Monday, March 7, 2011

Shopwise Surprise!

We regularly do our meat, poultry, produce, and grocery-shopping all in one place... Shopwise!  It has been that way since Cupid and I got married in 2006.  Back then, we lived in a condo along Reposo area in Makati, and we used to frequent either Rustan's Fresh in Power Plant Mall or Shopwise Makati for our food and grocery requirements.  But after getting pregnant and transferring to a house in Pasig, we had to look for another supermarket.  There are groceries and supermarkets in our area.  But food-wise (meats, poultry, and produce), they did not seem to meet my husband's expectations.  He's meticulous that way, when it comes to food.

We learned of a Shopwise store along Libis.  Since then, we have been regulars of the branch.  Other than it being the closest outlet to our place, perhaps the main appeal of the store for us was that we just didn't want to part ways with the value-added shopping experiences we have already come to expect and enjoy from a Shopwise store -- things like value-for-money merchandise, wide item selection (both local and imported), the store's courteous and friendly staff, wide shopping aisles, free parking, cool discounts and promos, and excellent loyalty rewards/points system.  Add that to the fact that, because Shopwise is a member of the Rustan Group of Companies, one can expect quality in both service and merchandise from them.

Not to seem snooty and all, but in the 3+ years that we have been shopping in the said store, we've noticed that there are not that many people that shop there (at least, compared to other groceries...or other Shopwise outlets for that matter).  It's so refreshing to be able to breeze-through shopping without much hustle-and-bustle!  I will admit, though, that there are days when there are more people than what we're regularly used to seeing (on Sundays and whenever there is a  Sunrise Sale) .  Still, they are relatively (and tolerably) fewer people than what you usually witness in other supermarts; more manageable, and never chaotic or unruly.  My shopping experience is always a pleasant one at Shopwise Libis. 

So, imagine our disappointment upon coming home from shopping there, one weekend of January.  You see, we bought a whole, dressed Magnolia Fresh Chicken.  And since it was by Magnolia, neatly packed in plastic, and stacked/ stored in the refrigerated poultry section, we didn't think that anything was wrong with it.  But when our cook opened the pack to start cleaning the chicken, she found it already spoiled, dark and bruised in some parts, and with a distinctly foul smell.  My husband instructed her to throw it out.  I originally wanted to bring the "stinky thing" back to Shopwise so we can have it replaced.  But my husband decided to just let it be, and said that it would just be a waste of time and car fuel.

But little did I know, Cupid went online and decided to post his concern on the Shopwise Facebook Page the next day (they DID ask for customer suggestions, anyway).  Cupid suggested that something be done about their freezers/ refrigerated shelves, that temps be checked, so that nobody else may suffer the same thing as we have.

Above is a snippet of my hubby's post on the Shopwise Facebook Page.
Double click to read it.

About a couple of hours later, someone from Rustan's/Shopwise sent him a private message, apologized on behalf of the store, asked for our contact details, and offered to deliver a replacement.  Cupid told me about it, obviously delighted about the unexpected turn of events.  Personally, I felt that it was only right for them to do so.  But instead of saying so, I just simply said, "Okay."  I didn't want to get all excited, but I wanted to wait and see first if they will actually follow-through on their word.

The following day, Cupid told me that the Shopwise rep informed him that Libis Branch staff might come over to deliver the "replacement chicken".  Again, I said "Okay."  Deep inside, I was saying "We'll see."  A few hours after, I received a call from Daniel Pasumbal, Store Manager of Shopwise Libis.  He apologized and asked what time they can deliver the item.  I told him that I'll just be at the house the whole day.

About half an hour after the call, the Shopwise van pulled up in front of the house.  Even more apologies ensued, and then they showed 2 packs of whole, dressed Magnolia Fresh Chicken, on a bed of ice, inside a plastic crate.  I thought that maybe the other chicken was for another another customer with his/her own "chicken complaint", and that maybe they will go there next.  But no, the other chicken was also for us!  One was the replacement chicken, the other, compliments of Shopwise Libis.  They also left the white, plastic crate where the chickens were placed in.

