This blog is not for the light-hearted or easily offended. If either one of those descriptions applies to you, i would suggest you start drinking before you read this blog. A sense of humor is suggested. If you don't have one that sucks for you … find one and get a life!

In which i rant at Harris Teeter … AGAIN!

Dear Harris Teeter,

I can only assume by this latest fiasco in your store that you really, really want my blog to succeed.  After all, if that wasn’t the case why would you continuously supply me with such amazing ammunition for me to write about?  This will be the third, count them, the THIRD TIME that I have written a blog post about a ridiculous and yet completely avoidable incident that occurred while enduring a shopping trip in one of your stores.

The impressive thing is that I don’t actually shop at just one of your stores.  I shop at about 4 of them since I’m surrounded by Harris Teeters and usually just stop at the one that’s in the direction I’m coming from.  The first event was in regard to your lack of bagging finesse.  I went on a rant about how your baggers must literally search the cart of EVERY HEAVY ITEM that I’m purchasing and then set about putting them in one bag.  To counteract this, they then take a bag of chips and a loaf of bread and put them in the other bag so that when I’m unloading the car, not only does my arm come out of the socket but the bag inevitably busts and I have groceries all over my garage floor.

The second rant was about how, after carefully stacking my sodas on the bottom shelf of my cart, your checkout person rearranged them in just such a way that the minute I exited the store and hit a bump, 8 12-packs slammed to the ground and my cart got hung up on them.  This was also exciting because I knew that when I opened said sodas, they would spray all over me which is normally my goal when drinking soda.  So yeah, thanks for that.

But today … TODAY was the topper.  Let me give you a little history here Harris Teeter people.  Due to my mad skillz at Mahjong, I roam around with a plethora of quarters in my wallet.  You may ask yourself, “why would we would care about her stack of quarters?”  Great question; here’s why.  When you’re immature like I am, a bunch of quarters burning a hole in your pocket can only mean one thing: gumballs at the entrance to the grocery store.

So today, I waltz into the grocery store to get a few necessities that can only be retrieved at your store and lo and behold, I decide to get my standard daily ration of Double Bubble bubble gum.  I pull out a quarter and put it in the machine and two gumballs go shooting out the front of the machine STRAIGHT ONTO THE FLOOR.  Now normally, getting two gumballs instead of one would be reason for great rejoicing but the fact that they went STRAIGHT ONTO THE FLOOR left me somewhat dismayed.

Of course, I mutter “DAMN IT” and there are two Boars Head guys (that’s a brand folks) look at me and say, “that’s unbelievable!” I say “that really pisses me off, there’s no little trap door on this gumball machine.”  “What are you going to do?” they ask.  “I’m going to report it to customer service” I say and off I go with my little cart in front of me.

Now, before we progress further in this scintillating tale, let me just say that I’m THAT person; you know, the person who reports broken things, or lack of toilet paper in the bathroom, etc. to the customer service people.  That’s me.  Speaking up for all mankind.  So off I go and I walk directly up to the customer service counter and here’s where it all goes south.  Seriously, these guys need to read Scott Stratten’s book “UNmarketing.”

The customer service rep had a phone up to her ear but wasn’t actually speaking on it when I walked up to the counter.  I was waiting patiently when she said:

Customer Service:                   “Can I help you?”

Me:                                          “Yes you can. Two things”

Customer Service:                   (tells the person on the phone to hold and asks) “What are they?”

Me:                                          “I just put a quarter in the gumball machine and the little door is broken and my gumballs fell on the floor so I wanted to let you know.  And, I want my quarter back”

Customer Service:                   “Those aren’t our machines”

Me:                                          “I’m well aware of that but I’m sure I’m not the only person that this has happened to so you need to have someone tape over the machine so this doesn’t happen to anyone else.”

Customer Service:                   “It’s not our machine”

Me:                                          “Maybe not but all the people coming here are YOUR customers and you don’t want to upset YOUR customers, now do you?”

