Monday, August 1, 2011

So We Went Bowling

My friend S and I have free bowling coupons for the kiddos on weekdays. We got them through So we decided to take them to Mid County Lanes who participates in the program. On the way S called ahead to check on availability, as the coupon suggests. It went like this: 

S: We are on our way with the Kids Bowl Free Coupons. Do you have any lanes available?
Idiot on the other end: For what?
S: Ummm? Bowling.
Idiot: Yeah, I guess.

We arrived around 12:45. The coupons are good until 2pm for two games. As we approached the counter we quickly realized who had been on the other end of that earlier phone call. 

I handed him my two kiddos' coupons, S hers. He asks "how many?" Ummmm?
We asked if we could bowl along side the kiddos and how much that would be. After fumbling with prices and shoe prices and lanes, he figured it out to be $14 for each of the families.  We both pay. Then it went like this:

Idiot: “Lane 10”
Me: “All six of us?”
Idiot: “Ya”
Me: “Can we have a lane next to the kids?”
Idiot: “None open”
Me: “Umm, could you check?”
Idiot: “Lane 11 has 10 frames left. Wait?”

As S and I look back and forth and back and forth dumb founded Idiot adds: “or I could split you up.”

Me with what I wanted to say: REALLY!? Yeah, let’s put the kids on one lane at this end and the Mommies at the other end. That makes sense. Do you understand the meaning of along side?

Me with instead what I said: “Can we just have our money back then for the Moms? Six on one lane will take forever.”

Idiot gives me a dumb look and an "I'm so annoyed at you" sigh with a roll of the eyes. Meanwhile, S and I take note that not only is no one on 11, no one is on 12, or 9, or 8 for that matter.

Idiot calls his (later found out) Manager over to do the refund. She completely ignores us and speaks to him about us as if we aren't even there asking why we wanted a refund. He mumbles something about no two lanes available. She asks nothing about the situation to us. She snaps at him “did they bowl yet?” No, we didn’t bowl yet, lady. You’ve been here on the phone the entire time we’ve stood here. We don’t even have shoes yet!

Insert proper Customer Service Manager response here
Ladies, can I help you with something? Did we not have what you were looking for? Let me see if I can find something for you.

She, herself gets all huffy doing the refund mumbling something about if we had bowled it would be no refunds because it’s too late, blah, blah, blah. Then, the phone rings and she stops what she’s doing with our refund and answers the call.

I, as the customer, don’t need to hear all that crap! And I certainly don’t need to be held up for a phone call. I’m money in person. So I walk away pissy. Yes, I was pissy. And it got worse.

We get to the lane, empty everywhere, and we put the shoes on the kiddos. Then, I finally decide, no dammit, we deserve some kind of explanation. So, I march (told you I was pissy) right back up to the counter. Ms. Manager is now on the outside of the counter having a conversation with said idiot. She turns to look at me coming and looks away. I get to her, it was pretty damn obvious that was where I was headed, and ask her if she is the Supervisor or Manager. She says “Ya.” I ask, which? She tells me, “doesn’t matter.” And then it goes like this:

Me: “Your guy over here is quite an idiot, and I don’t understand why he had no information for us, couldn’t figure out prices, and couldn’t even help on the phone. All we’re asking is for a lane next to the kids to bowl while they do and he said that can’t be done and even suggested splitting us up.”

Insert proper Customer Service Manager response here
{nod, nod, nod, let me vent, let me vent, let me vent some more} You are absolutely right ma’am, you deserved more of an explanation but there was no need for us giving out more behind the scenes info than necessary. Now, there is no need to resort to name calling, let’s just get you set up with what you originally came in to do, have a good time bowling with your kids.

Ms.Mngr  Yelling as soon as the word Idiot left my mouth: “How dare you call my person an idiot. You didn’t know what you wanted and paid anyway causing an unnecessary refund, blah, blah, blah, blah.” She never heard another word I said.

I walked away from her telling her she would never see another dime of my money.

Five minutes later, out of the corner of my eye I see her walking towards me. Here we go:

Insert proper Customer Service Manager response here
Ma’am, I’m sorry, we got off on the wrong foot. Let’s start over. What is it that we can do to make your stay today enjoyable?

Ms Mngr: “You can’t have those lanes because the motors are broke on them.”
Me: “Likely story after the fact.”
Ms. Mngr: “You don’t believe me, I’ll take you back there to prove it if you want me to.”
Me: “I’m done. Go away.”
Ms. Mngr: Yell, yell, yell, blah, blah, blah.

I honestly have no clue as to what she said from them on. I put my hand up and told her, “I’m done, that’s enough, let my kids bowl in peace, and we won’t be back, ever. Go away.”
Ms. Mngr: Yell, yell, yell, blah, blah, blah some more.

She finally walked away.

Not even 2 frames later a family came and sat down beside us to bowl on Lane 11.

The kiddos had a great time bowling for the next hour. Their only disappointment, a BIG one, was that we had plans to go to the adjoining part, Family Fun Galaxy and hang out there for the rest of the afternoon, like we did last Monday. And we had a great time, last Monday, which was why we came back. S and I spent at least $45 each at the arcade, last Monday.

Unfortunately now, today became THE last Monday.

1 comment:

  1. Being familiar with the inner workings of a bowling alley, spending much time as a kid at a local alley, I thought of several reasons as to why the lane may not have been available. If there was a league playing, they would require one free lane between them and the public bowlers, and so on. Whatever their rational was as to not allow you to have the second lane, this sounds like the worst possible way that they could of explained themselves. Bowling centers are expensive to operate with the overhead and are hard to fill. They sell time to leagues at bargain rates and rely on the genreal public to pay retail value of upward of $4 a game and $3-$5 for nasty shoes. The food is rarely good and is way over priced. We wont even get into the liquor and beer prices at bowling alleys. At the end of the day, the people that choose these value ads for family fun are dwindling. Sounds like the reward you got for your loyalty was simply, "We dont need or want you $." I will not be in a hurry to go bowling in Middletown any time soon.