Dollar Tree: Best Response To A Customer Complaint Ever

I would like to acknowledge the corporate management at Dollar Tree for the most amazing response to a customer complaint that I’ve ever seen.

Sunday, my wife shopped at a local Dollar Tree with my 9 year old daughter and 2 year old son. They were the victim of shockingly bad treatment on the part of a store manager…I don’t feel the need to tell what happened, but it was egregious.

I was very upset. I went to their website and fired off an objective but harsh email through the only form on the website (the Investors Relations page…you folks might want to consider a page especially for customer feedback). I then looked up a list of their top corporate execs, figured out their email addresses, and emailed my complaint to them as a group.

I did my “complaining” on Sunday afternoon. By the end of Sunday, I had a voicemail and email responses from one of their corporate executives back in Virginia as well as the regional manager for their Portland area stores.

On Monday, I received a phone call from the Portland regional manager who apologized for what happened and promised that corrective action will be taken. He made it clear that no stone would be left unturned in dealing with the problem and making sure that never happen again. He also told me that to express his forgiveness, he wanted to stop by my house (I work at home) with gift baskets compliments of the Dollar Tree. He made an appointment to do this today (he wanted to make sure to apologize in person and not just leave a basket by a door).

Today, he stopped by my house and talked to my wife (I never saw him since I was on a phone call at the time). He brought two gift baskets containing products found at the Dollar Tree (I know some might snicker at this, but the products and arrangement were quite nice). What made the gift even more thoughtful is that he chose products specifically targeted for my wife (food condiments), daughter (coloring books) and son (stuffed animals)…all of whom were in the store and were affected by the bad customer service.

It’s not the first time I’ve made complaints through corporate websites and usually, I’ve gotten an apology plus a gift card. Almost universally, I’ve found that corporations will respond appropriately if the complaint is justified and set out in a non-threatening, non-confrontational manner. However, Dollar Tree’s immediate and personal response to my issues was so outstanding, I feel compelled to acknowledge them publicly for it.

Great job people!

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Todd Mintz
Todd Mintz knows PPC...knows Social Media...knows SEO...knows Blogging...knows Domaining...and knows them all real well. He is also a Director & Founding Member of SEMpdx: Portland, Oregon's Search Engine Marketing Association. He is a Senior Account Manager for PPC Associates and is also a Director & Founding Member of SEMpdx: Portland, Oregon's Search Engine Marketing Association, and he can be found here on Google+.


  1. Man I love to hear that some companies still take pride in how they treat their customers. I had a similar experience at a retail store with horrible customer service. Because the corporate office went above and beyond to apologize and make up for it I am now a very loyal customer to that chain.

    johns last blog post..Baltimore Real Estate

  2. I read this post twice because it gives me hope that somewhere, companies have connected the web and real world and realize that sometimes, just sometimes, the people they help might be marketing mavens.

    Scott Clarks last blog post..Simple Web Design

  3. I love hearing things like this, especially since I am getting ready to send a similar letter to the higher powers of the food chain Chipotle. As a society we have reached a point where money matters and people don’t. So when companies actually show some compassion for an upset customer it makes all the difference in the world.

    Mike Wiltons last blog post..My Twilight Soundtrack

  4. I read this post twice because it gives me hope that somewhere, companies have connected the web and real world and realize that sometimes, just sometimes, the people they help might be marketing mavens.

    Agnuss last blog post..Brownsville, Texas

  5. I read your article regarding your response from Dollar Tree executives and was thoroughly impressed. I have been searching their website to register a complaint myself, but have been unable to locate an email address for any of the executives. Can you help me out with an email address? Thanks.

  6. Dollar Tree, I am going to make it a point to shop there more often and recommend to my friends. This is exactly what I look for in a company.

  7. I sent emails to the executives of Dollar Tree on Tuesday, 10/28/08, regarding a complaint that I had. I have received 3 responses, one from the local Training Manager, one from the District Manager, and one from the Manager of Consumer Relations. All have been very positive and lead me to believe that my complaint will definitely be handled as it should. The District Manager went to the Manager of the location where I had a complaint, and spoke with her in person. This is the type of customer service that I wish they were able to pass on to their store Managers and employees. After receiving these responses, I will definitely continue shopping there.

  8. Funny, I was just searching for an e-mail address for Dollar Tree so that I can send in a complaint about an over zealous Assistant Manager who treated by 3 grand children, ages 12, 12, and 9, and I will say, well behaved. She treated them as though they were running around upsetting the store, which is not the case. Do you have an e-mail address for dollar tree so that I can have them address this issue. I am the owner of a store and I know when children are unruly and deserving, but these three kids did not deserve what she did.
    Rosalie gonzalez

  9. This is a great example of customer service judo, turning a botched up situation into a great customer experience.

    It’s great to hear about companies like this with all the companies that feel like they’re entitled to your business.

