Last week I made a routine run to buy groceries at Publix. Beforehand I had already gone online and perused the accessible weekly ad and printed out my grocery list. Once at the store, I got a sales clerk to assist me with my shopping and also at the checkout line. As we were going through checkout some frozen shrimp that was supposed to be BOGO (Buy One Get One) did not ring up correctly. I knew this was the case because whenever I go grocery shopping I have the cashier call out the name of the item and the price since I am blind and can’t see the electronic board that displays this information. She informed me that the shrimp was not on sale so I told her to remove the item from my purchases. The gentleman that had been helping me shop said he would go and check since I had mentioned that it was BOGO. When he came back he told me that there was no shrimp on sale at all. I thought this was strange because I had read the ad on the Publix website the day before and the sale was not over. But since I had no proof in front of me I didn’t protest.
The situation still bothered me, though. So when I got home I decided to do something that I had been procrastinating about for a while. I downloaded their accessible app to my iPhone. I thought this would be a good idea because if any discrepancies came up I would have my phone right there in the store to show the sales ad. A couple of years ago, Publix launched their app. When it came out I didn’t have an iPhone and so was not using it but was aware because I have worked with their technology department on accessibility in their headquarters office in Lakeland, Florida. I had assisted them in finding blind and visually impaired iPhone users who could test the app for accessibility.
Once I downloaded it, I found it quite easy to use. Then I logged in with my Publix user name and password, and things moved very smoothly. The app asked permission to access my current location and immediately pulled up my store. There were tabs and one of them was the weekly ad. Once I did a double tap on that I was in. I was able to scroll down to the BOGO section and found the frozen shrimp that I had also seen on the website.
I was still a little confused about what happen because obviously the shrimp was on sale. So, I talked to a sighted friend and had her look at my receipt and the app. She said the problem was that the wrong size bag was put in my cart. So the next day I decided to go back to Publix and talk to the manager about it.
I called up an Uber ride and went back to Publix. I spoke to the store manager and explained the situation in a very calm and kind way. Sharing how the incorrect shrimp had been put in my cart; but there wasn’t enough effort put into finding the shrimp that was on sale. I showed her my receipt and the ad on my iPhone as proof. She understood what I was saying and sold me the shrimp at a discount and gave me a $10 Publix gift card too.
Now, you might be thinking, why am I sharing this story? Well, for a couple of reasons. First, Publix is a store that has very good overall customer service. In a world of little to no customer service anymore that is an excellent thing. Second, Publix strives to make their technology accessible. Their website and app are both accessible to people with vision loss. Third, as a blind person I believe in advocating for myself. When something is not correct I feel it is okay to speak up and speak out about it to get the situation resolved. Fourth, when Publix sees a mistake they make, they correct it. Publix wants to keep you as a customer. So, when you hear the words “Publix, where shopping is a pleasure”, you can know, in my opinion, that slogan is actually true.
How do you feel about Publix? Share with me your thoughts. Do you currently shop at Publix? Has your experience been a good one? What things do you like or dislike about shopping at Publix? I want to hear from you. Please make your comments in the section below.