Customer Service is Disappearing…

…but it’s definitely gone at a number of places.

In my opinion, every teen should work in some sort of customer service position in order to learn how to politely deal with the public. Wait tables, work in retail, someplace where interaction with the buying public has to happen, where being personable, agreeable, cooperative and RESPECTFUL are necessary in order to keep your job. Knowing that your job hangs on how you treat and talk to people will make a person very patient and cooperative. Getting back to using “Sir”, “Ma’am”, and “Miss” are also necessary. This is one trait everyone needs to get anywhere in life. Just be polite. Too bad some folks get jobs in customer service and completely LACK this skill.

Tonight was my breaking point. This post has been brewing for a few weeks, and I’ve been trying NOT to have to write it, but I came face to face with the employee that pushed me over the edge. I was coming home from work when my Mrs. called, and asked if I’d pick up some Taco Bell for everyone for dinner. I pulled over, took the order and drove to the Taco Bell in Amherst. When I got there the drive-thru was backed up, so I went inside. When my turn came I stepped up to the register to be glared at by Katharine. And I do mean glared.  As if she would rather be anywhere than where she was at that moment in time. I stared back at her, solemn face, waiting for “Hi, welcome to Taco Bell, may I take your order?”, but it never came. I met her gaze for about 5 seconds, and then smiled and said “Hi!”

Nothing. If she’d have smiled, her face would have shattered into 1000 pieces. I gave my order and paid, and stepped back to wait. She did the ‘glare’ thing with the next 4 sets of customers that came in. Not once did she say Hi, or Welcome, or anything. She stood at the register and glared at each customer as they stepped up and began to giving their orders.

Customer Service? Gone.

A month ago, I picked up my kids from baseball and softball practice. I’d been busy all day and didn’t have a chance to cook. Not wanting to do fast food, I offered KFC’s Fire Grilled Chicken. It was a plan and there we drove. I ordered a bucket of the chicken, and was told that it would be 17 minutes before it would be ready. This was at 5:10pm, and there was two other couples in the restaurant. Thanks, but I’m not waiting that long.  We went to Subway. (Very good service at Subway, by the way. All the time.)

A little over two weeks ago, I got Kristen from practice, and offered KFC again. I’d get her the 2-piece meal this time. I order, pay the $5.12, and step back and wait for the grilled chicken breast and wing, and the rest of the meal. After 5 minutes, one of the employees comes to the counter and says they don’t have any breasts, would I like a leg or thigh? I said, ‘Forget it. I want my money back. How can you advertise grilled chicken yet never have any ready?!’ So the manager (Lanisha? Latisha?) comes out with this bent-out-of-shape look and I’m asking how you can have Fire Grilled Chicken on the menu, yet never have enough to fill an order. She ignores me and starts digging through the drawer to count out $5.12. I told her, No, here’s the $14.88, I want my 20-dollar bill back. I lean over the counter as far as I can and, since she won’t take the money from my hand, drop it on the counter. NOW, she’s gonna talk and she starts getting loud about how I don’t have to ‘throw the money.’ (Now it’s all about the money.) And we go back and forth until I tell her if I’d thrown it, it’d be on the floor. ‘Well, you don’t have to be rude and throw your money and…etc.’ I told her if you’d run this restaurant the way it’s supposed to be run, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. ‘I know how to run a restaurant, blah-blah-blah.’ I told her if she did, I’d have my chicken. ‘Have a nice day, sir!!’  She turns around and walks away. (I filled out the online survey that’s listed on the receipt, and the next day a manager called, and my Mrs. asked him to call back in 15 minutes, I’d be back then. Never called back again.)

Customer service? Is there an antonym or opposite of customer service?? This was it.

Then there’s Marc’s at the Sheffield Center. I try to go in there as little as possible because the cashiers are slower than molasses in January. On two different occasions, I was in the mood for popcorn. First time, I went to the counter while the general manager was there. I waited while he opened and shut a number of drawers, grabbed some papers, he turned around and looked at me, and then stepped out of the booth and walked away. What? Fine, I’m gone.

The next time I was there, I bought my few things, and thought, Now I’ll get my popcorn. This older woman was leaning on the counter, watching everyone walk by, nobody to wait on. I stepped up, asked ‘Could I have a large popcorn, please?’ She looked me right in the eye, and said, “No.” I said, “Ok, fine,” and turned and walked away. She started calling “Sir? Sir?” I kept going. Keep your flippin’ popcorn.

Saturday, my Mrs. is there buying bottled soda and Powerade. The Powerade is on sale, ‘Buy 10, Get 5 Free, coupon at checkout’. So she stocks up and goes to the checkout. The cashier says she doesn’t have any coupons. My wife says, So I can’t get it? The cashier says (politely), ‘I can’t give you the five free without the coupon to scan.’ The manager is at the next register, and says (rather sharply), ‘If there’s no coupons, we can’t give you the discount.’ My wife replies, ‘You’ve got signs around the store that are advertising this price.’ The manager replies,’So?’ Mary replies, ‘You have to honor the advertisement and give me the Powerade at that price.’ To which the manager says, ‘I don’t have to give you anything.’ This goes back and forth again until another cashier says, ‘I’ve got a coupon here.’ The manager turns around and says (sarcastically), ‘Well, I guess you’ll get your Powerade.’ Mary asks, ‘That’s fine for me, but what about the next person that sees the signs and wants that price?’ ‘Don’t you worry about them, you’ll get yours and that’s all you have to worry about.’ When Mary tried to reply, the manager told her to ‘Have a nice day!!’ and wouldn’t say anything else.