    It looks like they’re going the extra mile. A lot of companies have executive support teams that help their execs handle complaints that get escalated to their level. The only ones I’ve interacted with are the ones at Dell and Comcast.

    Dell got it right. The folks at Comcast… well… it was a bad sign when they sent me an empty email with poorly typed Word attachment that looked like a phishing scam. Turns out it was the text of the email.

    Steve – Integrated Marketings last blog post..COPA vs. COPPA and the U.S. Supreme Court

  10. Todd,

    I had a major problem with Gateway a few years back and I too got an amazingly stellar response after hunting down the contact info for Board members, and finding in their annual report a phone number for corporate HQ. I called that number and by threatening to set up a 1st page Google complaint web site and personally call each Board member directly, was put through to their “Presidential Complaint Unit” where the EVP of that unit personally became my advocate and that’s how I got the “stellar” response and result.

    But Todd, our experience only shows that what Gateway did for me and Dollar Tree did for you is only because we had the willingness/forethought to go so far into the back office channel.

    Neither of us however, would have been given any outstanding resolution through what should be reasonable means (telephone customer complaint service / web site complaint forms).

    Corporate America is still fubar.
    .-= Alan Bleiweiss´s last blog ..Six Rules for Custom eCommerce SEO =-.

  11. Based on your experience, I’ll be shopping Dollar Tree. I’ve never even been there before. These days, even an inch of effort goes a LONG way.
    .-= Garry Egan´s last blog ..This Is Why I Don’t Take New Clients =-.

  12. We were at the Dollar Tree, on the 9/19/10 on a Sunday afternoon @ 15:16 at 2675 Fairfield Commons, Beavercreek, Oh 45431. I don’t know what happened they only had one lane opened and it was wild. Customers were getting very upset, I think you need to fix it on the weekends.

  13. I went into my local Dollar Tree to pick up a few items. Upon entering the store there was an employee on her knees straightening merchandise on the shelf while talking on her cell phone. She never spoke a word to me. Then after I got what I needed and made my way to the registers, there was one cashier opened who was also speaking on her cell phone and never spoke a word to me. I’m the paying customer and couldn’t get a simple “Hello”.


  15. As a cashier at a Dollar Tree, i know its annoying when customers are in line for a long time with only one register open. Unfortunatly, dollar tree is very tight with the hours they will give for employees. they always have the minimum amount of employees on the clock, we the cashiers try to get the lines down as fast as we can, sometimes there is not another cashier on duty.its not the managers fault either, whoever is above their heads, is the one who decides how many hours can be given to each store.

  16. I work at a Dollar Tree people are quick to complain though they are the cause of the problems the most of the time. They come in the stores and trash the place let there kids run a muck and get upset that the employees complain.I would love to see what the heck there houses look like…pig pens i bet!! Is it so hard to put something back where you found it if you don’t wish to purchase it??? Oh no just toss it where ever. No wonder the employees get angry because they have to clean up after the unruly adults who have really nothing to complain about except them selves. Get a life people!!!

  17. Too bad the Dollar Tree in Crafton, PA doesn’t care and the store manager there is very abrasive, harsh, confrontational, and outright rude, not to mention a complete asshole to any and all guests, especially those who need assistance.

  18. I went into one of your locations in Baton Rouge, La. Store #2111. I went there about 1 week ago on a week day @ 9:30 and the doors were locked. So I just left and went somewhere else. Well tonight I went there and once again the doors were locked, but D’lorian let’s in and it was 9:50. Well as I entered I heard she better know what she wants. Too much availe, I did. When I heard this this was very disturbing. I felt very unwanted and really wanted to take my business elsewhere. I went ahead and purchases what I wanted. When I got to the checkout I asked who was the young lady that said that and I was told it was the mgr on duty and her name was Vanessa. I have visited this location several times and she is always rude and very unprofessional. I have always let it go, but this was too much! I have let it go in the past, but I will not shop where I am not wanted. I am 100% sure I will never shop @ Dollar Tree again. I know you as well as she(Vanessa) can probably care less, but it will bring me great pleasure to post this on every message board or social media about not one but several I counters @ your store. I will gladly spend my money elsewhere!!

  19. Our district manger goes and buys lunch for one of the cashiers while she is on the clock.Thats not fair because the other woman on the register ask for something and he told her to go get her 783

  20. Today 2-11-14 I went into the store # 3296 located in Wasco CA. We was asking if we could design our own bouquet of balloons and the store manager Raul and sales associate Sonia was very disrespectful and rude to me and my daughter I love shopping there but won’t unless something is done. She was giving us an attitude told us to shop somewhere else and I told him his cashier was rude he said oh well it’s perfectly fine if that with you. That’s not good customer service and I’m mot satisfied with this.

