Monday, September 17, 2012

What to do about bad service...

Starbucks at Nerima  Photo Credit: shinji_w
(Not this location.  This location is in Japan.  I'm just using the photo of the sign.)

Last night we took our youth group to Starbucks.  I have stated before on here that I am trying to only drink fair trade coffee, so going to a coffee place is a dilemma for me.  Do I ask if their coffee is fair trade and seem like an obnoxious customer or do I just get something non-coffee?  In the past I have gone with something non-coffee, but now Pumpkin Spice Latte's are out and I wanted one.  So I asked.  And I was treated to one of the rudest experiences I have ever had in the restaurant industry.  After asking if the coffee was fair trade, the employee said, "I think the Italian blend is."  It wasn't a nice 'I'm not totally sure, but here is what I know' kind of a voice.  It was a 'why are you asking me this ridiculous question' kind of voice.  I kept on though.  I asked if the Pumpkin Spice Latte could be made with that.  (I assumed the answer to be no, but I wanted to be sure.)  The employee responded, "That is espresso beans.  And we don't have any Italian blend anyway."  Once again in a 'I can't believe what a stupid customer you are' voice.  And the last comment about not having the Italian blend made said to me that they wouldn't be making any either.  No big loss.

I ordered a caramel steamer.

I sat down to wait and heard that same employee telling another customer about all the 'uneducated people around here' in a rant that had something to do with trash in the wrong place.  Not sure what that was about, but I don't think it is appropriate to call customers that to another customer.  I chalked it up to the guy was having a bad day.  I waited and waited and waited for my order.  (It came second to last.)  Drew told me it was ready and I went to pick it up.  I walked over to the pick up area and was rather confused.  There were no hot drinks there.  Only one white cold drink with whip cream and caramel on top.  I don't get cold drinks, so I have no clue what it was.  I picked it up and it said whip cream and caramel that I ordered and it said 3 of 3 which was accurate.  All but one other kid had their drink, so this one must be mine.  I gave it to one of our kids who didn't order anything.

By this point, I was furious.

And so was Drew.  He said he didn't hear the further complaining of said employee because he walked off earlier in the conversation.  It really, really, really bothers him when people talk down to me.  So he walked off in order not to say mean words to that guy.  I posted on Twitter and Facebook about my pumpkin coffee dilemma.  I got a few ideas.  I also posted on Twitter that I had received a bad attitude and the wrong order.  I don't normally rant like that because when people do I roll my eyes and think, "Get over it!"  Even as I was posting I knew I was being rather over sensitive.  The other employees were doing their jobs magnificently and they didn't seem to be talking to the rude guy at all.  This mistake was certainly not their fault.  We had a group of 17 walk in and kinda take over.  The other employees didn't bat an eye.  They did their job and were pleasant.

So here is my question, what do I do about it?

I didn't get the rude guy's name.  I don't think he was wearing a name tag.  I do plan on sending an email complaint when I look up the appropriate addresses.  (I also send compliments that way too when they are deserved.)  There are TWO other coffee places along that road and another Starbucks in town.  I plan on visiting those a time or two before going back to this location in question.  However, this is all the fault of one employee.  I don't want to write off the business or location entirely because of one guy.  That seems pretty narrow minded and a little vindictive.  So is my complaint and a couple cool off visits elsewhere enough?  I would like to avoid that guy entirely, but once again that seems rude and vindictive.

What would you do?

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