Friday, June 20, 2014

This is poor Starbucks service

Dear Starbucks,

Thank you for the three, no, four, "I'm sorry"s I just received from your customer-facing, and management, partners at the Crowne Starbucks at 307, Rockville, MD today.

I am not going to provide you the full address of the store. You are capable of looking that up, aren't you?

Thank you for saying

"I'm sorry"

instead of serving me one of your delicious tomato-mozzarella sandwiches on a Friday.

All the alternative sandwiches you had ... they all, every single one of them, had meat in them.

Thank you for not providing a vegie sandwich alternative on a Friday, or, on everyday, to your customers who choose to abstain from meat, or who cannot eat meat, for religious or for other reasons.

Thank you for, when I presented my $10 coupon, with a redemption code right on there, that I received for Fathers' day, thank you for saying "I'm sorry" instead of honoring the coupon.

Thank you for that.

Thank you, especially, for your POS partner looking at it helplessly for a while, then her calling her training partner, and him looking helplessly for awhile.

His quote of the day, "Uh, I don't know how to do this."

So he calls the managing partner.

She looks at it for a while. She doesn't give the excuse quote. No, she tells me:

"It needs a redemption code."

I show her the redemption code.

"No, you have to go online and get us a barcode. We can't do this." (emphasis mine)

So, my family got me a certificate. $10. It has a redemption code.

For Fathers' Day.

And Starbucks took ten minutes to process this order to tell me "I'm sorry" four times, one for the meat-only sandwich options, and one, each time for their inability to process my, hello, Fathers' Day coupon, and then the final not-"I'm sorry" for saying I should have done something that I already (verifiably) did.

Take away

I'm wondering, for Starbucks, how much does an "I'm sorry" cost them. I'm not wondering how much it cost the megalithic-Starbucks. I know how much it costs them.

Nothing. Business at the 307 Rockville Starbucks is on the rise. Their "I'm sorry" costs them negative.

I'm wondering, for Starbucks, how much each of those "I'm sorry"s cost each of those customer-facing partners.

Again, I know the answer to that, too:

Nothing. They said, "I'm sorry" which means "no, tough luck," and they went on with their day, totally unaffected. They aren't sorry.

I wish they actually were sorry when they said "I'm sorry" for me. It would have made me feel a tiny-teensy bit better.

You know what would have made me feel good? As a Starbucks customer? A Starbucks "partner"?


And honoring my tendered payment, for goods I actually didn't want, but I settled for, because, hm, I was hungry, and Starbucks is supposed to be effective in meeting their customer needs efficiently.

Starbucks. I have a question for you. I have a picture of your store front. I have the original receipt. And I have a really pissed off attitude, and I have a cell phone number and email address.

What are you going to do about this?

What are you going to do to train your store employees (not partners, because I saw no initiative that a partner would take. But I did get four "I'm sorry"s so that makes it all okey-dokey in their book. Not in mine), so that they deliver customer service instead of delivering excuses to customers?

What are you going to do to make this one pissed-off customer (again, not partner, because I do not feel included in your service, I felt very much kicked to the curb) a little bit less pissed off at you?

Served. Ball is in your court, Starbucks. How are you going to return to serviceable standing?