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Bad Customer Service From Tom Thumb / Safeway

Maybe it was just bad customer relations instead

I’m not sure if the title of this post should be bad customer service from Tom Thumb or bad customer relations at Tom Thumb.

Actually, the service was timely. I didn’t have to wait on the phone long to find out I was just out of luck when it came to my complaint. I am not a happy customer at all. I thought there may be some way to accommodate me. A $10.00 off Lucerne products coupon would have made me ecstatic and would have changed the entire tone of this blog post. I actually would have written a positive blog post instead of one bemoaning the bad customer service I received from Tom Thumb. I’ve complemented companies before in other blog posts when they treat me right. Those companies have been GoDaddy, Bank America and In-n-Out Burger.

I could really use a discount on gas

Tom Thumb has a rewards card which offers discounts to loyal shoppers. If a shopper obtains 100 points during a one month period, they earn (1) gas reward equaling 10 cents off a gallon. In my case, as a very loyal shopper, I earn 30 cents off a gallon, at least until the end of April. Did you read that correctly? Thirty cents off a gallon is a lot of money these days.

The last time I went to Tom Thumb for gas, I expected to get 30 cents off a gallon, but instead only received a 3 cent discount. I was amazed, not mad, just amazed. I swore there had to be some mistake. I even looked at my receipt and read the rules:

Your rewards are on the Fast Track!
100 points = three 10 cents off
(30 cents) per gal Gas Rewards
Earn thru 4/30/2012.


Collect rewards to earn up to $1 per
gal on a single fill-up at
Participating gas stations

Gas rewards expire at the end of the
following month in which they were
earned. See updated terms and
conditions at our website.

I related my problem to the customer service operator. She dutifully explained that rewards earned in one month expire at the end of the following month. I said I understood that so I wondered where did my reward points go at the end of March? I had 77 of them. She further explained that 77 points do not equal a gas reward. A gas reward is only earned at 100 points. “Duh, how dumb can you be you stupid customer?” To be fair, she didn’t say that audibly.

Is what I call bad customer service from Tom Thumb simply legalism?

Tom Thumb was right, at least legally. But what I think they do is mislead their loyal customers. In the terrible economy that is 2012 and in a time of the highest gas prices in American history, some of their customers could use that extra 30 cents off a gallon of gas. On their receipts, it says to go to their website for updated terms and conditions, not to see additional rules they omit from the receipt. If their receipt had said, points towards rewards expire at the end of each month, I would have bought more food and earned my 30 cent a gallon gas discount. They could have done that, but if they had, Tom Thumb would probably have sold gas cheaper to thousands of dumb people like me who have confused points towards rewards with actual gas rewards.

I’ll never make that mistake again nor will I make the mistake of shopping regularly at Tom Thumb. I’ll still go there once in a while for absolute necessities, but it looks like Kroger and Albertson’s for my regular shopping.

Please share this with others who tend to shop at Tom Thumb…thanks

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2 Responses to “Bad Customer Service From Tom Thumb / Safeway”

  1. Do some research first before you jump to conclusions. Kroger runs the same fuel program as Safeway. You need to check your facts before saying a company is misleading you. I don’t see anywhere in Safeway’s program they are deceiving customers. You are just mad because you can’t take the time to learn what the program is all about.

    Posted by J | November 18, 2013, 12:42 am
  2. I simply read the receipt which said the points expire at the end of the next month.

    I was told the rules had changed and were different than what were on their receipt.

    Thanks you for taking time to read the post J.

    Posted by Brian | February 25, 2014, 8:39 am

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