As the title implies, I've received a happy resolution to a situation that had caused me great concern.
To begin, those who know me know several things. First, I have little tolerance for perceived injustices, hence my ongoing efforts to change Indiana law in order to better protect children in car seats and hold those accountable when they fail our children in their time of need: ( Justice for Heavenlee!!!). I also abhor repression of free speech and consumer fraud, be it intentional or not. Second, while I may be quick to criticize when a situation warrants criticism, I am equally quick to offer praise when either I find I have made an error or my efforts have seen that situation resolved to my satisfaction.
Such is the case with my recent experience with our local Kroger store and a promotion they were running in conjunction with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) and the upcoming Brickyard 400 NASCAR race.
If you read my last blog posting, then you know the details. If not, then check out my blog posting about my experience over the weekend.
Possible Allegation Of Consumer Fraud!
When this situation first occurred, I sent out a letter of complaint, as we are often taught to do in our youth. However, my dad always told me to "start at the top since that's where the command decisions come from." As such, I began by searching for the email addresses of the CEO (David Dillon) and other corporate suits at Kroger in order to insure that they were made aware of my issue.
I'll hand it to the powers-that-be at Kroger. They made it nearly impossible to find an email address for anything other than their consumer complaint webpage. It took me over 45 minutes of Google searching, plowing through various financial reports, disclosure reports and the like at Barrons, Forbes and many other financial websites before I finally ran across a listing for nearly all the top execs at Kroger. Persistance does have its own rewards, as my father would often remind me.
After insuring that as many email addresses as possible were included in my email, I sent it off and waited.
Being a Sunday afternoon, I fully expected a 24-48 hour delay before a response would come my way. So imagine my surprise when my phone rang nearly 90 minutes after emailing my complaint, posting it on my blog site, linking to it on Facebook and tweeting the blog site on Twitter.
On the other end was Charlene Ward, a corporate exec based out of Indianapolis who was calling to resolve my issue. She told me that she had received a note from David Dillon (Kroger CEO) asking that she resolve this issue asap, along with a copy of my email. Once again, my father's wisdom shines through as I recalled his advice to "always start at the top."
Let me remind you that it is still Sunday afternoon and I am, by now, quite stunned.
I would like to say that Ms. Ward was polite, very professional and demonstrated a level of empathy I had not expected from a suit. She assured me that my concerns were of vital concern to Kroger and that she would personally resolve my concern in as timely a manner as humanly possible.
I was assured by Ms. Ward that she had contacted IMS and was awaiting a reply as to what had went wrong which caused my issue. She promised me that she would contact me the following day (Monday) with answers and the Brickyard 400 tickets I had earned through their promotion the day before.
Following our conversation, I found myself quite impressed at both the rapidity of the response as well as with Ms.Ward herself. However, being the skeptic, I chose to wait and see....
On the following day (Monday), true to her word, Ms. Ward called and explained the situation, which had affected several other customers as well. She thanked me for bringing this to their attention, for my patience and understanding and for my willingness to afford Kroger the opportunity to demonstrate their corporate policy of "Customer First." I had heard this phrase from several other people who had commented on my Facebook & blog posting assuring me that Kroger did indeed have a "Customer First" policy that started at the top and applied to everyone from the CEO to the common cashier. It was nice to see it in action, as demonstrated by David Dillon (he actually reads his emails from customers) and Charlene Ward. She assured me that my tickets would be overnighted to my home and to "expect them tomorrow."
Again though, being the eternal skeptic, I once more waited....
Today, when I returned from classes, I found a UPS envelope and my Brickyard 400 tickets waiting for me.
I AM IMPRESSED!!!
Whatever concerns I may have had about Kroger and their Brickyard 400 promotion, I am pleased to report that I was wrong to suggest that Kroger may have been involved in a possible case of consumer fraud. The actions of their CEO, David Dillon and his subordinate, Charlene Ward clearly demonstrate that Kroger places the concerns and issues of their customers at the top of their list. "Customer First" is a fine policy and I appreciate Kroger showing me that.
Having been a loyal customer of Kroger for over 30 years, it's nice to see my loyalty vindicated.
Now, I'll be firing up my grill with Kingsford Charcoal, grilling up some Bison (Buffalo) burgers with a dash of Worcestershire Sauce, sprinkling them with crumbled blue cheese and serving them up on freshly baked onion rolls, all of which I recently purchased at my local Kroger store!
Per Ardua Ad Alta!!!
James C. Wallace II