• Report: #794158
Complaint Review:

Whole Foods Market

  • Submitted: Tue, November 01, 2011
  • Updated: Tue, November 01, 2011

  • Reported By: Colman — Chicago Illinois United States of America
Whole Foods Market
1101 S. Canal St. Chicago, Illinois United States of America

Whole Foods Market South Loop store character assassination of long term customer Chicago, Illinois

*Author of original report: If the “goods” were really good, then why return them?

*Consumer Comment: Reporting similar experience, evidently corporate policy

*Consumer Comment: Prior 2 rebuttals are suspicious

*Consumer Comment: Simple.

*Consumer Comment: Arrest?

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I am a long term customer who has just awakened from the manipulation and propaganda that Whole foods spins.

This year, over 50% of the Items that I purchased from Whole Foods were bad: moldy, stale, rotten, undercooked over cooked, and tasteless.

When they first opened up, 98% of their produce, baked goods, and prepared foods were wonderful. Alas, in recent times, the quality has decreased considerably.

I made the mistake of returning much of the spoiled, moldy, expired, and bug infested items to Customer Service. I foolishly believed Whole Foods Market Propaganda. I could not really imagine what I was up against.

All of the returned items were packaged so that a careful examination could not be done at the store during the purchase.

Like Wal-Mart, Whole Foods will cut off an individual customers ability to address grievances after what they consider numerous returns or complaints even with receipts.

The deception of Whole foods staff being positive, kind hearted, and concerned with 100% customer satisfaction is revealed when you confront them with the ugly truth.

Even with the proof in front of them, they aggressively defend the illusion that their products are perfect at the time of purchase.

I was told that I was the only one complaining or returning their products, even when the customer service counter is busy.

More often than I care to admit, Whole Foods Customer Service Staff have often manipulated me into believing that some of the spoiled produce that I purchased did not come from Whole Foods Market. I was effectively influenced, even though I knew that I had recently purchased these items from Whole foods Market.

Even with a receipt, I was told that they have been watching me and there was no way I purchased bad items from their store.

Whole Foods management and team leaders have also shown me their loathsome natures filled with contempt which is defended with character assassination and manipulation. Their true colors are shown when you dont buy into their sticky sweet illusions.

I was maliciously charged with abusing their return policy and cruelly characterized as a serial returner. Several team leaders have falsely accused me of "tampering" with their products. Now I can never return any of their products, even with a receipt and I am banned from shopping at Whole Foods on threat of arrest.

Since Whole Foods Market has destroyed all of the competition. Now there are some Items that I can only get at Whole Foods Market. So, my access has been cut off.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/01/2011 02:51 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/whole-foods-market/chicago-illinois-60612/whole-foods-market-south-loop-store-character-assassination-of-long-term-customer-chicago-794158. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Author of original report

If the “goods” were really good, then why return them?

AUTHOR: - ()

First, I am an experienced shopper that is over 50 years old who happens to be middle class and professional. I am savvy enough to check the expiration date before I purchase something!

Being a liar and having compulsions like the phrase “serial returning” implies is not a part of my world. I can afford to buy good things for my health and life style.

It has been over a year since this complaint was filed and some things have changed and other stuff remains the same. I have come to accept and adapt to the things that I cannot change.

Today, Whole Foods still provides the healthiest looking variety of organic greens and sprouts for Chicago. So, I still shop there from time to time. However, I now avoid any conflicts because I stopped hoping to find the items that were wonderful in years past.

Perhaps it is my generation. We had it good for a while. And Whole Foods had done a great job for over a decade. For some time, they provided the best tasting produce in Chicago. I would give up a whole paycheck to buy those organically grown “Jonny Gold” apples that were sold years back.

Thanks Ron and Tjr for your understanding and for sharing your stories. Ron, you hit the nail on the head!

It is interesting how those fellows “Flynrider” and “Robert” from the USA are spitefully character assassinating the customer. And why does Ripoff report allow this?

Robert is falsely indicating that the customer is a perjurer and a “serial returner” who is too stupid to check the expiration date.

Isn’t a “serial returner” really someone who is unhappy with the goods that were purchased?

If the “goods” were really good, then why return them?

When did consumers who are labeled “serial returners” become the scape goat for America’s troubles?

“Flynrider” is a master manipulator and spin doctor. Both of these guys are representative of the contempt of Whole Foods management towards their customers who “complain too much.” Sadly, this display of disrespect for the Consumer is now part of American culture. “Flynrider” is correct about his assertion that Whole Foods still has plenty of “satisfied customers” to keep them in business. Even Oprah was commonly known to be a loyal customer.

It was disappointing when Whole Foods first started selling baked goods that were moldy and “organic” tree fruit that never ripens. At the time, I entertained mistaken ideas about customer loyalty. I also foolishly believed the propaganda that Whole Foods cared about quality, customer satisfaction, and customer feedback. Furthermore, it was an emotional time to be confronted with the harsh reality that corporate practices have cut off the last supply of bioactive American organically grown tree fruit available in Chicago.

Does anyone remember what is was like when tasty bioactive produce was available in the USA?

In the past, American grown tree fruit like nectarines, peaches, pears, and plumbs ripened naturally within days after being taken home. This was mostly because of their enzymes. As a direct result of current commercial practices like irradiation which destroys enzymes and bioactivity, tree fruit can be stored for months and shipped long distances without spoiling. Some apples are stored for a year in cold storage facilities before they are sold to the public. Alas, most people in Chicago are now use to eating unripe tree fruit. In fact, popular medical experts in the media are praising the virtues of eating starchy/ sour fruit with low sugar contents.

