April 6th, 2011

fear no evil [by: noafterglow]
  • m32446

Stomping Grounds Playland-Sugar Land, Texas-Groupon

This is predominately a bad_policy post, but there's a bit of bad_service in there as well.

My cousin came down to Sugar Land from Fort Worth to visit for a couple of days, and I had purchased a Groupon to Stomping Grounds for her and her son to use while they were here. This Groupon included an entrance for one child, and one child's lunch. Stomping Grounds is a indoor playground type place, with a cafe/lunch thing inside as well. I had never been there, having no children of my own and no reason to go. Anyway, we showed up about 11am, signed in, gave them our Groupon and all of that. They took the Groupon on entrance, and we had no proof otherwise that we were Groupon customers.
About an hour later, after B-child running around and having a lovely time, we decided it was lunch time. I go up and order my sandwich and drink, the total is 9 dollars and change. Fine. Cousin goes up to order her sandwich and child's lunch, I inform guy at register that we are Groupon customers and child's lunch should be included, and the total is 13 and change. Cousin pays before I work up the words to ask why hers is so much more when she ordered a cheaper sandwich and child's lunch is included. The thing that really got me is that register guy said that child's should be a full meal with the Groupon. I ask register-guy why hers is so much more than mine, and he realizes that he charged her for the kid's meal, instead of using the Groupon deal. Well, bother. I ask about refunding the charge. He says that he can't but he'll get his manager. Manager is called. Manager states that *she* can't do refunds. WHAT? What kind of manager can't do refunds? She offers the coupon thing that we should have received when we checked in, for a free kid's meal.
This is not acceptable, as cousin and kid are from out of town, and I have no kids of my own, and no friends with kids old enough to use the Stomping Ground's facilities. I ask about getting a coffee or something for free, as cousin and I had both planned to order a coffee after lunch. Nope, she can't do that either. (This I do not believe. I've worked food service/retail, cousin has worked retail, this is just illogical.) It turns out that only the general manager can do refunds, and the GM is in meetings all day, and the manager (asst manager? shift manager?) does not know when she will return. All she can offer us at this point is the free lunch coupon (which we are informed expires at the end of the month) and that she'll try to get hold of the GM. We are rather annoyed.
Fine. We got back to B-Child running around and we eat our sandwiches (and learn that hers that was request without tomatoes, had them removed after being made with them. Which wouldn't be that big a deal without this other pain. But what if she was allergic instead of just didn't like them?). After another hour or watching B-Child, manager girl comes back and says that she got hold of the GM, refunded the entire transaction and would Cousin be kind enough to sign this new receipt for the fixed charge? That's fine, but I do wish they could've just refunded the kid's meal charge, or if that was impossible, offered a 10% discount on her meal, or a free coffee or something. So, eventually its worked out, but we are overall unimpressed with the service, and we understand a little more why they might've needed to do the Groupon deal, and why it seemed so empty while we were there.

So this entire write is mostly to warn anybody else in the area (I don't think its a chain, but either way) that the staff (eccept possibly that semi-manager) there is neither terribly concerned with doing their jobs correctly (register guy really did seem on something brain altering), or with fixing mistakes. And the policy of only the GM doing refunds and no one being able to comp is just straight up bad policy.
SPN: apple pie

chili's fail.

I just remembered this... experience... tonight when a friend suggested we go to Chili's for dinner & I had to share it. It was the worst experience at a restaurant that I had ever had.

The last time I went to Chili's was around last August when the hubby & I along with another couple decided to go to Chili's for dinner on our way back home from a day trip out of state. It was around nine o'clock at night & they close at 11pm. We went in & we were pleasantly surprised to notice that the restaurant wasn't very busy. There were a handful of other diners & we were seated immediately & told that our server would be with us in a just a moment to start our drink orders.

Awesome! I'm used to having to wait around for a table on a Friday night. Unfortunately, that's where it started going downhill.

We waited around for about twenty minutes & our server never came over to our table. Finally, our friend flagged down a passing server & asked if anyone was even assigned to our section. (We were the only ones seated in that particular section of the restaurant & so we thought maybe we had accidentally been seated in an area no one was serving or something.) The poor girl got super flustered, it was like she didn't even know where she was or what she was doing. She told us she would take our drink orders & so we gave them to her & she walked off. Fifteen minutes passed & we still hadn't seen our server or the girl with our drinks so my husband flagged down another passing server & asked if our server would be over soon. She had no idea who our server was, she said, but she offered to take our food orders, she said & check on our drinks.

