So you know that rule about receiving bad service? If you have good service you tell one person, but if you have bad service you tell six. Well, I’m going to tell everyone who reads our website (and I’m pretty sure it’s a lot more than six) that I had bad service at Thundercloud Subs. I got home from work tonight and Josh had printed out a flyer from their website that someone had sent him via email today. Apparently they’re running a 30th Anniversary sale and everyday for a month they have a sandwich on special. Today’s sandwich was Roast Beef and Avocado for $2.99. Regular price is $5.19. The “special” is supposed to be the price the sandwich was when they first opened thirty years ago. Now those of you that know me know how I love a good sale, deal or coupon so it didn’t take much to convince me that we should get dinner from Thundercloud. A side note to this is that Josh was the one to suggest we get dinner from there. He doesn’t ordinarily like Thundercloud (ask him about it), but I do. Since I rarely dine out without Josh (eating at El Arroyo doesn’t count) I thought this would be a great opportunity to reintroduce Thundercloud to him.
I arrived at the store and walked in with a family of four. They politely motioned for me to go in front of them and when I told the clerk I’d like the special she quickly responded, “Oh. Didn’t you see the sign on the door? We’re out of the special.”
Since the door was held open for me I did not see the sign so I stepped aside to call Josh for his alternative choice. I got back in line as the family of four was finishing their order just in time to hear the employee making the sandwiches tell the employee at the register, “Don’t sell anymore avocado. We’re out of it.”
Shoot. Strike two. The sandwich I always get is the Veggie Delite…it comes with avocado. That’s okay. I’m willing to try something new so I make a choice for Josh and a new one for myself. I get back up to the counter and ask the employee if they will substitute something comparable for the price of the special. Before I could finish my sentence she blurted out, “No. It’s only while supplies last.”
I debate a moment and realize I don’t really feel like ordering two meals full price…that whole bate-and-switch thing came to mind. Get them in the door for a special and then tell them you’re out of it, but you have something else that’s more expensive available.
I step back again, look over my flyer and realize nowhere on it does it say “only while supplies last.” I walk back to the counter and say to the employee, “I’m sorry. I don’t see anywhere on here where it says only while supplies last.”
She halfway rolls her eyes and says, “It says it on the door. It’s not my rule. That’s just how it is.”
I tell her, “I understand that, but since I drove all the way here only to be disappointed could they not make one exception by substituting one sandwich?”
Again she shook her head and made more excuses of how she just works there and she has no clout and it’s her manager’s rules, blah, blah, blah. I interrupted her and said, “Since they are his rules may I speak with your manager?” “He’s not here.” “May I speak with the manager on duty?”
Again rolling her eyes she took out a piece of paper and proceeded to write down a phone number. “There isn’t one here, but you can call the corporate office and they will take care of it.”
I took the paper, walked outside to check the sign on the door and called the number. By-the-way, nowhere on the door was there a sign that said “only while supplies last.” The office was closed for the day so I left a message. I told them I work in the food industry and know what good customer service is and didn’t feel the situation was handled well. I also told them I thought their advertisement wasn’t very good/misleading. I then told them that if someone would like to resolve the situation they could call me at my daytime number. I hope someone does call because I’d like to hear their reaction when I answer the phone, “El Arroyo Catering.” It’s not that I wasn’t willing to pay an extra $3.00 for a sandwich, or that I had a huge problem with having to change my selection, it was the way I was treated and the unwillingness to satisfy my needs. So I’ll wait to see if I receive a phone call from the main office tomorrow. I know if it was my boss who received the phone call he would make every effort to satisfy the customer and rectify the situation. We’ll see if Thundercloud has the same perspective.