Columbia Heights Giant Apologizes for Long Lines Due to “intermittent technical issues”


“We apologize for the long waits that some of you have experienced, especially over the weekend and continuing through today. We are experiencing intermittent technical issues, causing periodic delays at the check-out. We are working diligently to correct the problem and hope to have it resolved as quickly as possible. We appreciate being a part of your community and regret any inconvenience this has caused. Thank you for your patience as we work to resolve this matter.

Eileen Katz
Manager, Consumer Affairs
Giant Food Landover, MD”

46 Comment

  • Well that addresses the problem this past weekend. Any explanation for the rest of the time? Or have they been having “intermittent technical problems” for the last few years?

    • Ditto! I changed grocery stores because of it. I’d rather get into a car and drive to Harris Teeter than deal with those lines (and rude cashiers).

  • This place is almost as expensive as Whole Foods.

    • You’ll get nothing and like it.

    • I disagree.

      I’ve observed that this Giant sells national brands that meet Whole Foods’ quality standards and are sold at Whole Foods for much less than you would pay at Whole Foods. Likewise, this Giant usually has some sort of weekly special that saves additional money as well as a trip to a “fancier” store. Giant’s produce selection has improved in recent months and they stock some of the same conventional/organic produce brands as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s at a lower or comparable price. However, I will say that this Giant does a horrible job of restocking popular items, especially those that are on sale (ahem, the 2/$7 Kind granola).

      Disclaimer: I have a non-traditional work schedule that allows me to grocery shop at non-peak hours.

  • Every time I have to wait more than 10 minutes to use the self-check out machines I’m weighing my shiitake mushrooms as if they were regular mushrooms.

  • And yet some people will still debate the need for another full service grocery store in the area. Let’s hope Councilman Graham can get somewhere with the development at 965 Florida Ave.

  • Sounds like a Metro apology.

  • “Intermittent Techinical Issues” must be industry-speak for a group of cashiers who could not care less about doing their job. It’s a safe bet to say that 70% of the time I use an actual employee-operated line the worker has stopped to have a conversation with the cashier in the lane next to them. My favorite time (granted it only happened once) was the time the lady stopped to write a text. I couldn’t even get mad; her total apathy was almost impressive! This across the board attitude at this location in particular is the easiest explanation for the long line for the self-checkout lanes.

  • I do not think intermittent means what you think it means.

    • What, intermittent doesn’t mean “pertaining to that point in time when the customer finally gets fed up enough to generate a 100 post hatefest on the neighborhood blog”?
      But you know what, given how many times I’ve seen business owners come to this blog with their hats in their hands, using phrases like “the people have spoken and we have heard you, so we’ll be making XYZ changes…” and seen the commenters forgive and forget… I expect the one minute that it took Ms Katz’s assistant to write this will pay off.

      • Actually, she didn’t promise to make any changes. She said the delays are periodic, and caused by technical problems that are in the process of being resolved. Either you believe her or you don’t.
        I don’t shop in that Giant often anymore. I used to when I lived closer. Sometimes there were crazy lines. Sometimes there were no lines. In other words, the line problem was intermittent.
        I give the manager credit for responding to the thread. 100 people is a tiny amount, compared to the number of customers that probably go through that store in a week.

  • Just waiting for the next round of union haters to get on here and scream about how the unions must cause this problem. I swear it’s like the Koch brothers are paying people to parrot anti-union tropes any time a grocery store is mentioned.

  • Best non-apology I’ve ever read. Blame something esoteric like some mysterious computer problem for all your mistakes. Love it.

  • This is a whole lotta drama over some lines in a grocery store.

  • That is one “GIANT” sized line……..get it? …… this thing on?

  • There’s always long lines at this store. The former President of Giant Anthony Hucker took Giant consumers concerns serious. I don’t know who have replaced Mr. Hucker. I can assure you, if Mr. Hucker was still at Giant, he would be addressing this issue. The new Giant at 7th & P Streets, NW will be opening November 22, 2013. If the lines are long in this store, i will not be shopping there.

    16th Street Heights NW

  • I stopped going to Giant a few years ago because of the lines. Tried them (Giant) again this summer, but each time the line was as long as this picture. This large chain grocery store obviously doesn’t care — they’re making plenty of money providing sh*tty service to our neighborhood. Yes, please allow more competition (like the proposed HT market at 9th & Florida). That being said, even with more competition, Giant will very likely continue to provide sub-par service to the residents of Columbia Heights (like they did when they first opened over 8 years ago and half the checkout lanes were typically closed).

    • I’ve been there twice, and both times the self-checkout thing was the most finicky thing ever. I’m not exaggerating that I needed to call an attendant over five separate times per visit, because it kept saying that my item weighed too much, or something similar.

  • The temporary closure of the Georgia Ave. Safeway might be a contributing factor …

    • burritosinstereo

      Truth. I live in Petworth but do most of my grocery shopping at Giant because I can just take the 64 there – can’t wait until the Safeway opens up so I can stop having to go to this hellhole.

  • I don’t get it. I mean I believe that everyone has these problems, but I just haven’t. The only time I had problems at the Giant is when I foolishly went on Christmas Eve. Usually I’m out in no time. And I rarely use anything other than the self checkout, but the couple times I have the cashiers were fine. No better no worse than anywhere else. Maybe I just tend to go at off times? I’ll admit to not going at typical after work times, I usually go after dinner or on my odd day off.

  • the baggers have no common sense when they bag(weight distribution/types of food next to others/delicate items) so I always do self checkout. I just wish that those that do use the self checkouts were better versed on how to use it. (seriously… it tells you to put the item down in the bagging area! don’t keep scanning it and stand there like its broken. yeesh!) The person there isn’t there to do the whole thing for you… go to a cashier if you’re clueless about technology. You’re wasting the selfcheckout clerk’s time when the rest of us when we need to get a scanned go-head from them to continue with our purchases.

    • I completely agree Np. I suppose an option would be to offer a hand, however, I can’t imagine assisting a technologically clueless underling in front of me at the self checkout line. It would distract from my condescending stares and impatient sighs of disapproval.

    • In my experience the problem is that the self-checkout machines are extremely finicky. I’ll put my item in the bag and it’ll say it weighs too much. I’ll be trying to scan the item and it gives me some other error. All of these either require calling an attendant over to clear the it out, or magically resolve themselves after waiting a full minute for an attendant to come over.

      • every. single. time. and i’m NOT technologically challenged, either.

      • easy troubleshooting fix.
        if it weighs too much, I just pick the item up slightly to reduce the weight until it registers then moves on.
        if it doesn’t weigh enough, push down on the bagging area a little until the same happens.

        only issues I’ve ever had was the Cava dips(so happy they sell them…love cava) not being plugged into their system so it had to be put in manually. oh and the roasted chickens need to be approved for some reason.

  • Flesh out these “technical issues”

    Otherwise they are permanent issues. Personnel issues.

    • This. It is a personnel issue; the experienced managers who were at this store and would be constantly walking the floor, checking on the lines, making sure shelves were restocked and in general, troubleshooting, have been reassigned to other Giant stores. I have seen them at the Brentwood Giant, H Street, etc. The new managers just aren’t as visible. I shop at this Giant regularly, and know which cashiers can move their line (cash out and bag) and most of the cashiers and the staff in general are pleasant and helpful.

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