Thursday, December 8, 2011

Somebody Needs a Lesson in Manners

Whoever one is, and wherever one is, one is always in the wrong if one is rude.
Maurice Baring

Is it just me, or are people as a whole a bit ruder than they use to be.  I try to give people the benefit of the doubt, especially those involved in customer service and especially at this time of year.  I know it's crazy and customers can be demanding, but I don't think there is ever an excuse good enough to warrant something like what I went through yesterday afternoon.

My brood and I like to frequent the local taco fast food establishment.  I won't name names, but I am sure it would ring a bell if I told you :)  Anyhoo... this place is always messing up my order.  I've put up with it because it's fast and cheap, but last week it finally got to me.  I went to town and picked up lunch. When I got back to the farm, I discovered that once again I did not receive the order I had paid for. I decided enough was enough and made a quick call to the restaurant directly to voice my complaint. The manager on duty that day apologized and offered me a free item in addition to my missing food upon my next visit. I wasn’t happy to have to make that call in the first place, but I was satisfied with the resolution.

Yesterday, I packed up the chicklets in the car to run errands and decided to swing by the taco place to grab a quick lunch and get my free food.  I place my order ( I ordered a few more things in addition to my free food) in the drive-thru and everything seemed to go smoothly.  The sweet lady at the drive-thru window gave me my order and I pulled away.  Just to be sure they didn't forget something, I pulled into a parking spot to double check my order.  Wouldn't you know it, they messed up again!

I went inside the restaurant and asked to speak to a manager. I told him my problem and he went and retrieved my missing food. At that point I felt I had to express my disappointment and exasperation that this had occurred on a visit where I was receiving items free because of an inaccurately filled previous order. To put it mildly, the manager showed no sympathy. In fact, he turned his back on me and walked away while I was talking.

I was appalled, to say the least, but it got worse. I told him I was very disappointed in the restaurant’s service and he mumbled over his shoulder, “Then go somewhere else.” Obviously, I was shocked. I didn’t know what else to say to him, but I knew I had to report this somehow. I asked for his name, but he refused to give it to me. I continued to ask and finally, still not coming to the counter, he said it was Steve and starting laughing with co-workers in the kitchen. It didn't take a genius to figure out he was lying to me.  The sweet drive-thru lady, came forward and nervously told me what his name really was.  I wanted to believe her, but I wasn't sure either.

At that point I decided that I was wasting my time there and turned to leave. As I left the restaurant someone said in a snarky voice, “Have a nice day Ma’am” and someone else added, “Somewhere else.”

Can you believe that?  I was dumbfounded.  I could not believe that someone in a so-called management position would ever treat a customer that way.   I was not belligerent in any way, I just wanted to vent a little and only raised my voice once the manager turned his back and walked away. It has always been my experience, in dealing with customers that the “customer is always right” and even if for some reason they are not, they should always be treated with respect.   Don 't you agree?

Well, as soon as I got home I called the corporate offices and filed a formal complaint.  I wasn't confident anything would be done, but at least I didn't just drop it.  Imagine my surprise a few hours later when I received a phone call from the restaurant chain's district manager.  He profusely apologized for the store manager's abhorrent behavior and assured me that this was not the image the chain wished to portray to the public. Didn't think so.  He told me that disciplinary action would be taken and said he would be sending me coupons for free food.  Free is good.

How about you?  Do you have any stories of poor customer service?  I really do feel for people who work in these positions.   I have done my time worked there and  I know it's not always the easiest job, but treating customers respectfully?  That should be a given.

No comments: