay attention to and remember your message. There's too much distressing news in our lives. You don't need to offer stand up comedy. You only need to make us smile. Volkswagen is still remembered for the funny advertisements that they ran way back in the 60's and 70's.


How can you connect with your target audience? Speak to their interests. If you don't know their interests - you have some research and thinking to do.

When you talk about issues that your target audience is interested in you immediately grab their interest. Discover what interests your best customers by asking them. For example, if you want to grab my attention, talk about personal marketing, presentation skills, marathon running or motorcycles. Those words immediately attract my attention.

Steal attention away from your competition with these four C's.

George Torok
Power Marketing

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Friday, November 12, 2010

Business Networking: Stop Working the Room

Have you approached a business networking event as another “Room to Work”? What a mistake that could be.

Some networking experts might tell you to attend networking events and be prepared to “work the room”. Stop and think about that advice. Is that what you want to do? Is that the first impression that you want to imprint on contacts in your network? That they were just “worked” by you? How would you feel when you have been “worked”?

Stop doing that. It can feel slimy to you and the people who you “worked”. And more importantly it doesn’t help build your business network.

It’s not that those misguided networking experts mean ill for you. Perhaps they are telling you what they did. Maybe they ignored or got used to that slimy feeling. That’s what often happens when one doesn’t know better or stop to think about what they are doing. They just rationalize it with mantras like, “no pain, no gain”. Sometimes slimy people are not bad - they just stop thinking or caring about how they appear to others. How can that be a good way to build a long term relationship?

RelationshipsNetworking is not about working the room or working people. Networking is about building relationships that are mutually productive over the long term.
Consider these four principles of good networking:

Networks are built on trust
Networking is built on relationships
Networking is built by connecting with people
Networking is about people – not rooms. And people don’t like to be worked

Work the Room
You might as well just enter the room – shout your name for all to hear then throw your business cards into the air – and then leave with a flourish. You worked the room and let everyone know how little you thought of them. And you did nothing to build a strong network.Sometimes the event organizers themselves are guilty of forcing you to work the room. They want to sell more events so they bully you to play their networking game. They announce their game: In the next five minutes give your business card to as many people as you can. What a stupid game. If you wanted to do that you would have been better to place an ad in the newspaper or throw your cards in the air.

Real networking is more about quality then it is about quantity. Networking is not about giving out your business cards to everyone in the room. Networking is not even about collecting everyone's business card. Yes, you should distribute and collect business cards, but real networking goes deeper than that.

Make a Better Business Connection
Sustainable networking starts with making a connection and finding some common ground. Then you work at building a relationship that can last years and build profitable opportunities for both of you. Don’t focus on the event and don’t work the room. Instead, treat the room as a setting. Make some connections and build your network by working the relationships.

The next time some "networking expert" tells you to work the room – tell them. “Don’t slime me. I didn’t come here for the room. I want to connect with people.”

Stop working the room. Instead, start building more profitable business networks by building real relationships.

© George Torok is the author of “Your Guide to Networking Success: 13 Simple Things to Build Your Profitable Network” Find more free business networking tips at http://Businesss-Networking-Tips.net To arrange for a motivational speech or training program visit http://www.Torok.com For media interviews call 905-335-1997

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