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Store manager assaults caregiver, trashes food

On 10/26/09 I brought my dad - he turned 92 last week, has Alzheimer's, heart problems, and is legally blind with macular degeneration -...

Monday, June 4, 2018

Did a bicycle shop blacklist me with Earth Fare?

Update 6/6/2018 - The link to this specific post was blocked, so you may have accessed this via this blog's general address. 

Garris Matthews assaulted me after I returned a bicycle to the Cycle Center in Columbia, South Carolina. A guy named Derek sold me the bike, and said if I didn't like the bicycle, they would gladly take it back. But when I returned it, he came up with a "restocking" fee of $300, which he deducted from the amount I was refunded. He indicated that he thought misrepresenting the terms of a sale was part of "business."

The Cycle Center deserved to have the bicycle returned.

I had explained what kind of terrain I ride on, emphasizing that it included steep hills. They should have suggested that I purchase a touring bicycle, but the deceitful jerks tried to convince me that the main issue regarding hills was the weight of the bicycle as opposed to the gearing. They were determined to sell me a high-priced, Lance-Armstrong-style racing bicycle which of course turned out to be unsuitable for my purposes. The gearing was so high, I couldn't get up hills as easily as I can on my '73 ten-speed. Then they tried to turn the racing bike into a touring bike by improvising lower gearing (creating an aesthetic nightmare), and the thing still wouldn't climb hills as easily as my '73. Furthermore, the racing bicycle was so light it felt unstable going down hills.

I never felt good about the deal. I even made a special trip to the Cycle Center to express my uneasiness while they still had time to cancel the order. I offered to let them hold my deposit while I thought more carefully about the purchase.That's when Derek assured me that if I didn't like the bicycle, they would gladly take it back. He further stated that they were planning to order the bike anyway, and that they would have no problem selling it..

After Trek - longtime bedfellow with the Lance Armstrong gang - refused to intervene on my behalf, I picketed in front of the Cycle Center until my $300 was refunded, But before I got my refund, Derek, who was livid because I was demanding a full refund, threatened to blacklist me with every bicycle shop in the area.

I didn't immediately pay any attention to Derek's threat.

The next bicycle shop I dealt with was Bike to Nature in Lexington, South Carolina. which was nearest to my home (they've since gone out of business) for a shift cable replacement, new handlebar tape, a tightening of the headset, and a tune-up. When I got my bicycle back, it had been vandalized. The aluminum handlebars had been scratched into, the handlebar tape had been replaced such that the ends of the tape extended over the housings for the bar-end shift levers, the top-tube had been chipped and sloppily touched-up, the headset was still loose, and the nut that holds the rear wheel quick-release lever in place was missing.

I had to picket in front of Bike to Nature to be reimbursed for the damages to my bicycle. and settled for the amount I initially offered to settle for, which was $300 plus a refund of Bike to Nature's"service" charges. I also filed a formal complaint against a City of Lexington cop - an officer Myers - who got belligerent and violated policy by involving himself in the dispute. He worked out a deal with Doug, the owner of Bike to Nature, which Myers tried to badger me into accepting  Myers seemed to be a friend of Doug's, and I found out later that Myers was a bicyclist. I was notified by mail that "appropriate action" had been taken against officer Myers.

Not long ago, I found out that the guide for the shift cable for the gears on the rear wheel had been placed out of alignment just barely enough to interfere with shifting the gears on the rear wheel. This made it unpleasant to shift gears, and caused a new cable to break.

Conduct on the part of the businesses I've mentioned is outrageous. I'll never forget the bewildered, pained look on my dad's face as Earth Fare's "manager" - an overgrown, bullying thug - jerked away the plate of food my dad was preparing to eat. That was after Matthews jerked a tray of food out of my hands. Matthews no longer works for Earth Fare and left South Carolina years ago. Best I can tell, he is now "managing" the Robert Fresh Market's branch in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Good riddance - I'll send his current employer a link to this post.

Garris Matthews' behavior was so outlandish that nobody can be blamed for wondering if there's more to the story.

"Every bicycle shop in the area" covers a lot of ground. My dad accompanied me when I looked at bicycles at the Cycle Center and when I got their "restocking" fee refunded. I drive a red sports car, and drove it to where I picketed in front of the Cycle Center. The fact that I took my dad to lunch at Earth Fare was quite conspicuous, especially since I always stopped in front of the entrance to help my dad get out of the car and help him get seated inside.

Businesses blacklisting people for anything imaginable has become so commonplace that at least one website is now offering to help. And as any consumer-savvy person would have foreseen, lost revenue associated with the idiocy of blacklisting customers has become an industry nightmare.

Considering the lousy service I recently received via Craig Friedrich at Ski Country Sports, I'm now wondering if I've been blacklisted with at least one bicycle shop in North Carolina.

It shouldn't surprise anyone that businesses blacklisting customers - the exact opposite of the way it should be - has become the latest fad. America has spawned a generation of cowardly punks, stripped of the capacity for rational thought.


Friday, November 15, 2013

Speaking of maggots...

Be careful of what you eat via Earth Fare. A customer in the Charlotte store found maggots in a candy bar. That in itself would be bad enough, but the real punch line to the inexcusable joke is that other customers had apparently complained - to the store's manager - about maggots being in the candy bars before Deborah Webb bought hers:

"I told the manager and they said other people had called up and told them they also found maggots in the exact same candy bar. I'm just shocked they hadn't moved it off the shelf after they had the first people tell them."

