I had an experience recently that kind of irritated me and Im wondering what others think.
I sometimes patronize a very popular subway sandwich shop chain (you can probably guess which one).
There are several in the downtown area and also one which is quite close to home. They have a card you present to get points toward a free drink, cookie, sub, etc. Ive also used another card I have which gives 10% discount (the vendor is listed as a participating merchant). Ive never had a problem with this.
Two weeks ago I went into one of the downtown shops during off-hours (it was about 3PM). The young man took my order, then when I presented my cards he frowned and said there was no button on the register and he didnt think they honored that card. I (nicely) mentioned that I always use it, and in fact have used it at that shop. Another worker came over kind of rubbed his chin, and they both scratched their heads and shrugged. I went ahead and paid, and mentioned I might send an email to try to find out if the discount is still honored. They just shrugged, (no apology or thank you). So I took my sandwich and left.
Last Friday I stopped at the shop in my neighborhood. Usually its busy, but when I walked in there were no other customers. One thing about this shop is they always say Hello, welcome but the person who is the manager was engrossed in a conversation with an employee at the counter. I waited and waited; no acknowledgement, no Be right with you, and I waited while they conversed. I was standing right in front of them. My wait was several minutes. Finally, they finished, the employee said See ya tomorrow and left the women who is the manager turned to me and said What can I get you? I ordered, and prepared to pay, gave her my cards. She said You cant get the 10% discount because the sub you ordered is already on sale.
To me, a discount is a discount, and I wasnt aware of any stipulations or exclusions. I asked for my receipt so I could keep track of points. At that moment another customer came in. The manager hurriedly handed me a piece of paper then went straight to the other customer. There was never a thank you or apology. When I looked at the receipt I saw it was for a previous customers order, so it was worthless to me,
Later I went to the website and sent in 2 separate complaint forms (one for each shop). The form asks name, addr, ph #, date/time of visit, location, etc.
A couple days later I got an email regarding the downtown shop, saying the individual franchises can choose whether to participate in the 10% discount card, and that shop no longer honors the card.
Then the next day I received a phone call from the manager of the other shop who had waited on me (after chatting). She said the owner had not told her what the problem was, just told her to call me. We discussed the situation, she did apologize, and told me the next time I come in to ask for her by name and Ill get a free sub.
What irks me is why did they even make me give details the entire problem on the online form? That was a waste of time. I could have received the same result by calling the shop Obviously the owner didnt bother to discuss it with the manager. I also see a slight breach i.e., the owner of the franchise gave my name, addr, ph # to the person I complained about. That could have had repercussions. I dont mean to sound overly-dramatic, but what if an employee decided to get revenge (for a reprimand or eventual firing)? (not necessarily with me but someone else. sometimes people snap or get vindictive)
Should I forget about it or write to corporate? Im not trying to get more free sandwiches; I just wish it had been handled better.