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  #1  
Old 06-30-2003, 02:46 PM
Stuffy Stuffy is online now
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I. Hate. Albertson's.

Every time I go to Albertson’s I leave upset. I mean Every. Single. Time. Nine times out of ten, it seems they don’t have adequate staffing. The remainder seems to be incompetent cashiers. Every blue moon they seem to converge in a display of such maddening inanity, that I just lose it. You want examples? Here you go.

A couple of months ago, my wife calls and asks me to pick something up for heartburn. As luck would have it, when she called I was less than a block from an Albertson’s. So I pull right in. Oh lucky day I think, as the store seems nearly deserted. Forty seconds later I’m heading for the checkout stand. My heart sinks. There are two cashiers open, in lane one, there's a man and wife with a baby. They seem to have shopped for the month, as husband is pushing a loaded cart. Wife is bringing up the rear with her own cart and baby; in it she has WIC items. There are three or so customers behind her. That line is definitely out.

In lane two, we have a lady and daughter. Wow, they’ve also shopped for the month, or a party, lots of sugared items in that cart. There are two people behind her. I decide to be a very reluctant third. By reluctant I mean I sigh heavily, look impatient and telepathically send the message to please open another check stand to any store employees who venture too close. It doesn’t work. I tune out.

Something brings me back. I notice people shifting uncomfortably. There’s a conversation taking place at the check stand. I can’t believe my ears. The gist of the conversation is this: Apparently Albertson is offering a 10% discount when you purchase $200 or more. This key however is not functioning on the register. People are looking for calculators. The cashier who has done it long hand or guessed and has offered $15.00. The customer who has spent $326.80 is refusing it. That’s how I know what she spent. She repeating to anybody willing to listen that “I don’t know what 10% of $326.80 is, but it’s more than $15.00.

The cashier asks the other cashier to back her up. The other cashier is pretending to be deaf. The manager is approaching, the women in front of me is looking for a calculator. There’s a might roar. [size=huge]“For crying out loud it’s $32.68!!!”[/size] A hush falls across the store. Heads swivel as one to me. “Crap. Did I say that out loud?” Giggles. The manager gestures to me, opens a lane rings me up and says “Thanks for being so patient”, without a drip of sarcasm.

So anyway yesterday the temp dropped out of the 100s. So I decided to take my walk around the lake. It’s my day to cook, so on the way home I decide it’s be nice to get off the bus at Albertson’s to pick up some fish, I’ll walk from there I think, as I didn’t feel I got enough out of my walk. When I walked in I should have turned right around. Even though this is a different Albertson’s there are 2 lanes open, with lines stretching into the isles. I don’t because as I take this in one of the cashiers calls to someone on the loud speaker that they need two additional checkers.

Fine the line should be manageable. I pick up a basket grab some wine, and go to the meat department. The Sole looks good so I get 3 pounds, to produce where I get a head of lettuce some tomatoes and cucumbers. I go to checkout. WTF? There are still only two lanes but now there are about 15 people in each. Screw this. I sit my cart down, walk up to the check stand and grab the Weekly World News. I don’t have any taste so sue me. I take my place in line occasionally nudging my basket forward with my foot.

Someone clearing her throat interrupts my perusal of this fine periodical; it’s a representative of the store. Her function is unclear. Her message is not. “The management doesn’t want people reading the magazines unless they’re purchasing them.
Really I say. Well perhaps the management would like to open more checkout stands so I’d have something better to do than stare at the back of someone’s head for the next 20 minutes. Or perhaps they’d like to refund the next twenty minutes of my life that I’m going to spend waiting on line. "Fine I just work here", and she huffs off.

Man I hate Albertson’s.
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  #2  
Old 06-30-2003, 02:56 PM
UrbanChic UrbanChic is offline
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They really should put that 'This Lane Reserved for Stuff' line in a better place.

The markets where I shop do a really good job of hiding the 'This Lane Reserved for JuanitaTech' signs.
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  #3  
Old 06-30-2003, 03:45 PM
Peach Peach is offline
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shit

wasn't there a couple people killed at albertsons this past weekend.
Disgruntled employee with a sword
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  #4  
Old 06-30-2003, 03:48 PM
Indygrrl Indygrrl is offline
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Aren't there any other stores around?
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  #5  
Old 06-30-2003, 03:50 PM
BoBettie BoBettie is offline
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My favorite is my local Winn Dixie. They have 4 self checkout lanes. YAY!

