Friday, March 26, 2010

I'm not sorry that I didn't pay for my pizza

So here's a rant.

Yesterday at work, a man came into the store where I work and gave several of the employees coupons for a free pizza at his pizza resturaunt. He said he was the manager at the resturaunt and he wanted to generate some business. Well, that makes sense, at a free pizza would be nice.

So, today I went with my sister to the resturaunt to redeem the coupon. After speaking to the man who gave me the coupon yesterday, I was under the impression that the resturaunt would be a cozy little place to dine in with great customer service. However, I was sorely disappointed.

First, walking toward the resturaunt, there was a man sitting outside with his feet up on a table (and his shoes were off) talking on a cell-phone. Something about his appearance made me assume that he worked at the resturaunt (maybe he didn't, I never found out) but his presence there by the door with his shoes off seemed unsanitary and unwelcoming. My sister and I walked in to find no one standing at the counter. We waited at least four minutes before anyone came out to take our order. When someone did come out, I thought it would be prudent to tell him up front that I had a coupon, so I showed it to him. He took it and seemed completely perplexed by it until a woman came out from the kitchen and confirmed with him that it was a valid coupon, immediately after she told him it was alright, he went into the kitchen to make the pizza, completely neglecting to ask if that was all that I wanted.

Someone did come out to ask if we wanted the pizza "to-go" or to "dine-in". I told them we would be dining in, and they disappeared again. At length a man came out with our pizza, before he could disappear again, I asked if we could purchase some drinks. He called a woman out from the kitchen to charge us for the drinks (I had to buy three even though I only wanted two because I only had my debit card and they had a $5 minimum charge policy). So finally I sat down to my pizza and drink (with straws but no lids, because they did not have lids to fit the cups they gave us) and then realized that there were no plates or napkins...... there was no one around to ask for any such thing. After a moment, we spotted some napkins near the cash register. So that made things a bit more comfortable. Halfway through eating, someone came out to assist another customer who had come in. They called over to ask if we were enjoying our food. My sister answered "yes" and they disappeared again before I could ask if maybe we could have plates. Eventually we finished eating and left (no one was around to say "Thanks, have a nice day").

I felt that the employees there were offended that I came in for a "free" pizza and did not feel obligated to be nice to me because I was not paying for my food. This all really bothered me because I work in a customer service position myself. I don't always like my job or the people I have to deal with, but I am paid to do a job, so I do it, and my job is to keep the customers happy and wanting to come back. I am sure that the manager of this resturaunt gave those coupons out with the intention that people would go into the resturaunt and have a nice meal and enjoy the experience so much that they would continue going back. Unfortunately in this case, the employees working at this resturaunt did not impress me in the least and I will not be going back.

I know this story is not terribly interesting, but it was just somethng that for some reason really bothered me and I felt like ranting about it. Have you had a bad customer service experience lately? Do you work in customer service? Do you act differently toward people that you know are getting a discount or not paying at all?

In my own experience, if I can help a customer get something for free, or get them a discount, I do it. I want my customers to like shopping at the store I work at. I don't like my job really at all, but it pays my bills, and if people don't shop there, then I can't work as much and I don't get paid as much. So it literally "pays" for me to be nice to customers. It disappoints me that some people don't realize this.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Heather! It's disappointing to hear the tale you just told, especially when the economy is bad and when it's a food joint - where near most everything matters in terms of keeping customers. I agree with you that in jobs where one has to interact with customers to bring in business, it does very indeed "pay" to be nice. But sadly with the food joint you just talked about, money is going to speak louder than words and they're soon to find that out if they keep up.

    But going on a tangent - and boy do I sure love my tangent - wouldn't it be crazy cool if the pizza joint was actually a front for some sort of cartel and that they were giving an appearance as a restaurant and you and your sister were their ONLY customers? LOL! Hmm there's a story in that :D

    Oh well. I just hope the pizza was good coming in and didn't leave you with an unsettled tummy!