By Tracy Clemons
ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - Schnucks customers continue to come forward claiming their credit card information was stolen after buying groceries.
Schnucks released the following statement Tuesday afternoon:
"Schnucks became aware on March 15 that some customers had noticed unauthorized charges on their card statements for credit cards they used at Schnucks. Schnucks immediately began to investigate these reports and has engaged outside experts, including a nationally recognized forensic firm, to assist. We are also cooperating with law enforcement authorities.
"Protecting our customers' information is a top priority. Unfortunately, reports of credit card fraud are something many retailers have experienced. We want to reassure our customers that we are diligently investigating this matter."
But the response is getting tough criticism, and Schnucks customers say they want to know what's going on.
"All they've said so far is we're aware of it and we're looking into it and we're trying to get help on finding out what's wrong," said crisis management expert Tripp Frohlichstein of MediaMasters. "But as a customer I want to know more. I want to know that you care."
Frohlichstein says Schnucks could be losing customers' trust by not talking,"that reputational impact could be significant over time for Schnucks, which not only costs them customers but ultimately costs them money because if customers decide to shop at Dierbergs or Shop 'N Save or any other alternative, that's a customer they might not get back. And it's all because they're not communicating."
The store on North Lindbergh in Florissant is just one of the stores we've gotten multiple emails about.
One viewer asked why Schnucks is still letting people use their debit and credit cards not knowing if the issue has been resolved. We've been asking that question since last week and we took it back to Schnucks Tuesday and they still haven't answered us.
And they haven't answered their customers on social media.
"People have posted that they've had to cancel their credit cards and go through the whole hassle of getting new credit cards. And that is a pain. I'd like to know that Schnucks says they feel really bad about that. And I bet they do, the problem is they're not communicating it," said Frohlichstein.
Schnucks has not told us how many customer cards have been compromised.
"An apology is sometimes all the customer wants: we're sorry that you're going through this. They need to do that, and they haven't yet."
Though Schnucks learned of the problem on March 15, the issue didn't become public until a viewer notified us on March 20 and we called Schnucks.