Bottle Shop Experience: Airing of Grievances

Discussion in 'Great Lakes' started by BeerBaron, Nov 10, 2012.

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  1. BeerBaron

    BeerBaron Initiate (0) May 30, 2008 Ohio

    I'll probably catch flack for this, but I think it needs to be said.

    Anderson's in Dublin (Sawmill), OH has one of the best selections in Cbus, but due to terrible customer service, I will no longer be shopping there.

    Last night I called to them to see if they had received any Backwoods Bastard and the clerk on the phone assured me that indeed they had two four packs left. When I arrived in the store, I approached the same gentleman that I talked to on the phone and he went and got a four pack of the beer for me.

    At this point, I decided to go talk to the beer dept. manager about KBS and whether he would taking names for reserving some bottles when Anderson's received them since they usually go within an hour or so. He told me that his policy is first-come-first-serve and that he would not be taking any names. This is understandable, but I thought I'd ask since some stores around Columbus do exercise this practice.

    At this point, he realized that I was holding a 4-pack of BB in my hands and asked me sternly "Where did you get that?" I told him that one of the clerks had given it to me when I asked if Anderson's had any left. Immediately he asked for it back grabbed the beer out of my hands! As he walked towards the store clerk, he said that this was reserved for someone else, RIGHT AFTER TELLING ME that this was not the policy.

    He reprimanded the store clerk for not asking him first and the store clerk apologized to me and to him, but assured the manager that they had several 4-packs left. The manager said it didn't matter, they were reserved, and that he should still check with him first. The manager didn't issue any apology or explanation to me, and was more concerned about publicly reprimanding the store clerk (there were about 10-12 people witnessing this event).

    This was disappointing for several reasons:
    -I was mislead about Anderson's policy of "reserving" beer

    -The manager grabbed the beer out of my hand, didn't ask for it, making me fee like I had done something wrong.

    -The manager didn't issue any apology or explanation to me, other than "this is reserved for someone else" right after he got done explaining that this wasn't his policy

    - I was not offered any consultation deal, like an opportunity to buy 1 bottle, 1/2 a 4-pack, etc

    - I felt bad for the store clerk who was publicly reprimanded for doing nothing absolutely wrong, in my eyes, but was still apologetic towards me.

    - I've been a long time customer (6 years) to this Anderson's store and have spent thousands of dollars on beer alone in this time frame. I also always recommend the store to someone who asks about which bottle shop I prefer in Columbus. I love this stores selection, but am disappointed to say that I will no longer be shopping there and will be recommending that people take their business elsewhere like Whole Foods down the street or Savor in Clintonville.

    -This is not the first time I've had an experience like this, with the same manager. The first time wasn't as bad, but similar to this situation, I called ahead to see if they had received any Better Half. He told me that they indeed had a case but he wouldn't be selling it until 6pm on a first come first serve basis. For good measure, I showed up 15 minutes early to assure that I could get a bottle. As I approached him, he told me that he was already sold out. When I reminded him of our conversation on the phone, he dismissed it and didn't offer an explanation. Yes, this was disappointing, but I didn't make a big deal over this because I know that there are forces outside of our control (maybe he had a large line at 5pm or something that was distracting to the other shoppers), especially when retail stores receive these highly hyped beers and come up with some way to be fair. Unfortunately in the end, there are always some that end up empty handed. So I chalked this 1st situation up to misfortune and didn't raise any complaint.

    But I feel that this recent situation that happened last night was unacceptable from a customer service experience, for the reasons I stated above. I don't know if there is something going on behind the scenes, if there's some inner circle of customers that get dibs (and it's not like I'm sort of joe schmo truck chaser from Anderson's perspective), but this has been twice now where I ended up getting short-changed and this manager has treated me poorly.

    I'm sad to say that Anderson's has lost a long time customer. Because, yes, quality selection is very important, but not at the expense of customer service. With a flooded market of quality bottle shops to choose from in Cbus, this is bad business practice.

    Do you guys think customer service is important, or is it something to be disregarded as long as there is quality selection?
  2. mychalg9

    mychalg9 Champion (845) Apr 8, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Yes that seems unacceptable, at least the part where he grabbed it out of your hands. Lying about their policy seems borderline unethical as well. If it was me I would use that experience to befriend the clerk who tried helping you out and see if you can find out more details about their "reserve" policy and if in fact the manager is screwing you (and probably others) over, then you can find a new store to shop at. If I had to guess I would think that they are overwhelmed by all the requests for limited releases and are either too lazy or too unorganized to setup a system that works.
  3. szmnnl99

    szmnnl99 Defender (689) Apr 3, 2006 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    I think the issue is the inconsistency of the policy that is troublesome. A store has the right to sell the beer in a manner in which they choose but not to lie to people. My pet peeve is a store that I've spent close to a $1000 at, the guy saves me some of the special releases but charges 20-50% more than typical prices. I have cut back my spending their a lot.
  4. Steimie

    Steimie Initiate (0) Jan 7, 2012 Michigan

    The issue is simpler than that. The issue is that the manager of this store is a dickwad. I'd never, ever shop there again.

