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Op-Ed: Mean-gston Avenue

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Abuse, harassment, aggression, shouting, yelling, screaming, degradation and dehumanization.

These are but a few of the terms one can use to describe a shopping experience at a large number of the stores in our neighborhood.

This behavior would come as an utter shock to anyone in the outside world where such treatment is deemed absolutely unacceptable. It would result in consumers no longer patronizing such merchants, and the eventual downfall of the business in question.

A free market in our capitalist society means that anyone is free to start any business they would like, and earn as much money as they can. Capitalism also allows – and in some cases requires – competition. In fact, there are laws against one company having a monopoly over any industry.

The way merchants stay a step ahead of their competition, is by offering something different or better. They may offer such incentives as lower prices, higher quality merchandise, better customer service, convenient location, convenient hours, and so on.

Should a merchant fail to try pleasing potential customers by offering pleasant service, quality merchandise and reasonable prices, that business will inevitably fail, as consumers will patronize the competitors who do offer such basic incentives.

It seems, however, that the memo has not reached many of the long-time Crown Heights merchants who are, seemingly, convinced that they are doing customers a favor by selling to them.

As far back as I can remember, I was always afraid when sent as a child to eat out or shop for groceries. If I dropped something in a store, the store owner would shout at me, publicly shame me, and force me to clean up the mess. If I didn’t move to the counter fast enough or articulate my order quickly, I would either be scolded or would be passed over for the next customer in line. The cardinal sin was if my order was made wrong, in which case I would be blamed for not being clear enough when describing what I wanted. Eventually, I was so afraid to open my mouth and would simply take my order as-is, rather than open my mouth and be publicly insulted.

And G-d forbid you even attempt to return a defective or unsatisfactory item. The policy has always been that once you paid for something it was too late, even if the item was defective. Words like “refund”, “return policy” and “exchange” were never in these merchants’ vocabularies.

The following are some first-hand examples that I have either witnessed or experienced recently:

While shopping for Pesach, I noted that one merchant was yelling continuously at both customers and employees from before I entered the store and continuing after I left.

In a different store, one customer was told to “get that wet umbrella out of my store” and the other to “move your stroller out of the way, lady!”

While waiting in line at yet another store, I watched as the store’s owner shouted at each customer to speak up, move faster, or blaming them for a mixed-up order. In that case, I was proud of one customer who, when shouted at aggressively stood up for himself, telling the merchant, “you don’t yell at paying customers”, after which he promptly exited the store.

The other day I waited in line at a local store, and watched as a child stuttered while detailing his order. “I don’t have time for people who are not ready with their order,” the counterperson yelled, then shouted, “next!”, and moved on to the next customer.

I decided to leave the store and try a different store nearby. The owner at the other store was equally loud, hasty, and impolite. Regardless, I stayed, until I noticed a customer who, instead of blurting out his order as everyone else had already been trained to do, dared ask about a price and what was included in a certain item. Once again, he was met with a barrage of insults about how he was holding up the line and wasting everyone’s time, and was told to “come back when you know what you want.”

It goes without saying that if any other store anywhere else were to treat its customers this way, they are guaranteed to be out of business in no time. If businesses such as Macy’s, Bloomingdales and JetBlue would insult and disrespect their customers, their customers would patronize their competition, resulting is loss of sales and revenue.

Such businesses have a track record of treating each and every customer as if they were their only customer, providing pleasant service and respect. A customer spending twenty dollars is given equal time as a customer spending thousands of dollars. That’s why they are around for as long as they are, and are as successful as they are.

The only positive shopping experiences I can remember were in other neighborhoods or in non-Jewish stores.

In a large chain supermarket, I witnessed a child pull a jar of marinara sauce off of a shelf, causing it to land on the floor and crack, leaving shards of glass and sauce spread throughout the aisle.

A manager quickly approached, apologized to the parent, and kindly asked them to leave the aisle, allowing him a few minutes to have the mess cleaned up. Moments later, I could hear “clean-up in aisle 4” over the loudspeaker. An employee arrived with a mop, cleaned up the mess, and then allowed customers to resume shopping – all without making a scene or causing the mother or child to feel ashamed about the incident.

I placed an order in a Jewish store in a different neighborhood. I had wanted my order in a specific way, but when I received my order it was not prepared the way I had wished. I did not recall whether I had made the mistake while making the order, or if the counterperson was at fault. It didn’t matter. I was the paying customer. He apologized for the mix-up and promptly made the order the way I liked it and handed it to me with a smile.

So why does this insanity continue to ensue, and why do merchants continue to berate and degrade their customers this way and get away with it?

The answer is simple: because they can.

So long as this mistreatment of customers does not affect their bottom line – their cash flow – there is nothing forcing it to stop. If a merchant can treat his customers like dirt yet still have constant long lines, it follows that he will continue such behavior. If, however, they were to see a decrease in business because people were fed up with such treatment, it would, perhaps, force them to reevaluate their behavior and begin to improve their customer service to woo customers back to their establishment.

Why is it, then, that residents continue to flock to such stores when they would never do so had they been mistreated or seen others mistreated anywhere else?

The simple answer is that it is a matter of convenience. Local residents continue to tolerate this disrespectful treatment the way they do, simply because they feel that they have no other options. It is much easier to quickly run to a local store to do their grocery shopping, or to take their children to a local eatery for supper.

In some instances, it is because the store in question is the only one of its type in the community, which is an issue by itself for another time.

So consumers continue to patronize local merchants. Merchants who are disrespectful to their customers continue to get away with it. And so the cycle continues.

But there are some glimmers of hope on the horizon.

Firstly, there are a number of long-time Crown Heights merchants who do know how to treat their customers. They understand that many Crown Heightsers no longer have the small-minded mentality of old that virtually guaranteed unwavering loyalty to local stores. Today’s Crown Heights consumer is open-minded and knowledgeable. They know that they have options and are not afraid to use them. They know that there is are competitors – be they in or out of the community – who will treat them the way they deserve to be treated in an attempt to attract and maintain their business and earn a positive reputation.

There is a furniture store whose owner treats her customers with due respect despite being overwhelmed at times. She understands that people can take their business elsewhere, and maintains a positive relationship with her customers via service, easy returns and exchanges, low prices, and quality merchandise. These traits have earned her return customers and excellent word-of-mouth referrals.

There is a drycleaners where they make a point of referring to each customer by name, offers prompt service, and a pleasant experience.

These are but a few examples of merchants who understand that they have competitors and that customers have options. If they fill their customers’ needs, then they get their business. If they don’t please their customers, then they as well as their family and friends will patronize a competitor who does.

Secondly, there has been a trend of younger and more modern establishments opening up in Crown Heights, both on Kingston Avenue as well as other areas such as Albany and Troy Avenues. These merchants are more in touch with today’s consumer. They have updated equipment, clean premises and offer pleasant service to ensure customer satisfaction. They, in turn, are rewarded with return customers and a great reputation. For some customers their location may be a bit of a distance, but they, nevertheless, go the distance for better products and service.

Thirdly – and saddest of all – residents are starting to bring their business to other Jewish communities, as well as chain supermarkets and shopping malls. More people than ever have cars now – thanks, in part, to another such customer-friendly merchant who treats his clientele respectfully and offers competitive leasing rates, knowing that he must satisfy consumers who can simply take their business anywhere they wish.

Nearly every time I am at a restaurant in a different community or a shopping mall, I spot residents of Crown Heights who simply went by car, train or car service, and took their business elsewhere. I performed a survey of random individuals, all of whom told me that had they been able to get the same quality food or merchandise, the same competitive price and the same service in Crown Heights, they would have never taken the time to go elsewhere.

In conclusion, change does not take place without the necessity to do so. As long as rude and inconsiderate merchants do not see a dent in their cash flow, they will have no reason or motivation to discover their faults and change. The cycle will continue – they will disrespect their consumers, who will continue to patronize them, and who will continue to be mistreated, and so it continues…

What we can do is be sure to endorse those merchants – both old and new – that understand their place and vulnerability in the free market, saturated with competition, and who understand your power as a customer to take your business wherever you please. As a last resort, if the service, quality, and prices we desire are not available in Crown Heights, we are more than welcome to take our business to stores in other communities.

It is my sincere hope that this editorial results in the necessary action and the appropriate change, so that we may endorse and support our local businesspeople, while being treated with the service and respect we deserve as consumers.

This Op-Ed reflects the views of its author, who by sending this article in anonymously, wished to remain anonymous. It does not necessarily reflect the views of nor of its Editors.

A reader that wishes to make his or her voice heard on any topic of their desire is welcome to submit his or her Op-Ed to


  • 1. Shops elsewhere. wrote:

    The author of this article has it right. Jewish stores in the crown heights community are often times rude, obnoxious, disrespectful and idiotic. I shop elsewhere whenever I can.

  • 2. fp wrote:

    its about time this issue was addressed i walk out and do not shop by these rude people if you do that they will get the message money talks there are enough choices that we dont have to put up with bad manners or service

  • 3. ME.......... wrote:

    its about time other people see whats going on in these ‘stores’ in ch. im not from ch, but i absolutely hate going there for that reason.

  • 4. capitalism wrote:

    That’s the great thing about capitalism there is competition – you don’t like it? Go somewhere else. Seems many people in the community tolerate it for other advantages (location) no one can say “I have no choice”.

  • 5. i work 2, you know, we all do! wrote:

    How many of you go to fair way shop-right C-town .99 store target for goodness sakes what’s going on in our SHECUNE, lets try to act decent to one another.
    When I walk in to a guys store they at least smile so what the frown after I leave while I was there I was treated with respect. we need to change the store owners & employees can start but when we walk in to a store we also have to understand what they went thru that day who knows what they had to put up with.
    We all work in some kind of line we all provide a service of some sort we should all understand & accordingly.

  • 6. a shlucha wrote:

    I had the zchus of being in the rebbe’s shchuna twice this year for family simchas. Once was peak Tishrei season and once was post Chanukka when things were pretty slow. I must say that not only was I treated with the greatest respect in every store, but I actually bought only for daily needs so that I can have a wonderful Kingston experience the next day again. Without exception everyone wad cordial, friendly, helpful and patient with me. Sometimes I was in a store for an hour not deciding what or if to buy, and sometimes I was just enjoying browsing in chassidieshe store which we lack where I am on shlichus. Never onece in the both visits did I experience anything like in the article. I live in a country where when one is rude, I tell them how bekovedikly I was treated in the Rebbe’s shchuna. Maybe its the mirror effect that bothers some? I must commend the fish store Benzi Raskin was interested to know how the fish was for Shabbos and if I was satisfied!

  • 7. mendel wrote:

    This phenomenon is not restricted to the Jewish stores in Crown Heights. It is the same in Boro Park and Williamsburg.The only way for us to do something about it, is to stop shopping at stores where the people are harassed and screamed at.If we show that we care the store owners will learn how to stop being rude.
    However,it is important to note that many store owners deal with members of the Jewish community who do not know how to behave and who seek to take advantage of them at every last opportunity. Although, this is not an excuse for ab noxious behavior it is still some food for thought.

