BB&B Responds To Customer Complaint Over 911 Debacle

UPDATE: Charges Filed Against Bed, Bath & Beyond Manager Who Refused To Allow 911 Call

Appalled by the events described in, “Bed, Bath & Beyond Will Not Let You Use The Phone To Call 911,” one reader sent a chastising email to their public relations division. In particular, he took aim at their statement that they were using it as a “training opportunity,” which sounds pretty antiseptic and corporate considering that a child’s life could have been in danger. Their VP of customer service responded. Their correspondence follows.

Reader email:

To whom it may concern,

When I read a headline online about Bed, Bath and Beyond not allowing a customer to call 911 I thought for sure it would be an exaggeration. When I saw it was not an exaggeration I thought for sure that your company would have issued a statement condemning the actions of your employee and manager who refused to allow a customer to call 911.

I have read the various statements made by Bed, Bath and Beyond and find them absolutely unacceptable. When did turning a blind eye to a crime in progress become acceptable exactly? I understand the basic idea of not wanting to become involved with incidents occurring in the parking lot in which your store is located; however employees and especially managers absolutely MUST be able to make a judgment call on when it is proper to override basic policy.

I understand privacy policies and so I know your company will never release a statement saying that the employee and or the manager have been reprimanded, but to say that you will be using it as a “training opportunity” is a sad and again, unacceptable alternative. I have worked in retail, and I have managed retail stores. I can tell you right now that if such an event had occurred in my store I would have immediately fired all employees involved and used THAT as a training opportunity.

If your company cannot be bothered to hire employees who cannot even make a rational moral decision regarding the life of a child a mere hundred yards away I will not be bothered to shop at your stores, and I will tell everyone I know about your companies total lack of responsibility and failure to adhere to even the most basic of moral codes.

I understand you don’t care about losing one customer, but I assure you there are hundreds and thousands of people who are absolutely unsatisfied with your response thus far and it would make your company millions to post a public announcement on your website condemning the actions of your employees and assuring people that such actions are not going to be tolerated by Bed, Bath and Beyond.

I hope whoever reads this has a better moral fiber and is able to see beyond a rule book and understand that as a society we are all bound together, we cannot turn a blind eye.

BB&B response:

First of all, I want you to know that I understand and appreciate your position. We are ashamed at how the situation was handled.

The most recent statement that we issued yesterday indicated that this situation was not handled the way we would have expected it to be handled. We have no policies that should have impeded our ability to respond in this case. And yes, we are using this unfortunate occurrence as an opportunity to re-train our associates nationwide. Like you, we do not want anything like this to happen again.

I hope that you’ll understand that I cannot comment on personnel issues.

Thanks for your feedback and I hope that, in light of this, you’ll reconsider. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me.

Hank Reinhart
Vice President, Customer Service
Bed Bath & Beyond

Nice to see a human response. More humanity like that from the associates nationwide will go a long way towards preventing future tragedies, and from them getting renamed Bed Bath and Dead Kids.

PREVIOUSLY: Bed, Bath & Beyond Will Not Let You Use The Phone To Call 911
(Photo: Morton Fox)