They're NEVER OPEN. BOO!!!!

Rat bastards.
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  #6  
Old 06-30-2003, 03:54 PM
Stuffy Stuffy is online now
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Quote:
Originally posted by Indygrrl
Aren't there any other stores around?
I live across the street from a supermarket, but in both the cases above Albertson's happened to be the most convenient .

Peach I hadn't heard that.
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  #7  
Old 06-30-2003, 04:02 PM
Blonde Blonde is offline
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Ah, yes. Albertson's. I visited their fine establishment a couple of weeks ago, and found myself about fifth in line. After a couple minutes I realized we were NOT moving - the customer at the front of the line had one bag of apples, and there was clearly something wrong with the apples. Wrong color, wrong size, who knows. She was discussing her dilemna with the cashier - and then the cashier ABANDONED the checkout lane to walk all the way across the store with the customer, in search of perfect apples. We all just stood here for one minutes, two minutes....finally, something went :snap: in my head and I said (loudly), "OK, what are we doing here? What are we waiting on?" Other cashiers threw me scared looks, managers started scurrying around. They did open another lane!
But I'm not going back there.
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  #8  
Old 06-30-2003, 04:03 PM
scout1222 scout1222 is offline
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And here I was thinking I'd register with albertsons.com and do my shopping with them online.

I'm perhaps rethinking that. I can only imagine the hoops I might have to jump through....
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  #9  
Old 06-30-2003, 04:09 PM
Peach Peach is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Stuffy
Peach I hadn't heard that.
http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/West/06/3....ap/index.html

it happened somewhere in California.
Those early morning shoppers were prob there early
to avoid long lines!!
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  #10  
Old 06-30-2003, 04:12 PM
Audrey Levins Audrey Levins is offline
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I am happy to report that Albertsons left San Antonio for good last year. We ran them out of town on a rail.

Now there's just a lot of ugly, Albertsons-shaped scars peppering the city.
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  #11  
Old 06-30-2003, 04:21 PM
Scylla Scylla is offline
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Stuffy:

Quote:
?For crying out loud it?s $32.68!!!?
So you got one of those fancy calculator watches, too, huh?
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  #12  
Old 06-30-2003, 04:36 PM
gotpasswords gotpasswords is offline
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It's not unique to Oakland. The Albertsons on Mission in Daly City has also taken the "two checkstands at 6PM when everyone's trying to pick up dinner fixin's on the way home" bit to a high art.

And you actually managed to get something from the fish counter? I'm impressed. The one here appears to be decorative only as nobody's ever there, and trying to get someone there is challenging.

I'm surprised it wasn't a customer running amok with that sword.
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  #13  
Old 06-30-2003, 05:37 PM
I can't believe that's butter! I can't believe that's butter! is offline
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This seems to be a recent innovation; before, there were often in excess of five cashiers at the tills.
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  #14  
Old 06-30-2003, 05:47 PM
Revtim Revtim is offline
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As far price and selection, the Albertsons nearby me is pretty good. But they certainly need more cashiers, the checkout lines are too long. But, if they simply don't have them, what are they going to do?

I try to go before 10am on weekends, the lines aint bad then. No sword guys either, yet.
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  #15  
Old 06-30-2003, 06:46 PM
MrVisible MrVisible is offline
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Oddly enough, here in Tucson Albertson's is the only supermarket that routinely staffs enough checkout counters. In fact, when I stopped by there today, I didn't have to wait in line at all. Walked up, bought the stuff, and left.

I'm just here to compliment Stuffy on his choice of reading material. It takes true backbone to stand in line reading about the exploits of Bat Boy.
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  #16  
Old 06-30-2003, 07:14 PM
pepperlandgirl pepperlandgirl is offline
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I have a choice between Stater Bros and Albertsons. Stater Bros always has excellent service and plenty of lines open. On the other hand, they have a smaller selectoin and higher prices than Albertsons.
I just can't win.
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  #17  
Old 06-30-2003, 07:19 PM
lezlers lezlers is offline
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Albertson's is the anti-christ. It's all about Raley's.