  • 8. Anonymous wrote:


    Please do not mention any names of merchants in your comments, as they will not be published.

    You are more then welcome to support this Op-Ed by showing your agreement and support. The names DO NOT need to be mentioned.

    Thank you and happy commenting

  • 9. Shopping outside the Sh-chunah wrote:

    I have made it a point for many years now to shop outside of Crown Heights due to the issues mentioned in this article. I will even put up with the horrid parking situation on 13th Ave. on a Sunday in Boro Park, becuase I know that once I enter the store I will be treated with far more respect and appreciation than in CH. There are some merchants in CH who do treat their customers with patience and respect; but these are the exception, not the rule.

  • 10. ME wrote:

    Thank you for publishing this difficult piece. I too have had the most hurtful experiences in stores in CH, and I’ve lived for years with these with frustration, anger, and resentful.

    Where is the love in Lubavitch?

  • 11. ch supporter wrote:

    oh please.

    it is unfair to generalize as such.

    there are many store-owners in ch who are both honest and generous, and treat each customer with respect albeit an occasional grunt or two on a frustrating day….

  • 12. fed up wrote:

    i would rather give my business to one of my own then go somewhere else, but it’s come to the point that i despise going into crown heights stores. As a mother with a stroller, its even harder. Many store owners are extremely obnoxious about it. Very few will actually help you and open the door for you if you need it.Not only that, in many of the food stores, you get junk produce, products that are near or past the expiration date, and stale bread AND no customer service.

  • 13. Boruch ben Tzvi HaKohaine Hoffinger wrote:

    Anonymous articles criticizing someone sound like a ‘pashkvil.’ What are you afraid of, a gang of baseball-yielding thugs coming to your door? Perhaps they might, you say? Then I (seriously) stand corrected. I’m out of touch.
    The article is not clear or thought out. Analyze what you wrote: ”…If I dropped something in a store, the store owner would shout at me, publicly shame me, and force me to clean up the mess…“
    I’m not a store owner, but a seeker of truth. Perhaps this has happened a number of times? Perhaps he/she is under pressure–busy store? You contradicted yourself: ”The only positive shopping experiences I can remember were in other neighborhoods or in non-Jewish stores…“There is a furniture store…She understands that people can take their business elsewhere…” Here you’re saying the only reason they’re nice is because they’ll lose money, actually they are mean and rotten! When the furniture store gets rich, they’ll also become mean also.
    Perhaps the Jewish store owner feels you’re ‘family’ so they yell (under pressure) the way they would with their ‘own?” The non-Jew works for a big chain so he/she doesn’t feel the loss personally (maybe they don’t care).
    I’ve had very many positive experiences with stoe owners here. A person should have their shopping list clear, otherwise it’s selfish.
    Nothing wrong w/asking a price and it’s not nice to yell when under pressure. Everyone else might if they had customers ‘in the palm of their hand,’ you also.
    I’ve had one negative experience here. Write me and I’ll tell you about it. It’s a known thing the store owner lacks business sense. I won’t mention names.
    Try to be melamed zchus (difficult but rewarding).

  • 14. Crown Heights Resident wrote:

    There is a grocery [NAME DELETED] in which the owner screamed at my young son so horribly that my son is terrified of him! Any time he sees him my son hides from him!

    I really hope someone prints out the article and gives it to all the store owners in the neighborhood.

  • 15. LW wrote:

    This is why I avoid shopping in Crown Heights period. I only do it when absolutly necessary. the only CH’s stores I patronize are the ones who treat me like a mentch. I have 0 tolarance for abuse.


  • 16. concerend wrote:

    Many good points. However to write an op-ed like this and to do so anonymously is disingenuous. The author should not be scared to write openly and make a statement. That is what freedom of the press is all about. If the author wants to affect change it should start with him/herself saying to the store owners “I won’t take it anymore!”

  • 17. A gust oif a vayl wrote:

    Why not name the actual stores that treat their paying customers with such arrogance? Let the public know that such a store should not be supported.I visit Crown Heights regularly and am appalled at the lack of repsect some shop owners have for thier patrons

  • 18. C. wrote:

    This article really hits the nail on the head. I used to live in CH and dreaded shopping every day because everyone was just so…mean! I’m sometimes glad to be living in another area of the world now, just for the kindness and derech eretz.

  • 19. Yisroel wrote:

    thank G-d we have a car and can do our shopping in different neighborhoods. but for all the unfortunates who have no car and are stuck in CH there are choices. for example if you don’t like the way the storekeeper speaks to you just leave your order on the counter and walk out. I think the store owner will get the message soon.

  • 20. duby wrote:

    Congrats to the author for bringing up the problem without pointing fingers at any specific establishments.

    [Paranthetically, a point NOT mentioned in the article is that this unacceptable behavior causes a chilul H-ashem to the many visitors Crown Heights hosts. We are by no means an isolated community, and are very frequently visited by outsiders. This obnoxious behavior can only cause a richuk CH“V for anybody coming closer to yiddishkeit and chassidus.]

    The solution however is NOT simply patronizing other stores, as there remain many who will continue shopping at these ”abusive” establishments out of convenience.

    The goal here is to change the abusive behavior.

    I believe the correct solution is that people should speak up when spoken down to, and make it clear that such behavior will not be tolerated. When a store owner hears from 5 people every day standing up for themselves (IN FRONT OF OTHER CUSTOMERS…) they will, out of necessity, change.

    Thanks for bringing up this important point.

  • 21. CHmother wrote:

    I agree 100% with what this article has to say, I ALWAYS shop outside of the schuna no matter what!!!! I have had enough experience here in CH the onle ones they know how to treat well are the rich ones who make huge orders or buy it anyways whatever the price.
    I was sooo disgusted once when I was desperate to buy something for my daughter and i went into one of those stores and when the lady saw that I wasn’t one of her special customers ( I had to wait 15 min b4 anyone looked at me) she told her worker show her the old stuff…I was thinking do I look that bad like a beggar? Now I’m even more convinced that it’s not just me who thinks like that….did u ever try to buy diapers here they’re 2 and half times the price and in a community like ours why don’t they sell them by the case? b/c they make much more $ like that!!!

  • 23. out of towner wrote:

    i am from out of town where we do not have any cholov yisroel and i asked a friend who was coming to visit to please bring some cheese when he came he brought cheese that was dated march 3 ! (peasach started April 2) why was it still on the shelf?????????

  • 25. do 2 others the way U-d like 2B 2U wrote:


    kudos to your article!

    store owners; here is a lovely invitation to practcally increase ahavas yisroel

    …be nice to your customers!!

    and customers…no need to enable lack of derech eretz/ ahavas yisroel from store owners, speak up or shop elsewhere!

  • 26. ma wrote:

    I have been shopping in Crown Heights stores for years and have never experienced this. Most of the stores I shop in are pleasant places to shop, except for one store which has young workers who can’t empathize with busy mothers. My husband was upset once because a worker in a store wouldn’t let him use the phone, but when he later told the owner, he was apologetic and kind. I have been in a chain pharmacy, near Crown Heights, where the workers were insulting.

  • 27. duby wrote:

    Congrats to the author for bringing up the problem without pointing fingers at any specific establishments.

    [Paranthetically, a point NOT mentioned in the article is that this unacceptable behavior causes a chilul H-ashem to the many visitors Crown Heights hosts. We are by no means an isolated community, and are very frequently visited by outsiders. This obnoxious behavior can only cause a richuk CH“V for anybody coming closer to yiddishkeit and chassidus.]

    The solution however is NOT simply patronizing other stores, as there remain many who will continue shopping at these ”abusive” establishments out of convenience.

    The goal here is to change the abusive behavior.

    I believe the correct solution is that people should speak up when spoken down to, and make it clear that such behavior will not be tolerated. When a store owner hears from 5 people every day standing up for themselves (IN FRONT OF OTHER CUSTOMERS…) they will, out of necessity, change.

    Thanks for bringing up this important point.

  • 28. Basic Derech Eretz wrote:

    I absolutely agree with every word of this article. One thing though that is missing, is the horrible way that both the store owners and CUSTOMERS treat the non Jewish workers. It is disgusting, and a huge chilul Hashem to watch people make demands, scream at or snap fingers to other human beings to do things for them. As someone who lives outside of CH but comes in often for meetings, I am humiliated at how these workers are treated and find that rudeness and screaming is the only way to be heard.

  • 29. more dumping wrote:

    While the author of the article makes a point that we have all seen and I agree with, I think its a bit extreme. There are friendly people in our neighborhood and even if its not the merchant or store keeper there are other customers who then help out. I think when you went into the store and saw a child u thought was being mistreated u were in turn part of the disgrace by not standing up to the store owner and helping the child when you thought what was occuring was wrong. Either way this community is going in the dumps and this is just an example of one of the ways.

  • 30. ouside wrote:

    For the past 7 year, I have been shopping out of the Shecune for about 99% of my needs.

    You should do the same, and MABYE this rude owners will get the message

  • 31. bit wrote:

    i agree with a merchant saying on erev shabos or yom tov “you are holding up the line” because most “Crwon Heitsers” will not tolerate to spend a extra second on line, everyone (customers) is always in a rush (double parked tripple parked ect.. baby in the car..) and they are sure they are doing a favor to the store, i personaly see people abuse merchants verbally and in other ways as well, and the next customer standing on line is always so impatient, i agree that merchants should take stock of their behaviors but i think that in this shechuna there is no shortage of rude and impatient customets as well that should take stock of their own behavor, if the customers changed some of their nonesence then the merchants would be much nicer.
    and dude get this! you are paying the minimum price for the product yet you want royal service, i am sorry but that is not included in the (cheap) price.
    in a restaurant you PAY 15% more for “service”
    and yes you will not dare drive nuts a goy working in sears as much as you abuse local merchants

    (and no i am not a store owner)

  • 32. BusyMom wrote:

    Oh how true this article is!
    High five to whoever wrote this article. Hopefully, people will stick up for themselves and others. There are so many times where we witness mistreatment of others and don’t speak up for them in fear of being treated the same way.
    So many of us are too busy in our days to travel elsewhere and end up shopping locally and bearing the mistreatment. But, if everyone sticks up for themselves and others, even that will make a difference if they can’t go elsewhere to shop.

  • 33. farkvetched wrote:

    u did not even get into policies that are sensless and maybe illeagal such as no credit card under a specific amount or not allowing u to buy sale items with gift certificates, they have youre money!! and many many others that would not be tolerated anywhere else.

  • 34. me wrote:

    is not only the store owner but in general in this community people have serious issues with mentchkeit and in general the LACK OF AHAVAS YISROEL AND ACHDUS in this community
    we need moshiach now!!!

  • 35. MP wrote:

    This article is right on about a little chain shop in our neighborhood… I hope they read and realize that if they keep up the rudeness, their customers will surely dwindle down. Over and Out.

