Sunday, January 30, 2011

Not-So-Fresh Market

Wow!  I used to love Fresh Market, but after the visit there today, it's time for a Xanax, a shot, and a massage.  Actually I ended up visiting the store twice today  much to my chagrin.  I don't think I'll ever go in there again, not to boycott the place out of spite, but because the experience was so horrible.

Long story short, I bought a few good-looking apples and decided to eat one on the way home and be all virtuous.  Well, that didn't get very far at all.  It was rotten inside with that mushy goo everywhere interspersed with yellow rot circles.  Nice.  Actually it wasn't nice at all, considering the prices they charge.  And the mushy rot stuff was all over the apple, not just in one or two spots.  Yuck.  So I figured I was out $3 or had to take on the hassle of taking my receipt in there and haggling with them.  Well, I decided to decide on that later.
As I sat tat the traffic light, I pulled out my receipt and was horrified.  I had bought some whole white organic mushrooms because they were on sale 2/$3.  I had gotten them off a shelf that was labeled as such along with the description -- 8 oz. of whole white organic mushrooms.  As I looked at the receipt, I noticed the charge of a whopping $3.48.  WTF?!  That is just plain old false advertising and also against the law.

Then I noticed that the two packages of fish that I bought from a cooler marked "Sale 2/$9.99" actually came up a price of $9.99 a piece.  Interesting.  At that point I turned around and went back.  That was my mistake.  Actually my big mistake was shopping there at all.

First, of all Not-So-Fresh Market does not have any customer service counter to go to when you've been ripped off.  So I proceeded to wait in line AGAIN for the same clerk who had previously rung me up.   Another big mistake.  She acknowledged that the apples were bad.  Good.  That's progress.  Then she left the register for a good five minutes to look into the whole mushroom debacle.

When she finally returned, she informed me that I had in fact been charged the right amount.  You see, the organic whole white mushrooms (8 oz.)  that I selected from a shelf marked as 2/$3 were actually totally different from the whole white organic mushrooms (8 oz.) that were truly on sale.  There would be no price adjustment for me.  Now how was that my mistake?  I started to sputter, "But they were on the shelf marked as 2/$3, and they are 8 oz. of whole white organic mushrooms."  No, I was told again.  They weren't on sale even though they were marked on sale and met the description, and that's final.  The manager happened to overhear and gallantly said, "Give her the lower price."  And then the clerk spent a good long time adjusting that price.

So, onto the fish.  Well, it was actually priced at $9.99, but they marked the sign 2/$9.99 just for kicks.  You see, I was supposed to intuitively know that what they REALLY meant was that each container held two pieces of fish in it.  That is why it was marked at 2/$9.99, not because you really got two packages for $9.99 like the sign said.  Silly me.

I won't drone on anymore, but it was not pretty.  It was downright ugly.  They even had me sign multiple documents and insisted on keeping my original receipt for their "records." Why?  Because you keep tabs on whistleblowers?  Why hang signs and say that something is on sale when it really isn't?  They probably bank (literally) on the fact that  most people don't look at their receipts and those who actually do are too busy to get around to ever going back to deal with the hassle of presenting their case.

I wish Not-So-Fresh Market was the only store with these deceptive practices.  Unfortunately I've had similar experiences at other stores, just not as egregious.  Call me Erin Brockovich, but there is a racket going on in the grocery business.  Start checking your receipts and you'll wish you hadn't.  You'll find yourself turning around and going back and spreading the word...



Not Your Ordinary Agent said...

Same thing happened to me with their leeks. Thought I just didn't know any better. Guess I was robbed. Ugh.

Barbara B. said...

A few years back, I accidentally spent $18 on big tomatoes that were out of season because I didn't pay enough attention to the price/pound. That alone was enough to make me check receipts from then on. But my mother-in-law shops at FM all the time, so I'm going to share this post with her!