Customer Service:                   (glaring at me)

Me:                                          “…because when you put a quarter in and your gum falls on the floor, you tend to get a little pissed, you know?”

Customer Service:                   “…and…”

Me:                                          “And I’d like my quarter back so I can get my gum from another machine”

Customer Service                    “Fine” (and she goes into her cash drawer and gets me a quarter and slams it on the counter)

Me:                                          “… and somebody should stop people from using that machine”

Customer Service:                   (she’s back on the phone giving me a dirty look)

So yeah, I go and get my gumballs out of a different machine and begin my shopping trip.  I get my stuff, bag my own groceries, and leave the store but not before glancing at the gumball machine.  Is it taped over?  NO, it’s not.

So Harris Teeter, I got MY quarter back but seriously, why bother having a customer service rep if they’re going to get pissed off about helping a customer?  You guys really need to get your shit together.

Seriously, you need to!

Lynn MacDonald

ADDENDUM:  This was written TWO WEEKS AGO and I just went back to the same Harris Teeter and guess what?  The machine is still broken, still not taped over and I’m assuming still spewing gumballs onto the floor.  Harris Teeter gumball eaters of America, you can thank me later!

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28 Comments

  1. QueenMahin
    March 15, 2011

    Hey Lynn, I’m rolling on the floor here. I’m also a Teeter’s shopper. Thanks for doing your part!

    • Lynn
      March 15, 2011

      God they’re always pissing me off. What’s up with that?

  2. Sharon Heg
    March 15, 2011

    Never heard of Harris Teeter but yep, customer service sucketh in this country nowadays. And sometimes it’s even worse when they give the C.S. responsibilities to someone outside of the country.

    • Lynn
      March 15, 2011

      Been there a few times and the gum ball machine is STILL BROKEN. Theyre so stupid

  3. Lady Estrogen
    March 15, 2011

    Oh, I hear ya – customer service seriously bites – no one wants to hear about any shit!

    I got a coffee from one of those gas station self-service machines last week and it’s HOT, right? So it was about 5 min down the road before I tasted it – fucking water.
    I mentioned it yesterday (very politely) and instead of AUTOMATICALLY telling me I can have a free one, he said: “You should have tasted it before you left.”
    Fucker! Well, thanks – so I’ll burn my mouth everytime JUST to make sure your product isn’t shit. The guy that was in the back yelled out, “FREE COFFEE TODAY” Thank you – strange guy in the back! Guy in the front? You’re an asshole!

    • Lynn
      March 15, 2011

      The whole situation is ridiculous. I mean, every person who walks beyond their doors is their customer, right?

  4. Karen
    March 15, 2011

    I swear, bad customer service just PISSES ME OFF! It’s what I do for a living, and if I treated my customers like some of these people did I would have been out on my ass a long LONG time ago. I wouldn’t treat my worst enemy like some of these people treat their customers. It’s called KINDNESS and UNDERSTANDING, something a lot of people lack, unfortunately. I have a no tolerance policy for bad customer service, I embarrass the crap out of whoever I’m with sometimes (not as bad as my sister in law who complains just to get free stuff) but I’ll be damned if I’m going to be mistreated when I’m out somewhere. Sorry for the speech, I’ll get off my soapbox….this kinda thing strikes a nerve with me. I get wound up sometimes *teehee*

    Karen
    lilmuna.blogspot.como
    Karen recently posted..Exploding MemoirsMy Profile

    • Lynn
      March 15, 2011

      I know right? All they needed to do was give me a quarter and actually tape over the machine. I mean, I spent $72 on that trip alone. But the machine is still broken…

  5. By Word of Mouth Musings
    March 15, 2011

    You have no idea just how much your comment that you just left on my blog meant to me – so HUGE thank you to you … and for being you.