  • 36. Dvorah wrote:

    While I have gotten used to the rude treatment from most of our merchants,my children who live out-of-town, and shop on Kingston Ave. return thoroughly traumatized! They are used to a totally different shopping experience where they live. Helpful and kind service no matter how small the purchase is the norm. They dread the Kingston shopping and avoid it whenever they can. You are right about the few examples described that are actually a pleasure to do business with. Let’s try to emulate these merchants, and make every effort to treat customers as they deserve!

  • 37. mo wrote:

    i think it reflects the overall situation here in ch of ppl fighting each other, instead of wishing each other well,
    yes the merchants very often are overwhelmed with work and hard customers, and long hours,

    the customers are also often overwhelmed with their own work and long hours,
    the question is who has to accomodate who?
    does the customer have to understand that the merchant is acting like a jerk bc of whatever reason,
    or is the customer allways right? and the mechant has the responsibility of treating him right and accomodating his needs?

  • 38. resident wrote:

    to i work 2…

    i cannot say for certain that costco or shop right etc. have less stress and buss. than stores in ch but i have never been mistreated in those stores if it has happened and a mahager noticed it (i saw this with my own eyes) the manager told the employee to take a break and gave the customer 25% off their order and i am sure the employee did not get away with it.

    before purim in a store in ch they were running speacials which they usualy do 5 for a dollar etc. i saw someone on line with a big order puttig thigs down the OWNER was at the register and he started charging the regular prices she stood up for herself and said is it not on sale to which the response was i own this store i make the prices!!! to which the reply was if so i will see you some other time!!! to which the owner replied come back and put everything where you found it!! withy a scoff and a laugh she left and i did the same i did want to take chance at being humiliated and i only came there because the price was right i went to boro park where i met a LOT of my fellow ch residents and freinds and had a pleasent shopping experience

  • 39. Seeyourpoint wrote:

    I find that most of the time I am treated nicely in Crown Heights stores. I think the reason is that my parents always taught me to do what it says in Pirkay Avos…greet every person with a smile. Other people’s attitudes are often a reflection of your own. If a grumbly store owner sees you walk in with a smile and a polite “hello” he or she will usually give you the attention you deserve. You can also make polite conversation while you are being served, so the counterperson feels like a mentch, not a machine. Maybe it’s not fair that we, the consumers, have to take the first step, but are you looking for fairness or polite service?

  • 40. resident wrote:

    you know a while back there a arcitle printed up someware by rabbi h. about the price differances in crown heights on how there arer the same and better rates then there are else ware


    very funny never seen it to belive it

    fact non jewish store owners dont have the expences of a yid therefore does not have to price things with such a high markup

    i have no problem with people making money but rabbi h dont tell us where to shop as you see above people hate ch shopping

  • 41. out of stater wrote:

    I live out of state and love coming to CH to buy things I can’t get at home and to eat in kosher restaurants (which we don’t have where I live). But I am always amazed at the terrible treatment I receive from shopkeepers. I have always figured it was a NY thing. Although, when I am in Manhattan, I am not treated that way.

    Yosher Koach to the auther and I hope his word gets out.

  • 42. Boruch C wrote:

    This is indeed a talented Op-ed. . .

    The ability to write 1,935 words of what we already know.

  • 43. rochel wrote:

    One thing is missing in this article. It’s when you go to one of this children’s clothing store and the lady looks at you and doesn’t want to spend time helping you because you are not an interesting customer. Why bothering?

  • 44. SD wrote:

    Wow. What a great article. CrownHeights.Info is to be applauded for allowing readers to post opinions on issues affecting the public (respectfully).

  • 45. c.h. resident wrote:

    i think this article is totally out of proportion and as a resident who grew up out of c.h. i can only blame the parents of our kehillah – there is a lack of good midos, manners and respect in our shchune and if the parents dont teach the kids how to behave like mentshen this is what u get, though i think most stores in c.h. have been redone and fixed up and are becoming more proffessional however there is that lack of ettiquette which could be worked on.

  • 46. Out of Towner wrote:

    I come into NY every year to do my Pesach shopping. This year I made a large order at the butcher and a small one at the fish store. I told each store what time I would be picking up the order, and in the case of the butcher, I even went in a few hours earlier to confirm my order. When I went to pick up my order at the fish store I was greeted with a smile and a ready order. In the butcher store my order was not even put together and I was forced to wait 1/2 an hour till they could get to it.
    Living in an community out of NY, I NEVER have to deal with service like this, even in our Jewish stores. We are not a large community but it seems that the businesses know the proper way to treat their customers. Suffice it to say that I will NOT return to the butcher and a big yashar koyach to the fish store and the other stores in Crown Heights that realize that treating people respectfully is not only part of Ahavas Yisroel, it’s good business.

  • 47. elchonon wrote:

    JACKPOT! Could not agree with you more, but the root is flawed, it’s not about capitalism or free market… it’s about mentchlichkeit, heve mekabel es kol ha’adam b’sever panim yafa.

    While not a CH resident, I do spend time here and since I was a kid I went thru what you detail, imagine having 10 cents too little at a store and being embarrassed and your whole order canceled? That’s pathetically ridiculous! The owner is defiantly making more than 1$ so whets 10 measly penny’s?

    My parents raised me to be a mentch and polite, I started an eBay business and everyone can vouch that out of so far BH 10,000 transactions I have 100% positive feedback and the 3rd best eBay reputation…

    I have customers who call me all kinds of names, so what? What happened to being calm and patient? I can have 500 customers emailing at once and that’s NEVER an excuse to be impolite.
    Crown heights merchants not all but some are very abusive, and you need to speak up LOUD!

    I have maintained my business by accepting returns, exchanges, replacing broken items and are many times taking a loss….

    When the merchants of CH will learn some mentchlichkeit I may buy from them.

  • 49. DO SOMETHING-BOYCOTT!!! wrote:

    This author is 100% correct. However neigher this article, or any things we say will change anything. These storeowners have been abusing and ripping off customers for years.

    How is it that every time you request a reciept, the store just happens to be out of ink?

    It is illegal to charge more if the customer is paying by credit card, yet most stores in CH do just that.

    And this I am doing you a favor attitude, ranging from 11:00 opening hours (I will open whenever I feel like it) to the harrassment of customers, and the unheard of amount of mistakes at the register is STRAIT OUT STEALING. (Think to yourself, how many times did a store on Kingston accidently overcharge you, and how many times have they undercharged you. It is a gross reality that this occurs to most of us.)

    However I think the bulk of the issues, where this bad attitide takes place is in one store. This highlights the issue on everyone else. This supermarket feels that because they are the only ones open late they can do as they please. This includes but is not limited to:
    1.Charging every customer a different price (it is NY law to have all prices posted on or near the items!)
    2. Yelling at every customer, Move the line, Next, Next!!
    3. Only recently have they installed a computer, loosing the bulk of their profit!

    The only thing that will work: BOYCOTT!!!

    Even if once in a while you need something there, DO NOT SHOP THERE!
    Maybe then they will fix up their disgusting ways

  • 50. mmm wrote:

    shop the shchuna should have a feature where shopers can rate stores, quality, customer sevice…

  • 51. AviD wrote:

    Very well written, the owners of the stores we all know are rude & aggressive, should read this and take it seriously, shoppers should vote with thier wallets. Some of the Kingston Ave stores must have the worst customer service & attitude anywhere in the world.

  • 52. Fed up wrote:

    I agree wholeheartedly.
    Yasher Koach to the author of this article, whomever he/she may be.
    I for one, refuse to step foot into at least two stores already, and have specifically told the store owners my reasons for doing so: namely, the disgracefully rude behaviour of the store clerks.
    Where is the Mentchlachkeit?

  • 53. simcha teich (from tank 19) uly wrote:

    I understand that this was an op-ed piece and the author wanted to remain annonomus. Not telling us about her bad experiences at the stores and leaving out their names is ok. But, I wish she would have let us know the names of the stores (either funiture, dry cleaner or car leading) where she had such positive shopping trips. By letting us know who the “good” merchants are we can patronize them and their business can grow. I would love to find out the names of these businesses.

  • 54. Becky B wrote:

    I am very impressed! Very well written and very well put. I can’t agree with you more. But you did forget one thing, stores don’t open until 10:00 or even 11:00. Out of town people, like myself, who are leaving in the morning can’t stop off anywhere and get a few books or other necessary items after a short Yom-Tov stay.

  • 55. ROCHEL wrote:

    SHeesh, this really makes out of towners want to move to Ch! NOT

    I was in CH over Chof Beis Shvat and when i told the man at the cash that he can not talk to me like that, he looked at me in the face and pointed at the line
    “ see this line, there are always lines out the door, they don’t have a choice, and they obviously don’t care how they are treated, so you either buy it or leave”
    which i did, i left the store and all the things i needed to buy. but what shocked me is that ppl just lowered there heads and looked down out of embarrassment, they should have left all their things and got out of there“
    Ch customers, deserve to be treated that way and you know why????
    Because they take it!
    if they were smarter they would walk out.
    but when you accept VERBAL ABUSE!!!!
    (which is exactly what this is) it tells them that it is ok to treat you like this.
    Having a psychology major, i can tell you that VERBAL abuse is one of the most destructive forces a human posses, and guess who the target is?????
    so stand up for yourself,
    you are accepting to be VIOLATED and RAPED out of your rights, to be respected! Yosher Koach to the author of this article!
    What kind of lessons do you think you are teaching your children,
    you definitely aren’t teaching them to ignore negative behavior,
    you are teaching them that they are worthless, and that they do not deserve other ppl’s respect,
    letting the man/lady and the store talk to you this way while you throw him your hard earn money and you still buy there is hypocritical
    I was in a Ch store last week and a man was screeming at a lady and her daughter, telling them they are too slow! the poor lady stood there and APOLOGIZED!!!!!!!!!!
    then left the store and told her daughter ”he did not mean it maybe he is just tiered, or had a bad day”
    You are not teaching you child DAN LEKAV ZCHUS!!!!
    You are teaching them that they have no voice that they don’t matter.
    it is the same excuses woman make for their husbands who beat them or belittle them in front of their children.
    you are putting money in their pockets before your self respect, so in ending, if you allow them to speak to you that way you must obviously think you deserve it!
    good luck to the one’s who will work on standing up for yourself, i know it is not easy, i see children all day who have been verbally abused, we try and protect our children from ppl who can harm them but you never know which comment that idiot behind the counter will throw at you that might affect your child!
    protect them, at this point i think the only solution is to leave those store and go to another community, we should boycott them just like was done in the boro park community some 12 years ago, and look now, not one mispalced word will ever leave their lips! they learned the value of a customer
    why let the outside world talk bad about lubavitch, don’t they have enough to say about us already!!!!!

  • 56. I-mnottheonlyone wrote:

    I barely go to Kingston anyway. The storeowners are so obnoxious, I buy most things either online, at department stores, or off Kingston.

    Never mind the fact that the clothing stores sell untznius clothing, grocery stores sell some products with unreliable hechsherim, and toy stores sell treife animals.
    I don’t understand why ANYONE goes to Kingston.

