This isn't horribly bad service, but it's bad enough to make me never eat there again...
A couple of years ago, my dad and brother came to visit me and we decided to get something to eat. We settled on Pizza Hut -- we used to eat there regularly when I was younger, and it was right down the street from me. We walked in and were seated after a few minutes (the place was virtually empty). Our server came around eventually and took our orders. We ordered breadsticks, sodas, and pizza. I am seriously hoping that it is not relevant that we were the only white family in the place... but we couldn't help but notice the service we received compared to the other diners around us. Our server brought us drinks in small paper cups that they give to kids rather than the red plastic regular-sized cups they gave everyone else in the restaurant. He didn't refill them, and when we finally got him to come back to our table (he worked the tables around us, no problem, and even socialized with them), he gave us warm cans of soda instead. He plopped the breadsticks down and dumped marinara sauce on my brother. No apologies, no nothing. Our pizza eventually came, but we had to wait until he finished vacuuming the dining area to get it. Everything about the service was just bad... yet we watched the various families around us receive acceptable service, no problems. My father has a temper, and was amazingly calm throughout. I, on the other hand, was coming unglued.
This is where the story gets interesting. I sent a letter of complaint to their regional office, detailing the service, the date and time, what was ordered, and so on. Want to know what I got in return? A hand-written letter on plain white paper from some woman named Suzanne, who kept saying she was the "manager" (quotes hers, not mine). I believe at one point in the letter, she actually put "Suzanne" in quotes as well. She invited me to the restaurant "after-hours" to privately discuss with her and the server the service we had received. She didn't even have the sense to send the note on Pizza Hut letterhead, or to type it up. WTF? So, I made a copy of the letter, wrote a formal letter of complaint documenting the original issue and the correspondence from both sides, and sent it to the higher-up regional office, asking them if this was a customary response from Pizza Hut, and requesting to never be contacted again. I don't know if I did the right thing, but it still seems sketchy to me to this day.
(I once complained to Papa Johns corporate office because I'd ordered a pizza and 3 hours later it had not arrived. I called them and the manager told me that his driver came back with the money, and that one of my housemates had gotten the pizza and eaten it herself. The delivery guy never came to the door... I was sitting by it, studying, the whole time. The corporate office took care of everything, and service was wonderful after that manager was gone. They also sent me coupons for 4 free extra large pizzas of my choice. bad_service turned into goodservice, I think.)