Shame on WaWa.
Let me break it down. We decided to do a servant evangelism ministry (handing out free coffee and papers at our local WaWa) so our ministry assistant Dorothy called WaWa headquarters and got the details about what we would need to do to get permission. They faxed out a form and their policies and it did not seem like it was going to be a problem after reading their policies.
I got the form filled out and took it over to the manager- or who I thought was the manager- they seemed kind of in disarray at their store and largely treated me as a disturbance. When I gave them the form they had no idea what I was talking about and looked at me like I had three heads. Apparently no one has ever done this or even solicted outside the store (we were giving away free stuff we were even going to buy from them!).
They said they would have to check on it. That was fair enough. I didn't hear anything for a few days and called over there. "We will pass on your message to the manager" they said.
Then late Friday I get a call from the manager:
Manager: You cannot do what you want to do here. I brought your request to our district meeting and my district manager denied it.
Me: Uh, O.K. How come it was denied?
Manager: It was denied. (Apparently at a lost really and just repeating).
Me: Do you know why it was denied?
Manager: Um, my District Manager said she had to get better control of what is going on outside her stores.
Me: Alrighty then.
Now, if that was not the lamest load of fecal matter I had heard in a long time I do not know what is. You know I completely understand a business determining who can do things outside the store. But don't put out policies that appear to make it permissible and then deny requests for some enigmatic reason. I know someone handing out coffee and newspapers to share God's love in a practical way would have been such a nuisance and necessitated getting better control of what is going on outside your stores!
I decided I did not want the headache of fighting against these people and the rest of their bureaucracy. I'll just go to Food Lion or Wal-Mart.
In the end, what did WaWa gain?- a post in the blogosphere decrying their poor choices and the fact that they basically blew off a good customer who will tell others of the incident. How is that for customer evangelism.! I guess we won't partner with them to do our gas giveaway event. When is Sheetz coming to town- not soon enough!!
Shame on WaWa!