Monday, June 9, 2008

Worst. Customer. Service. Ever.

Good birthday month stuff coming, but first a not-so-good one...

On Friday, my birthday, my sister and brother-in-law, Trevor and I went to Red Robin for lunch. The plan was to get my free birthday "burger" (gardenburger). I had my club email all printed out, and had cut out the coupon from the middle. We had a good lunch, our waitress was good and even surprised me with a free birthday sundae (very yummy) and balloons! (and they sang, but it was pretty empty in there so it wasn't horribly embarrassing) Then she took away the free burger coupon to take it off our bill. She comes back extremely apologetic, and says "my manager says I can't take this, the email can't be cut up." Um what? So we ask to talk to the manager.

He, Peter Alois of the Latham Red Robin (in case Red Robin themselves should stumble upon this), came over rudely and belligerently right from the start! (I freely admit that we were rude back at him, but it *did not* start with us.) He stated that he would not accept the coupon because "the email needs to be complete, not cut apart." I told him all I had done was cut the coupon out from the middle and if it needs to be complete they should say so! He said it did say it had to be complete, because it says "Any alterations to this certificate make it null and void." Now come on. That reads as if you aren't allowed to change it to say "good for 10 free burgers" not that you can't cut the coupon out. If that is really what Red Robin corporate wants, they better change the wording of the email. He told us to go right ahead and complain to corporate because he wasn't going to do anything about it. I told him I'd be glad to print another complete email, but of course printing facilities weren't available and we live a good 20 minutes away from the restaurant so we couldn't very well run out for it. Our waitress was very apologetic (but it wasn't her fault) and said she didn't understand the problem since they're "allowed to comp an item if the customer doesn't like it so why not for this?"

Here's the thing, maybe that is what corporate Red Robin requires (and they should reword it), but here's what a *good* manager would have said: "I can accept the coupon this time, but I need to let you know for next time that it shouldn't be cut out from the email." That's it, end of story. Instead, he lost the four of us as Red Robin customers from now on, and possibly a few others that hear about it from me. That's worth an $8 gardenburger? My sister had signed up for the Red Robin club as well, but she said they won't be going back so she won't use her coupon. I will be writing a letter to Red Robin, and my brother in law said he might as well.

Maybe this seems like an overreaction, it was just a burger after all. Well, I don't think so, I think it is the principle of the thing. That's horrible customer service and the headquarters needs to be told about it. I too work in customer service (in a manner of speaking) and that's just not right.

So please, if you signed up for the Red Robin club, for the love of god, don't cut out the coupon!!!! ;-)

1 comment:

Georgi said...

Happy Birthday. I am sorry you had such a bad experience, that manager was way out of line and I do not think you are overreacting. Standing up for your self is what all of us should do when faced with an issue such as this. I hope you do go to corporate and they give some sort of satisfaction.


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