Sidenote: Rude Customer Service

My friends and their four kids showed up today. We all went swimming for a while before the tumultuous Florida whether struck and we found the dark clouds rolling in, thick and ready for a downpour. Thunder rumbled in the distance. For anyone who grew up in Florida–we have no problem swimming in the rain, but as soon as the thunder and lightning comes, you get your ass out of the water.

So, we gathered up the kids, went upstairs to the apartment and ordered Papa John’s Pizza. Granted, we don’t usually order Papa Johns, but our regular place was closed, and we had four hungry kids piled on the floor in blankets and pillows watching Scooby Doo Zombie Island. I order a large pizza–one half black olives and pepperoni, the other half supreme. A second large pizza–all pepperoni and sausage. Three extra garlic sauces and we’re good to go.

Forty minutes later, the pizza arrives. Kids yell in excitement, ready to dig in while we wait for the storm to pass. (This is Florida, it generally doesn’t take long for the dark clouds to move along–however today was the exception.) We open the boxes, and it’s the wrong order.

Not a big deal. I tell the kids not to touch it, cause they’re going to want it back. Most places do, just to make sure you’re not scamming them, which is fine by me. I don’t want two free pizza’s, I just want the pizza’s I ordered.

I call back, explain the situation, and before we could even get that far, he tells me I’m wrong and that’s exactly what I ordered. Now, I understand miscommunications happen. Sometimes, something isn’t heard right, and that’s fine. However, he just kept adamantly telling me he took my order, and there was no possible way he misunderstood me. That was what I ordered and I got exactly what I ordered.

I ask for a manager.

He claims he is the manager. Clearly, I’m not going to get any help with him, and he’s being completely rude. I don’t raise my voice, I don’t get belligerent. I’ve worked retail before, and so I try to be respectful. Especially with people handling my food. I ask for his name and the store number, as if he refuses to even accept the possibility that something was lost in translation, I’ll call corporate now as he doesn’t seem to have common courtesy and is nothing but rude. However, when I asked for the store number, he asked ‘Why do you need my phone number?’

Politely, I just pointed out that he misunderstood what I said as I asked for the store number. He tells me 8016.

I call corporate and speak to a wonderful woman, who’s name eludes me at this time. She was so very kind, and seemingly appalled at the type of service I received. I had four kids in the living room at this point picking toppings off pizza, because clearly we’re not sending them back.

Apparently, the manager has now blatantly lied to me, as 8016 is not at all a Papa John’s store number. She looked it up and gave me the proper one, but seemed slightly baffled that he would do that. She’s forwarding the complaint to the owner of this particular restaurant. I should be hearing with them in 1-5 days. She said they are pretty good about getting back to someone quickly.

I really hope they do, because treating customers this way is not okay. I’m paying for a service. I understand mistakes are made, and that’s fine. I wasn’t angry, not until he continuously told me that was exactly what I ordered. No way he could make a mistake. No way something was lost in translation.

It was just rude, and there’s no need for it. It’s a simple change. I didn’t mind giving the pizza’s we received back. I didn’t mind waiting for a new one. I understand mistakes happen, but the attitude was unwarranted, unnecessary, and then he blatantly lied to me.

This is why I prefer to go to the Mom and Pop diners, order from the small pizza places, find family owned businesses. This isn’t condemning all Papa John’s restaurants. I’m sure that many of them have wonderful employees and treat their customers with respect, but I find more often than not when you go to places like Papa John’s, or McDonalds, or the chain places, that the staff could often care less about being respectful to the people who are paying hard earned (and these days, not easy to come by) money.

Treating customers with respect isn’t hard. Working with them when they’re not satisfied is not hard. Especially when they’re respectful customers–as those who are belligerent and rude are just as much in the wrong as when employees do it.

I am truly just baffled, and I think that next time I’ll stick with my mom and pop places. If my pizza place is closed, then I’ll find another local pizza place. Even if I have to go and pick it up. Generally, they have more respect and care for their customers, and I’d prefer the small conversation and smiles than a rude ‘manager’ who doesn’t take the time to realize that something clearly went wrong and there is no possible way they may have made a mistake.

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