When Bandit visited Petco on his birthday he was accompanied by myself, my husband K, and our youngest son M. Bandit was wearing his "Birthday Dog" bandana. It was a Wednesday afternoon and the Kirkand store was pretty devoid of customers except for us. As we walked through the store and visited several areas (including the fish area, small animals, and definitely the doggy area), I snapped several pictures of Bandit. We walked around for a good 15 minutes before heading up to the front of the store where the cashiers are. I decided to take one more picture of Bandit at the snack bar area(where the open bins with pet treats are). As I snapped my last picture a young female employee in her early twenties asked me to stop taking pictures in the store. We thought she was joking. But she insisted that we stop taking pictures, so she definitely wasn't joking. I also detected a slightly snippy, holier-than-thou demeanor. I asked her why we couldn't take pictures. Her reply: "How do I know that you're not from PETA?" We were really taken aback by this. She even went so far as to tell us to delete all the pictures we had taken from our camera (though fortunately she didn't insist on watching us do so, and which we didn't comply with). We made our purchase and left the store. There's another close-by Petco in North Seattle and numerous PetSmarts in the area, so fortunately we're not limited to Kirkland's Petco for Bandit's and Simba's needs.
The next day I went to Petco's main website and sent off an email to their Customer Service detailing our experience. I received a reply well within 24 hours which read:
Dear Ms. __________,
Thank you for contacting PETCO regarding your concern with our store at 12040 NE 85th St. We are sorry to hear about your recent experience.
Please accept our apologies for any problems or inconvenience you have experienced. We strive to provide exceptional customer service, and sincerely appreciate hearing from you. Your feedback is vital for us to continue to improve our products and services.
I have notified the store's General Manager your concern for this to be addressed accordingly and belated Happy Birthday to your dog. Again, we apologize and hope that you will shop with PETCO again soon.
Please know that we care about our customers and what they think of us. By letting us know when we fall short of your expectations, we have the opportunity to address your concerns and to be better prepared to meet your expectations in the future. If we can be of any further assistance, please feel free to reply to this communication or call PETCO Customer Relations directly at 1-888-824-PALS (7257). Thank you again for contacting PETCO.
Customer Relations Coordinator
I'm disappointed that "Vincent" didn't mention anything specific about whether taking pictures inside the store was okay or not, but it sounds as though the store will be contacted regarding our experience. I'm thinking from the apology that the store associate was in the wrong. Does anyone know if Petco has a no-photos/-camera policy, particularly because of the fact that PETA might be lurking about? Do you think this employee was justified in asking us to put our camera away and to delete all photos from our visit? Why would she be concerned about PETA coming through the store? Does she think her store's in-house animals are being treated poorly? It pisses me that she could full well tell that we were just a typical family shopping at her store, with family pet in tow.
Oh, and I guess I should add that I was hoping for some free coupons or something instead of just a reply from Vincent. I still am. In sending my concerns to Customer Service they asked for my Petco PALS number, so they obviously have all my information (for sending coupons).