Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Update on the Great Safeway Sandwich Coup

Being the concerned consumer that I am, I wrote a letter of complaint to Safeway (which I have renamed Riskyway) yesterday.

Me: I am writing to express my outrage at your store policy leading to the arrest of a pregnant mom and her husband over their accidentally forgetting to pay for a couple of $2.50 sandwiches.  I am particularly disgusted that you allowed it to come to this in spite of the fact that it meant the couple's young child had to spend 18 hours in state custody. Why you would endanger the health and well-being of a young child over a couple of bucks is beyond me.

It is no exaggeration to say that I will NEVER shop at your store again. I already have not done so in years because your organic selection is very limited and overpriced, and the store clerks
I have encountered were not helpful or knowledgeable.

Since I have 6 children, I will not endanger them by taking the chance of shopping at your store.

You ought to be ashamed of yourself.

Safeway: Ms. Anderson:

Thank you for your recent correspondence.

We have asked the Honolulu Police Department to drop all associated charges. It was never our intent to separate a child from her mother and we agree that the situation could have been handled differently.

On November 1, 2011, our Division President personally called this customer to share this news. It was a good conversation and we are glad that resolution has been provided.

Ms. Anderson, should you require further assistance, you may reply to this email or phone us at 1-877-723-3929 and reference Contact ID 19833100. One of our associates will be happy to assist you.

Thank you for shopping at Safeway.


Me: Thank you for your prompt reply. I do indeed have another question. Could you please share with me the most recent results of inspections carried out in your Honolulu store by the Department of Weights and Measures, specifically, how they rated the accuracy of your scales, as well as your pricing items correctly. I always double-check my receipt because "mistakes" are so extremely common. Of course, it has never once occurred to me to consider being overcharged an intentional theft warranting a call to 911. Quite the contrary, I am usually forced to wait in the customer service line for a refund.

Also, of course you are not going to press any charges, because you don't stand a chance of winning in court, nor would that be very good publicity for your store. But the damage you caused to mother and child in emotional (and possibly physical) distress is irreversible. Surely you have some mothers of young children in your customer service department that is receiving these complaints. Can you begin to imagine the horror that a 2-year old would experience seeing both her parents handcuffed and taken into police custody, while herself being kidnapped by complete strangers? How do you plan to remedy THAT? You can't.

Let me add that I would have no problem at all with you considering the "forgotten" sandwich a theft. However, the appropriate (and biblical) punishment for theft has always been to repay a multiple of the original purchase price. In this case, four-fold would have been $10. This would have covered your expenses for employing security staff etc. Instead, you cost tax payers a fortune in this petty case, and greatly harmed your public image.

I look forward to your sharing the DWM reports with me.

Thank you,


  1. Like you, I am a Christian. I love Jesus with all my heart. Your writing at times seems so spiteful and hateful. As Christians we are to love one another, and forgive each other when mistakes our made. This store made a mistake, a rather large mistake, but when they admit to wrong shouldn't we forgive them?

  2. Here are my thoughts:

    1. Safeway's letter was much more Christlike than yours

    2. What does the DWM report have to do with the facts of this case?

    3. Not everyone reads the bible, or has any interest in a biblical solution.

    4. Why is it at all relevant that she was pregnant?

    5. I really doubt Safeway cares whether you shop there. It will have no affect on their profits, whatever you do.

    6. If the pregnant sandwich mom had been a homosexual atheist with a child, would you have been equally outraged? Answer honestly, now.

  3. Well said! Hopefully Safeway (ironic name) will recieve enough of a backlash that other stores will take note and make sure that this horrible thing does not happen to other children.

  4. That's great!!! I wonder if they will come back at all. I also find it interesting that even after you stated that you NEVER will shop at Safeway again, they still signed their email "Thank you for shopping at Safeway". What a bunch of morons.

  5. Oh Dear Anonymous~Both of you.

    Why do you bother commenting if you can't even give a name? That in itself speaks volumes of who you are.