That is all I have to say.
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  #18  
Old 06-30-2003, 07:26 PM
dangermom dangermom is offline
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No way, Raley's is too pricey. OTOH, they do stock my favorite soup, which Albertson's does not.

Our Albertson's is OK, except for the part where they turned half the lanes into 15-or-less checkouts. And those are often the only ones open. Gah.
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  #19  
Old 06-30-2003, 07:27 PM
Duke Duke is offline
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From what I hear, Albertson's has brought all this on its own head. When I lived in California, I heard a story from a cow-orker. A relative of hers had worked as a security guard at an Albertston's for years and years, and was nearing his retirement and pension. Late one night, there was an armed robbery at the store when he was on duty. Although from all accounts the relative had performed admirably (nobody got hurt, the thief was apprehended a short while later), Albertson's fired him shortly afterward for "failing to prevent the robbery." He lost his pension.

When your bosses treat you that well, why bother working hard?
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  #20  
Old 06-30-2003, 07:44 PM
flood flood is offline
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I said it once and I'll say it every single time an Albertson's or a Safeway thread comes up. You Texas people know what it is...

THANK GOD FOR H.E.B.
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  #21  
Old 06-30-2003, 07:53 PM
Old Shellhead Old Shellhead is offline
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Regarding that newspaper article... Jesus, a highlander fan run amuck? Too bizarre/disturbing to make a witty comment about. Yipes.
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  #22  
Old 06-30-2003, 08:03 PM
Zenster Zenster is offline
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Albertson's is one of the most marginal stores I have ever had the pleasure to quit shopping at. They have some significant problems with their operation. The enormous lines and lack of staffing just scratch the surface. I have also noticed:

1) Overall poor quality, especially in the meat department. Notice how there are rarely any marked down meats? That's because they are taking them into the back and rewrapping them when they hit their due date.

2) Extremely bad track record with their sale items. They have consistently advertised "door-buster" prices for certain items and then casually neglected to overstock these products. When a store offers a significant discout on an item, it is common logic to assume there will be a big demand for it.

I have gotten rain checks on items only to return week after week and find the shelf is still unstocked. This is a slap in the face to the consumer. It is one specific reason I have ceased any regular shopping at their stores.

3) Their selection is mediocre at best. I find Safeway to be far better in both range of goods and service. Safeway has made giant strides in the last two decades to become a really professional food supplier. Any minor increase in cost is well justified by their superior quality, selection and service.


Finally, have you noticed Albertson's, "we'll marinate it for you while you shop" program in the meat department? Did you notice how they weigh the meat after pumping in a quarter pound of the marinade? I noticed this practice and quietly mentioned to the butcher how that was some of the most expensive marinade money could buy. He grinned and freely admitted that the store made a huge profit on the sale of their cheap sauces.

The cost versus quality ratio of Albertson's is unconvincing at best. Their incredibly crappy service is the last straw. They see me only for the rare special that I can't resist. Otherwise, you'll find me at Safeway and Foodmaxx.
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  #23  
Old 06-30-2003, 09:26 PM
Dragonblink Dragonblink is offline
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I regularly shop at Albertson's, mainly because it's a couple blocks from my apartment, and haven't had too many problems. The Albertson's where that psycho started swinging at people is the next one over from here, actually.

I do miss Lucky's though.
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  #24  
Old 06-30-2003, 09:38 PM
hajario hajario is online now
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The Albertson's in this town are notoriously crap. It's not as much the service as the quality of the food. Vons is much, much better and it's the only chain where we* shop.

Haj

"we" really means Mrs. H who does 95% of the shopping.
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  #25  
Old 06-30-2003, 09:39 PM
Blonde Blonde is offline
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Zenster, in the Dallas area, Albertson's draws us in with enticing "Buy one! get one free!" specials each week...which (even though I know better) pulls me into the store on occasion.
The reason they can sell their merchandise at a 50% discount, of course, is that they have zero overhead, as in no freaking cashiers!
I for one intend to stick with the local Kroger ... despite the fact that yesterday two people died at the intersection in front of the store by my home. (Texas drivers, another time).
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  #26  
Old 06-30-2003, 10:09 PM
Ruffian Ruffian is offline
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I used to shop Albertson's all the time without difficultly, but have become more of a Ralph's person. But on occasion, I do run over to Von's--and know what I notice right away that is so different about that store than the other two? The employees. When they see me--when any of them see me--perusing the aisles, they smile, ask politely if I need any help with anything, and then tell me to have a great day.