  • 57. Rochel wrote:

    customer abuse is rampant in other neighborhoods as well.

    People travel to BP to shop for food becuase the prices are (if you know how to shop) 60% cheaper.

  • 58. shopster wrote:

    Most of the stores in CH are owned by Israelis. While I have nothing wrong with that, did you ever get good service in Israel? it’s the middle east mentality that is creating this issue…

    Each time I have an issue with a local store, I don’t shop there for at least half a year….

    And if it really helps, you can fill up a shopping cart and just leave it there. Let them know that your time is valuable, then maybe they’ll get the message.

  • 59. Out of Towner Agrees wrote:

    I completely agree, I am a out of towner, I Dread going to shop at SOME stores in Crown Heights!

    Great Article!

  • 60. anotehr CHer wrote:

    YES YES YES I agree 100% and i have walk out of a store, and left a full shopping cart there in front of the owner without regret for the incredible lack of service on part of the store. and have zero problem shopping out of CH bec the merchants do not deserve my business
    its high time they learn a thing or too

  • 61. shopper wrote:

    I think I was the lady that the store owner shouted at…I stopped for for a moment to take out my shopping list, and the owner yelled at me to move my stoller away. Needless to say I walked right out of the store without spending any money. If we would stand up for our rights as customers, this treatment wouldnt continue to happen

  • 62. Seek the good. wrote:

    Yes I’m sure there are sirious problems with some of the merchants in our shunah but if a complete stranger was to read this article he would get the impression that merchants on kingston ave. are just evil people and shopping on kingston ave. would be a horrible experience. But the truth is, MOST of the merchants in our shchunah are nice people and it’s very understandable that right before pesach when stores are very busy, a merchant should lose his patience – it’s wrong but understandable. Why don’t you find the time to write something nice about are shchunah?

  • 63. Leah Guildenstern wrote:

    I totally agree with the writer. The worst thing is that many people come to Crown Heights to see what “being Jewish” is like, and this is what they see. It isn’t just a rudeness to the community or a business issue. More than that it sends the message, unfortunately, that Orthodox Jews are rude, surly and have no manners.

  • 64. BP wrote:

    By taking your business outside teh neighberhood your are committing economic suicide for your communitty. Neiborhoods grown when the people in the communitty support it it is age old wisdom. Do you see people from Flatbush and Boro Park coming to shop here? Have you seen people from Williamsburgh eating out at esthers deli or blvd? Yet you have a minyan lubavitchers buying takeout in greenfelds takout on lee avenue. Eventually these store owners in our area will start bringing in un-desireble because tehy too must survive.

    Good to you.

  • 66. bochur#113 wrote:

    You failed to mention the ridiculously high prices that are charged in out lovely CH stores.

    This is extremely important, because these CH merchants, when they look at their cash -flow diminishing they dont think: ‘let me try to be nicer and see if that helps’ they think ‘let me raise the prices again’.

    So as more pple boycott, the prices go higher. Who gets affected? Those who are stuck buying from ch in the first place, those with less income and less access to cars and time to shop elsewhere.

    So great article, but better solution required.

  • 67. i work 2, you know, we all do! wrote:

    How many of you go to fair way shop-right C-town .99 store target for goodness sakes what’s going on in our SHECUNE, lets try to act decent to one another.
    When I walk in to a guys store they at least smile so what the frown after I leave while I was there I was treated with respect. we need to change the store owners & employees can start but when we walk in to a store we also have to understand what they went thru that day who knows what they had to put up with.
    We all work in some kind of line we all provide a service of some sort we should all understand & act accordingly.

  • 68. shopper wrote:

    Great job, Webby! Unfortunately, the stores you mentioned in enough detail so even I can figure it out, are basic suppliers of our needs…grocery & butchers.

    Yes, there are another couple of places who are polite & friendly to their customers, but they are dirty, old-fashioned, narrow, & don’t have huge selections.

    It would be great if these long-time establishments can literally clean up their acts so we can shop there and enjoy good, old-fashioned service…with a smile. The way my father served HIS customers, back in the day!!

    As for the intimidation by these kids who work there, not just by the delightful guys who own them…frankly, if they all had more self-esteem & weren’t such cowards and so scared of their measly little jobs, they’d be capable of pleasantness. There’s nothing wrong with serving the public (I should know, my father was in the business) but what is important is not bullying your customers to make you feel superior. Money is NOT everything. Character & class is. After all, after 120 years we all go the same way. What happens then, well…

    Am I a snob? You betcha!! I’m also a customer , one of the few with no “accounts” on Kingston Avenue.

  • 70. Who needs you here wrote:

    what a stupid, stupid, stupid article. Besides shopping out of the community let the “anonymous” author move out of the community.

  • 71. Nice job! wrote:

    Capitalism, you missed the point.
    It would be nice if we can shop in crown heights all he is asking for is the decency of the store owners to treat customers with the respect the deserve.

  • 72. Anonymous wrote:

    This article is 1000% on the mark!
    It is for this reason alone that I will not on policy walk in to certain stores, and even some of the ones I have to buy from, I would rather not. The disrespect from so many of the merchants are so disrespectful and obnoxious to their customers it makes me sick.
    I think almost every store in Crown Heights can take a lesson about what it means to give good customer service from Auction Ware. Anyone you ask will tell you how pleasant it is to shop at Auction Ware for this particular reason. The merchants of Crown Heights should take a course on what it means to give good customer service. I believe that some of them really need to be taught.
    The only way that the merchants are going to change is, unfortunately, but truely, if we teach them. Don’t let them get away with it. Next time the merchant throws his next passing insult at you, don’t just shrug your shoulders and run out. Give him a word or two back, so that he thinks twice before saying it to the next customer, who is probably just three spaces behind you in the line.
    Enough is enough.They are giving us Crown Heights’ers a bad reputation. There is no reason that shopping on Kingston Ave. can’t be as pleasant as at least 13th Ave.
    All you merchants who have read this article, think twice, don’t just scold these words in self denial. We know that you know how to say “is that it sir” or “anything else”, but try to also say a “good morning” or “have a good day” to your next customer for a change. You will notice a difference.

  • 73. idea? wrote:

    Maybe people should just randomly stop into a store (even if they dont need anything), and wait a few minutes. as soon as they hear that a storeowner or other employee mistreats a customer, the person will leave the store and let everyone know why they left!

    that may work!

  • 74. R Tzivin wrote:

    Firstly, publishing something on an individual website is an endorsment by the website of the article, whether it be aligned with his opinion or not. True journalism is unbiased.

    Secondly, I am not excusing any bad behavior by storekeepers. Nor am I explaining the fact that people react to how they are treated. However, when it comes to kollel or shluchim discounts, school donations, or “writing down,” people have no problem beseeching CH storekeepers. I’ve seen first hand the amount of money and dedication storekeepers put into the community and community projects. It is shocking how people are quick to bash CH storkeepers, but so fast to ask for favors…

    Thirdly, I would have to suggest the technicians of this site really take a hard look into themselves. Whether it be bashing an individual member of Hatzalah or generalized CH vendors, why would you want the stain of Loshan Hora on your hands? Why would you want it to be under your responsibilty and in your forums that people bad mouth one another? Additionally, scrolling up, I see the majority of your advertisements, i.e the economical support of your website, are CH vendors? Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

  • 75. Guggie Tzivin wrote:

    Shame on you- for such a negative article. It always amazes me how people are jumping on the bandwagon, ready to knock and destroy people lives. Why dont you take off your sunglasses and find the good like bikur cholim, or other organiztions coming on friday afternoon to send shabbos or pesach to a needy family, or our local schools asking for donations for shabbotons, or just a random family running out of food on a yomtov and knocking on your door to help out. I myself needed fruits and vegatables and paper dishes for a surpirse shabbos zochur on a friday, only to get it by my local kingston avenue vendors. Yes, its always easy to find bad but go try writing down or cashing a check in target.

    I remain, Guggie Tzivin

    P.S When will people stop writing articles anonymously if you really believe in what your saying why not put your name to it. Put your money where your mouth is!!

  • 77. Itzhak Schier wrote:

    Since I have lived here, EVERY merchant (bar one) whom I have visited has taken the time to ask me where I am from, whether I live here now etc – and that includes merchants whom I hardly visit because I don’t purchase that much of what they sell.

    Yes, there is one bad apple here, someone from outside with no connection to Anash, a rude lowlife who does not care what he sells to us in terms of kashrus and quality, and guess what – I don’t go to his dump anymore.

    And don’t forget that just about every food related merchant on Kingston carries quite a few customers on credit, as well as some who will never pay because of illness, divorce, job loss or, perhaps just plain greed and fraud. These are members of our community – as are the merchants – and if we take our business elsewhere, the 95% legitimate ones among these unfortunate Yidden will find life even harder.

    Boro Park? Rudeness, questionable charges, poor storage of perishables etc are the order of the day there now that rents are rising and many merchants can’t keep up. 15 years ago it paid to go to 13th Ave to shop. Now, maybe the 2 biggest haimishe supermarkets are worth it if you can brave the lines, but forget everything else for day to day shopping.

    I just found a fraudulent charge on my card from a well known BP eatery. Every time I am there someone is complaining to management about poor service, questionable billing etc. I told the owner on no uncertain terms that I would take very strong action if it is not reversed by Monday, and believe me, I will get a heter for mesira if need be. The only “problem” I ever had in CH was when a grocer forgot to actually bill me after putting through an authorization. In the end he found his own error and billed me before I had a chance to go over and pay him in cash.

    The only legitimate criticism I see here is that some of our stores really are too small to serve our BH growing community. Maybe Kingston Ave could become a “Business Improvement District,” or maybe part of the shopping should move to Troy where there are vacant storefronts and stores that CH would be better off without.

  • 78. Kop Docktar wrote:

    R-E-S-P-E-C-T, we expect to be treated respectfully, but how do we treat each other?

    We demand respect but do we repect others? Rabbonim get no respect. Askonim get no respect. Teachers get no respect. I get no respect…But WE expect to be treated with respect.

    We teach our children to mock everyone, it’s our community sport. Nothing is holy or sacred, it’s open season on all, but we want to be treated mentshlich!

    When the customer jumps ahead of the line, speaks with chutzpa to the storekeeper, store workers and other customers – don’t we sit by silently while this “blood is spilled”, (sometimes even snickering)! Do we really think we deserve to be treated with respect??

    I say we get what we deserve, and how we are treated is a mirror of our actions!

    Pointing at others is easy, but start with ourselves. ‘Kshot atzmacha…’ and all that – but we don’t respect that Chazal either.

    But the underlying issue is we don’t have any SELF-RESPECT!

    If we had self respect we wouldn’t act disgracefully. We would encourage our children to have midos tovos, and we would be proud of our leadership, Rabbonim, askonim, etc.

    As a Kop Docktar I can explain the deep rooted source of this problem, but it is beyond the scope of this comment.

    My $0.02.

