Sunday, November 23, 2008

Compliment for Garage Doors of America

We had a garage door problem a few weeks ago and did not know where to turn. We tried the Home Warehouse chains and did not find much help there, so I looked online to see what I could come up with. Your website was one of the first that I found and within minutes of finding your site and signing up for help, we had a contractor scheduled to come out and fix our garage door. And the 15 dollar coupon was helpful as well.

Keep up the good work!

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Letter to XM Radio

This was a letter that I sent to XM Radio regarding the format change from the old channel called POTUS 08 that was devoted to the presidential elections.  I understood that some changes would be needed after the election was over, but, as you will read, certainly don't like the way that they are going.

What happened to my POTUS?  It went from being the first and usually the last destination on my XM dial to being just another talk channel.  What's up with having commercials?  What happened to commercial free in the land of the free?  Where did the good programs go.  At least you still have the Press Pool, but please tell me you aren't seriously going to keep Pete Dominic around.  Please.  I can accept that everybody will have a little bias and a little bent to their opinions, but this guy is so far left he makes Obama look plain conservative.  I have listened to his show a few times this week (how can I help it, it is always on!) and I have heard him insult just about everything that I stand for.  I have heard him tell a man who was abstinent from sex due to religious preference that he was dumb and should "get laid", I heard him say that God doesn't exist, I heard one of his callers swear several times in the course of an anti-American (the caller was from Canada) rant and not get censored or at least reprimanded, and on and on.  And even if I agreed with his politics, this guy is so full of how great he is and how novel his talk show is that he feels that he needs to tell us.  Every 5 minutes.

I can't be the only POTUS listener who is sorely disappointed in the direction that this channel is taking.  I don't need a whole slew of hosts who espouse my views (I don't really like most of the right wing shows anyway) but I just want what you had set up before - a channel where I could listen and get facts and even occasional opinions that were non-insulting and fair and interesting.

For many months POTUS 08 has been the biggest factor keeping me subscribed.  If it keeps in this direction then I'll just go back to land-based radio because if I want blowhards I can get them anywhere.


A disgruntled listener

Kroger shredded cheese

To whom it may concern:

Recently I had some trouble with a bag of shredded mild cheddar Kroger brand cheese. While most of my experiences with Kroger store brand products has been positive, this one was very frustrating. On the top of these bags of cheese there is a strip of plastic that rips off, allowing you to open (and reseal) the bag. But this particular bag's strip would not rip correctly. I tried ripping it from each side, and it only partially tore, rendering the bag unopenable. Eventually I had to carefully cut the top with a pair of scissors.

While this was only a minor inconvenience, I thought you would like to know so that you could try to improve your manufacturing process. I tried to look for a manufacturing code or something like that to further aid you in tracking down the problem, but was unable to find one.

Thank you for your time in reading this.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pampers followup

Unlike certain cracker companies, P&G is on the ball


Thank you for sharing your disappointment with our product. Our goal is to produce high quality products that consistently delight our consumers and I'm sorry this wasn't your experience. Please be assured I'm sharing your comments with the rest of our team.

Since your satisfaction means a great deal to us, I'm following up with you by postal mail. You should receive my letter within the next 2-3 weeks.

Thanks again for writing.

P&G Team

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I frequently use Pampers Cruisers for my children. We're currently using size 4 of this product for my toddler. We've never had a problem with your diapers before. We just opened a new pack of Pampers Cruisers a few days ago, and already 4 tabs have ripped off, either on application or when taking the diaper off. Each time it was always the right tab. (The tab on the right hip of my child.) I wanted to alert you to this problem since this package seems to have several defective diapers in it.

I must say, I'm very disappointed. I expect more from Pampers products.
Thank you for your time.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Austin crackers

Guest complaint from Carolyn!!