Another ten minutes passed & our server finally showed up for the first time & brought us our drinks. At this point, we asked to see a manager & explained that we were not happy with the service we had had thus far & we would like to cancel our food order & leave. He seemed friendly, though not very apologetic & assured us that if we stayed he would make sure the situation was taken care of.

Big mistake. Not only did things not get taken care of but it seemed like everything got worse.

Almost an hour later, our food finally showed up. The server brought out everyone's food but my husbands. He told us he would be "right back" with hubby's dinner. Because we were all starving by this point, hubby told us all to start our dinners without him. It was obvious from the first bite that our dinners had been sitting out for a while. My fajitas, which are supposed to come to the table sizzling, were lukewarm. The chicken strips on our companions salad were ice cold like it had been sitting in the refrigerator after being cooked. We finally had to GO LOOKING for our server who had forgotten all about my husband's food. He apologized, but by this time we had all already finished our meals and my husband ended up taking his home in a to-go box.

We were all starting to get pretty annoyed & frustrated & we just wanted to go home. We had to hunt down our server again to ask for the bill. When he finally came back to process the payment, we asked for a manager again. When the manager showed up, it was pretty obvious he was in a nasty mood. While I was explaining the situation to him & why we were so unhappy, he actually rolled his eyes at the server, who was standing next to him.

He kept asking us "Well, what do you want me to do?" like this kind of thing happened all the time & it shouldn't be a big deal. Finally, he took 50% off of our bill & snapped "Will that make you guys happy?" It was pretty obvious he wasn't comping our bill because he felt bad about the horrible service but because he wanted us to shut up & get out.

What should have been a nice, forty-five minute dinner turned into a two hour long nightmare. When we left I swore I would never go back & I still haven't.
  • _bane

Oh, Micky Dee...

 So this is part bad_service, part "am I a customer_suck?"

Last Friday, the boyfriend and I went out to see a baseball game. Since we were not very excited about the prospect of paying 20 dollars for a hot dog for him and a slice of pizza for me, we decided to tough it out with snacks and stop for food on the way home. It was a night game and we took public transportation, so by the time we got back to our neck of the woods it was around 11:30 PM. Seeing how we live in Suburbia, the only option available at that time of night was McDonald's, so we drove from the train station where we had left the car, and headed to the drive thru, at which point things got kind of weird.

We pull up to the speaker, and are greeted with a giggling female voice saying, "Welcome to Burger King, how may I help you?" Now, this was the night of April 2nd, so we kind of laughed at that, thinking they were still in April's Fools mode. Whatever, we can take a joke. We give our order and are then informed that, "[this is] Burger King, [they] only serve Whoppers." Boyfriend and I look at each other, roll our eyes. The joke just got old, it's late and we want our food. We repeat the order and mid-way through a male employee greets us, as if nothing had happened. So far, only strange_service, but whatever. We're given our total and are told to pull up to the second window. We wait. And wait. And wait just a little bit more. Eventually a gentleman comes to the window, takes boyfriend's credit card, and lets us know that it will be a couple of minutes since they need to make the fries or something. Whatever, it's the night-shift, I've done that before, I know how it is. He processes the payment, gives us our drinks, and goes about his merry way, (accidentally?) leaving the window cracked. We hear the lady take another customer's order, and hear her tell them that they only serve wings at that location. The hilarity continues, apparently. All of the sudden we hear the gentleman employee yell out towards the back, "Spit in their food!" Boyfriend and I stare at each other in horror, thinking we must have misheard him. As we receive our food, boyfriend jokingly asks whether the employee would really spit in someone's food, at which point he is told that they "only dropped it on the floor." 
Needless to say, I did not touch my food that night. 
I can understand some joking around on the job, and up until then I was ready to chalk it up to some late-night crazyness and go on my merry way, but really?  I usually refrain from complaining to managers, but I felt like I had to say something at this point, especially since I wasn't entirely sure whether the employee was joking or not. It was late and we were both exhausted from a long day, so I decided to write to McDonald's corporate the next day. Looking back, I realize I probably should have gone back to speak to a manager at the location rather than write to corporate, but I really didn't think of the meaning of local vs. corporate problem-solving at the time. 

Long story short, after receiving emails and calls from both corporate and the local franchise, I was told that someone got fired and another person's job is on the line. Which makes me feel like a complete and total boob. Did I overreact?  Was I a sucky customer?  I  don't even know anymore!  Help?