It's so sweet it's almost creepy. But...I think it says something about the management when the employees are doing that, rather than huff about as they do in the other stores.
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  #27  
Old 07-01-2003, 12:03 AM
Duckster Duckster is online now
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I used to shop at Albertson's because they had the best prices around.

Then they came out with their "Preferred Shopper Card," meaning if you don't sign up, give them all sorts of personal details -- even for a cash sale -- you no longer get their best price! Without their PSC, I might as well go to Safeway and pay their always higher prices -- now on par with Albertsons -- and endure their rude service.

Now that WinCo opened a new store near by, and WalFart just expanded to a superstore, even Fred Meyers food prices have come down! I now play Freddys, WalFart and WinCo off of each other and get the best prices.

Albertsons has gone the way of Safeway in my book -- higher prices, lousy customer service, and no longer have my business.
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  #28  
Old 07-01-2003, 12:20 AM
Troy McClure SF Troy McClure SF is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by gotpasswords
It's not unique to Oakland. The Albertsons on Mission in Daly City has also taken the "two checkstands at 6PM when everyone's trying to pick up dinner fixin's on the way home" bit to a high art.
Whoa, whoa, whoa, bucky.

They did not take shit to high art. It is Cala Foods, specifically the one I work at, that has truly perfected it. I think we had about thirty people in one line the other day. (At least, no exaggeration. I would've kept counting, but I hid. Nothing I could've done to help.) Albertson's may claim it, but, having had your ignorance fought, you can now inform them politely of the true pioneers.

Damn, I can't wait to get out of that fucking place. Nice co-workers, but I swear the district manager has his head so far up, he can see out his own mouth.
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  #29  
Old 07-01-2003, 12:46 AM
Chaco Chaco is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by gotpasswords
It's not unique to Oakland. The Albertsons on Mission in Daly City has also taken the "two checkstands at 6PM when everyone's trying to pick up dinner fixin's on the way home" bit to a high art.
I live close to the Albertson's you speak of and they suck. I had never seen such long lines at a super market before.

Have you tried the new Albertson's on Alemany near 280 and Daly City BART? It's bigger, cleaner, and, for now, emptier.

On Preview: I forgot about Cala Foods. They suck too, but usually because their stores are so small.
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  #30  
Old 07-01-2003, 01:09 AM
Snooooopy Snooooopy is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Duckster
I used to shop at Albertson's because they had the best prices around.

Then they came out with their "Preferred Shopper Card," meaning if you don't sign up, give them all sorts of personal details -- even for a cash sale -- you no longer get their best price! Without their PSC, I might as well go to Safeway and pay their always higher prices -- now on par with Albertsons -- and endure their rude service.
I forgot to return the information form that accompanied my PSC. Dang.
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  #31  
Old 07-01-2003, 01:56 AM
pepperlandgirl pepperlandgirl is offline
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[quote]Then they came out with their "Preferred Shopper Card," meaning if you don't sign up, give them all sorts of personal details -- even for a cash sale -- you no longer get their best price! Without their PSC, I might as well go to Safeway and pay their always higher prices -- now on par with Albertsons -- and endure their rude service.[/quote

I think that Albertsons has made it a point not to have the silly goddamned cards.
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  #32  
Old 07-01-2003, 07:12 AM
Revtim Revtim is offline
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There's nothing preventing you from giving totally bogus info on the applications to those PS cards..... I did that for both Albertson's and Winn Dixie.
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  #33  
Old 07-01-2003, 07:17 AM
Typo Negative Typo Negative is online now
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Any store that carries Krispy Kremes cannot be all bad.
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  #34  
Old 07-01-2003, 08:05 AM
DeadlyAccurate DeadlyAccurate is offline
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by pepperlandgirl
Quote:
Then they came out with their "Preferred Shopper Card," meaning if you don't sign up, give them all sorts of personal details -- even for a cash sale -- you no longer get their best price! Without their PSC, I might as well go to Safeway and pay their always higher prices -- now on par with Albertsons -- and endure their rude service.[/quote

I think that Albertsons has made it a point not to have the silly goddamned cards.
Not anymore. The bastards started the stupid card program about a year and a half ago here. I know, because that's when I stopped shopping there. Now I endure the hell that is the WalMart Supercenter, because I still hate the cards more than I hate WalMart.
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  #35  
Old 07-01-2003, 10:42 AM
Stuffy Stuffy is online now
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Quote:
Originally posted by Troy McClure SF
Whoa, whoa, whoa, bucky.