  • 79. Ben wrote:

    I wonder how many people in CH try and be polite and greet the shop oweners with a smile?

    You will be surprised how far you can get from even people in CH when you treat them with a smile.

    Perhapes that have had a hard day and need an extra boost?

    Try it and you will see it works!

  • 80. levi wrote:

    the problem elaborated in this article is nothing but a tree in the forest.

    the problem is much bigger: the kind of chinuch that CH youth get. its very scary if you know the real truth. its horrifing.

    i made a promise to myself a long time ago and thank g-d i was able to keep it; i will never, never live in CH no matter what.

    i dont believe things will ever change, because the way i see it the only way something could change is if somebody stands up and dedicates a good amount of time and some major effort to try to do something about it. that is, make a commitee, take care of the chinuch inside schools, take care of what goes on in the streets, and thats just the beggining..

    but keep youre hopes low, CH is known for not being able to get theyre act toghether. in the meantime im obliged to keep my promise and chose spring valley as the place to settle.

  • 81. Rochel wrote:

    To BP.
    well ppl from other communities know how to talk to customers, you would have to be pretty stupid to go the extra mile just cuz’ your in the mood to be abused!!!!!
    so yes, in the end the only one’s who loose out are the store owner, they are hanging themselves with their own hands(attitudes)
    so good day to you BP and Enjoy being abused just for the sake of the COMMUNITY who does not know how to treat you!

  • 82. a kingston ave store owner 2 years ago wrote:

    i had a store on kingston ave and i sold it for the 2 years that i had the store i see the people in ch (costmers )are ansty dirty and dont have respect for the items they take or don’t take and alot more thats why i never shopped in ch and even when i had the store i never shopped in ch and i will nevr shope in ch.

    p.s one thing i could say thank god i dont have a store on kingston ave any more.

  • 83. Monsey Lubavitcher wrote:

    I agree that “heimishe” stores have a great deal to learn about both treating customers, and customer service.

    We have the same problem here in Monsey, where the local shop owners are terrified that WalMArt will come in…

    My only problem with the article is that the writer should NOT be submitting annonymously. Webby should only print and promote viewpoints where the writer is disclosed.

  • 84. rude wrote:

    how about waiting on line while the guy serving has his feet up watching tv and keeps you waiting until the play is over

  • 85. neverending? wrote:

    I run a store that is nowhere near CH, and our motto is “the customer is always right”, as all stores’ mottoes should be. However, most of the finger pointing seems to be in one direction only. Despite the motto, does that give people the right to walk all over us? Sure, a customer shouldn’t be screamed at for dropping a glass and breaking it, but if the store is going to clean it up and have to replace it, the DECENT thing for the customer to do would be to at least offer to pay for the damage, whether the store accepts the offer or not. B“H, we have many customers who are only friendly and polite, but after encountering some nightmares, it has made me even more careful about how I treat others in stores, to the point that I never speak up because I know what it feels like to be reduced to nothing just for doing your job. And yes, quite a few of the people with the nasty mouths are the ones asking for the biggest discounts and getting the most tzedaka. Not to throw it in anyone’s face, but some respect for that would be in order. So please try to think of the other side before you start making accusations because I’m sure both sides suffer. And remember the story about the ”horrible” man who ended up doing much good in secret. No one wants to be the one who is ashamed after 120 years for accusing someone unjustly. Why not just take the person aside when you catch him or her at a quiet moment and really try to talk?

  • 86. concerned wrote:

    “good” or “bad” article is not the point. We are living here because the Rebbe founded this area as Kan Tzivos es haBrochah. We have to find the part of ourselves that can do a good job in this community, and DO IT. No excuses, we MUST each be a mensch, it CAN be done, no matter what.
    I will try…..will YOU???

  • 87. fraida perelstein wrote:

    theres enough hate in these letters to fill all our lives enough already people look around how many people are gone what are you doing to make a difference when the stocks died when shaffer died when a girl of 23 who had no chance to marry or shop in these stores at all died how can you do these things to each other i did not come from here i choose to live here if someone is not nice i do not want to hurt them but i dont have to be around them either why cant we be the people we should be enough is enough i cannot take this any longer we all have to live together talk is cheap act now be forgiving to each other think of the next person what is your purpose here anyway?to be rich mean and ugly that is what all this is if someone is rude tell them in a nice way if not shop in a different store but all this name calling back and forth is not going to solve anything lets all work together and stop this now theres a way to do things in a civil manner with pride and dignity

  • 88. out of town shliach wrote:

    Before Pesach, while trying to find affordable wine for our sedarim, I called several grocers in CH to try to find a good deal (THIs not NOT happen at Ebers they were VERY patient with me. Thanx) Basically the guy rudely says “dont call just come in” I said that I lived 200 miles away and would send a friend to pick it up and send it to me. He says well I cant help you. Call me back in 10 minutes. I call him back. NO answer. Call back again. BAck to the first story, come in.
    If this guy had a store in our southern suburban community he would be shut down in days! not a single customer would ever walk in there!
    I wanna spend $ in the shchuna i I already have to spend but if it cost a few more bucks to not get abused . . .

  • 89. SBG Moserov wrote:

    I’ve called the police many a time, I always do when I see illegal actions by store owners, it’s the only way.

  • 90. zaken shebachabura wrote:

    1. Seeyourpoint makes a good point. You get what you give. Give a smile and you will get a smile. Altough it will not always help with the “hopeless, helpless and lost” shopkeepers, I have witnessed terrible mistreatment by shopkeepers but personally avoided it by smiling.
    2. The article fails to mention that the shopkeepers who cry ‘it’s our shchuna’ when they lose business are not the first to hire people from the shchuna. Let’s not forget the grocery who hired a flatbush womanizer who harrasses people, is incredibly rude and couldnt care less about the food while he throws the eggs violently into the bags with heavier products right on top. And surely it should have been mentioned that there are stores that make such a point to hire from the shchuna that they sometimes take a loss to give parnoso to people that really need it.
    3. We have a long way to go with self dignity and dignity of others, we don’t pratice it, we don’t preach it, we don’t teach it to our children, we don’t command it so we don’t get it. Some people think of not boycotting itbecause it’s the shchuna, it’s not so bad… It’s a matter of plain and simple mentchlechkait.

  • 91. time to take a course on mentchlichkeit wrote:

    The first time I shopped out of crown heights as a kid, I wondered why the clerk behind the counter told me thank you…funny, I was supposed to tell him thank you- wasnt he doing me a “huge favor” by giving me the “golden opportunity” to give his store business??? I dont like gossiping, but I must admit that many(but not all) stores in crown heights–if not the owners, the employees–come to work every morning with the completely wrong attitude and do a “great” job at makeing their customers feel worse than the spoiled, over-priced or hampered items they too often sell(not to mention the aggravation of discovering that spoiled or ruined item once at home and the horror when you see it being put right back onto the shelf when and if you are frustrated enough to return it…) to end off with a little message to those who obviously need it: in business the owners and employees are replaceable but know that mentchlichkeit and honesty are not!!!
    And for those who deserve gratitude for working tirelessly to serve us and our neighbors both peacefully and honestly, I and many other happy customers wish you the best of luck!!!

  • 92. anonymous wrote:

    Yasher Koach for a very very necessary article! I have a list of grievences that is double the size of this article. But I would like to give some credit. On Chol Hamoed Pesach I went on Kingston to take care of some of my Pre-Pesach shopping. Store #1 would not take back my Pesach item (faucet covers – closed package and all) “because it was a seasonal item” and they do not do returns on seasonal items. Store #2 did not care that my daughter’s dress started to shredd AFTER ONE WEAR (no wash). He took NO responsibility. And then giving up hope I went to the last store – Hamafitz. A very pleasant experience! My matza dekkel was damaged with the words upside down to the opening. I only discovered it at the Seder and had no choice but used it. I explained that at the store and no one blinked an eyelash. They took back the item, returned my money (cash, no store credit etc.). Well done.

  • 93. anonymous wrote:

    Yasher Koach for a very very necessary article! I have a list of grievences that is double the size of this article. But I would like to give some credit. On Chol Hamoed Pesach I went on Kingston to take care of some of my Pre-Pesach shopping. Store #1 would not take back my Pesach item (faucet covers – closed package and all) “because it was a seasonal item” and they do not do returns on seasonal items. Store #2 did not care that my daughter’s dress started to shredd AFTER ONE WEAR (no wash). He took NO responsibility. And then giving up hope I went to the last store – Hamafitz. A very pleasant experience! My matza dekkel was damaged with the words upside down to the opening. I only discovered it at the Seder and had no choice but used it. I explained that at the store and no one blinked an eyelash. They took back the item, returned my money (cash, no store credit etc.). Well done.

  • 94. People Pleasing wrote:

    This article sais a valid point, but it does not highlight enough the fact that there ARE many stores here in crown heights who’s costomer service treat every single costomer with first class treatment. It is some of the older stores whos owners are growing old and are practicing the art of selling and pleasing poeple who are half their age.

    The newer stores which opend in the recent years are a pleasure to shop, they are like family. you know that you are treated as a person when you visit their store. But some of the older stores which have been around for years have older people behind the counters, who are a bit beyond the younger years of serving and pleasing and selling. Althogh it is important to keep young and to keep working thruoghout all of the years of life, it is still important for these individuals to move on from sales, and perhaps managment. they should hire teenagers to be the cashirs.

  • 95. MP wrote:

    Wowowo…. we have a whole neighborhood full of future journalists and lawyers…. can we all stop fighting now?
    And Gugie Tzivin is right on… it definitely help if the journalists took off their sunglasses to see the good in this community…
    About writing the authors’ names on the articles… I’m surprised you haven’t…. since when were you so discreet?
    “Love thy neighbor as thyself”.

  • 96. LD wrote:

    let me tell you i also always said that im not goingto move to ch but just like the rest of em im ending up there in a couple of weeks with my new husband, and let me tell you- you ch-hers dont even think that there can be nice stores with real customer services b/c your so closeminded all you know is your pizza shop and 3 clothing stores.
    oh and the groceries- how can i forget

  • 97. Lack of respect? wrote:

    I hear the writer’s point, loud and clear. You write about respect which the storekeepers lack–and you have a point.