  5. founder26

    founder26 Initiate (0) Sep 9, 2009 Michigan

    F that manager, he really needs to get a life, and a new job. if I where you I would write a letter to the CEO of that company and tell them your experience. might be worth your time?
    5thOhio and Eriktheipaman like this.
  6. buffs9

    buffs9 Aspirant (291) Apr 28, 2008 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Sounds like a real dick. I have no clue, but I'd wager a guess that those at least some of those 4packs were being saved for employees, rather than customers. I learned this the hard way when one of my favorite local shops sold out their case of Dissident before it hit the shelf (I'm fine w/ employees getting a crack at things first, but explain that to the customer rather than lying about it)
  7. BeerBaron

    BeerBaron Initiate (0) May 30, 2008 Ohio

    Yes I think a letter would be warranted
    5thOhio likes this.
  8. JmH

    JmH Initiate (0) Jun 6, 2012 Illinois

    You serious, Clark?
    5thOhio, gpawned and NABS like this.
  9. jl28r1

    jl28r1 Zealot (511) Jan 10, 2011 Texas

    Seems like there a lot beer managers out there who break their own rules just because they can. I don't shop at one of the biggest stores in San Antonio for this very reason (Gabriels). I miss out on some great beer beacause of my boycott but I can't support a company who's employees will lie to my face and hold stuff back for better customers.
    I hope the OP finds another store that will treat him better like I have.
  10. BeerBaron

    BeerBaron Initiate (0) May 30, 2008 Ohio

    Just through being a consumer over the years, I have decent relationships (if you want to call them that) with a majority of the managers at the upper echelon of bottleshops in cbus. Yeah, sure, I don't expect great customer service EVERY time I go in to these shops, but COME ON there needs to be a bear minimum, right? Also I'm not a stickler for great customer service as long as there is quality selection. However there are way too many bottle shops in this area for a store like Andersons to deal turds to its customers and expect them to keep coming back.
    gpawned and Zach136 like this.
  11. InebriatedJoker

    InebriatedJoker Zealot (586) Sep 16, 2010 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    WOW ! This is crazy.
    I have never had a bad experience at Anderson's and have been there many times .
    They have told me numerous times they don't hold bottles - so I don't ask them anymore..
    I'm really shocked the manager would grab the bottles from you - That is seriously a shitty way to treat a customer and I am curious as to who the guy was - I would have held firm to the bottles and raised so much hell he would have been forced to sell them to me . That's total BS on the managers part and I don't know if I'll shop there again..
    gpawned likes this.
  12. BeerBaron

    BeerBaron Initiate (0) May 30, 2008 Ohio

    To be honest I have had many positive experiences there. This one major negative experience along with other minor negative experience that I both referenced in my post were enough to persuade me to go else where.

    As far as holding on the bottles and raising hell - I agree, I should've done that, but I was so shocked when it happened and literally felt bad like I had done something wrong because of how furious the manager was. In hindsight I should've raised hell and hulk smashed some BrewDog beer
  13. VncentLIFE

    VncentLIFE Meyvn (1,417) Feb 16, 2011 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    I would have told him that my cousin Vinny said I get the bottles.
    BeerBaron likes this.
  14. pest

    pest Disciple (363) Sep 2, 2007 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    None of this surprises me as I already know who your talking about. I've had my run in with his attitude before, although nothing close to your experience. Interesting about the bottle reserve....
  15. BeerBaron

    BeerBaron Initiate (0) May 30, 2008 Ohio

    Hmm sounds like a repeat offender with multiple people. Sad to hear
  16. Brunite

    Brunite Initiate (0) Sep 21, 2009 Illinois

    Unless this guy owns the place, or is the owners son.....I'm surprised nobody has written ownership about this clown. As a business owner, I'd dang sure wanna know if my employee just cost me 1000's of bucks in future biz. Likewise, I'd go outta my way to appease said customer. Write the letter.
    5thOhio, gpawned and rmalinowski4 like this.
  17. BeerBaron

    BeerBaron Initiate (0) May 30, 2008 Ohio

    No he does not own the place. I plan on writing the higher ups but am having a hard time finding contact info for the correct people.
    gpawned and Brunite like this.
  18. Brunite

    Brunite Initiate (0) Sep 21, 2009 Illinois

    gpawned likes this.
  19. sarro

    sarro Initiate (165) May 12, 2009 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    Sounds like pretty terrible service & management to me. Definitely file a complaint and let them know it's not the first occasion of it.
    5thOhio likes this.
  20. owen49

    owen49 Initiate (149) Jun 13, 2009 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    This is surprising to me - I've had nothing but good experiences here. Is it the guy who runs the beer department (youngish tall guy, Steve? maybe)? I know there have been problems with limited releases before because he's set the rules, but other people either didn't know those rules or ignored them when he wasn't there. For example, it was either CBS or CBH that he was telling people wouldn't be on the shelf until X pm, then some other person released it earlier that day. I think that pissed a lot of people off.