They did not take shit to high art. It is Cala Foods, specifically the one I work at, that has truly perfected it.
There used to be a Cala Foods about 10 blocks from my house. They closed the place due to high theft. Teh employees were robbing the place blind.

Like I mentioned there is a Shoprite supermarket near me that I do most of my shopping at unless I need specialty items. I've checked several times, and I generally save 20-30 dollars vs Safeway and Albertson's.
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  #36  
Old 07-01-2003, 11:14 AM
Götterfunken Götterfunken is offline
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They introduced the PSC card here a some time ago. I almost never shop at Albertson's, though, preferring Publix--it's cleaner and in general has a better ambience than Albertson's.

A couple of weeks ago, I went to Albertson's for the first time in probably a year or more. It was late Saturday night, the Public was already closed, and Albertson's was the only place open for snacks.

So I see all these great signs advertising these wonderful specials--a 12-pack of Coke for only $2.00! So I load up on a few of these "sale" items, thinking, "hell, that's cheaper than Publix."

It's not until I checking out that I learn they're only on sale if you have the card.

I swore then that I'll never go into Albertson's again. I know it's a silly thing to be vindictive about, but I felt deceived and didn't like that feeling.
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  #37  
Old 07-01-2003, 12:20 PM
ivylass ivylass is offline
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I usually shop at Kash and Karry or Publix. I went to Winn Dixie once.

Once.

I asked the cashier if I could write the check for over the amount, and she said yes. So I wrote the check for $20 over the amount, and got back $19.50. When I asked about it, the cashier said there was a 50 cent charge for over checks.

She did not tell me about it when I asked her. Now, I have done the same thing at Publix and K&K with no fee charged.

Last time I will ever go to Winn Dixie. Plus, I have never found a store that wasn't filthy.
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  #38  
Old 07-01-2003, 12:30 PM
emarkp emarkp is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Duckster
Then they came out with their "Preferred Shopper Card," meaning if you don't sign up, give them all sorts of personal details -- even for a cash sale -- you no longer get their best price!
Every time I get to the register they ask me if I have a card. Every time I say "No, and I don't want one thank you." And every time, the cashier has used a card for me.
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  #39  
Old 07-01-2003, 12:43 PM
Doomtrain Doomtrain is offline
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Hell, I'm on my third Kroger card. I filled out stuff the first time, but as I lose my cards, they just hand me a new sheet of cards/keytag thingies.
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  #40  
Old 07-01-2003, 01:18 PM
singular1 singular1 is offline
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I have to chime in for the other side here. Albertsons is the place we prefer to buy our groceries in Bellevue-they have good produce, their meat seems very fresh and they offer the best prices.
If its just their in-store customer service you're against, scout1222, I'd have to recommend their online shopping. It's only a $9.95 fee to deliver everything you order, they bring it right in the kitchen and they absolutely refuse to take a tip. I found their site to be very easy to shop in, and when you're working alot of overtime or recouperating from surgery, theyre's nothing more convienient than having a full weeks' groceries delivered for just $10. Plus they start throwing in freebies after a while! Woo-hoo!
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  #41  
Old 07-01-2003, 01:29 PM
lezlers lezlers is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by pepperlandgirl

I think that Albertsons has made it a point not to have the silly goddamned cards.
Nope. That would be Raley's. I don't care if their prices are higher, I value maintaining my sanity over saving a few bucks. Plus, the employees are always nice and helpful and they have a kickass natural foods section. Considering 75% of my groceries come from the natural foods section, it's worth the extra money.

