I Was Called “A Piece of Garbage” at Real Canadian Superstore‏

By itzakadoodle

Here’s my email to Ellen Roseman of the Toronto Star:

Hi Ellen,

I’ve followed your column and blog for years and have read some pretty unbelievable stories on poor customer service.

I’m not claiming to have the worst consumer story but being told I’m a piece of garbage by a customer service manager has to rank up there.

I went shopping at the Real Canadian Superstore (Don Mills location) today for about 2.5 hrs.

I’ve recently moved into a new apartment and need everything, from furniture, to applicances, to housewares, to bath items, cleaning products, etc.

The only possession I came to the new apt. with is my clothing.

So this weekend RCS was advertising that they would price match competitors lower priced identical items AND have a NO TAX event.

I figured I could save a lot of money by taking advantage of these promos.

I arrived at the store at 9am and went to the electronics department first, as I need a t.v. and dvd player, etc.

I spoke to a very nice young man named Muhammed who assisted me with some questions on the tv I planned on buying.

Because I drive a compact car, I asked him what time the store closed as I would have to come back with a family member’s pick-up truck to load the tv.

I bought a few things from that department and paid for them directly there. I’ll mention the receipt # for the benefit of RCS customer service department to verify my transaction and time I was in the store (trans id 2049. lane 34.)

I spent the next two hours picking up smaller items as I was leaving larger items for when I had the pick-up truck. I also made a list of everything I would be buying later, including a Christmas tree and all the decorations that I need for my little daughter and me.

When I got to the self check-out, I left the price match items for last and advised the customer service rep (Alex) that monitors the self check-outs of my price match items.

I bought some Dove shampoo and conditioner that were on sale at Pharma Plus for $2.99.

Alex refused to honour the price because the flyer mentioned “selected types”. I pointed out to him the pictures of the product in the flyer were identical to the items I was trying to buy. He still refused.

I mentioned that with such a policy to not honour prices if “selected types” is printed pretty much excludes any kind of price matching since the vast majority of manufacturers have multiple varieties of the same brand (flavour, scent, etc).

It would be nearly impossible to actually honour a price match unless the manufacturer only made one type of a product.

So he continued to refuse and I wasn’t about to argue with him.

I gave him a Canadian Tire flyer to price match a Vileda ProMist mop which I didn’t expect to encounter any price matching problems.

He refused again because he now claimed Canadian Tire’s regular price was $2 more than RCS regular price. I told him that’s irrelevant and of course retailers will not have identical prices on every item.

He then said the mop I had was different than the one in the picture and that he know there is a second type of ProMist.

I told him there is only one, and the picture is identical. (I checked the Vileda website tonight and they only have one ProMist mop)

He called for a price check.

No one came. He shouted out to another person, who refused to do the check because it wasn’t his department. He called again, and again.

I waited for about 10 minutes before someone from that department came over.

I don’t recall her name but she even told him it’s the identical item, and he tried to use his “logic” of different regular prices to support his case.

She decided to go see if there was another type being sold.

The whole event took so long and it was such a frustrating scenario to save $2 that I decided to leave the mop and the entire purchase (about $150 but that was a fraction of what I would’ve spent over the course of the weekend sale).

I walked over to the customer service counter to request to speak to a manager. As I waited there, the girl who did the price check approached with another man.

He gruffly asked to see my flyer (he had the mop with him) and I told him I wasn’t interested in buying it anylonger.

He said “fine”.

I said here’s the flyer if you want to see it for your own benefit. He shoved the flyer back at me saying, “I don’t need it.”

At that point I was somewhat taken back by his attitude and aggression in shoving the flyer at me.

He walked away.

I got tired of waiting (yet again) to speak to the CSR so I decided to leave the store.

As I was walking away, the same man came towards me and so I asked him what his title is.

He refused to tell me and asked what I want.

I told him I wanted his title.

He said he’s the Customer Service Manager.

I told him he didn’t act in a very customer service friendly way by shoving the flyer at me.

He started off accusing me of waving my arms in his face and that I threw the flyer at him.

As I told him I did not waive my arms in his face, he walked away from me and said, “You’re a piece of garbage!”

I said excuse me, and he repeated it.

I said “thanks for saying that” and walked away, with every intention of complaining to head office.

As I walked away, he continued to yell at me in front of customers, saying he’s “got my number” and trying to get me to come back to challenge him.

Ellen, I’m 5′7″ and 150lbs. I’m not a big man by any stretch of the imagination.

This manager was at least 6′7″ and well over 250lbs.

His “look” is one of intimidation.

I certainly did not waive my arms in front of him, did not “throw” my flyer at him, and I acted in a reasonable manner by walking away from his anger.

Obviously I’m shocked at his behaviour, especially given he’s a customer service manager.