    There was nothing ungodly about Zsuzsa's letter. It was honest and hit the nail on the head. And why in the world do you people always bring homosexuals into the mix? I doubt that the police were questioning her sex life on her way to jail. What happened to the woman was wrong. PERIOD.

    I wish I could have signed your letter Zsuzsa. I am sure you could have rounded MOST of your readers up to do this!!! HA!!!


  6. Oh, Sally, I noticed that too. At the end "Thank you for shopping at Safeway." LOL!!! @ Anonymous: DO YOU REALLY THINK THEY ARE SORRY?!!! LOL!!! HA HA HA!

  7. I don't understand why an anonymous comment is any less valid than a comment with a possibly fake name, but whatever.

    "Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him." Colossians 3:12-17

    I can understand one angry letter, but they sent you a gracious response that, yes, they were in the wrong and have taken steps to rectify the situation and you sent another purposefully vitriolic letter. What was the purpose of the second letter? To emphasize your outrage? To make them feel guilty?

    It is through the grace and forgiveness of God that we are saved, the very least we as Christians can do is extend grace and forgiveness towards those who try to rectify their mistakes.

  8. Jessica, Why are you so "bold" on someone else's blog and yet choose to shut your blog down bc you can't handle people's comments to you?? Any comments made on a person's blog should be handled by the originator, it seems to me?? Zsuzsanna seems pretty good at defending herself. I don't think she needs you fighting for her. I think your job is to respond to people who comment on your own blog. It's easy to "tell off" anonymous commentors on someone else's page, but yet you shut your blog down. I don't get it???

  9. Actually Safeway does care a lot if ZZ shops there. They made a huge blunder and there is going to be some financial fallout for sure. (I hope a lot of fallout!) Every parent is going to wonder if a mistake will cost them their child. If I have several stores to choose to shop in, am I going to go to the one that doesn't bat an eye at separating a child from its family? Even if the child is placed in a loving home (giving benefit of the doubt here) the trauma of being ripped away from one's family has to have long term affects on any child's sense of security. The only way I see that Safeway can mitigate this in any way is to fire that manager, he does not have the discernment needed for that job.

  10. Anonymous~

    Was not defending Z, as she does not need me to(I was just agreeing with her). I just really got into this story, because it is horrible and was pointing out that her letter was not nasty as someone stated. I did not realize I needed a blog to state my opinion.

    About my blog, are probably one of the reasons I shut down my blog!!! LOL!!! I am not afraid to blog.....I blogged about many unpopular things and I do not care what others feel of me. I am however not willing to expose my children to the perverts of the world any longer.

    Zsuzsa~ I always get a kick out of your blog and many good laughs!!! THank you!!!


  11. Would you mind sharing what you are hoping to accomplish with the second email? I'm not sure I understand.

  12. Jessica (count me as one who misses your blog), Anonymous & Anonymous would probably read about Jesus turning over the tables at the temple and say "Oooh, Jesus isn't being a very good Christian there."

  13. I am a Christian, but I must say that Jesus would not have considered himself a "good Christian." He was being a good JEW!

  14. Are the cops bound by law to make an arrest in this senerio? It seems crazy that they would even take it seriously! But I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.

  15. Jessica,
    I really loved your blog, it was one of my favorites!
    We have good Safeways here (Washington state), in fact, my dad works for Safeway. So not all Safeways are bad!

  16. In my personal opinion, writing letters of disatisfaction (no matter how they are expressed, through Biblical means or not) is a something that should be done more often. It helps to PREVENT things such as 'the sandwich incident' from occuring in the first place. I'm heartbreakingly sure that the Leszczynski's terror trip wasn't the first time such a thing-or something close to it-has occured.

    On the other side of the coin, I think it's a good and joyful thing to write or telephone compliments into stores that provided excellent service. I've worked in the retail industry and even the smallest compliment can keep one's self-esteem above water! If you've had a particular pleasant clerk, please call the manager and tell him that his employee is doing a nice job--it does make a good deal of difference.



Your KINDLY WORDED, constructive comments are welcome, whether or not they express a differing opinion. All others will be deleted without second thought.