Thursday, September 29, 2005

The ABC boycott

I'm announced I am now boycotting the SDA's Adventist book store. Personally that is and for Sabbath school supplies I will only buy there what I can't get anywhere else. Veggie meat - will be bought exclusively at the grocery store.

This last Sunday was the last straw for me in a series of poor customer service relations. It's sad really - one would hope one's own CHURCH store would have suprior, not sadly inferior customer service.

The last straw was as we were returning home from camping this weekend - I had a sudden craving for Big Franks. Now with Maddy's allergies - I've had to be very careful with soy-based veggie-meats in the house - but prior to that I was a HUGE customer of the ABC and it's Worthington and LomaLinda brands of vegetarian meat subsitutes. But Maddy's allergies have lessed as she's grown and so I'm again having some in the house - just not feeding them to her.

"Allan take this exit" I said - and he did. We zoomed into the parking lot wiht only a few minutes to spare until closing. Wallet in hand I jumped out of the van and headed for the door. I was spotted by the employee working there. They sprinted to the door too and turned the sign to "closed" right in my face and then vanished into the depths of the store.

"Hey! I had like 4 min wanted ONE thing that I KNEW where it was". Wow - they didn't even bother to tell tell - me "Sorry we're closed now - already turned off the computer" or see if I needed anything. What if I had an emergency and was coming to the church offices for assistance? O.k. - now THAT isn't very likely - but well - how would they know?

So we headed back to the freeway and I vowed this was IT - I'm not going to even TRY for SDA veggiemeat (this NOT being my first bad ABC experience by a really LONG shot!). I'll just buy what is available in the stores - Yves meat alternatives, Schneiders "Au Natural", Money's mushroom burgers and so on. All of which are lower in fat and cheaper anyway.

Now ABC may not really think they've lost that big of a customer because in the past couple years I have not bought much. BUT I have 5 children who I will not be feeding their products too. FIVE children who will grow up NOT eating SDA veggiemeat - but what is commercially available. What you learned to like is what you eat. They've lost customers into the next generation with this. Plus how many OTHER people in my generation have had this same experience?

In our association in general - young adults and young families shop at Celebration Christian bookstore or House of James - not the Adventist book centre. If vegetarian - they eat what is available in the grocery store and don't make the long drive to the very limited hours ABC. People who have jobs and children can't make it there by 4 or 5pm. Hey if you run into traffic and are a few minute later than you thought - they'll just flip the sign to "closed" anyway - so why bother? Other Christian book stores are open later - until 7 or 8 giving people TIME to actually get there!

Most my generation don't attend camp-meeting either - we don't. It's mostly old people, not-very friendly people, people that have attended there forevermore and had their own spaces there forevermore, ancient speakers in an auditorium full of gray hair. We take those weekends without church committments to go hiking and/or camping somewhere else. Those who do go - go only for Sabbaths.

Do I give to conference budget? No - never. Does anyone I know in my generation give to conference budget - no. Local church budget - yes. Special drives for things like hurricane or Tsunami relief - yes. Missions even - yes.

It's sad how much the beaurocracy of our church is alienating the younger people. I can understand commercial business just flipping the sign to closed - but I expect MORE from a church whose mission is not only business but ministry. But I bet this stuff is losing them business - 20 years down the road will the ABC still be there if they don't make themselves and their products more available to people who have families, jobs and work?


Sunny said...

That was unbelievably beyond rude of them. You know, if you ask the grocery store they'll order in all the Worthington and Loma Linda you want. Personally we go for the other brands out there when we bother with meat substitutes at all because they are much healthier.

LarryandJean said...

Yes, sad indeed. And very short-sighted.