    So I wouldn't be surprised to hear a problem due to mixed messages from different people in the beer/wine department. But I would be surprised to hear about mixed messages from the same person.
  21. wingedeel

    wingedeel Zealot (511) Nov 17, 2005 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    It is hard to be too much of a badass when you are a (most of the time) unarmed old man, but I sure as hell would have given that guy an earfull. If you arent going back anyway, might as well leave in a blaze of glory.
    JohnOwens and Kuemmelbrau like this.
  22. HighWine

    HighWine Initiate (146) Dec 11, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I'm not familiar with the area but I think this is the right place. if so, here you go

    You have your own first hand experience and corroborating posts from other shoppers in ths thread. That beer manager should be fired and fair practices should instituted for all customers. Don't back down. You were mistreated and deserve better than what you experienced.
  23. tat2dhllblly

    tat2dhllblly Initiate (0) Apr 10, 2010 Ohio

    I have had the same issues with Anderson's in Dublin. The clerks really do try hard but do not have much knowledge to offer at times and the Manager is a raging D-Bag. I have had a few run ins with him.........
  24. kryptic

    kryptic Initiate (0) Sep 3, 2007 Ohio

    I had a very similar experience at the Andersons Market up here. I had asked one of the guys to hold back some Founders Harvest for me like a couple months before it came out. He assured me he would. However, this guy has said the same thing to me about other beers, only to screw me over and not actually hold one for me even though he guaranteed me he would.

    So anyway, I am there and see a shipment on the floor. I ask one of the other guys there is that was the Harvest, and he tells me yes. I tell him I am going to grab a couple 4 packs, as I have been waiting for it and was on the waiting list. (or so I was told)

    Next time I am in there, the guy who originally told me he would hold some back for me sees me and runs over all hyper and quite frankly, seeming somewhat hysterical asking if I took some Harvest. I told him yeah. He gets all hyper and starts ranting and telling me not to just take beers out of the cases, because those weren't for me, they were for the people on the wait list. Then he demads to know who the other employee who was there when I took it was, likely so he could go bitch at him too.

    Like the OP, I have shopped there since the day they opened and have spent thousands of dollars over the years. (probably 10K plus since they opened) And like the OP, I have throughout the years recommended this place to others. I was shopping here and recommending it to others before there really even was a "beer scene" in this town like there is now.

    First off, the way he approached me just had me biting my tongue. I shop there and am cool with most of the people there and didn't want to make a scene or anything, so I just bit my tongue, but I felt like smacking him. He tried to act like he was scolding some child or something. I am hardly ever offended, but I was offended, and quite frankly, a bit pissed off too about the situation.

    Second, he tells me they were not for me but the people on the wait list. Uh, this was the same person that assured me that I WAS on the waitlist weeks earlier, and would definitely get some. And the reason I took it from the case to begin with, was because I have absolutely no faith in this guys word, as he told me the same thing about other releases too, only to not honor what he told me and sell them to other people. (most likely his buddies) So I was right, the part about putting some aside for me was total BS apparantly, as he had no intention to hold any aside for me.

    I don't know.... I have never had problems with the other 3 beer people that worked there since they opened. I hope this is not the kid they are grooming to be the next "beer guy" for the store.
  25. FEUO

    FEUO Disciple (325) Jul 24, 2012 Ontario (Canada)

    This place sounds like one to avoid. But if I'm in the area I will pop in and grab whatever I can get my hands on with little concern over their wishy washy holding rules. F em.
    If its out. Take it. They want to hold it. Put it in the back.
    HopDropandRoll likes this.
  26. robwestcott

    robwestcott Meyvn (1,090) Nov 3, 2008 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    I can't decide how I feel about this, OP please share more details.
    semibaked likes this.
  27. BeerBaron

    BeerBaron Initiate (0) May 30, 2008 Ohio

    I felt like I was pretty exhaustive about what had happened. What other details are you looking for?
    JohnB87 and robwestcott like this.
  28. BeerBaron