    You should write a book while you are waiting for this talk show gig you know ;)
    By Word of Mouth Musings recently posted..Naked Cougars- or something like that My Profile

    • Lynn
      March 15, 2011

      Thanks you…i might be too lazy to actually write a book

  6. Pamela D. Hart
    March 15, 2011

    Oh Lynn, I’m so glad I’m not the only one that Customer-Service-Me-Nots glare at! My husband and sons don’t even accompany me to the counters anymore! They just stand by acting like they don’t even know me! Can you imagine! ;-)
    Pamela D. Hart recently posted..Hearing Aid WantedMy Profile

    • Lynn
      March 15, 2011

      Hahaha…my kids would probably disown me too!

  7. Samantha @ Becoming Me
    March 15, 2011

    I love people like you – standing up for humankind in stores of all shapes and form. If it weren’t for people like you (and my best friend’s husband, who is just like you in this regard) we would all have to buy rotten, expired products and eat our gum balls off the floor. You rock. Seriously. I wish had balls like that.

    • Lynn
      March 15, 2011

      Well…I mean, it was a gum ball…and they’re important! You know?

  8. Bob
    March 15, 2011

    I see that I’m the only male responding to this so I will tread lightly. I spend inordinate amounts of time in HT and have had my issues with them (I, for example have stopped bagging my own groceries after having a check-out clerk stand idly by and watch me fill bag after bag) But I am usually more annoyed at customers: the woman obliviously blocking the aisle looking through her coupons, the young couple with a cart full of groceries using the self-checkout (while people holding 2 or 3 items steam behind them), and my favorite, the person who can’t walk ten feet to put their cart in the corral; leaving it for the next person to run into. My experience with Customer Service has always been good. I suspect that they have to deal with many confrontational customers (like you, maybe) and react accordingly.

    • Lynn
      March 15, 2011

      I’m actually not all that confrontational. I’d rather bag my own groceries than have them bagged poorly and honestly, all I asked them to do was block off access to that gum ball machine so that others didn’t have that problem. I get the issue with the carts left hanging around. That too is annoying but hardly Harris Teeters problem. Also, oblivious moms can be irritating too. I agree that self checkout should be for a small number of items.

      See how much we agree on?

  9. Megan (Best of Fates)
    March 15, 2011

    I am so glad you’re out there, standing up for the rest of us who are too lazy to stand up for ourselves!

    • Lynn
      March 15, 2011

      My pleasure! Always willing to help!

  10. Harris Teeter Customer Relations
    March 16, 2011

    Hi Lynn, this is Brandie from Harris Teeter’s Customer Relations department. What store did this happen? I will be glad to place a service call and make sure that this machine is fixed. If you can contact us at 1-800-432-6111, option 2. We are open Monday-Friday from 8:30am-6pm and on Saturday’s from 10-2. You can ask for me if you would like, I am here M-F until 5pm. You can also visit http://www.harristeeter.com and select “Contact Us” to send us an email. We apologize for any inconvenience and these issues need to be addressed. Thanks and have a great day!

    • Lynn
      March 16, 2011

      I’ll send you an email when I’m back in NC! Thanks for answering

  11. Robin
    March 16, 2011

    LOL! Justice be served!

    • Lynn
      March 16, 2011

      I know, right? A blog is a powerful thing

  12. Bob
    March 16, 2011

    We’re practically twins

    • Lynn
      March 16, 2011

      Hahaha…cuz you rant…or like gum balls…or complain about quarters…or why?

  13. Sara
    May 21, 2011

    Lol this is some funny stuff. Really u don’t have anything else to complain about than something this small and in my eyes a joke. Sounds to me like u need to desperatly get a life!!

    • Lynn
      May 21, 2011

      Pretty sure I have a life … A pretty good one at that

  14. Name *
    June 2, 2011

    over react much?

    • Lynn
      June 2, 2011

      I certainly expect customer service to at least pretend they care. After all, I do shop there quite a bit!

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