Two birds on a bed of ice :)

It didn't stop there.  They also gave us a fruit basket containing some papaya, mango, orange, pear, bananas and different apples.  The Shopwise people than handed me Mr. Pasumbal's business card and told me that we can call him for any problems or concerns we have about their store.

Our fruit basket, compliments of Shopwise Libis :)

I immediately called and thanked Mr. Pasumbal.  He again said "sorry".  Honestly, I was already getting embarrassed from all the apologizing they've been doing.  I mean, one apology was enough, really.  They said they would replace the item, and they did what they said they would.  I'm happy they did.  I felt their sincerity.  I'm okay with that.  I must say, they did what was expected of them...and even more.  A trait that is traditionally filipino and very "Rustan-esque" in character, I thought.

Here's the thing...I am not even a holder of Shopwise' Wise or Elite Cards.  I hold a Star Sapphire Card from Rustan's Supermarkets.  Since Shopwise and Rustan's Fresh are from the same company, I can shop and earn points from either store.  What I do is, I shop at Shopwise Libis since this is closer to where we live.  When we've accumulated enough points from shopping with our Star Sapphire card, we hike over to Rustan's Fresh in either Greenmeadows or Shangri-La Mall, redeem our points, and use these to shop then and there.  At either store, we get to line up and cash out at special and exclusive lanes.  The only difference between the 2 stores is that Rustan's Fresh carries more high-end and imported items.  Other than that, service and merchandise are more or less the least, from my point-of-view.

Anyway, I digressed.  The reason I shared the bit of info above is...because I believe Shopwise would do this for any of their loyal customers.  It didn't matter whether or not I am a member of any of their loyalty programs.  They didn't even ask.  They also didn't ask my husband for the details surrounding our purchase.  But just the same, Cupid gave the date, item number, price and weight in his reply (basically, the details that were on the receipt).  When they arrived that Monday, I again offered them our receipt from that weekend, but they said it wasn't necessary.  Was that cool of them or what?  Too trusting on their part, perhaps?  I don't know.  I'm guessing they saw it beforehand, from their records or registry or something, because that's how "regularly" we shop there...using my loyalty card, plus my husband's debit card (with his name, exactly the same as his FB account name).

My hubby had this to say about it:

"...I think it was more the fact that I didn't demand for it to be replaced; or raised a scandalous ruckus; or post a disparaging blog.  They appreciated that I even offered a suggestion..."

Hey, I'm not complaining here!  I'm just glad that Shopwise and Rustan's has afforded us the same level of trust that we have had towards them all these years.

With that said, I think it appropriate to also post here the exchange my hubby had with the Shopwise rep.   Okay, so these were private messages.  And I also know that there is a reason why these were sent privately.  It is too avoid any abuses and any false claims.  But my take here is that:

  1. I wanted to show the level of service that Rustan's and Shopwise make to ensure customer satisfaction;
  2. I also wanted to show their commitment to better serve their customers; and lastly,
  3. that I will be blurring-out names and personal information anyway :)

Did I do a good job of blurring-out stuff?  Cool huh?
And see how genuinely nice they are over at Shopwise? :)

So there.  It's safe to say that my faith in Shopwise has been restored.  To be honest, it never really went away. We never stopped going to Shopwise.  Not once.

And as in all kinds of relationships, you are bound to have disappointments every now and then.  But the good thing about relationships is that, either party can always choose to redeem themselves. :)

What about you?  Where do you usually do your grocery-shopping?  Do you have any interesting grocer-customer stories that you wish to share, too?  I'm all ears...and eyes! :)

Mama Mia is a 30-something wife; stay-at-home mom to one; blogger; and author of Online Confessions of a Stay-at-Home Mom (OCSAHM). Learn more about Mia here, or contact her via this page. You can also get instant updates on this blog by following Mia on Twitter @miadsoriano; by "Liking" the official OCSAHM Facebook page; or by subscribing via Email or RSS.
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