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  #42  
Old 07-01-2003, 02:38 PM
zweisamkeit zweisamkeit is online now
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Man, I feel left out hearing about all these grocery chains (although maybe I should be glad we don't have Albertson's here). In metro Detroit we seem to only have Kroger and Farmer Jack; I go to Kroger.
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  #43  
Old 07-01-2003, 06:00 PM
Redhawke.the.bard Redhawke.the.bard is offline
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I recall the great pride Albertson's/Lucky took in announcing how you didn't have to join a "club" to get the savings (lording it over Safeway, who, IIRC, had followed said Lucky into the whole "Preferred Shopper Card" routine). About six months later, after the merger of Albertson's and Lucky, they quietly re-introduced the PSC cards.

Who here remembers the "Three's a Crowd" (three in a line, they'd open a new line) guarantee from the late lamented Lucky? Of course, that never applied to "rush" hours. Hmmm.
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  #44  
Old 07-01-2003, 06:08 PM
cher3 cher3 is offline
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Hmmm. Our Albertson's still doesn't have the stupid cards. Maybe it's trickling down the coast.

I just have to put up with the head cashier who likes to talk to other people while she's ringing up my stuff. And she's not a good multitasker either. More than once she has stopped in midpass, wondering whether she was supposed to take the money in her hand or give it to me. I have not taken advantage of this....yet.
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  #45  
Old 07-01-2003, 06:14 PM
Syntropy Syntropy is offline
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Gawds, Redhawke, I'm still in mourning over Lucky's.
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  #46  
Old 07-01-2003, 06:45 PM
scout1222 scout1222 is offline
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singular1, thanks for the counterpoint.

I think I'm going to try doing the in-store pick up once, to see how it goes. Depending on the service, maybe I'll elect delivery. Or maybe I'll just keep on going to Ralph's like I always do....
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  #47  
Old 07-01-2003, 07:26 PM
neuroman neuroman is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Peach
http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/West/06/3....ap/index.html

it happened somewhere in California.
Those early morning shoppers were prob there early
to avoid long lines!!
Holy smokes, that's exactly like that Law And Order episode where a schizophrenic with a sword kills a bunch of people in a fashion shop. Eerie.

Quote:
Originally posted by flood
I said it once and I'll say it every single time an Albertson's or a Safeway thread comes up. You Texas people know what it is...

THANK GOD FOR H.E.B.
Amen, brother. You can't beat H.E.B. with a stick. Although FWIW I've never run into major problems on the occasions I shop at a Texas Albertson's.
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  #48  
Old 07-01-2003, 08:05 PM
OxyMoron OxyMoron is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Last year I had a long conversation with a senior pharmacy manager at HEB about privacy issues - especially concerning discount cards. He explained that HEB doesn't have them because they determined that Texans wouldn't stand for 'em.

Another reason to like Texas.
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Old 07-02-2003, 03:04 PM
Little Plastic Ninja Little Plastic Ninja is offline
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Land-Under-Wave
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Can't stand Albertson's. I went there twice, I think. Once because I'd never been there and it was the closest place for me to cash a check, once because my roommate wanted to try it out.

Eeugh.

I don't know what it is about that place, but it's echhy inside. I think it might be the cheap-looking beige decor. Usually beige is a nice way of making things look classy, but this was like stapling frat boys to the walls. It was laid out weirdly, the salesfolk were all mindless little nitwits...

HEB is the best ever. Cheap, efficient, friendly. And then they have the special HEBs! Central Market, how I love thee, oh land of foreign food, organic produce, ten kinds of grapes, a big stand of sugarcane, an entire kosher section (Kosher hotdogs = bliss), dinner-for-two-in-a-box...

The lines aren't always great, but if there's more than four people in one, it's a marvel. It's probably also the last Friday of the month, 6:00 pm on the dot, at the Riverside/Pleasant Valley location.

Only gripe: They close off the cosmetics/fluffy girl stuff section at 9 pm every night. And at any other time of day, you have to buy the stuff at the cosmetics register, which never, ever, EVER has anyone standing by it. You have to stand there and tap a foot and look at your watch until someone runs over, giving you the Look Of Death because you interrupted her flirting with the stock boy.

That and they run out of Arizona Green Tea sometimes. But their HEB brand generic colas are superiffic.
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