Ian and his family love garlic, but he tells Consumerist that his favored Publix store seemed to have trouble stocking garlic that wasn’t either moldy or sprouted. Neither of these are good qualities for fresh garlic, so Ian e-mailed the chain’s corporate office about the situation. Eventually, he received a response with an almost Wegmans-like level of class and problem-solving.
For a while now I had noticed that our local Publix had a big problem with one particular item: Garlic. Almost 100% of the time I bought garlic at one particular location, it was either molded or had already sprouted (which gives the garlic a bad flavor). My family loves garlic and I didn’t want to have to go to a completely different store just for one item, so I emailed the corporate office.
I initially got the generic customer response email:
Thank you for your email. We appreciate our customers taking the time to contact us. We apologize for the disappointment and inconveniences we may have caused you. We have forwarded your concern to our store manager for further review.
Again, thank you for taking the time to contact us. If we can be of any further assistance regarding this matter, please either call our Consumer Relations toll-free number at 1-800-242-1227, write us at the Publix Super Markets Corporate Office, PO Box 407, Lakeland, FL 33802, ATTN: Consumer Relations, or contact us at our website, publix.com and mention your reference number, # [redacted].
I thought that would be the end of it, and my garlic plight would go unnoticed.
But a few days later, I received an email from the store manager of that specific location. Not only did he acknowledge the problem, but he took the time to investigate himself and confirm what I had discovered.
Thank you for your email. We appreciate our customers taking the time to contact us. We apologize for the disappointment and inconveniences we may have caused you. We have forwarded your concern to our store manager for further review. Our manager has responded with the following response,
Ian, please accept my apology for the poor quality of garlic in our produce department. I inspected it personally on Sunday, June 13th and found what you described. I addressed this opportunity with my produce team and they will do a better job in the future of making sure we only offer the highest quality of product for you to purchase. I discarded what we had on Sunday and a fresh case was ordered and arrived on our truck Monday morning. Thank you for taking the time to point out this opportunity to us. Please allow me the opportunity to earn back your business and confidence. I take personal responsibility for product freshness and quality in my store. I would like to apologize to you in person. Please stop by and introduce yourself the next time you are in your [redacted] Publix.
Dumped their stock and ordered fresh? Cool. Would like to apologize in person? Wow. Pretty classy.