    But the way it’s elaborated upon! Clearly, there is a lack of respect here on more than one end. The bitterness, the resentfulness! Yes, I too have had my share of painful, humiliating experiences, having grown up in CH. I too marvel at the difference in customer service living out of town. I agree that there must be improvement–but a)this is clearly not limited to CH, AT ALL, unfortunately. ( I actually find shopping in nearby Jewish areas (like Boro Park) MUCH MORE stressful!). and b)Be aware that this is a PUBLIC forum, with readers who have never visited CH, who don’t know of the beauty of the Rebbe’s shechuna. The same message could have come across–in a much more refined, respectful, yiddishe way…
    “i made a promise to myself a long time ago and thank g-d i was able to keep it; i will never, never live in CH no matter what…but keep youre hopes low, CH is known for not being able to get theyre act toghether. ” –Levi


    Do you think the Rebbe is shepping nachas from the way some people here so loosely bash the shechuna, the holy neighborhood which the REBBE termed Kan Tziva Hashem es Habracha? Think about those words for a moment. Dwell on them. And the next time you want to mention, to bring to others’ attention, some negative aspect which should be improved, do it in a way which the Rebbe would be proud of.
    (This reminds me of an incident I once heard–unfortunately, I cannot remember the details precisely, but the gist of it was: A guest was indignant that some Bais Rivkah students weren’t allowing her more room, during Tishrei, in 770. When she reported this to the Rebbe, the Rebbe interrupted her, before she could finish, What? MY Bais Rivkah girls? And she tried to continue…but again, the Rebbe “interrupted”, What…. And she got the idea…. Treat the Rebbe’s neighborhood with respect—and hopefully the shopkeepers will pick up on that too…)

    P.s. Why have I not seen more positive articles about CH on this website? There seems to be so much negativity espoused here…let’s be positive, respectful, and inspiring too. It’s so easy for the squeaky wheel to get the grease….let’s not be fooled.

  • 98. an ex crown heightzer wrote:

    it hurts me to have to agree but der emes tut vei! I am a shlucha in the n.y. area who has mekurovim who have gone from kosher ro glatt to lubavitch shchita… from kosher to pas yisroel..and have enjoyed the variety available in c.h. I cringe when I get their phone call after a shoppping spree in c.h. inevidably, I hear the same“ why do they need to be so rude… even the managers?” or “why are the shluchim so nice but the locals so nasty?” and even worse, “why now that I cover my hair, are the store owners suddenly not respectful anymore? I grew up in crown heights and don’t remember this. .

  • 99. Hila Gordon wrote:

    I’m quite sure we all have our experiences, both fortunate, and unfortunate. I have shopped at nearly all the stores in CH as an out-of-towner and as a resident.

    Thank you to all the storeowners and workers who have been there for me. Thank you to my fellow customers who have handed me a quarter, held my checkbook while I signed, and said thank you when I too did them a kindness.

    Occasionally, I have experienced not the *most* pleasant time at a store. But, likewise, I have also had women shove carts into my children, or me without looking. Men who shoved me out of the way and laughed, or bochurim who almost plowed me over while pregnant and pushing a stroller laden with bags. Or, the person who jumped in front of me when I had already been waiting for 30 minutes ready to cry from exhaustion erev-whatever.

    Sound familiar? How about, the women were so tired from working/taking care of the house that they just didn’t see me…they were running out to buy flour to make a birthday cake last second…or the storeowner had dealt with unkind customers, or was looking at a bill they were wondering how to pay because of all the *credit* they’ve extended…or bounced checks. Maybe the husband works/learns all day and his wife just had a baby and he’s hurrying to buy food even though he still needs to daven.

    Get my point?

    I want you to know that for all my unfortunate moments, I can proudly say that I am thankful to live here and SHOP here. YES, we need to all change our behaviors in many ways. And customers, you too need to look at your words and countenance, just as some storekeepers should also.

    I have always had prompt deliveries, even last minute and in inclement weather. I have been extended credit and kindness, discounts, and payment plans. I have also smiled, and said thank you and made sure to tip the delivery people well–cause I sure wouldn’t want to lug all that around in some of this weather up *how many* flights of stairs?

    Yidden! Love each other. Please try to extend yourself. Even in the stores I think you’re targeting, I’ve had almost total positive experiences–from people within the shcuna and outside as storeowners/workers.

    NO ONE HAS EVER REFUSED A POSTDATED CHECK OR SCREAMED AT ME! I’m so sorry if you had that experience for I’m sure it was trying.

    Let’s start with ourselves, make it a point to smile, say please/thank you/tip. And if someone is rude–speak up in a firm but Torah true fashion and see what happens. And yes, you do have the option to take your business elsewhere.

    Please, let’s make Hashem and the Rebbe proud. Let’s be a REAL example to our heilige children who are soaking up everything, including our responses and to the precious neshamas we are trying to show the beauty of yiddishkeit too.

    There’s no excuse for any kind of abuse, but we must always extend the benefit of the doubt and try to be an example.

  • 100. West Coast Resident wrote:

    This Article was well written.So well written in fact, that i was sure that only those people who could not and would not accept the truth would comment with negativity against the author of this article. it is a well known fact that store merchants in Crown Heights are not capable of understanding the concept of customer service much less know the definition of it. As a former resident, i have been on the receiving end of such outstanding “customer service” from merchants in crown heights.Rather than give them a piece of my mind, i decided not to give them a piece of my wallet and took my business elsewhere. Why dont they try to run their business outside of crown heights – not boro park rather in the tristate area and se what happens. They wont last a minute! The only reason they are still in business in Crown Heights is because the residents of Crown Heights are used to it and dont know any better.

  • 101. SMB wrote:

    Webby, I don’t understand “why you would want it to be under you responsibilty and in your forums that people bad mouth one another?”-(right on RT!) Shame on you for posting such venomous articles.

  • 102. CROWN HEIGHTS wrote:

    I agree with Guggie Tzivin..

    P.S its seems to me , that most of the people who wrote comments. bashing are either teenagers looking to fill time, or real bored souls.

    go shop elsewhere. very very mature. you have a problem with a vendor tell him. confront him.. stop whining on a website.

  • 103. I am the Author of this Op-Ed wrote:

    I have had the pleasure of reading the multitude of supportive comments from those who finally feel that they have a voice and that someone was willing to speak up.

    I also appreciate and respect the opposing views.

    However, I found it urgent and absolutely necessary to respond to one of the comments.

    A commentator who calls him/herself “Bit” stated that merchants are justified in being rude in order to keep their lines moving because people are double or triple parked, OR HAVE A CHILD IN THE CAR!

    HAVE A CHILD IN THE CAR??? Besides being among the stupidest things a person can possibly do, leaving a child in the car is ILLEGAL and will – justifiably – result in having the parent or guardian imprisoned!

    Also, double and triple parking are traffic violations for which one will be justifiably ticketed, in addition to the fact that they cause severe bottlenecks and hinder the flow of traffic!

    So because the customer committed a CRIME or a VIOLATION for which he can and should be fined and/or imprisoned, the merchants are justified in being rude and inconsiderate to paying customers????

    Here are some tips (that will also keep you and your money together and yourself out of prison):



    If you do double or triple park and get fined, or leave your child in the car to run into a store and are arrested and investigated for child endagerment, I will have no sympathy when the consequences catch up to you.

  • 104. jg wrote:

    As a busy mother I can tell you I care more about the line moving than anthing else. Frankly I am amazeed at how fast some stores ring up the customers. I am certainly more annoyed when the customer in front of me is moving slowly b/c they are on a cell phone. I csan imagine how it annoys the cashier. I move qwickly, have mny money ready, and have never been treated rudely by a cashier. Frankly, it is the customers who push and cut the line and stand and talk instead of moving rigth along that pissew me off.

  • 105. Shaike Pfifer wrote:

    I have learned a long time ago that PR is good for business

    and there is no such thing as bad PR .

    so thank you for the article and more people should be aware

    to shop and support Crown Heights .

    as to the author of the article

    Please get a life and stop being so Angry

  • 106. not only talk wrote:

    Hey website manager, how about this –
    Have a section in which every store in Crown Heights can be rated for five categories. Make sure the voting process logs the ip address of the voter so that only 1 vote per ip address (or some other technical way – another chabad website has a poll that ensures one vote per person, so technically it should be a no-brainer). At some point you can publicize the results. Store owners can even tout – “Rated #1 in Customer service on!” And run the poll every month. Use the tool of public voice. Customers CAN talk back.

  • 107. dan lekaf zchus wrote:

    “Just as you were dan lekaf zchus, Hashem should judge you favorably.” Hashem relates to us as we relate to others. before we go besmirching anybody we should make sure we are all in the right ourselves. cause after 120 rs we all have to answer to our deeds and if we want the rachmaim from shmayim we should hope not to be shown when we where not forgiving, of others, we should takeh focus on all the good that the neighborhood does, bikur cholim, hachnoses orchim, hachnosses kallah

  • 108. out of town with manners wrote:

    some store owners may be rude, but some of the customers really test even the most patient of people.
    How many times do we have to have ppl running into stores rushing to the front of the (sometimes very long Erev Shabbos) line asking to be served first because they are double parked! And ppl allow them to.
    Often i see someone behind me in the line with only a few items or an older person and ask them if they want to go before me. They are often pleasantly surprised and say “you’re not from here are you?”. And how right they are. Just today whilst driving i stopped to allow a car who was trying to push turn from a side alley to move in front of me. He didn’t move for a while, not believing that someone would actually stop to let him through (yes of course there was nonstop honking from behind too)
    People need to be educated to be mentshlech. Living in NY doesn’t help

  • 109. Sara wrote:

    The KEY is: regardless of how you’re received, greet the workers with a smile FIRST and treat them with respect – hi, how are you, how’s it going….etc. All it is, is to extend yourself first! This automatically illicits a pleasant response! I’ve never had an issue in any crown heights store, and have actually been treated with utmost courtesy…
    “k’mayim hapanim l’panim…”

  • 110. OutofTowner wrote:


    I spent $5,000 on groceries before pesach, being from out=of-town, I used to “spport the shechuna” but I realized the “shchuna” didn’t want to be supported. So I have started avoiding Crown Heights entirely and shop elsewhere instead. It’s a shame, with all the shluchim and such a large out of town community, these merchants are really missing out. But arrogance never pays.

  • 111. Burnt out of KIngston rudeness wrote:

    A few commentators mentioned that customers can be rude and take advantage too. There will always be the users of the world. But the rest of us civilized human beings; the young, the rich, the ones with cars, and the ones that care, We are all running to outside stores. Because we will not tolerate lack of customer service. Store owners, be smart, the customers you are pushing away by your rudeness and no return policy etc, are the customers that you want. Instead you are left with the ones that give you an excuse to act rude (never an excuse).

  • 112. CH wrote:

    This is such Loshen Horah after reading this article I want to move out of CH but not because the stores it’s because of the people who could write such hateful comments about members of anash.

  • 113. Improvement Needed wrote:

    Webby, I thought you weren’t going to post specific store names? Is that even in the positive? Because a store got nice credibility, while dozens of us have our list of grievences. No store owner can pat himself on the back and say I’m okay because one guy likes my delivery policy. A smile and customer service is just as important and it does not exist.

  • 114. BACHUR wrote:

    Screw Crown Heights, everything about it just smells. Nothing is what it should be, nor does it strive to be better. It seems the motto “kan tziva” iz oiros bli keilim.

    Stores shmores, its everything, its the yid who won’t answer someone’s gut shabbos, its the rebbe’s shul being defiled by cracks of the first degree, its a hashgacha that can’t even make sure its matzois are kasher, its an inept community council, its its gevirim that will build a building in saskachawan before they’ll bulid in there own daled amois, its inept gaboim, its rabbonim that won’t stand up for their own kovid, its the lousy police protection, Vd”ll.

