When I co-founded Aldi Reviewer in 2016, there were many things I could never have predicted. I could never have predicted that the Aldi community would grow as rapidly as it has. I could never have predicted how Aldi shopping interests would come from the most unlikely of places.
I could never have predicted just how interesting a select number of Aldi customers can be.
In our first year of existence, we found ourselves on the receiving end of messages from people who thought we were Aldi. They asked us all sorts of crazy things … and at times made all kinds of crazy demands. That hasn’t changed in the years since, despite our attempts to thwart them. (You know it’s bad when you feel the need to create a we’re not Aldi page so you don’t have to keep repeating yourself over and over.)
Here’s just a sample of some of the emails we’ve received:
- “Ur kirkwood chicken patties r the suckiest thing on earth even people with teeth cant chew them they get ao tough in the microwave after 2 mins its sicking would never never by that tough garbage again baquet chicken r the best”
- “Would love to purchases a 8 man ,2 room Dom e tent, that recently was on sale at the Audi stores ,if you can find me one with the sleeping bags i really appreciate it thank you for checking for me my number is [NUMBER] [NAME]”
- “I. Bought. Your. Hot. Dogs. Vegan. And. I. Did. Not. Like. Them. At. All. Very. Bad. Taste. Did. Not. Taste. Like. A. Hot. Dog. At. All. I. Would. Like. A. Refund. For. This. Item. You. Need. To. Make. It. Taste. More. Like. Hot. Dog. [NAME]. [ADDRESS] Thank. You.”
- “Your company is a laugh. A disgrace. Taking peoples hard earned money for [EXPLETIVE]. Your product does not clean. Maybe rich people eat out alot or order take-out. Because I am sure they don’t need to clean plates, pots or pans Check out my Facebook page … Stop ripping people off who work hard for their money and end up starving themselves to feed their children. And spend money on products that don’t work worth a [EXPLETIVE].”
Along the way, we’ve reached one inescapable conclusion: if the people we get emails from are that interesting, just how much more interesting must the people who actually contact Aldi be?
We can only imagine. Just looking at the cross section of emails we get, we’ve found ones that range from incomprehensible to impossibly demanding. Some of them make vague threats. Others make requests and I have no idea what they’re asking for.
And we get off easy. Because I can just tell them “we’re not Aldi” and send them on their way. Aldi doesn’t have that luxury. Its customer service reps have to answer the emails … plus all the follow-up emails that will come from that. Because I have no doubt that some irate or confused customers email over and over again. At the risk of sounding mean, I have no idea how a CSR would have a coherent conversation with some of the people we’ve received emails from. And yet somehow they do, because they must.
Being a customer service rep in general is difficult, thankless work, especially in a crisis. High turnover rates are common across the industry. You have to deal with people at their worst, especially during a crisis. Sadly, some companies compound the problem by creating a difficult environment for the CSRs to work in, or they just offshore the whole business altogether.
We ourselves have had to work with Aldi CSRs, and by and large we’ve found them to be very good. We’ve even had instances where Aldi has been able to lean on the warranty providers the grocer uses to get them to do their jobs. Our most common form of contact with Aldi is via email, and Aldi’s CSRs always reply promptly. I won’t always claim to like the responses I get — and there are times I think the CSRs aren’t always in the loop with everything the company is doing — but among all the different call centers I’ve had to deal with in my life, Aldi does a well above average job.
When you compound that good job with the flood of crazy questions they must get, those CSRs are about as close to saints as you’ll get from a grocer.
So, here is my message to all those Aldi customer service reps out there: you’re doing an amazing job, now more than ever. Thank you for all your hard work.