Reader David was eating his dinner of Trader Joe’s Chimichurri salmon when he found an unexpected garnish: a rather dead and fully cooked worm. It was brown and roughly an inch long. He e-mailed the company, then brought the fish (and worm) back to the store for a refund. While the store supervisor’s handling of the situation was stellar, the reaction from Trader Joe’s corporate has been…nonexistent.
Last Friday (April 17th), he wrote to Consumerist:
The other day, I was enjoying some Trader Joe’s Chimichurri Salmon. I have been eating this for the past couple years, and it is actually pretty tasty.
Needless to say, I was a bit perturbed when, on my second to last bite, I noticed a little brown thing curled up on the fish. After further inspection, I discovered the little brown thing to be some sort of worm.
Utterly disgusted, I sent an email to TJ’s. This was Wed night. I have yet to hear back. However, not wanting to wait for a reply, I called the store and spoke to a wonderfully apologetic supervisor. He told me to, if possible, bring the fish (and worm) into the store so they could have their people research it. The following day, I brought our little friend and fish in and spoke with the same supervisor. He promptly refunded my money and told me to pick out any bottle of wine. While I was deciding on a bottle, he also brought over a bouquet of flowers. Certainly a nice gesture. I figure it is important to report on good customer service as well as the bad and wanted to inform your readers of how TJ’s does value its customers. Or at least the individual stores!
This week, I wrote back to David to see whether he had learned anything about the origin of the worm, and whether other customers could be affected. Nothing from Trader Joe’s yet. Hats off to the local store, but why, after more than a week, hasn’t he heard back?