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


1 comment:

Outsource Call Center said...

In my opinion, Excellent customer service must have excellent customer service skills, a clear speaking voice. Excellent customer service also must have an enthusiastic and positive attitude. I believe that treating the customer so politely makes them so comfortable with your services.