    On the other hand it is my home, and hopefully the day will come when a younger generation will rise that won’t dig its head into the sand and declare this is good when its not.

  • 115. ch be nice wrote:

    there was only one store in ch that the owner was right no matter who you were but today there is new owners for that store today god bless the new owners

  • 116. the other side wrote:

    with everyone bashing the store owners, did anyone ever stop and wonder why Jewish stores in our jewish community need to have security shoplifting systems?

  • 117. correct wrote:

    To all who spoke about the pressure the store owners have: We all have pressure in our daily lives but one thing is for certain, we must treat everyone with due respect, especially if they are coming to give us their hard earned money. My grandfather owned a store and the only time I saw him yell at a customer was when he caught him shoplifting and then he gave him the item anyway because he felt he probably needed it more than himself (my granfather). As for supporting the Shechuna, I have news for you, we are all part of the shechuna, all of our money is important so I will go where it is cheaper, out of C.H.! The reason it is expensive in C.H. is because the store-owners here want to make the same profit on less hours. Out of C.H. stores open at least an hour or two on average before C.H. stores.

  • 118. Yisroel S. wrote:

    More important than the rudeness is the ILLEGAL policy of forcing people who unfortunately live by their credit cards (for the simple reason that they do not make enough money for all their expenses) to spend more than they need to just to get to the $10 (or $15 in one store) MINIMUM to be able to use their card to buy food. In addition this poor customer, as is the case with myself, is now going to pay finance harges on this extra money that they needn’t have spent!!! This is pure geneivah and id against the law. I am surprised that the comments here have not been full with this geneivah.
    For the .25 cents plus 2% of the sale that they lose to the CC company, it’s a disgrace that they keep the policy.
    BTW, I opened a store recently and made it a point to accept credit cards even for .25 cents or less.
    Rabbonim, Moshe please do something about a farce that it putting honest pple into debt.

  • 119. Hurt as a child wrote:

    About 18 years ago (i was about 12 year old) I went into a childrens clothing shop owned by a person who was and is only loyal to RICH customers. I will never forget the embarresment when we picked up an outfit to look and it and from across the store the owner informed us that we could not afford to buy that outfit. I was so hurt by such a comment that I made my mother leave the store and never walked back in. BH I am now married with children and still can not bring myself to do business with someone who can be so hurtful! nWhen I walk by I still feel embarrased by the comment. No child wants to be reminded about their parents financial problems in public. And besides isnt shopping for clothes supposed to be a fun or excieting even for teen age girls? Like it states above the well known stores sure make girls feel that way. And you know what most sales people in dept stores are not to rich themselves so they might have more tact!!!

  • 120. a crown heights resident wrote:

    If someone got treated badly in a certain grocery store or a certain clothing store or whatever kind of store, there are more then one grocery store and more then one clothing store…I think its highly unlikely that you could not find one that you feel comfortable shopping in.The stores in this community have grown and there are choices that you can choose. if you were treated badly in one grocery store there are at least 4 or 5 more you can choose from. I highly doubt all these stores have a reputation of mistreating?? But this is certainly an eyeopener to whoever does own a store in crown heights. I always believed to support your community first bu if me personally would get mistreated in a certain store i would not shop there ever again i could make that choice for there are plenty of other store in the coomunity.I say its not my loss but the storeowners loss!!!!!

  • 121. criticism is healthy wrote:

    to all those knocking Webby for such an article:
    I once heard from R’ Mendel Futerfas at a farbrengen, ‘In the past when we weren’t afraid to speak about something people didn’t behave that way, now we aren’t allowed to speak about these things so people behave this way’. His point was, if there is a problem don’t hide your head in the righteous sands, speak up about it so maybe you will affect positive change. The Rebbe writes in Hayom Yom, ‘ Love criticism (constructive of course) for it will place you at the highest level’ (loosely translated). If we cannot talk about the wrongs and negative attitudes which are pervasive in our community how can we expect them to be cured. When I walk on the street on Shabbos and say Gut Shabbos to whomever I meet more often then not I will get a look that says ‘who are you?’ instead of a Gut Shabbos in return. Unfortunately we cannot pride ourselves on our mentchlichkeit and it is something that has to be fixed.

  • 122. Cowardly shopper wrote:

    It’s interesting that out of the 80 comments on this (so far) only about 5 are arguing with the article. The vast majority support the sentiments, as do I.

    I have occasionally been the “victim” of “owner/worker” abuse. I think we all have. But if I actually went into the stores more regularly (I work outside the neighborhood so I rely on my family to shop) I am sure I’d get more of this treatment.

    There are, of course, other stores that aim to please. Not everyone is rude and obnoxious. But even one shouldn’t be tolerated.

    Let’s register (pun intended) with our wallets. Let’s not patronise stores where the owners &/or workers are rude, even if we have to go outside the Schechuna.

    BTW…if I DO put my name on this, you can be sure my family & I would be treated even worse by the culprits. So I guess I’m a coward with self-preservation instincts :) After all, we need to eat.

  • 123. Menny wrote:

    I go to stores & I have a big load of items & I see someone in back of me with 3-4 items & I say to the person go first & the person was suprised & said hey how did that happen in CH? And i said you gotta be a humble person to do that in CH.

    And the person looked suprised & said !WOW!

  • 124. At least treat the kids and elderly well wrote:

    I definitely do not commend the bad behavior of some workers here in Crown Heights stores, but I wont always let it ruin my day either…however, its the helpfull little kids that go to shop and make an order for their mothers that are negatively affected most…I wont forget a couple of incidents where I witnessed a child innocently and slowly telling over his/her order trying to remember whatever it is that his/her mother needed without making any mistakes-including asking the price-while the guy behind the counter yelled at him: speak up! nu, what is it that you want already? The kid, feeling humilliated, got red in the face and started stuttering and speaking even slower… as a result the guy skipped him/her and went to the next person in line. After the child-now standing on the side pushed halfway out the door- finally had the courage to ask again for what it was that he needed and payed the bill, he noticed that he was overpriced—whilst the worker caused him/her to get red in the face once again as he/she meekly and quickly made an exit for the door-poor kids…I wouldnt be surprised if next time his/her mother asks him to go shopping to the store, the kid will decide to make a fuss and be reprimanded by his mother instead of his self-esteem being lowered in public. sad.

  • 125. CC wrote:

    A quick way to see results.

    If there are any web savvy individuals out there, create a website with a list of CH stores and allow users to rate them. When an owner of a store sees he is rated below his competition, he will be forced to act. Even if the owner has his friends and family falsely boost his rating, he will know that people think about his service.

  • 126. wotks 6 days a week wrote:

    dear rude
    as a member of this community do u rather them be closed on sunday when its ur day off from work give some pepole a break its not easy working 6 day a week

  • 127. again :( wrote:

    To, “criticism is healthy”: the only problem is that a lot of people are not a mentch so it doesn’t make a difference if the store owners are mean in CH or elsewhere. YOU are the one digging your head in the sand.

  • 128. tk wrote:

    i know my comment is on the bottom but i have to say the auther of this article is right in someways but not all i have been to some grocery stores that the owner is really nice and i think that some ppl know wich stores im talking about, you cant say all the stores, and as for fruit there are some that are nice and some that are not dont say that no stores are not nice there are alot of stores to chose from its ppl like you that make ppl like nice store owneds look bad

  • 129. Anon wrote:

    i GREW UP IN cROWN hEIGHTS AND HAVE SHOPPED HERE ALL MY LIFE. i’VE HAD MY FAIR SHARE OF UNPLEASANT SHOPPING EXPERIENCES both in and out of Crown Heights. For the most part, my experience with Crown Heights merchants has been one of courtesy and friendliness. The merchants are members of my community, we daven in the same shuls, when I don’t have enough cash to pay for my purchase I’m told to “bring it another time”, and I can’t help but wonder if the op-ed writer’s experiences are differnt because his or her atitude. If he or she talks to CH shopkeepers in the same indignant, self-righteous tone as the article was written in….I’m not surprised that “kamayim haponim el ponim”.

  • 130. Sorry I don-t have the courage to sign wrote:

    Whoa! What anger and bitterness by some of the people writing these replies. I grew up out of town and have been living in CH for the last 25 years — and once I got used to some changes in culture — small grocery stores vs big supermarkets, knowing the owner of the grocery personally and them knowing you vs an anonomous worker behind the counter, I learned to love CH! The owners of the grocery stores became my friends, I stop and always ask the workers behind the counter how their day is today, or make some other small talk with them — I treat them like people, and very, very rarely have been mistreated the way people are describing here. I do sometimes shop out of the neighborhood too — when I find the prices are cheaper — but I definitely appreciate the service I get with deliveries, phone orders, last minute shopping before Shabbos, etc. (and I do not find the shopkeepers in Boro Park to be more pleasant — I actually find those stores much more intimidating and unfriendly to shop in.) I think the key here is to be a pleasant person, and people will be pleasant back to you. I very honestly have found that to be my experience in the over 25 years I am living here — and although I still do miss the green grass, and cleaner streets (we could do something about that too if we really make a concerted effort) and quieter lifestyle — I have fallen in love with CH and all the good and kindness and consideration and sense of community and family that there is here.
    I am sure that the people that wrote with so much bitterness and anger have experiences to back those feelings, and my heart goes out to you, but try smiling, and treating the storekeepers, and shopowners, and workers behind the counters like “mentschin” and I think you will really notice a difference.
    And no, I am not one of those rich customers, with big orders every week, but I have been a pleasant, regular customer for many years. Even when I first moved here, before anyone knew me, it caught me off guard when I went into a store and people wanted to get to know you personally. At first it made me uncomfortable, because I liked the anonymous feeling that you have when you supermarket shop, but I came to realize that this is the beauty of this neighborhood — amongst many others.
    So let us all see the many wonderful things in our neighborhood — the many dedicated, kind, giving people — and start “opening our eyes” and seeing all the good we have here — and more good will be revealed!!
    A wonderful day to all!!

  • 131. Itzhak Schier wrote:

    It would take me 10 minutes to create a rating site for CH stores on one of my sites but the most logical place to have it would be on Shoptheshchuna or here. The real problem, though, is that it would only work with a comments section, and that would open up a whole can of worms with shill comments from owners and family members as well as bogus feedback from competitors. Moderating such comments would be a full time job that no one in their right mind would want to take on.

