We have a Starbucks in our library, and I usually go there for coffee, because I can get a soy latte. I'm allergic to dairy products, so that's really important.
The other night I finish up with an employee info session and have some time to kill before my class. So I go order a yummy soy gingerbread latte and take it to go, figuring by the time it cools down enough to drink I'll be in class.
Well, my class is cancelled, so I go hang out in the student center for a few moments and start drinking my coffee really quickly, so I can head home (no coffee allowed on Metro, and I don't want to end up arrested like the French Fry Lady). I end up running into a friend and hanging out on campus anyway...and then about fifteen minutes later I start feeling really sick.
As the night goes on, I feel worse and worse and realize they must have made my drink with milk instead of soy. I almost went back to Starbucks that night, but I'd already finished the coffee and was really too sick to do much of anything except stumble home and be miserable.
The next day I stop by Starbucks and ask to speak to the manager. This isn't the first time they've messed up my drink, and I usually catch it before I leave. I explain to her that I ordered a drink to go, didn't realize it wasn't soy (with the flavored lattes, I can't taste the difference...plus it's been over a year since I've HAD milk--I just found out that's what was making me sick--so soy doesn't taste strange to me) and ended up being very sick. It's not the first time this has happend, I usually catch it, but I wanted her to be aware it's been a problem and it can cause people real problems.
I wasn't expecting anything from her (though, from a customer service standpoint, a free drink would have been a nice offer) except an apology, and for her to promise to talk to the baristas and make sure they know it's important to pay attention when making drinks.
What did I get? First she stared at me blankly, then pretty much asked why I was telling her this! She told me that "We make mistakes, it's your responsibility to check the drink before you leave." She also insisted that the difference between soy and dairy drinks is obvious--and I realize for some people it is. For me it isn't. I usually figure out my latte has been made with dairy when a) they don't say soy when they call out the order or b) I drink it and start getting sick. Basically, she showed no concern at all for the fact that I'd gotten sick from the coffee, and told me it was my fault.
I ended up going and filling out a complaint form on the Starbucks website--there were no cards in the store with the district manager's name, so I couldn't go to him or her directly.
So I guess the point of all that rambling was, I wasn't expecting too much was I? I try not to be an entitlement customer, but when someone has an allergic reaction because a drink was made the wrong way, I would think a manager would want to know about it so they can address the issue with the employees--if nothing else, to emphasize that when someone requests something like soy, they aren't just trying to be difficult (something I've been made to feel many times) and there could be an important reason for it--so try to make the drinks correctly! I understand that people make mistakes, but is some compassion or apology too much to expect?