Dear Abilio dos Santos Diniz

Dear Mr. Abilio dos Santos Diniz, Chairman of Grupo Pão de Açúcar,

You and I both know that I don’t work for your company. Actually, you may not be aware of this fact, as considering the dirty and disgusting state of your São Paulo stores, it seems you are quite removed from the business. However, your employees do believe I work at Pão de Açúcar. Not only do they bark orders at me during the check out process without even a “bom dia,” (probably because I’ve inconveniently approached their checkout line causing them to put down the magazine they were reading or stop the conversation with one of their coworkers) but they expect me to bag my own groceries.

However, don’t worry. I’ve come up with a solution on how you can compensate me. From now on, I will be placing each item that I’ve purchased at your store into an individual bag. You see, we have a puppy now and I could use the plastic.

Thankfully, I’ve discovered another grocery store in the area (Záffari) at which, for the time being, the employees are friendly and helpful. So as soon as I am finished stocking up on puppy poop bags at your stores, I’ll be stocking up on actual groceries there.

Cordially,

Born Again Brazilian

About bornagainbrazilian

Having relocated from New York City to Sao Paulo, Brazil, I'm an expat attempting to broaden my horizons and adjust some of my American ways to be "born again" a Brazilian.
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19 Responses to Dear Abilio dos Santos Diniz

  1. Amanda says:

    You seem to have the worst luck with PDA!! We have gone to both the one in Jardins and Pinheiros, and haven’t had any issues. Granted, the first time I ever went to one here and was expected to bag my own stuff I was appalled as you don’t have that in the US. But now, I actually prefer to bag my own stuff because I have issues with how they bag some things. Have you shopped st Carrefour for groceries before? They are reasonablly priced, yet sporatically placed in the city. I know shopping Eldorado has one. You could always try them.

  2. I haven’t been to the one in Pinheiros, but I think the one in Jardins is horrible. Every once in awhile there is a nice person there, but for the most part, my experience has been they are rude and stupid. Also, more times than you would believe, I’ve purchased something from the one on Oscar Freire only to find the contents moldy. The worst one I’ve experienced thus far is the one here in Higienopolis on the corner of Sergipe and Angelica. I’ve been to Carrefour on Pamploma many times, but my expectations are always set so much lower there because their products are cheaper.

  3. Ray says:

    Dear B.A.B,

    I am sorry you had such a bad customer service experience at Pao De Acucar. I understand that we might not be in the mood to fight all the time, but I will tell you, if and when these cashiers treat me like that, they regret to the last minute. Because I stop their line, I don’t care if people are making faces at me, and I make them call the manager and talk to the manager about how poorly I have been treated, and what I expect him/her to do to re-train their employees and that I am a big fan of the store and that I will be back and give him/her feedback on the progress of their employees customer service. I let them know very subtlety that I will follow up with them and if need with their superiors at headquarters.
    It might take a couple of times, but in my experience, you do this once, and you will get their attention, trust me, you will have smiling cashiers from here to eternity.
    Oh, you wait until I get to Sao Paulo, we are going grocery shopping together… eh eh eh !!!!!

    Abracao

    Ray

    • ray I have learned to do this, too. It is the way here in Brazil! In the USA i would just go over to the manager after checking out or go over to fill out a form.

      But honestly, I would rather shop at a small store owned by 1 person or 1 family. ACTUALLY, i prefer co-ops where I am the owner! lol

    • I would absolutely do this in English. I need to learn how to do it in Portuguese. Teach me. And I am definitely going shopping with you when you come back!!

  4. Bianca says:

    “it seems you are quite removed from the business.”

    Totally removed from the business. He sold PDA to a French multinational called “Casino”. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/06/paodeacucar-wilkes-idUSL2E8J6D2620120806

    “but they expect me to bag my own groceries.”

    That’s normal.
    There are countries where you even have to scan the bar codes or weigh fruits or vegetables yourself, and no one complains. Brazil is the exception. Here we even have people carrying our bags to our cars, lol.

    The best place to buy grocery in Sao Paulo is Casa Santa Luzia.
    http://www.santaluzia.com.br/

    • He and his family still own part of it. The theory is that he is trying to run it down so he can buy it back at a cheap price. Santa Luzia is good, but I moved out of the neighborhood!😦

    • Heh, in Germany not only did I have to bag my groceries, I had to buy the bags if I had forgotten to bring my own.
      When I moved from Santa Catarina to Rio Grande do Sul, one of the things that made me feel weird were the people bagging my stuff at the cashier. Back in SC, markets were starting to have “baggers” for the elderly consumers or specially high-traffic cashier stations. Having one for each cashier as is the custom here in RS took a while to get used to.

  5. NSG says:

    Casino will fully take over PDA! Vive la France!!

  6. NSG says:

    Abilio did a failed hostile take over on Casino (with Carrefours help). His time at PDA is soon expiring. I can hook u up with the Casino owners in France… Your french friend in SP…:-)

  7. Tiffany says:

    PdA is seriously a really nice store in Ribeirao Preto, but we went to one in Rio and everything was close to expired or bad service or whatever. It is sad because it has such great potential (as I have seen). Puppy poop bags — brilliant.

    • HA, thanks. I have heard that in some cities the Paos are good. Maybe it’s just because the unemployment rate in Sao Paulo is so low they need to pick from the bottom of the barrel for employees. Maybe smaller communities have better work ethics? Don’t know, but I’ve seen this happen in other cities and a competitor just came in and wiped out the business. Hoping that happens here.

  8. Dear BAB, Abilio does not rule anymore. What you are tasting is the new management way. Welcome to Casino.

    • Jenner!! How have you been?! Interesting… my understanding was that he still has control and is causing problems – and they are trying to get him out. Unless they recently have. But who knows… If this awful service is the newly in control Casino, there is a huge opportunity for another grocery store to come into Sao Paulo and grab market share. Because right now, our expectations are so low – all they would have to do is be clean and nice.

  9. I’m from England and shop staff in the UK can be appalling. You’ve nearly to beg to spend your money, drove me mad and everyone accused me of being the unreasonable one! I now live in Saquarema, RJ and love the service I get everywhere,
    Having spent time in the US you guys expect more service and I admire that, you’re the customer, so of course places of business should treat you well. I agree with you and from what I have witnessed some Brazilians don’t stand much messing about either. I like the remark from Ray, they wouldn’t forget him in a hurry! LOL

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