Customer service? LMAO Are you kidding??

When I was managing with Chi-Chi’s many years ago, we’d tell the employees, Guests will leave here, and if they’ve had a good experience, they’ll (on average) tell about five people. If they’ve had a bad experience, they will tell TEN. So be sure to make your guests happy before they leave, or get me so that I can make things right.

I did my job then, but it seems no one is doing their’s these days.


10 thoughts on “Customer Service is Disappearing…

  1. I agree and one of these days when I surface again I will tell you about high speed rail in France and also the Eurostar…….talk about non customer service…..and rip offs galore….. so it isn’t just a local happening…..Of course there they have a great number of what if they lose a few….but here well every customer should be “golden”

  2. You nailed this one. All of us have been through this, I have done as you, not gone back. It may not personally hurt the person who was rude, but, eventually the company gets the message. I did that to SAM’s when they refused to allow me to renew my membership with my children on my plan. They were married therefore they needed their own card plan I was told. So instead of having 7 customers shopping at SAM’s all over the US, they lost 7. Thanks for saying what we all want to say.

  3. The Amherst Taco Bell is particularly bad. While the drive through always has a long line, if you go inside you want to bang your head on the wall. They will randomly quit taking all orders inside…I’m not sure for what reason really. When I worked in a McDonald’s in high school we managed, even when insanely busy to keep both the drive through and the front counter moving along.

    What about cashiers in stores? I’m so sick of being handed crumpled money with no thank you, no nothing. I usually look at them, smile and say “Thanks!”. The ones who might have just forgotten, immediately react and say thank you back, but there are far too many instances where you get a blank stare back.

  4. And you nailed that one, Jenny. Someone told me that they’d heard that the Amherst Taco Bell was one of the busiest in the country.

    When I was there, there were 4 employees working production for the drive-thru window, while there was one employee and one manager working the walk-in crowd. The manager kept walking over to the counter to talk to customers who were having issues with things the cashier was telling them.

  5. I thought of you and this post the other day. We went to Menards (sp)Sandusky it was huge to get some things for the balcony . They had a great selection but what a fiasco, we had to go from one dept to another to another and then the same with “pick-up” that was annoyuing in itself but those damned ear phone thingy’s they all wear…. you don’t know whether they are talking to you , or who is on the other end, and whether or not they were really listening to you . It was annoying and disconcerting and it was like ” hey I am doing to you a favor ” attitude and we were spending a great deal of money.

    I wonder if they heard me when I said first and last time I will come back here… for the people that wear those damned hand free phones in my opinion walking around the streets etc, you looks stupid , not sure if you are off your medication or just another “alien invader” because you look like you are plugged in to the mother ship…. my rant for today

  6. Still dealing with Menards ( never again) they had to order some of the fasterners etc. May 22nd said they would email us when the items were in…..apparently they have been in.. but it took 4 long distance phones calls. 3 snotty people “not my dept” …. 4 going through the “menu from hell to get to the right dept) three I will transfer you until I got a “Chris” at the receiving who was upset that I was upset and short with him…he is asking whilst I am paying the long distance charges “anyone seen a order for ritchie as I am saying no that is RitchEY do you want the order number, “hey ma’am if you are going to be like that I will transfer you ….

    Fine transfer me to a supervisor…..

    I am the supervisor

    Fine what is your name

    anyway they finally found the items… where do I pick them up?
    ‘Out back ” by door 11 OK

    Oh says supervisor Chris – what is your email address and I told him Oh well there is YOUR problem it seems it was MY fault as when I told the guy in the store ******* HE wrote down ******** so how is this MY fault?????…. and wouldn’t you think with all their automated phone lines a call would’ve followed up when they got the Mailer Demon notification…. we have been waiting days to put up this railing when all the time the items had been shipped….

    I think their store is huge and the displays are impressive but their customer service stinks ( right from the very day we purchased the expensive items) If my husband ever mentions he is going there again I will lock him in his basement ( which would be a fate worse than anything I could think of..( for those that have seen his basement)

  7. When I was out of town last weekend, Capital One called the house, asking for me. Mary told them I wouldn’t be home over the weekend and try back on Tuesday, since they wouldn’t/couldn’t leave a message with her.


    So, when they got me, their timing was perfect because I. Was. In. A. Mood.

    I went OFF. Threatened to cancel my cards, because a $15 payment didn’t get made, they called all weekend. I asked when was the last time this happened, how many times in the last 2 years, and he told me it hadn’t. So why the need to harass my wife? So I demanded a supervisor. They’re all busy, he said.

    (Here it comes.) You get me a supervisor now or I will cancel all my cards, and I don’t care if you have to get your MOM on the phone to talk to me, you get me someone who’s not YOU right now!

    Yea, I went there. Quick, too.

    Got things straightened out with the supervisor, so they can now leave messages with my Mrs.

    Don’t piss me off. Just don’t.

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