    BeerBaron Initiate (0) May 30, 2008 Ohio

    This is sad to hear. I get that dealing with limited releases can be difficult for a bottle shop so as to please the most amount of customers.....but these reported situations are getting out of hand. It's more than just bad policy, it's insulting customer service.
  29. miketd

    miketd Zealot (519) Mar 2, 2006 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    I feel like kicking this guy's ass and it didn't even happen to me. I have only been to this store once, but after hearing this I won't go back again. You must have saintly patience not to have gone off on this asshole.
    gpawned likes this.
  30. owen49

    owen49 Initiate (149) Jun 13, 2009 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    It sounds like there is a lot of fault for the store in this thread, but I think this is being a bad customer. You don't get to take a shipment and unpack it yourself just because you know what's in it and think you're entitled to it. There's a difference between a new delivery being on a pallet, unpacked, and beer being on the shelf or otherwise on display.
  31. ChefBergo

    ChefBergo Initiate (0) Nov 9, 2011 Illinois

    Manager telling you there were still four-packs left and he wouldn't even let you buy one bottle=DBAG. I believe a store has the right to do whatever they want with their beer but policies should be uniform across the board. I've run into situations like this before and the only way to correct the situation is by speaking with the owner or to simply stop purchasing from them. I think it's getting a little late in the game to still be using "reserve" lists for special releases. There are too many folks who seek BA Stouts, BA Barleywines, Sours etc. out for a store to hold 6-fourpacks for a few people. Break the four-packs down, limit how much a person can buy so the community has the opportunity to try these rare gems...
  32. kryptic

    kryptic Initiate (0) Sep 3, 2007 Ohio

    It wasn't on the pallet unpacked, it was moved over to the isle right in front of the Founders beers, to be put on the shelf. Also, another employee was standing right there and didn't have a problem with it, as I stated in my post.
  33. sarro

    sarro Initiate (165) May 12, 2009 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    Sounds like that's the only way to get it from the store.
  34. dvelcich

    dvelcich Initiate (0) Feb 6, 2008 Illinois

    If he were wandering around in the back of the shop, I would agree with you, but if it's on the floor, it's there to be sold.
    HopDropandRoll and whodeyvols like this.
  35. kryptic

    kryptic Initiate (0) Sep 3, 2007 Ohio

    To be fair to the store, the other people I have dealt with have held stuff back for me when they said they would most times. I just hadn't seen the regular beer guy for a few weeks, so had been dealing with the other guy when I asked about stuff.
  36. Vav

    Vav Aspirant (288) Jul 27, 2008 Illinois

    Completely disagree, and i believe you yourself has been in my store on delivery days and seen how hectic a delivery day can get.

    Just because the driver dropped the case/pallet/etc on the floor does not entitle you to open it and take what you like. Some stores dont have backrooms/warehouses/etc and there is nowhere else for that beer to go. When in doubt, ASK. That case could be a special order for another customer's wedding, or maybe it's another store's special order that got misdelivered. Either way, you should always, ALWAYS, ask.
    Shagtastic, beergurujr and goast8127 like this.
  37. Vav

    Vav Aspirant (288) Jul 27, 2008 Illinois

    And while i'm not defending this employee's actions, i will say this: Stores break their own rules all the time. There are exceptions to every rule. It's just business. To give a perfect example, i've turned down countless Bourbon County customers because i held almost all of my Bourbon County for Black Friday. Did i lie to these customers? Technically, yes. Did i sell a 4pk here and there? Yes. So i broke my own rules a few times. These things happen in the course of business.
    gpawned likes this.
  38. BeerBaron

    BeerBaron Initiate (0) May 30, 2008 Ohio

    The bigger issue is the customer service. If I was just lied to and not treated like a child, I wouldn't have started this post
    gpawned likes this.
  39. TMoney2591

    TMoney2591 Poo-Bah (6,693) Apr 21, 2009 Illinois


    Worse, there's no way for any beer clerk to really win, either. If they "tell the truth" every time, that they're holding a certain amount of special releases for our "regulars" or "great customers" or whatever you wanna call them, odds are many are gonna get defensive, wondering what it takes to reach such an exclusive membership. If they "lie", there's undoubtedly gonna be a time when they're "caught", thus making them look bad again in the eyes of those left wanting. And if they just hold the shit back for employees only, people are upset that they didn't even get a whack at it at all.

    So long as demand is overwhelmingly outnumbering supply, thus making limited releases somehow even more limited, there are gonna be issues with some getting what they want and others falling short. Caught in between to receive the resulting ire are the beer guys, some good, some great, some asshats, and some just clueless.

    In this particular scenario, the clerk seemed way out of line and deserves much, if not all, of the criticism leveled against him. At the same time, it should be for his actual actions, rather than a perceived inconsistent policy regarding limited releases/the holding of certain bottles.
  40. CruisaC

    CruisaC Initiate (0) Sep 3, 2010 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    I say once it's in your hands, it's tough luck for the employee/manager. Part that bothered me the most was the fact that he took it out of your hands, even if you hadn't paid for it yet.

    The way I see it, you are much more likely to never shop there again after that stunt than another customer "promised" a 4pack.
    marcgo2 likes this.
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