Saturday, October 11, 2008

What ever happened to customer service?

On Friday we had a bad customer serive day. This is how it went.

I took Grace back to the doctor. On Wednesday when I took her to the doctor they said they wanted to recheck her breathing and lungs; so I went back. Her appointment was at 9:15. They did not call me back to see the doctor until 10:15! Sitting in the waiting room with a 5 months old and a 4 year old for an hour is not exciting. But because I love the doctors at this practice and it is not normally like this, I will continue to go to the them.

After the really long doctors visit I went to BJ's (equivelent to Costco and Sams except they will take manufactures coupons on top of their coupons). Any of you that know me well will know that I am a little obsessive about getting the LOWEST price on things. It makes me so happy to see that I saved more money than I spent. I think even if I was a millionaire I would use coupons. It thrills me to pay .50 cents for a box of Cheerios! Anyway, back to the real story. So I go in to BJ's and buy a butt load of stuff like usual. I get up to the check out and did the self check out. I scan all my stuff and then my coupons. I know that the machine is going to not let me use the manufactures coupon and the BJ's coupons because I have tried it before and one of the workers have to come manually enter it in. So I am expecting this. Well, I was not expecting what then happened. The worker came up to me and starts scanning my coupons. She sees that I have 2 $1.00 manufactures coupons for grape juice and have already scanned the store coupon for grape juice. She tells me that I can only use one of them. I say to her "I thought I could use two if they were packaged separately." She says "no you can't do that." I say "well I do it everytime I come in and they usually take them." She says "Well, I will let you do it this one time and you can't do it anymore!" (I am not very happy at this point.) I say back to her "when I bought my membership they told me that if the product was individually wrapped and then packed together I could use a coupon for each indivual item." She then flashes her name badge at me and says "Well my name is Corey and I am second in charge here and you are not suppose to do it" She then asks me if I bought two of something and I said no and she blows air through her lips like she is really disgusted, scans the coupon and walks away. After that I was livid. So I wrote her name down and I intend on writing a letter to BJ's. Also, later that day I looked up on BJ's website and read their policy about taking coupons and this is what it says

"Can I use more than one coupon?

You may not use more than one coupon on a single item. However, if you buy a multi-pack (a pack that contains multiple full-sized packages of a single product shrink-wrapped together) you may use multiple coupons.
For example, if you have 2 coupons for 50� off an 8-oz. bottle of face cleanser and you are buying a multi-pack that contains 2 or more 8-oz. bottles of face cleanser you may use both coupons" (taken from the BJ's website)

So doesn't it seem like I should be able to use 2 coupons if I buy Grape Juice that has 2 individual bottles packaged together?

Anyway on with the next episode of bad customer serive.

[MARK]: "Tara, Jackson, Grace and I go to Chili's for lunch. We arrived at Chili's at 1:10 pm. I know specific times because we had to be out of there by 2:00pm so I was checking the clock. We were told we had about a 15 minute wait. I looked around and noticed and told Tara there were 7 tables/booths that were empty, waiting to be bused, so it shouldn't be that long. We waited for over ten minutes and none of those tables were still bussed and now I would estimate that number had at least doubled, yet we still waited to be seated.

"So as a manager walked by, I grabbed him and brought this to his attention, stating that we'd been waiting around 10 minutes and when we walked in there were 7 empty tables and booths that I could see that were waiting to be bussed and now there were even more and yet we still waited to be seated. His first response, word for word, was "Sir, I just walked by and you weren't here." I'm very mild mannered, so I just disagreed with him and told him we had indeed been there longer than ten minutes and he said he'd take care of us, and walked off. I cannot believe the the first response from a manager at this store would, for all intents and purposes call me a LIAR!!

"We were then immediately seated (why we weren't before, I don't know), and we were seated near the To Go area, so I went to one of the employees there and asked if there was a way to give feedback on the store, they said it was online. Then I asked if the gentleman that we spoke to was the only manager there today, and they said yes. I asked for his name and they told me Joel. I said thank you and sat down and noted the name. We then had great service from our server, she was very polite, kind and attentive.

"When time for the check came, the manager returned to apologize and took an appetizer off our meal. When I told him I was less upset about the fact that we were slow to be seated than the way that he responded to me when I told him what I'd observed, he then back pedaled more and then gave us another $10 in Chili's gift coupons. His apology seemed anything but sincere and only a way of trying to placate me, with my best guess being that it was only delivered because I asked what his name was from one of his employees, otherwise, I doubt I would have seen him at all.

(this is almost word for word from my complaint to Chili's on their customer feedback, with a few changes and the final comments ommited)"


Allison said...

I have had lots of these experiences lately too - it seems the service industries have forgotten they are here to SERVE us.

I suspect that as the economy continues to tank they might realize they need to make an actual effort, or people will choose other stores to save money, or other restaurants.

Bryan said...

Sometimes the best way to deal with a bad customer service experience is to rant about it in writing - we've had experience.

Regarding the BJ's situation, perhaps the real problem was that they couldn't take both the store coupon and the manufacturer coupons. In any case, the person you interacted with certainly didn't handle the situation well at all.

With the Chili's experience, I think it's taken for granted in this litigious age that apologies are made with money or services. You're one of the few who actually expects humility and sincerity - most expect compensation for being inconvenienced. Words are meaningless in comparison.

'Manda said...

It's really bad in Canada. Whenever we visit the states we always comment on how nice and friendly everyone is in comparison to the staff here!