Tuesday, August 18, 2009

More Crabby Customer Service

Today I had the privilege of having lunch with my lovely wife after she went for an ultrasound for our overdue baby (41 weeks and counting!). Being in Northeast Philly, we decided to go to an old haunt that we haven't visited in a while-- Chickie's & Pete's on Roosevelt Boulevard. For those of you who have never been there, it's a sports bar that specializes in sandwiches like hot roast pork, as well as crab legs, and crab fries with cheese dipping sauce. Good food, plenty of booze, and always a packed house during any weekend or televised local sporting event, but pretty quiet for a weekday lunch.

So we opened the menus and found a lunch special page. For $8.99 you can get a sandwich, a choice of one side (e.g. fries), and a beverage. Without specifically asking for the lunch special, I ordered a soda, a sandwich, and fries, which I said I would split with my wife since the baskets of fries are quite large. My wife got a sandwich and soda. (Okay, so we didn't fare too well on the healthy eating options scale, but hey, we might not get back there for ages, so why not splurge today, right?)

The meal is served, we scarf it down and enjoy it all. Then we get the bill. Now, mind you, I/we probably could have been more specific when ordering, but the receipt listed each individual item we ordered separately, as opposed to it showing one (or arguably two) lunch specials. As a result, the total cost came out to about $21, rather than $18 ($8.99 x 2). So we pointed this out to the waiter and he says "since you split the fries it doesn't count as a lunch special," or something to that effect, and that if we had specified the lunch specials, we actually would have gotten two baskets of fries (which would have been way to much for us). In sum, we paid more for less.

I wasn't in the mood to argue over a couple of bucks, or call over the manager and make a big scene, so I just let it be. But common sense, or a customer-first attitude, would have sparked one of two options in this young man's brain:

1. When we ordered, he saw that we were looking at the lunch specials page, so he should have asked if we wanted the lunch specials, or he should have said, since you're both ordering sandwiches and sodas and one basket of fries, you can get another basket of fries added on, all for about equal or less money.

2. Or, that not having had happened, he could have said, "Yes, you are correct, let me fix that bill for you."

Neither logical situation crossed through his head, so instead we wound up leaving annoyed, and he wound up with a less generous tip than he otherwise would have earned. So it goes with customer service.

Next time, when I take my wife AND soon-to-be son there, I hope it will work out better!

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