- Around 2 PM on October 17, 2016, I pulled a five-pound bag of organic carrots from the vegetable bin in the refrigerator and prepared to make one of my favorite, refreshing drinks, a mixture of carrot and apple juice, about 8 carrots and 1 apple. We have a great juicer, an Omega No. 4000 and it sits proudly on one of our kitchen counters ready to serve. It has produced countless glasses of various kinds of juices.
As I opened the bag, I noticed first that the carrots looked old, somewhat dried out, tops beginning to sprout and those that had been cut off left an ugly black top. Some were split open, other top parts of the carrots were withered and indented. I looked on the bag for some information and found an 800 phone number for Lucerne Foods in Pleasanton, California,
The gentleman who answered had been well trained but said the information I wanted, which was when were these carrots shipped, was not available to him. He said the carrots are supposed to be shipped within 72 hours of harvest. He said further I should take the bag back to the store which happens to be a nearby Albertson’s. He said if they had the shipping container (unlikely I thought) they could possiby (small probability) give me that information. Mr Customer Service offered to send me a gift card to Albertson’s which I accepted but doubt I will use , maybe just give it to someone going into the store some day.
Off to the store I went, not angry really, just disappointed that the carrots did not come close to reasonable expectations. I met Mark, the produce manager, and he said that ever since they switched suppliers, from their previous one to Lucerne, the quality had gone down. We walked back to the produce department found the supply of five-pound organic carrots and they all looked the same, not good. He offered me another bag or my money back and I said simply, thanks but no thanks, I will find my carrots somewhere else even if I have to pay a little more. I asked Mark why he thought they switched. Price, he said, these are cheaper.
I salvaged the carrots, peeled what I needed, added my quartered apple and it was OK. Lesson learned beyond price and quality? You can easily spend two and a half hours trying to find information that no one either has or is willing to provide. In that case, chalk it up to lousy customer service, a continuing oxymoron in the realm of retail food service. Lesson learned? How much time are you willing to invest to try and correct an unacceptable situation?
PS The man on the phone at Lucerne, when pushed to see if the information was there somewhere, said yes, they have the information I wanted but he couldn’t provide it. Hah, a conspiracy after all.