follow me on Twitter

    Saturday, July 12, 2008

    Customer Service At Its Finest

    On the last full day Drew was here, Thursday June 12th, I went out to McDonald's at the outlet mall to get breakfast. Now, this isn't the best staffed McDonald's you can find - it's incredibly busy, and the local staffing options are the elderly and high schoolers. Still, it wasn't a busy morning, so I didn't double-check the sack after getting the food, opting instead to just drive home.

    Of course, this means I didn't get the complete order. Fortunately, the food for the boys was there, but mine wasn't. So I drove back out, went inside, and asked for the food I wasn't given. They had realized I hadn't gotten my food, so I didn't have to prove it. As the clerk was putting together my order, she asked the manager on duty if she could give me a complimentary meal card.

    The manager said no.

    The clerk stared at her, then asked again. "This guy had to come back to get food we didn't give him. Can't we get him a meal card?"

    The manager said no. "But I'll go get a coupon for a sandwich." And with that, she walked to the back.

    Now, I hadn't gone in there with the intention of getting something to recompense me for my troubles. I just wanted my breakfast. And if no one had said anything, I would have walked in and out without comment. But the fact that the manager vocally didn't want to give me anything, then had to be talked into giving me a sandwich, was, well, kind of insulting. I worked in restaurants for almost fifteen years, over five of those in management. If you feel your actions have negatively impacted the customer to the point you think you should comp the customer something, you comp them something at least of equal value to what they ordered.

    I waited for the manager to come back, ready to tell her that her offer of a sandwich was insulting, but before I could get that far she said "Here's a meal coupon." So I took it, glanced at it, thanked her, and went home.

    I took the coupon to work, thinking I would use it for lunch some time. I had seen a date on it, but didn't look closely enough to see what the expiration date. I figured it was good for at least a month, if not a year. I had looked closely enough to see it was good at any O'Brien's McDonald's, the franchisee in the Iowa City area.

    Jump forward a couple of weeks. McDonald's is sounding good for lunch, so I pick up the coupon and get ready to go. For the first time since I got it, I look at the date.


    Remember the date I mentioned above, the date this happened? Thursday, June 12th? June 12th, 2008? In other words, 06/12/08?

    I checked the date on the coupon again, thinking that couldn't possibly be right.


    They gave me a coupon that expired that day.

    I looked it over, thinking that had to be a mistake. Thinking there must be something on the coupon saying "Valid for 30/60/365 days after the date on this card."

    But no.

    The expiration date was that day. THAT DAY!

    Customer service at its finest.

    1 comment:

    Ramana Rajgopaul said...

    I am working on a blog which I hope will bring about some sanity in customer service. I have first hand personal experience of putting in good customer service cultures in organizations and find many things that happen now galling. I quite understand your emotions about your experience.
    I would really appreciate and be grateful for your visiting my blog and offering any comments that you may have. Thank you.