  • 132. single out of town girl wrote:

    i agree with this article 100%. it is a disgrace the way customers are treated in ch stores, and i am the first one to speak up for myself (eventho i am an out of towner and the furthest thing from a loud mouth cher)BUT i have to say that the customers are not any better!!!!its an attitude that “no one else matters…its all about ME, IM in a rush,I want to be served NOW” i was in a meat store in ch on a friday morning, the line was long bc thats what happenes when you live in a frum neighborhood and its erev shabbos…ppl are in the meat store…nothing unusual. anyway a man who looked like a “rabbi” to me long beard older man walks in and starts yelling at the ppl behind the counter using disgusting language “what the F*&* is going on here?why is there such a long line??? hurry up….yelling, i was so embarrased to be in there that i put my things down and walked out. in this case im sorry that the meat store lost the business but come on, where is the respect for ppl, how do u talk like that in ch?how do u scream at ppl working behind a counter bc the line is too long?what do u think, they are stading there day dreaming?no they are serving, it takes time not everything is given to you as you want it….patience! where is self respect?how do u talk like that? this place is a real mess, no one has manners, ahavas yisroel, self respect and respect for others, and more over PATIENCE!!!its a disgrace to be a part of this community…i think we are all responsible for the mis treatment, we mis treat the workers and in return we are mistreated!

  • 133. Out of towner wrote:

    I couldnt agree more.

    You go to a store – “Hi do you have-” “NO!!” is your reply before you can even finish the question.

    It’s as if they are doing you the biggest favor.

    It is the Rebbe’s Schune, but the stores should treat it that way – with respect.

  • 134. to Works 6 days a week wrote:

    take sundays off – that doesn’t mean the store has to close, i’m sure there is no shortage of ppl to take over 1 day a week.
    no one should be overworked, especially if it means being rude to customers.

  • 135. Live a Short Distance from CH wrote:

    I am surprised. I generally find the store employees pretty courteous. I especially was really impressed by the service at [name deleted]. Actually even before I read this article I was thinking of complimenting the young man. I have chosen not to live in CH but I always love coming to the schuneh.

  • 136. Dini wrote:

    Well I dont think this is a Kingston Ave vendor issue but rather a Crown Heights issue. People in CH are rude. As I can see from all the comments above, you “good shoppers” aren’t all that nice either.

    I try to shop in CH and give my people the business instead of someone else.

    But I must mention that there are some stores that are RUDE!!! But they know that customers will still be coming to them for convenience.

    Having said all that, I would still use the “mean” stores if its 11:00 at night and I ran out of something. Thats why the vendors dont feel the pinch.

    Well, see the story below:

    My neighbor went into her usual corner grocer (not on Kingston) to do her regular shopping. As he was ringing her up, she asked how much a product costs? He asked why so she said bec. I want to do the math in my head bec. it happened 2x’s before that she was overcharged and he had to refund her the money. So he tells her “why do you shop here?’ so she said bec. I know that it was only a mistake and I want to give you another chance. So he tells her ”Dont give me another chance. Dont shop here!“ This lady was very embarrassed told me she would never go in there again but she’ll send her kids in to that store to shop for her bec. that store is on her corner and its convenient.


    And guess what? This article won’t make a difference either.

    PS. This does not mean that Kollel, Friedman are nicer or that they dont make ”mistakes” ringing you up…..

  • 137. finds this website HILARIOUS wrote:

    People in Crown Heights think they have it made. They think: “How dare someone treat me with such disrespect? I’m a LUBAVITCHER!” The storeowners are all obnoxious from years and years of endearing obnoxious nasty customers..

  • 138. A neighborhood mother wrote:

    I would like to share with you a story that happened to me just yesterday (Sunday) I was on my way upstate to take things up for the summer and stopped at a local store to purchase something I needed for the ride up … Being that I had my husband and children waiting for me in the car I was relieved to see there was no line I quickly got what I needed and handed it to the cashier and asked her how much it was she told me the price I paid took my change and left … when I got into my car I noticed the package said two for the price I had paid( and one for much less) THIS SEEMED TO BE AN HONEST MISTAKE THAT CAN HAPPEN ANYWHERE (Well almost anywhere) I tried calling the store from my cell but their phone number was not listed … Today while I was on Kingston I decided to stop into the store and clear up the mistake (either take a second one that I had paid for or they could refund the difference in price ) however the saleswoman Refused to acknowledge that she COULD have made an error even after I showed her the packaging and the EXACT change she had given me yesterday- she did remember that I took just one and gave her twenty dollars however she insisted that she had only charged me for one (and had given me back more change) Needless to say it was not about the money but I was frustrated (but realized that it would get me nowhere and I left) … Today when my son came home from yeshivah he saw the package on the table and remembered what happened yesterday in the car(when I realized that I had indeed paid for two) and asked me if I had gone to the store and this is where I was stumped should I lie (wrong) just to not have to expose him to the indecency of some people or should I have told him what happened and I did- his answer amazed me.. he said “You know ma she must’ve had many customers being that yesterday was Sunday and she probably forgot and anyway HASHEM ALWAYS KEEPS A CHESHBON AND THERE MUST BE A GOOD REASON WHY THIS HAPPENED WHO KNOWS?(and he shrugged) – but next time ma even if your rushing you should really make sure you have a receipt then these mistakes won’t happen”
    Sometimes our children understand more about the bigger picture than we adults do -Let’s all just make every effort -customers and shopkeepers alike- to do our best to make every person feel important and treat each othe with the respect we rightfully deserve because after all HASHEM DOES KEEP A CHESHBON.

  • 139. ANONYMOS wrote:

    A few weeks ago i went to one of the grocery stores i brought a few things and as i was paying i said to him here my WIC he replys i do not take WIC i said but you take from all my freinds they all told me that you take WIC NO I DO NOT TAKE WIC “BUT I WANT TO TELL YOU A SECRET” STOREOWNERS DO NOT LIKE IT WHEN PEAPLE LIKE YOU DO NOT SHOP IN OUR NOUBOUGHHOOD SO THAT WHY I AM NOT TAKING WIC FROM YOU. I was discuted and you know what YES I DO NOT SHOP HERE IN CH.

  • 140. Joe wrote:

    This article is an abomination. It is also jouralistcly dishonest. The so called author completely neglects to mention all the good many of our merchants do; such as extending credit to many of our neighbors.
    Way too much negativity. Have you ever tried to shop in Home Depot?

  • 141. a yid wrote:

    Isn’t it striking that this is taking place during Sefiras HaOmer? Do we all really need to be reminded of what this time is all about?

    Each and every one of you is precious to Hashem.

    Instead of tearing each other down, pointing fingers, and trying to lay blame–let’s try to build each other up and support each other in the way that we should. Try it–turn away from the “mighty ME” who is has fought to be on top of another, and really LIVE the emes. It takes work, but the reward is forever.

  • 142. CY wrote:

    Shopster, you mentioned that the Israeli owners are impolite… Maybe, but while I lived in Israel, in Kfar Chabad, I got better service in all the shops than I had gotten in CH as a shy kid (BEFORE so many Israelis came to CH), where I was always pushed to the back because I didn’t shout my order before the person standing in line before me.
    Though the fault is NOT ONLY the owners but the customers who push forward too.

  • 143. Shop The Shchuna - SUPPORT CROWN HEIGHTS wrote:

    You must support the shchuch if you want the shchuna to support you!

    Imagine if all the stores in CH closed down what would you do? go to bp for milk?

    Stop complaining and start appreating. allt his crap happens in all communities. If you have a problem in a store CALL THE OWNER. or contact and they will help!

    Support Crown Heights the Rebbes Shchuna!

    I personally LOVE shopping in crown heights. I do have my preferances of what stores i go to. Some are CLEANER and nicer. Others take credit and are crappier. all in all its a GREAT place to live and shop.

    If you are a penny pincher and you think its to expensive SPEAK up to the owners and STOP compaining. if you need a phone number to a store got to http://www.shopcrownheights… and CALL them. tell them your issue. They love you and want to fix it for you. I personally know almost every vendor in Crown Heights and the owners are VERY dedicated. If an employee treats you like crap, for the sake of the community TELL THE OWNER!!!

    Thank you for time and THANK YOU for Supporting Crown Heights! This is a very positive article. (If you have a good experiance or you are a menchant that wants to rant send an oped and they will post it!)

    BTW Vendors you should be happy people are talking to you and telling you how they feel… Imagine if they kept thier mouth shut and just shopped out of town… They are giving you chance to make things better than they allready are. I have a suggestion All vendors should put up a BIG sign that say WE LOVE OUR CLIENTS. IF YOU ARE NOT 100% HAPPY WITH OUR SERVICE CALL 718-xxx-xxxx email and he will hopfully post a photo of your store with that sign!

  • 144. Anonymous wrote:

    On Erev Shvi’i Shel Pesach in the afternoon I went into a CH store. I asked for a price for a certain item. The owner looked at me for a few seconds and then told me a price almost double the retail value. I asked him, “What about a different brand?”. He stopped for a few seconds again and quoted me the same inflated price. I told him, “you just made that up on the spot!” He then replied that I don’t have to buy it. (aside that not listing official prices on items is illegal, he looked at my nose and decided what to charge.)

    When I came to the register to pay for a few items (excluding the above item of course) he asked me why I have a big mouth. I replied, “because Hashem made me that way and that’s just tough luck”.
    He then said that he can kick me out of his store. I then threatened to sue him if he dare kicks me out of his store as he has no legal right to do so. He responded by saying, that he’s going to say that I shoplifted. I warned him that if he does that I’ll make him sit in jail for accusing falsely.

    He then had the chutzpa to ask his worker/manager, “you saw him steal, right?”. (How I can be charged of stealing if I haven’t even walked out of the store yet, I don’t know, but the lowlifeness the store owner has knows no limits.) He then refused to sell me the items upon which I stormed out of the store telling him that he can put the items back on the shelf himself.

  • 145. PROUD LUBAVITCHER wrote:

    I shopped in Crown Heights in one of our grocery stores whose owner is not a Lubavitcher,but a very nice and fine Chassidishe family. They under charged me, so I went back and told them that they charged me the price of pink salmon when I took blueback salmon, about 10 cans.So the owners turn to each other and said well she doesnt live in crown heights. The residents in crown heights would never do what you just did.When I heard the comment, I cringed in embarrasment, they were saying that Lubavitchers in crown heights could be more honest. So you see,it goes in both directions.

  • 146. To the proud Lubavitcher wrote:

    How do they know that the residents of CH would never do such a thing? Did they ever undercharge someone on purpose just to see if the person would be honest and correct the mistake? Who say people are looking at their receipts anyway. Like me they probably are eager to get out of the store and just trust whatever the merchant charged them.Unless the total just doesn’t “ feel ” right… then maybe they would question the charges. I think it’s terrible to say a Crown Heights person would blatently be dishonest just because he lives here.

  • 147. PROUD LUBAVITCHER wrote:

    to comment #146 I was born and grew up in crown heights. I live in another state for 25 years. I was in Crown Heights visiting my family. I am just repeating the store owners comment. He was literally dumbfounded that I came back to give him some money. And I was very embarrassed for all of us.THAT IS ALL!!!

  • 148. mail this great article to storekeepers wrote:

    Three comments:
    Every store keeper should remember: the customer pays his salary.
    How come when someone brushes against someone else and says “excuse me” the reply is “you must from out of town?”
    I once called a store from out of town to make a purchase. The fellow rudely interrupted. I said, “I’m not from Brooklyn, you don’t need to interrupt me.” He became a lamb after that.


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