The way I see it, he had many opportunities to rectify my unpleasant experience and try to retain me as a customer. He would’ve have first gone to the self-checkout expecting me to be there. He would’ve seen that I abandoned my purchase. Obviously Alex told him I walked over to the Customer Service Counter.

At that point he could’ve asked me if there was a reason I abandoned my purchase and what could he do to resolve it. Instead he chose to be indifferent at the lost sale and aggressive towards me. And at this point he hasn’t yet insulted me or tried to incite a physical altercation.

I’m hoping that the security cameras caught the whole interaction because they will see that I did not do the things he accused me of, they will see him shoving the flyer at me, they will see him walking away from me as I tried talking to him, and they will see his anger, aggression, and yelling at me as I left the store.

Ellen, I don’t think Mr. Weston would ever condone such behaviour from an employee.

It’s one thing to be having a “bad” day and maybe not be at your best, but to insult a customer, yell at him, and try to incite an altercation is beyond acceptable behaviour.

Please forward my complaint to a high level manager at RCS/Loblaws as the company needs to be aware of this person.

His name is William.

I do apologise for the lengthy email but I like to be detailed for the benefit of all.

BTW, I went to a competitor to purchase my tv. They offered to beat the RCS sale by 5%and gave me some freebies to make up for the “no tax” savings I would’ve received at RCS.

Needless to say, I’m not planning on doing any more shopping at RCS until this issue is resolved. They’ve lost out on at least $2000 in sales that I would’ve spent there this weekend alone.

Thank you for your time and effort.

26 Responses to “I Was Called “A Piece of Garbage” at Real Canadian Superstore‏”


  1. 0

    AJ says...

    This isn’t the first thread of its kind. And once again the bottom line is that you cannot expect customer service from canadian superstore. It is a discount store that serves a discount crowd (I shop at RCSS too so I’m not judging). I have had them violate the scanning code of practice and outright refuse the policy.

    If you shop at the actual Loblaws or Sobey’s you can expect customer service. That’s why you pay more for groceries there. Why is it even worth your time to complain about price matching a lousy bottle of shampoo and a mop? I will be very surprised is Ellen Roseman responds. This is hardly a story.

    Let it go, move on. If you want the items so badly go to the respective stores.

  2. 0

    dawn says...

    Well I don’t know what world you live in but poor customer service is at Loblaws and Sobeys poor customer service is at most if not all stores some yes are better then others .This person has the right to complain and should do so write head office and keep writing until you get a response and that store is put on notice that the customer is not going to stand for it .

  3. 0

    Sharon says...

    Better yet, I would write the head office. If you know the date and time of the event…you could ask them to replay the CCTV video of the actual events at that position of the store. They would not be able to refute. At the very least, they would have to have a dialogue AND, as someone in Customer Service Management ….it might even be used as a training video (with faces blocked out)….My best

  4. 0

    Alex says...

    Hi!

    First I would like to say this to Mr itzakadoodle that I am very sorry for your waiting and what you went through on Sunday November 13th 201 at RCSS! I am sure that a wise man like you would understand that a busy place like RCSS specially on weekends with no Tax event takes a little time to answer its customers’ questions specially when it comes to price check from other departments who are extremely busy as well, also I would like to welcome you to our area 

    Whoever all though you have the right to be mad but I hope a wise man like you is also a gentleman with a great heart who forgives others. I work weekends and I would be very happy to buy you the map as a gift and saying welcome to our area .

    Alex RCSS Employee

    November 13th 201

  5. 0

    Amanda says...

    I don’t think the issue here is so much their refusal to price match shampoo and a mop (although that IS an issue, if they only price match “selected types” of shampoo, why could he not tell the customer what types are included in this?). The issue is the horrible way this customer was treated by customer service. There is pretty much never an excuse for an employee of any company to call someone names and be aggressive and/or rude, even if they are a “discount” store or whatever.

  6. 0

    me says...

    I’ve shopped at RCSS. Discount store??? have you been there? Very expensive, not a cheap shopping experience like at no frills, food basics. Also, if it were a discount store (it’s not!) does that mean that the employees can be rude? “you’re not spending full price so I can be a jerk to you”. It would take more effort to aler your personality. The Manager sounds like he has anger issues, he’d be a jerk where ever he worked. Keep on head office for this. Good luck to you!

  7. 0

    chantal says...

    Honestly, anytime I’ve seen anyone slammed or insulted by a customer service rep, they truly weren’t very nice customers. Now they may ‘think’ that they’re nice, or maybe ‘just’ in their ‘demands’ but chances are they’re actually demanding, overbearing, condescending, and disrespectful themselves.

    It’s extremely rare for someone to just out of the blue for no reason attack another person, unless that person was disrespectful to them….perhaps expressing frustrations at waiting so long, perhaps questioning their decision. Honestly, for a few bucks? move on. Get over it. Even if you’re right. Suck it up.