We frequently purchase Austin variety pack of cookies and crackers. Of course, everyone has their personal favorites. But I must ask, why do you include 10 each of the peanut butter crackers and only 5 each of all the others? I like peanut butter crackers the same as the next person, but they clearly can't compare to the cookies or even the cheese crackers. My kids always complain that there's nothing left in the box but the cheese and peanut butter crackers, which no one feels like eating. Can't you more evenly divide up the cracker selection in the box? Or perhaps include more of the REAL FAVORITES, like the cookies? I mean, come on...what child is going to pick peanut butter crackers over cookies?!

I know my family would be very pleased to see more cookies and cheese crackers in the variety pack and fewer peanut butter crackers. Thanks.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

IHOP followup

I complained again about my not having gotten an email from my initial complaint.

Thank you for taking the time to contact IHOP.

We definitely do not condone any bad food or service, or any other "mistreatment" of our guests. Most of our restaurants (including the one you visited in Cincinnati) are independently owned franchises. As such, they are ultimately responsible for their own customer service. As a courtesy to them and their customers, we here at IHOP Corporate help the Franchisees by relaying any guests concerns that we receive. However, it is the sole decision of the Franchisee what steps he or she wishes to take to resolve any guest issues that arise concerning their restaurant. Most owners do wish to make their guests happy and do make every attempt to resolve their concerns.

We have received your comments on 10/1/2008. I have already forwarded your original message to the FBC who works with the franchise owner of this restaurant. They will inform the Franchisee of your comments and will recommend it in the best interest of the Franchisee to contact you soon. Please allow 7 – 10 business days for a response.

I sincerely hope that this has explained in more detail how our system works. Thank you again for contacting IHOP.


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

IHOP update


Thank you for taking the time to contact us concerning your experience at the IHOP in Cincinnati. While it is always disappointing to learn that we have not lived up to our guest's expectations, it is invaluable to receive feedback so that we are able to continually improve our level of guest satisfaction.

We are sorry to learn of the difficulties you encountered at this location. Please be assured that the matter will be shared with the proper individuals to address your concerns.

I have forwarded your concerns to IHOP's Franchise Business Consultant for the North region. They will contact the franchise owner regarding your recent dining experience in this restaurant. We are confident that the franchise owner or his representative will contact you shortly to better understand your concerns. It is our hope that you will once again allow us to earn your patronage.

Thank you for keeping us informed.


Guest Services Representative
IHOP Restaurant Support Center

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Bad experience at IHOP

Again - the web form character limit. This time it was 2000 characters, so I had to shave about 500 characters off. I'll put in first my original message, then the one I actually sent them

Hello. I am writing to inform you of a bad experience that I had a recent IHOP store (4825 Marburg Ave, Cincinnati Ohio). As parents of several young children, my wife and I do not often get to have a night alone, away from the kids. So when we do, it is especially important to us that the evening be as good as possible, since this might be the only "date" we get for several months.

Recently we were able to have someone come over and watch our kids for an evening, so we decided to get something to eat and then go bowling. We had eaten at a barbecue at around 4 p.m., so at 8:30, we were a little hungry but not enough for a full meal. We decided to head over to our local IHOP for a light meal.

The restaurant itself was fairly clean, and we were shown to a table right away. Actually placing our orders took significantly longer than expected. I do not mean to denigrate the server there, as she appeared to be the only server working and was probably just doing the best she could. But it was significantly longer than I would have expected - at least 5 minutes from the time when we said we needed some more time to the time she came back.

The food itself was excellent - we had the eggs and hash browns combo, an extra side of hash browns, and a strawberry crepe. Value was also extremely good. Even though it was only intended to be a light meal, even feeding 2 people a *light* meal for $7.11 is outstanding.

So, to this point, it was an average experience. Food was good and cheap - service was slow but not the end of the world. Then we got to the restrooms on the way out.

The men's room was decent. The only frustrating part for me was the sink. I know you're probably trying to save money (and the environment) by installing the hands-free "automatic" faucets, but they never work, and this one was no exception. Although I futilely waved my hands under, over and around the faucet, trying to mentally will it to turn on, eventually I had to concede defeat.

