Wednesday, April 1, 2009

UPDATE; Shopping while black

WOW! Some encouraging news. A while back I posted my bad 'shopping while black' experience at Staples.
I sent them the following letter and they replied!

Customer Service.

On February 28th 2009, I went to the Staples on Santa Monica and Vermont in L.A. I got chased down the Isle because I had a backpack on. My intent was to purchase the TI-89 Calculator ($160)and leave.
While taking my backpack to the counter, I noticed 2 other customers walking around comfortably with theirs. I asked the store clerks about the need for me to put my bag at the counter while others were moving around with theirs. Their response was that they tell those who they happen to see to leave their back packs behind. This in light of the fact that one of the other back pack customers was right at the counter seeking help. He happened to be Latino (and so was the other lady). I happen to be black. Out of the three of us they saw me!

To me, this was a clear case of racial profiling and I mentioned this to them which they obviously denied.
I was very disappointed with this treatment. I am sure this is not company policy but you guys could go to great lengths to train your employees to stop harassing and profiling black shoppers.
I can honestly tell you that many of us are wary of going into stores like yours because of the treatment we anticipate to get. We share our stories and word gets around real fast. I think it should be in the interest of your business that this behavior is checked.

Their response.


Thank you for contacting Staples regarding the lack of quality service you received in our store.

I have contacted the store's senior management regarding your concerns of overall poor customer
service. Rest assured, senior management will speak with the associates involved to ensure the
service our customers receive is great from start to finish.

We always enjoy hearing from our customers, especially when they offer us the opportunity to correct
a situation and regain customer satisfaction. We hope that you will remain a valued Staples