Modern tree fruit sold in most cities around the USA look marvelous in the store and will stay unripe for weeks after a purchase. The produce displays in most commercial stores are works of art. Nevertheless, their tree fruit usually does not ripen, but instead suddenly turns black and inedible. This is happening in all corporate run stores in Chicago, including Whole Foods.

Alas, with the addition of corporate chains like Pete’s Fresh Market, there are no longer any great produce places in the Chicago Hispanic community. Their bananas go from green to completely black without a yellow stage.

To end on a high note, Marathon brand mangos are still wonderful and ripen naturally. Lately, other brands are hit or miss. The local grocery stores in the Chinese and Indian communities in Chicago are selling produce that are tasty, mostly bioactive, and ripen naturally.


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#2 Consumer Comment

Reporting similar experience, evidently corporate policy

AUTHOR: tjr - (USA)

I too was ejected when the Wayland MA manager called police. Ejection of customers who complain seems to be corporate-wide policy. In my case as in others reported here, I was a major customer.

Initially, my biggest problem with Whole Foods was its repeated flouting of the MA Unit Pricing Act. Having been involved as a citizen with enactment of regulations under that Act, I've always felt a duty to report to management noncompliance items I happen to see in any store I'm in. Other stores make an effort to correct the noncompliance, not always successfully, but they keep trying. Not Whole Foods.

Whenever I encountered Unit Pricing noncompliance at Whole Foods, especially the most blatant kind, I made an effort to point it out to them, usually via the so-called customer service counter, sometimes to corporate, always offering to help the store, or the whole chain, with compliance. I never got more than a bland assurance. My help was never sought. Rarely if ever was the item corrected. Well, that didn't get me kicked out of the store, but it seems the writing was on the wall.

The day finally came when I had called from a distance to ask whether cases of organic ricemilk were in stock so I could come straight home and buy one (as opposed to getting it at another store enroute). The answer was yes. However, when I arrived, having skipped the other store on the way, the answer was no. It turned out that when I had called, nobody actually checked. Very upsetting situation. I asked to see the manager.

I did actually get to see that big burly manager. Evidently this is unusual. Well, guess how he treated my complaint: by ordering me out of the store, then calling the police and lying to them that I threatened him! The police came to my house! He then signed a permanent no-trespass order and got the police to deliver it to me! That's what an aggrieved customer gets for asking to see the manager.




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#3 Consumer Comment

Prior 2 rebuttals are suspicious


We had a very similar experience at Whole Foods on Lake Mead in Las Vegas with Kevin Stepp, Store Director - hot headed, hyper angry, hyper aggressive, knee jerk, SOB. 

Our experience, albeit our claims were not nearly as aggravated as made by the person filing subject report, was equally or even more degrading, rude and intense. Lack of civility is the key point.

Also this subject report is not the only Rip Off Report about Whole Food's arrogance toward likely good customers. Plus there are the many other similar Reviews on other platforms.   


Namely as long as you spend your paycheck there and keep your mouth shut then you enjoy their phony nice high class treatment. But if you have certain legitimate issues that cross certain invisible lines you can be quickly be treated as dog doo doo.

To the "two" persons (Flynrider, & Robert) who authored the two hyper cynical degrading rebutals to subject report: It is very curious that both reports used strikingly similar language, style, and tone as if authored by the same author. Also both subject rebuttals used copious insider terminology that Whole Foods management would definitely use, but that customers would rarely know or use. Could it be the subject "two" rebutals hyper degrading attitude may actually confirm the subject Rip Off report as to the arrogance of Whole Foods. Hmmm???

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#4 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Flynrider - (USA)

   Whole Foods has determined that you are not worth the effort to do business with.   In other words, your behavior costs them more to deal with than they are likely to make in profit from your purchases.   You have become a nuisance.    Note that at first they merely restricted you from returning items.   No doubt you made enough a nuisance of yourself to be effectively banned from the property altogether.   

   If your experience with their merchandise were common, how do you explain all of the other people who keep shopping there and do not constantly return items?    If your experience was typical, I have a hard time imagining why any customers would keep coming back.  Do you expect us to believe that other customers are perfectly content buying rotten, bug infested products? 

   Like most corporations, Whole Foods does not generally turn away paying customers.   In your case, they have decided they are better off without you.    It is entirely within their right to choose not to do business with you.   Frankly, anyone reading your complaints would have to wonder why you would even want to go back there.   
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#5 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

For you to have been threatened with arrest if you return I am sure there is a lot more story.

But you do sound like a "serial returner" and based on what you wrote I doubt that Whole Foods is the first store to accuse you of this.

I made the mistake of returning much of the spoiled, moldy, expired, and bug infested items to Customer Service......All of the returned items were packaged so that a careful examination could not be done at the store during the purchase.

- So here is a question.  How come you didn't look at the expiration date BEFORE you bought it?

Since Whole Foods Market has destroyed all of the competition. Now there are some Items that I can only get at Whole Foods Market. So, my access has been cut off.
- Have they destroyed the competition or have you been banned from the competition?

What you should have done to prove your case is buy the items, then immediately take them to the Customer Service and open them up so that they can see how bad the items are.  After all with a 50% defect rate it wouldn't take long for you to prove that you were right.  That is if you are telling the 100% truth. 

But if I was to take a guess, I would bet that you open the package use maybe 1-2 servings before you decide it is "unacceptable".  You then return the partially used package for a full refund.
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