I have shopped at Publix for over 20 years but in January 2014 I experienced a different side of this company. As I have done many times in the past, I purchased chicken fingers from the Deli Department and ate them in the store. Immediately after biting down, I tasted a sand-like gritty substance and it instantly snapped off a large piece of my molar. I quickly brought it to the attention of the on-duty store manager and showed him the chunk of my broken tooth. The store manager offered to file my claim with Publix headquarters and stated someone from the corporate office would contact me in 2 days. Note the whole incident was videotaped on the store’s security cameras.
After several days passed without any response, I repeatedly contacted the corporate office of William Crenshaw (CEO) in Lakeland, Florida and left several voicemails. When a Publix representative from headquarters finally returned my calls, I was transferred to several others that were defensive and full of empty excuses as to why my previous calls were never returned.
Finally, Charles Henry (Risk Management) called and emphasized it was “standard procedure” for Publix to test the whole batch of chicken fingers. He promised I would be contacted with the test results within 2 weeks. After 4 weeks passed, I again contacted Publix corporate headquarters and was informed the testing results would be completed on the following Tuesday. Since it was clearly obvious I was getting the run around, I chose to contact William Crenshaw (CEO) once again and leave several voicemails.
After several days, Charles Henry (Risk Management) called to announce they didn’t find anything in the chicken finger itself and I would be contacted once their final evaluation was complete. Before I ended the call, I offered to provide documentation of dental costs estimates I acquired but Mr. Henry declined my offer. Lastly, in order to validate Charles Henry’s “standard procedure” testing process, I contacted the Publix store manager where I purchased the chicken finger and asked if the “standard procedure” testing process Mr. Henry described was initiated and completed. The store manager replied “No, not at all”. To reiterate, the original incident was videotaped on the store’s security camera.
The final settlement offer ended up being 70% of my total out of pocket cost for the dental repair, provided I sign a waiver releasing Publix from any further liability; also the offer was presented as if they were doing me a favor for being a long-time Publix customer instead of being a sincere apology regretting any trouble they caused.
After I expressed my dissatisfaction with their assessment, Mr. Henry forwarded me to David Thomas who began accusing me of trying to extort money when all I was trying to do is receive equal and fair compensation for my dental expenses. I am a hard working professional in the public domain as well and do not appreciate his unprofessional and unwarranted false allegations.
Furthermore, after reading several Publix consumer complaints posted on the internet, I noticed the following patterns of behavior within Corporate Headquarters.
1. Mix legitimate consumer claims with scams regardless of the facts and real truth
2 Bully and completely disrespect consumers with rude comments insinuating
extortion and criminal intent
3 Provide no clear procedure, information or point person for consumer questions
pertaining to claims
4. Respond reluctantly only after numerous attempts by plaintiffs to reach
“the right person”
In conclusion, Publix should address their business much more professionally when handling consumer claims. What happened to Publix’s website promising “high standards of customer service” in their mission statement below???
“Mission Statement & Guarantee – Our Mission – Our mission at Publix is to be the premier quality food retailer in the world. To that end, we commit to be: Passionately focused on customer value; Intolerant of waste; Dedicated to the dignity, value and employment security of our associates, Devoted the highest standards of stewardship for our stockholders; Involved as responsible citizens in our communities”
You be the judge….. MLB
Product or Service Mentioned: Publix Chicken.