    It’s how we handle adversity that reflects our character in life, especially when things don’t go our way or when we’re face with unjust situations. You may be right, but perhaps your own behaviour wasn’t exactly civil.

    Again, even people will horrible anger issues usually need to be provoked. Had you asked, instead of insisted, perhaps they would have acted differently.

    The customer may be right, but they may also be annoying, disrespectful, rude people who vent their own frustrations.

    I read this post with a very giant vat of salt as I’ve found that people who are often ‘frustrated by others’ …well, they themselves are the problem 9x out of 10.

  8. 0

    Natalka says...

    OP, what an awful thing to have gone through - I hope you contact head office and get some resolution of things.

    For poster chantal above, what you have written is extremely rude and terribly childish.

  9. 0

    dawn says...

    I also agree with you Chantal is rude . There is no real customer service at the big stores that has long gone .

  10. 0

    smartshopper says...

    So what Chantal wrote is “extremely rude and terribly childish” simply because you don’t agree with what she wrote? I thought she phrased her response well, and it was clearly well thought out.

    That being said, I do hope you contact Head Office and file a formal complaint. There is no excuse for any employee, especially a “Customer Service Manager” to resort to yelling and name calling with a customer.

  11. 0

    I hate shopping....... says...

    Please tell me why any customer service representative or manager should not be responsible for their actions? Telling anyone, customer or not, that they are a piece of garbage is disrespectful. It is truly disrespectful particularly if the person is a paying customer and ultimately the purchasing public that keeps a store in business and employees with a job.
    As for the price match, stores have different codes for same products. A gimmick so as not to price match. Astute shoppers price match. I have friends who are coupon junkies and they make more money than I do.
    I have to admit Superstore is tough for price match, Walmart is worse and probably the best are Canadian tire, The Source and Futureshop. Box stores in general have poor customer service and few employees. Maybe it is time to resort back to the friendly neighbourhood general store of the past!?
    I as well encourage you to contact Head Office. Chances are pretty good you won;t even a get an apology these days.

  12. 0

    Adam says...

    I worked for Wholesale for 2 and a half years, the entire company is run by degenerates, drunks, liars, bullies. The company itself breeds this kind of frustration in its employees whether they’re good bad or somewhere inbetween. So don’t be surprised getting this kind of treatment from superstore.

    I worked with a guy that had quite a few kids, he couldn’t afford to walk away from this union job, he knew he couldn’t make that much anywhere else with no education. They would threaten all of us, but especially him, about closing the store, finding ways to fire us. Every other week I’d get warnings “you’re doing half as much so and so and they’re twice your age, you need to pick it up or we’re going to have to do something with you” I talked to this fellow employee who was one of the oldest in the store and I told him what our supervisor said and he told me he comes around every other week and tells him “I know you’re a little older but you have to pick up the pace or we’re going to have to do something with you”, classy.

    Normally after they gave us these “warnings” they’d then come by about 10 minutes before we were off and dump a load of work on us. This guy I worked with, the one afraid to lose his job, he was too scared to just walk away, he’d work for an hour on average, sometimes 4 hours off the clock, I never once seen him leave on time. They even counted the number of times we used the washroom. It’s a sick company full of sick people, it’s so bad it should be investigated, a few times over.

  13. 0

    jen says...

    I really do understand how upsetting bad customer service is, I am a consumer too. However I am in the retail service as well, and there should be zero tolerance on treating customers in an inappropriate fashion. I agree that reporting the problem immediantly to the store manager, as well as contacting head office. I have an issue with painting all rcss’ or the employees with the same brush, I have had really rude customers before and that does not make me hate all customers, or treat all customers as if they were rude. It is a very challenging job to work retail, hours are long, and it becomes challenging trying to make everyone happy, i am not saying that is any excuse to ever treat a customer in a rude manner, but please try to understand that for every bad sales person there is 10 great ones who would be more then happy to try and solve customers problems. Thanks, good luck and happy shopping!

  14. 0

    JustSaying says...

    I don’t think Chantal was rude at all - just re-iterating an old value we (or maybe just some of us) were taught a long time ago: there are two sides to every story.

    If the manager of the Superstore came here and said the OP was making racist comments, shoved an older lady over and was approaching other people’s children inappropriately near the washrooms, would Chantal still be rude for questioning the manager’s version of events instead?

  15. 0

    Christina says...

    I work in customer service and we are told you are never to call anyone a name or be rude to a customer no matter what they do to you. You will only make the situation worse. I have dealt with some awful people in my time but even I have never call anyone a name or been rude with them - I always speak calmly with them or ask them to leave the store.

    I work at a medical clinic where I deal with drug seekers who flip out when I tell them they won’t get a prescriptions for perks from the doctors here, and still I keep my manner professional.

