Author Topic: Two unpleasant experiences at sub shops  (Read 2863 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

reflection5

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 436
Two unpleasant experiences at sub shops
« on: March 23, 2013, 10:13:45 PM »
Hi everyone,

I had an experience recently that kind of irritated me and I’m 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.  I’ve also used another card I have which gives 10% discount (the vendor is listed as a participating merchant).  I’ve 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 didn’t 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 it’s 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 can’t get the 10% discount because the sub you ordered is already on sale”.

To me, a discount is a discount, and I wasn’t 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 customer’s 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 I’ll 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 didn’t 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 don’t 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?  I’m not trying to get more free sandwiches; I just wish it had been handled better.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2013, 12:08:35 AM by reflection5 »

doodlemor

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2194
Re: Two unpleasant experiences at sub shops
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2013, 12:02:08 AM »
Perhaps you should email corporate again about the privacy breach.  I do think that was an unwise thing for them to do.  If you're worried about retaliation, don't go back for that free sub!

It seems like the subway in our town isn't quite what it used to be, either.  Maybe you should try some other places, and maybe you'll find something else that you really like.

kareng57

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12273
Re: Two unpleasant experiences at sub shops
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2013, 12:42:43 AM »
Maybe it wasn't handled optimally - but IME, most coupons/promotions have some sort of disclaimer about "participating locations".  If they declared that the particular discount was not honoured at that location - if it was me, I wouldn't figure that it was worth arguing about.

If you feel strongly, why not just refuse to patronise that particular location in the future.  Yes, you could continue to escalate the situation, but what would that accomplish?

delabela

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 589
Re: Two unpleasant experiences at sub shops
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2013, 05:41:24 AM »
I'm unclear on what you wanted to accomplish.

In the first case, you found out that indeed the employee was correct and your discount card did not apply.  Good information for you to know. 

In the second case, I can see the owner expecting the manager to handle a complaint, even if it references the manager.  There was certainly room for better communication from the owner to the manager, but it's completely appropriate for the manager to call you to address the complaint (and it sounds like she handled it completely appropriately). 

With respect, I don't think you have any basis for further complaint. 

Sharnita

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 21428
Re: Two unpleasant experiences at sub shops
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2013, 09:36:15 AM »
Actually, I think in the first case management has done a disservice to both their customers and their employees.  They took the discount card, then changed their policy and no loger take it.  They have the right to do that.  However, since it is a change in what regular customers are used to, they should clue in their employees so instead of looking confused they can explain/answer questions.  And posting a sign about the change might be nice so that people don't first find out when the sub is made and they go to pay.  For some people, that 10% might be what makes the difference and knowing they no longer take it might make them turn around and leave.

redberry

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 81
Re: Two unpleasant experiences at sub shops
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2013, 10:50:00 AM »
I'm unclear on what you wanted to accomplish.

In the first case, you found out that indeed the employee was correct and your discount card did not apply.  Good information for you to know. 

In the second case, I can see the owner expecting the manager to handle a complaint, even if it references the manager.  There was certainly room for better communication from the owner to the manager, but it's completely appropriate for the manager to call you to address the complaint (and it sounds like she handled it completely appropriately). 

With respect, I don't think you have any basis for further complaint.

I tend to agree. I found it hard to understand what the etiquette breach was here...sure you did not get a "hello welcome" but it sounds like you were served promptly and civilly, and in the other case where there was confusion about points/discount you followed the process of querying it through the website and seemed to have received an extremely prompt reaction.

FWIW in my experience standing discounts like 10% off something are rarely applied to sale items so that made perfect sense to me i.e. its usually a standing discount of the full price, not off a sale price. When it comes to Subway, I'd be more worried about the world-wide trend to provide 11" "foot long" subs!

reflection5

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 436
Re: Two unpleasant experiences at sub shops
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2013, 11:35:30 AM »
Thank you for the feedback.

Quote
I found it hard to understand what the etiquette breach was here...

I was not complaining just because I didn’t get a “Hello, welcome” or “thank you” at either shop.  In fact, I don’t care that much about the lack of greeting.  I feel the etiquette breach was during my visit to the second shop where the manager completely ignored me and continued to engage in a lengthy (several minutes) chat with an employee while I just stood there.  Then when she finally took my order it was “What can I get you?”, i.e. “What do you want?”  No “sorry about that (the wait)”.

Another etiquette breach (imo) was that the owner gave all my personal information to the person I was complaining about.  Owner either didn’t read my complaint or didn’t care what I was complaining about and had no interest in improving the situation (employees engaging in lengthy chat while making customers wait). 

Quote
I'm unclear on what you wanted to accomplish.

I wanted owner to speak with manager about the poor service.  I also feel there is a better way to handle a complaint than to just tell the manager “You got a complaint.  Call xxxxxx.”

Also, I agree with the member who said when they decided to no longer participate in the 10% discount they should have put up a small sign or somehow let customers know.  Simply refusing to honor the card (resulting in employee confusion and customer disappointment) was not the route to take, imo.  But, now I know.

However, I’ve decided not to contact corporate.  I just won’t go into those particular shops again.


jaxsue

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 10180
Re: Two unpleasant experiences at sub shops
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2013, 11:45:34 AM »
A general comment: I used to frequent this sandwich shop. In FL I went so often, and got the same sandwich each time, that as soon as I walked in the door they started working on it! That was a well-managed location. Sadly, since then I've had not-so-great experiences, to the point that I no longer go there. I've found places that make better subs, and with a higher level of customer service.

VorFemme

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12917
  • Strolls with scissors! Too tired to run today!
Re: Two unpleasant experiences at sub shops
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2013, 05:57:28 PM »
Last year, I went to a sub shop, for which I had a coupon.  Instead of looking at it and telling me that the particular location that I was at didn't take that coupon, the teenager at the order desk told me that I shouldn't be counterfeiting coupons and trying to get a discount.....and if I hadn't counterfeited the coupon, then someone else had printed off a book of counterfeit coupons to sell me and I should report them.  Note - she was not a manager or a crew chief, based on there being nothing on her name tag to indicate any more authority than any other worker there that day........

I paid full price for the sandwich that day but haven't felt like eating at that location since.  There are other locations almost as close to where I am at lunch....I can eat something else or drive a couple of miles to another shopping center to do my shopping and eat lunch at their sub shop location.

And several of them take other coupons from that coupon book (sold as a school fundraiser).....so I'm not restricted to eating just submarine sandwiches......
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I say more?