I'm not surprised that NBC Charlotte is having a difficult time getting a response from from Earth Fare's corporate office. After my experience with the Columbia store's Garris Matthews, Earth Fare's corporate office remained aloof, even refusing to reply to my e-mail.

What is it with Earth Fare and its so-called managers? This is one sorry excuse for a health food chain. As Ms. Webb so aptly stated, the candy bar was a bit "too organic" for her taste.

Update 11/18/2013 - Earth Fare's supplier, Earth Source Organics, e-mailed NBC Charlotte, taking a "business as usual" stance: "Worms are part of nature and if a customer wants a 100% assurance that they will not find a bit of nature in their food once in their lifetime then they need to not buy Organic and Raw." No mention was made regarding the issue of removing maggot-infested products once discovered.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Does Earth Fare think its customers are pigs?

I'm not the only blogger seeking to expose the realities of Earth Fare. Television personality Dr. Helen blogs about her recent experience at an Earth Fare in Knoxville, Tennessee, wherein Earth Fare employees referred to people as pigs, intimating that Earth Fare's customers are included. When complaining to Earth Fare's corporate office, it seems your odds of getting a favorable response are much better if you happen to be a public figure:

http://drhelen.blogspot.com/2009/09/all-men-are-pigs.html

For all their green machine talk, what kind of an "environment" does Earth Fare really seek to promote? I'm reminded that shortly after I began picketing - my sign read EARTHFARE ABUSES SENIORS - a lady told me she had already heard that Earth Fare doesn't like seniors. Gee. Seems kinda strange for a "health food" group to be having problems with its attitudes toward people. Maybe Earth Fare isn't quite what its cracked up to be...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

No reply (no surprise) from corporate office

Yesterday - only because so many people have urged me to do so - I went ahead and contacted Earth Fare's corporate office about the sheer thuggery dished out to me and my dad. I e-mailed them a short note with a link to this blog, and just as I anticipated, there's been no reply whatsoever.

Its been my position that Earth Fare's local store manager, Mr. Garris Matthews, would not have misbehaved in such a manner without knowing he would have the support of Earth Fare's top echelon. Just because someone is a bully and a thug doesn't mean they would risk losing their job.

So now I can say its been done. Earth Fare's corporate office has been informed, and they remain aloof, which is certainly not unheard of when it comes to the way Earth Fare handles complaints. One customer told me he had simply been ignored when he complained to Earth Fare's corporate office about filthy conditions in the men's restroom. Since I started picketing, I've been hearing horrible stories about this so-called health food store.

The best way to deal with corporations like Earth Fare is to simply "exposum" for what they are and shop elsewhere. And hey - come to think of it, the guy who said he complained about the filthy men's room and got ignored is a senior citizen. Hmmm...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Earth Fare makes dumb claims to the police

Yesterday, when I returned to Earth Fare to begin picketing, they called the police and lied, claiming my car was parked on their parking lot. They also attempted to intimidate me into leaving by taking photographs of me and my car, and telling me "the police are on the way."

Granted, Earth Fare had given me an official notice of trespass. But is Earth Fare under the impression that they own the sidewalks and the streets?

Earth Fare must be getting desperate to keep things quiet.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Store manager assaults caregiver, trashes food

On 10/26/09 I brought my dad - he turned 92 last week, has Alzheimer's, heart problems, and is legally blind with macular degeneration - to the Columbia, South Carolina Earth Fare for lunch, and in an effort to partially avoid the excessively cold temperatures in the store, I helped my dad - he can barely walk - to the small eating area that is sometimes used for meetings. It is slightly warmer in this area, and my dad was wearing a wool hat and a winter coat. We arrived at approximately 1:30 and there was a sign on the door that said the area would be unavailable at 2:00.

I have to secure my dad to a chair because he tends to try to stand up and usually falls, and because his skin is so fragile, falling always brings blood. As I was doing so, Earth Fare's manager, Garris Matthews, suddenly appeared, and with a belligerent demeanor informed me that the room would be unavailable at 2:00. I indicated that I understood, and made a dash to get my car parked. Because my dad can barely walk, I usually pull up to the entrance, help my dad to a table, then find a parking place and return to get our meals. We've been regular customers for quite some time, and Earth Fare's employees are well aware of my dad's condition and his sensitivity to cold temperatures.

When I returned and went to the food bar to get our meals, Earth Fare's manager suddenly appeared again, demanding that we get out of the aforementioned area. At that point, I explained to Matthews that my dad can't stand the colder temperatures in the other part of the store, and he responded by telling me that we couldn't eat at Earth Fare. He proceeded to jerk a hot plate of hot food out of my hand (Matthews is about twice my size), and then called the Columbia Police Department to have me and my dad removed from the premises. By the time the police arrived, I had obtained two additional plates of food because my dad needs a regular meal schedule coordinated with medications. My dad got a brief look at a plate of food, but never got to eat a single bite, and a total of three plates of food were wasted. The weather was chilly and damp, and my dad was forced to walk - under police escort - across the street to where I had my car parked. Garris Matthews also also directed the police to place me on notice of trespass. Instead of eating a hot meal on schedule, my dad wound up eating a hastily prepared salad after we got back home (we live on the other side of town).

Apparently, Earth Fare doesn't like elderly citizens.