Has this Happened to you?

I tried to order a product from my main supplier that I have been ordering since the very first order I placed when I opened my store. The product was missing from my online order guide so I called my sales rep. He told me the product had been replaced by their in house product. I said I was not happy with that but he assured me it was as good. The product arrived and was far below the quality of the original product so I called the rep to tell him I would not be keeping the substitute.

Now here is where things get interesting. I received this email from the rep later in the day.

after receiving you phone message this afternoon, I dug a little
deeper. The product is still available, it was just moved to a
protected item status so neither you or I could see it at the request of
some of our multi-unit customers.

I replied with this email.

I got to thinking about this situation and it has me a bit concerned and a tiny bit upset. I find it disconcerting that my competition can dictate to my supplier what I am allowed to purchase from them. I realize that I am a small fish in the big pond, however I have consistently purchased from you for the nearly seven years I have been in business. Where are the rewards for that loyalty?

If I were to tell one of my customers that they can’t buy an item they have purchased consistently since I opened because another customer wanted exclusive access to it, I am sure I would lose that customer and likely several of their friends. I think your company needs to look at this type of situation a little closer before they act. What will be next my cheese, my flour, or my tomato sauce? I am sure you are aware of the care and attention that I take in selecting the products I sell. My motto is BECAUSE TASTE MATTERS. I have never accepted substitutions for my key ingredients and never will.

Thanks for understanding my inflexibility when it comes to taste.

Yet another reason I like to have more than one supplier. I ran into exactly this scenario with a “proprietary” product a while ago. I was able to order the exact same thing from the other company. Suddenly it was available again from the first supplier… funny that. Made me think the whole thing was a scam to migrate me to an in-house item with higher margins.

No matter how much you like your rep, you can not trust these companies. They do not have your interests in mind, ever.

As a moderator, you would have to clean up any response I would have had in the same situation.

Yup, same tactic was pulled here. Like “Lou” says…no matter how much you like your rep, they are selling you something. If they can move you to a higher profit margin item (for them) they’ll try to.
It’s amazing how those once lost products magically reappear once we start making noise!

WOW! Not wanting too stir up trouble…but I think you were way to easy on them. This is total BS and they need to be told so and do more than make it right. I think bringing in another dist is the right thing to do and make sure they know the situation as too why they have to opportunity to service your account. :x

Here is the reply I received from my rep:

I am already ahead of you on this one and this will be brought up at our next DSR Advisory Council meeting on Sept. 23rd.

The DSR Advisory Council of which I am one of 6 members advises our Senior Leadership Team on matters that effect our Street Sales business.

I will do my best to insure this does not happen again to any of our customers again,

There is also a food show sponsored by this supplier on Wednesday. The suites from the big city will be there and I will be addressing them with my concerns.

This company has been my main supplier but not my sole supplier. The rep knows that I have another couple of suppliers that would be more than happy to get my orders.

I also had the experience of being ‘dumped’ to to house brand mysteriously, and had to fight to get back on my original product. Only maybe three times in 7 years, but that is enough. Worst part is when they suddenly discontinue a product.

I got thinking about this and I am thinking it might have been their intention to actually hide products from their multi store clients rather than their independents and got it backwards…I remember getting the wrong book from our supplier…It was for a chain restaurant and was rather limited versus the full line book we usually got…Because the chain was restricted in what they could buy…


The chains are limited because they have a contract at the corporate level with the supplier. I just returned from a food show put on by our supplier and one of the things I was provided was a list of products that I was approved to buy IAW the contract that our corporate has with them. I have been able to buy other stuff in the past, but I get the feeling that the list is going to be followed a little more closely.

I am wondering now about some products that mysteriously went away in the last year.


I am now on the approved list of purchasers for the product but it doesn’t show up on my order guide or on my reps guide. To purchase the item I have to send the rep an email and he has to pass it up the ladder. I wonder what the manufacturer would have to say about having their product hidden for the bulk of the potential purchasers. I think tomorrow I will give the 800 number on the product a call :twisted:

From my local supplier, they have restricted code products that are requested by large customers, and not open to everyone. I suspect it is for the reason of assuring quantities. I have been able to get “approved” to use some of those unofficially restricted products . . . but still have to get Congressional and NSA approval for a couple of them.

I like Daddio’s 800-number idea.

I called the 800 number today and got a retail customer service agent. I told him my concerns and expected it to end right there. One hour later I got a call from the Western Canada District manager who happens to be in my city for the food show tomorrow and would like to have a meeting with me and the district supervisor of my food supplier. Things could be interesting.

I will keep you posted as to the results of our little gathering.

They have food shows in Grande Prairie?..lol…Guess it is a little bigger than Grantville these days…

whenever one of my distributors steps out of line, i stop ordering from them…
The only way to rattle heads is to hit them where it hurts, In the pocket.

Oh yes they expect people to come great distances for it. There will be guests from Dawson Creek, High Level, Ft. St. John, Peace River, Manning, and who knows where in between. :lol: