Thursday, April 26, 2012

Well, Consistency IS Key

Last Friday, I tweeted this…
Well @Applebees, it's four days after my phone call, 6 days after the incident, and no resolution, no apology. I give up.

I got back this…
@kneatfreak Juli, were you given a case number? We want to make sure the correct person gets in touch with you ASAP.

And replied this..
@Applebees Yes I was. He didn't seem too concerned with me & said the store itself would be in contact with us.

And this...
@Applebees At this point, I'll just cut my losses. No problem. Hopefully someone will take a lesson from it. Thanks for your help tho.

They replied again…
@kneatfreak Would you mind giving me the case number so I can have someone from our Guest Relations team look into this?

I replied with the number and then Hubs got a phone call from the local restaurant within half an hour (Seems their Twitter Rep IS on the ball).

The phone call went something like this:
  • Mr. Maychlye
It’s Maichle. Yes?
  • This is Applebees, Dover. I got a message that you wanted to speak to someone. What was the problem when you were here?
Well, like we’ve explained several times, this is what happened…read about it here.
  • We’d like to send you a gift card for that meal. How much did you spend that night?
Well, like I said, it was two burgers and two sodas.
  • Yes, but how much was your bill?
I don’t recall off hand but it was two burgers and two sodas.
  • (sigh) I guess I could look up the receipt if you give me more information about when you were here.
Can you look at a menu?
  • Oh, yeah, well I guess I could do that. You should have your Gift Card in a week.
Do you need my address to send it to?
  • Oh, yeah, well I guess that would help, wouldn’t it?

No apology. No sincerity. No pleasant chit chat. NO CUSTOMER SERVICE.

Here’s what I am happy about with Applebees, Dover. At least they are consistent.

A little bit of a back story:

Several years ago (see how long poor customer service sticks with you), prior to Hubs and I having children (BC- before children), we frequented Applebees, Dover. Especially, later in the evening, because, again, this was BC, we had an evening life. We enjoyed their late night Happy Hour prices and would sit for a while just enjoying the company. 

Hubs and I have both, for a long time, been in the service industry. I’ve waited tables since 1990 or so. I KNOW how it is to waitress and I KNOW how I want to be treated as a Customer. Because of this, we have always been good tippers. We factor the tip into the cost of the meal and if we can’t afford the tip, too, we don’t go out to eat. It’s PART OF THE MEAL.

Now, with that said, I don’t tip for nothing. My server doesn’t have to be over the top, but they can’t be terrible and expect my good tip either. I’m generous, not foolish.

One day looking over our bank statement, Hubs and I noticed that our recent meal at Applebees, Dover did not match the credit card receipt we signed. We had been on this budgeting, reconciling kick where we would add the tip in the amount to get the grand total to an even dollar. This meant the server got even more than 20% most times. And 20% BACK THEN, in the early 2000s was high. It was damn good! (I know people that to this day still do 15%!)

Anyway, the difference between the statement and our receipt was 42cents. I was upset. It bothered me that someone could and would alter my signed credit card receipt to give them selves a rounded tip at even more than the 20+% that we had generously given them.

I called the store. I got the rudest manager I’ve ever spoken to that snapped at me for accusing her staff of stealing. She used the word stealing, I did not. We went round and round until she finally growled at me saying she would send me my “damn 42cents.”

And she eventually did. About three weeks later I received an envelope in the mail with nothing but a piece of paper wrapped around 
a quarter,
a dime,
a nickel,
and two pennies.   

We didn’t eat there for YEARS. 

We should have stayed consistent with that. 

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