    If I can do that then no matter what happened in this situation, the customer service manager had no right to call her a “piece of garbage” as he is a representative of his store and suppose to be act like a professional. Plus he should always conduct himself in such a way while on a the job.

    I would be contacting the head office too.

  16. 0

    JustSaying says...

    @Christina:
    The customer is a man, not a woman.

  17. 0

    Joe says...

    itzakadoodle:
    Did Ellen Roseman - or Loblaws - ever respond to you about this?

  18. 0

    anne says...

    I think there is a lot of merit in Chantal’s comments, but that being said there is a certain attitude about some of those girls at that store that I have witnessed. It’s like they don’t think they have to be nice to anyone. None the less, no one likes confrontation….let’s not sweat the smalll stuff.

  19. 0

    Eric says...

    With all these “bad customer service at big box stores” I’m surprised I haven’t been a victim. I regularly shop at places like Wal-Mart, Atlantic Superstore, etc and have had little to no problems when it comes to price matching, scanning codes, etc.

    Mind you, I’ve had some minor altercations at various other places of business (a McDonalds, a Future Shop, a Blockbuster) but even I have to admit the situation most likely only got the way they did because I, myself, was not entirely reasonable.

  20. 0

    ThinkItThrough says...

    It has been my experience both in business and as a customer, that when employees (plural here) behave rudely to customers or have a bad attitude toward their job, there is a problem in management. This situation bears that out. If the manager resorts to this kind of behaviour with the customers, can you imagine what he’d be like to work for? I’d wager that when the manager gets sacked, the rest of the employees become friendlier, more service oriented people. Worked like magic at my local grocery store!

  21. 0

    qponer says...

    I have been treated extremely poorly from RCSS customer service managers on many different accounts. Because I am a 17 year old couponer, they think I’m always trying to rip them off and so they treat me like garbage aswell. Theyre behaviour is completely unacceptable and it seems like they need a service overhaul because there is always some sort of issue when I go in with a PM or coupon.

  22. 0

    Jessica says...

    I hope you and your daughter are doing well. :)

  23. 0

    wow says...

    RCSS hires apes I dealt with one this afternoon who didn’t understand what one coupon Per Purchase means. I had to get her to ask the manager who said thats fine. she had the nerve to tell me I’m giving her attitude. When she was the one with the attitude. Ah well I barley shop there just sad they don’t know what respect is or can admit when they are wrong. Cashier is always right! is their motto.

  24. 0

    BalancedOpinion says...

    Prices and selection are the only reason I shop there. While their veggies are usually fresh, you need to watch for out of date items. I found expired Vitamins still on their shelves. You should also keep an eye on the Cashier to avoid being overcharged. I’ve had that happen a few times. But even with these flaws, I still shop there for the prices and selection. But…

    But the thing that’s disgusting about shopping there is the crowd. Absolutely no manners. If you are standing in an isle trying to pick out some items, these a******* will ask you to move instead of going around you. I’ve never seen anything like this at Save On Food, or Safeway, or any other stores where I shop. It doesn’t end there. Even in the parking lot, these idiots misbehave. I was loading my groceries from the trolley into the trunk of my car. There were plenty of empty parking slots. But this idiot tries to squeeze into the parking spot right beside me. He starts honking because the spot is partially blocked by my trolley. I suggested to him to park in another spot or wait till I’m done. But he keeps honking until I move the cart. And then this moron gets out of the car with his wife and his young son, and he starts laughing with his wife saying a word that sounded like “jungli”. I don’t know what it means in whatever language they were speaking, but their rudeness was unmistakable. And you wonder why bullying is a problem in BC. Even if the economy doesn’t get any better, I might stop shopping at Superstore just to avoid these scumbags. I hate to pick on a particular group, but all these incidents involved Southeast Asians. I’m not sure if they’re Philipino or Thai (my guess is Philipino), but the ones that shop at RCSS are incredibly rude. I know Sountheast Asians from work, and they are usually well behaved. But the ones that show up at RCSS have zero manners.

  25. 0

    Isabella says...

    Chantals comments are not just
    Chantal sounds like a cranky b!!!!
    Customers come first and that manager behaved like an ape
    As do most rude underpaid uneducated apes in these establishments
    I lived in central America for 10 years.
    These people live in slums and they make up for 75% of employees
    In all stores. They have shittier lives then you can ever dream of
    And they treat people with such respect, they go beyond their job to the point I as the customer would have to stop them fro
    Over helping as I felt guilty ( not used to it born an raised in Canada 30+ years)
    We could learn so much from these people.
    They also never rush you, and before they walk away
    They say my pleasure we are here to serve you!
    A bit much for me but a middle ground would be nice dont you think?

  26. 0

    Donny says...

    Judging from this story you really are a piece of garbage. There is no way you’re telling the complete truth.
    Garbabge!!

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