Businesses Have A Responsibility To Their Customers

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Business owners have a responsibility to their customers. Pusateri’s, the gourmet food grocery store in North Toronto, is learning that lesson the hard way. One week ago, the City of Toronto health inspectors closed Pusateri’s because of an infestation of rats and cockroaches and Pusateri’s customers are understandably furious. After all, customers who pay a premium for their groceries don’t expect to find little “nuggets” along with the prepared food they were planning on serving for dinner. People have been voicing their concerns on twitter and facebook. Here’s a sampling of the comments:
  • New name for #pusateri's = Pusarats
  • There’s a reason that the peaches at #Pusateri's are $6 each. You get a pet with it #gross #roaches #rats” lol!
  • #Pusateri's is where you'll find all your exotic foods. Mmmm, roaches and rats!
  • Those rats and roaches have some mighty fine taste #pusateri's
  • The good news: the peppercorn steaks are AAA beef. The bad news: those aren't peppercorns. #Pusateri's
The good news is that Pusateri’s was given the go-ahead to re-open on Monday, October 24, 2011 by health officials. However, how long will it take for Pusateri’s to re-gain the trust of its customers? Trust is an integral part of any company’s brand. Customer trust takes a long time to build but it can disappear overnight. And once you’ve done something to undermine your customers’ trust, it’s hard if not impossible to rebuild the relationship. This is particularly true in today’s world of the social media. The world has become a “smaller place” and word travels like lightning! So what’s the moral of this story … businesses MUST act responsibly. Pusateri’s clearly had a long-term problem and they either ignored it or didn’t try to resolve it effectively. Pretending an issue doesn’t exist and/or trying to sweep it under the carpet will always backfire. I’m interested in your reaction to this situation. If you were a Pusateri customer, would you:
  • Give them another chance and continue to shop there?
  • Refuse to shop there ever again?
  • Wait and see if the problem reoccurred and then decide whether to shop there again?

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  • Dear Alison,
    I’ve found worms before in broccoli heads but that’s not the fault of the grocery store. I just have to make sure to wash the vegetables carefully. What occurred in Pusateri’s is completely unacceptable though. I sincerely hope for their sake they find a way to re-assure customers it won’t happen again.
    Thanks for visiting my blog site.

    Karyn Climans on
  • For me personally, if I was a previous Pusateri customer, I would not be returning.

    Sometimes in our local Metro, the birds get in during the summer and can be seen flying around the store. You really do have to be very cautious about checking fruit, veggies and packaging when you are grocery shopping…especially after you hear those stories about folks finding spiders in their grapes.

    Alison on
  • Eeewwwww ! I wonder how biz will be ?

    maria on
  • I dated someone in high school who worked at a meat processing plant part-time after school & on weekends. I haven’t been able to eat a hot dog since … enough said!

    Karyn Climans on
  • Good grief…I don’t think I could shop there again…I’d be too paranoid! What bothers me is when I see flies flying around in the donut showcases at Tim Hortons…that really grosses me out!!! I imagine in many cases if we saw how our food was processed at the manufacturers we’d all be size 2 … :)

    Kathryn on

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