  21. Is it possible to get an email adress for dollar tree so I can send in a complaint about managment how rude they are to customers and vendors it’s terrible
    Thank you
    From Virginia Beach Va

  22. I am sorry to tell you that dollar tree is not as good as they used to be. The customer help line put you on hold forever. They will take your order and money. when you have a problem, there is no help. One of the local store is very verbal abusive. Dollar tree help line give run around and run around. there is no place to report it. I was on the phone for an hour and finally give up.

  23. Was in your dollar tree store today on meadow avenue Scranton I was going to purchase 6 little solar flower a bee and a lady bug. a set for me and a set for my daughter who lives out of town. Getting to your check out I could only purchase 3 which was not there when I picked them up at the checkout someone changed the sign while I was shoping I told the girl I would take half of our order my husband the other half she said no because she knew we were together. what kind of a store do you have she said they are selling them at flea markets. I don’t know what she is talking about. My daughter loves to see those things move and has them all over her desk.

  24. The complaint I sent them: I want to file a complaint at The dollar tree store at 12160 Hesperia Rd
    Victorville, CA phone number
    (760) 245-4002. I worked there for only 3 weeks and was fired unjustly. I was hired by manager Jesus, I was only trained for 1 hour under another cashier not even a manager, after one hour they left me by myself as the only cashier in the front. The managers Susan and Monique both took money out my drawer and never returned with it causing my drawer to be short and caused me to get fired. All the other managers and cashiers just walk around and gossip with each other while they are on the clock no one was even working except for me. This store needs to be investigated, money was missing out of the drawer all the time. When the store phone rings no one answers it and every time I called for back up either no one comes or it takes 20 min. to get to the front. I don’t want to have to file a lawsuit against this store but I want something to be done. The managers are horrible and very unprofessional I don’t think training someone in 1 hour is right and they expect you to be perfect and complain about everything if you call them. There were times I worked and didn’t even get a lunch. they would change my schedule all the time they changed my hours 3 times in one day. They ask me to stay late and call me in on my off days. They didn’t show me how to use the cash register properly and if something went wrong they expected me to figure it out. If there was something new that they changed instead of a manger telling me one of the cashiers would ask me did they show you the new changes..and of course id say no because they never told me anything. I would like something to be done and someone to contact me abut this matter asap. Thank you.

  25. I was at the Hopkinsville dollar tree shopping a few weeks ago and the manger there is so rude and unprofessional. She curse and yell at the customer’s and employees and. I can’t understand how she was able to get her position. The girl that checked me out needed help with another cashier. She said her manger and her was working and she didn’t know where shewas in the store. It was a long line I was third in line. Mind you it was like 8 more behind me. When she finally came she seemed upset that she had to come do her job and checked out only one person. A customer asked about a product she got loud with the customer. The other cashier needed changed the woman went outside to get baskets gave the girl the change. Went back outside and smoked right outside the door where customers come in and out. The cashier said she is always rude to the customers and employees. But I read on a sign in the store their drug free. Not from what I saw the woman was smoking something other then a cigarette. I said that was the last time the dollar tree in hopkinsville ky get my money longs that manger is the manger.

  26. Sadly, I have had a bad experience with Dollar Tree. I wanted bins/containers for my classroom library. Since I have a very limited amount of money for school supplies, I try to shop carefully. I found bins on Dollar Tree online, but the least amount I could order was 36. Online the bins were quoted as measuring over 10″ by over 8″. They neglected to state that the bins were 7 1/2″ by 5 1/2″ at the bottom. Because of the bottom measurement, many of the classroom books will not fit. DT will not refund the purchase nor will they exchange the bins for larger ones. Buyer Beware:
    If you buy a large quantity from DT and are unhappy with your purchase, you may be stuck with it!

  27. I work at the Dollar Tree on Beechmont in Cincinnati, oh I have an complaint. My boss Erica has been on vacation for the last week and it was great when she was gone every body got along and we got a lot of stock out and are truck went smoothly. Well she has been back since Monday and every body is bad the fighting once again she has made Dollar Tree on Beechmont an bad work environment if I didn’t have my kids then I would quite. Me and one other puts most of the stock out during the weekend and during the week we don’t work to Thursday and that’s truck day and it’s very bad that day all the bad language using towards us and me and the other stock person is the only one who takes garbage out. We work harder than we get paid and that’s not right please look into The dollar Tree store on Beechmont. Thank you

  28. The Vineland store Lincoln and Dante is always having problems with registers and the store is closed for days i love to shop there and the employees are so friendly and helpful but i cant to continue to go and find closed—- registers are down so please fix the problem or i will have to go else where


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