It seems life has a way of letting us down at one point or another. While knowing that a letdown won’t ruin your day, it certainly doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. As many of you know, my daughter Breezy turned 24 yesterday. After spending the day together we went to Red Robin for dinner. Before I get into what happened, I do want to say we have been long and loyal patrons of Red Robin.
We went to Red Robin, as we have every year on my daughter’s birthday since she was little. Side note: we also go on everyone else in the family’s birthday. A bit of a tradition if you will. Anyway, it was all fine and good. I suppose. Ron’s burger, was supposed to be medium well. Let’s just say, it was WELL done. He took it like a champ because that’s the kind of family we are. He did mention it to the waitress, but more of an FYI than a complaint. Not a big deal. The remainder of the dinner was good…enough.
When it came time to pay Breezy swiped her rewards card, but it would not take off her free birthday dinner. Our waitress, who was trying to be just as sweet as pie didn’t know what to do. As she attempted to get the manager for us, there was no success. She simply returned as said the manager said she can’t remove it. She doesn’t have that privilege. Apparently the manager doesn’t understand customer service.
What happened to customer service?
Now, before I go on, I do want to say that I’m not a believer in the customer always being right. After all, we all have that one friend who always complains just to get something for free. We are not those people.
While trying very hard to not blame the waitress, after all it’s the system not her, I continue to nicely complain. I simply stated that Red Robin didn’t even let people know they changed their policy. Apparently, now you need to have an email from Red Robin AND your rewards card in order to claim your birthday dinner. Unfortunately, Breezy never got one. I would be remiss if I didn’t say our waitress apologized many times.
Our poor waitress Stuck between a rock and a hard place
I would assume she told the manager I was still unhappy because finally the manager showed her face. She came in hand with a receipt detailing my daughter’s rewards and the status. Low and behold, right on the receipt it said, birthday dinner good until Jan 30th. Do you think the manager asked to see her driver’s license? Nope. Instead she told her to log onto the company website and try to rectify her rewards herself. Stating, there is nothing I can do. Then stated, this is not our program here, you would have to resolve the issue online. …if only you had your email. Remember, the one she never got.
By now even my patience are fleeting. My husband, God love him, remained quiet. There is sort of an unwritten rule in our family, only one person gets to be upset in public at a time. The other, well the other one gut checks you if you get out of line. No need to worry here, I’m still being pleasant. Despite the fact it is getting increasingly hard.
Back to the manager. She said she was sorry, but we would have to take it up with corporate. Again with this elusive email. My point. She didn’t ruin anything. We still had a great birthday dinner. But I will tell you what she did do. Her lack of caring told me a lot about the company. Money is more important. I don’t believe for a second there was nothing she could do. So if I had hair in my food, tuff luck just eat it huh? Doubtful. After my husband paid, I left feedback. Unfortunately, it only allowed about 300 characters. That simply isn’t enough. I’m going to write corporate. We’ve been loyal customers for nearly 25 years. For that, sorry where’s your email. That’s just sad.
Freddy’s Diner (Clear Creek) Killeen, TX
Being it’s Breezy-palooza, another unwritten rule, she gets what she wants. What she wanted was custard from Freddy’s Diner. Why am I adding it? Because some managers know how to create customer loyalty. When we walked up to the counter the custard machine was making a terrible racket and one of the workers was trying to fix it. We put in our order, but before we paid the cashier turned and asked if the machine would be fixed. The ladies reply, unbeknownst to us, was the manager. She replied not for at least 20-30 minutes. We all said no thank you as we had already had a crappy dinner and were ready to go home.
The manager replied, don’t leave yet. She came back with three free coupons for custard. Breezy’s face lit up! She told the lady it was her birthday and she really wanted custard. Again, the manager apologized and said we could have the coupons for waiting…if we wanted to. We simply thanked her and said we’d come back.
By the time we returned a couple hours later, we decided to hit the drive through. I told the lady at the window we had the coupons. She simply stated she needed to ask for assistance. No problem. We got all day for custard. Low and behold the cashier that came to help her was our original cashier. She turned and looked out the window and stated, “I’ve been thinking of you guys. I was worried you wouldn’t come back.” We all laughed. After all, this is custard at stake.
In the end, one manager only cared about her bottom line. That manager lost loyal customers yesterday. The latter, she gained customers. Is it really that difficult to treat people with kindness?