But this was nothing compared to my wife's report from the women's room. There were 3 stalls. In 2 of them, the toilets were stuffed with toilet paper and feces. The 3rd had the door shut and apparently in use (obviously to avoid the stench of the other stalls). After waiting awhile, she realized that the 3rd stall was not in fact being used, but the door was just stuck shut. She was able to wedge it open and complete her business.

Thank you for your time in reading this report. I hope that you will use it to improve the service level and ambience of your restaurants.
Hello. I am writing to inform you of a bad experience that I had a recent IHOP store. As parents of several young children, my wife and I do not often get to have a night alone, away from the kids. So when we do, it is especially important to us that the evening be as good as possible, since this might be the only "date" we get for awhile.
Recently we were able to have an evening out. We had eaten at a barbecue at around 4 p.m., so at 8:30, we decided to head over to our local IHOP for just a light meal.
The restaurant itself was fairly clean, and we were shown to a table right away. Actually placing our orders took significantly longer (5-10 mins) than expected. I do not mean to denigrate the server there, as she appeared to be the only server working and was probably just doing the best she could.
The food itself was excellent - we had the eggs and hash browns combo, an extra side of hash browns, and a strawberry crepe. Value was also extremely good. Even though it was only intended to be a light meal, even feeding 2 people a *light* meal for $7.11 is outstanding.
So, to this point, it was an average experience. Food was good and cheap - service was slow but not the end of the world. Then we got to the restrooms.
The men's room was decent. The only frustrating part for me was the sink. I know you're probably trying to save money by installing the hands-free "automatic" faucets, but they never work, and this one was no exception. Although I futilely waved my hands under, over and around the faucet, trying to mentally will it to turn on, eventually I had to concede defeat.
But this was nothing compared to my wife's report from the women's room. There were 3 stalls. In 2 of them, the toilets were stuffed with toilet paper and feces. The 3rd had the door shut and apparently in use (obviously to avoid the stench of the other stalls). After waiting awhile, she realized that the door was just stuck shut. She was able to wedge it open and complete her business.

Keebler coupon received

Update on Keebler 1 and 2.

I got the coupon in the mail and contrary to the comments from the peanut gallery, it was for a free Keebler product, up to $3.99. The irony is that Carolyn seems to remember that the graham crackers in question were actually $4 something but hey, probably not worth a follow up complaint.

So chalk one up for the good guys!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Keebler update

Update on Keebler

Thank you for contacting us about Keebler® Honey Graham Crackers Selects. We are sorry that your experience with this product was unsatisfactory, when trying to treat your family.

A report has been made to our Quality Assurance Department. Our goal is to provide consumers with wholesome, high quality products, and we have established strict control measures for each part of the manufacturing process from the delivery of ingredients to the distribution of finished packages. The information you provided will help ensure that our products and services continue to meet the highest quality standards.

During the processing and packaging of our products many inspections are conducted to prevent damaged product from reaching the consumer. However, in the process of distribution, our shipping containers are sometimes subjected to rough handling which causes the package contents to be shaken and damaged without the package itself being crushed.

We hope you will be pleased with your next purchase, and are sending a coupon for you to use the next time you shop. Please allow 7-10 business days to receive via US Postal Mail.


Consumer Affairs Department

If this coupon is anything but a coupon for a free one they're going to get another complaint email. $1 off or something is not going to cut it. Update - it was

Monday, September 22, 2008

Keebler graham crackers

I am writing with an unpleasant experience with your Keebler Graham crackers.

I went to the store to buy the ingredients for Smores for a family treat. I originally was going to buy the store brand graham crackers because I could not believe how expensive graham crackers were! ($3.99 for Keebler vs. $2.09 for the store brand).

But they were out of the store brand, so I thought "Well, Keebler is a good brand name that I think I can trust - I will give them a try".

But when we got them home, nearly half of the graham crackers were broken! Obviously making them unusable from a Smore perspective. The taste was all right, but it was disappointing to not be able to make as many Smores as I would have liked.

Perhaps you should package your products more securely so they don't break so much in transit.

update received

Meijer brand tortillas

To whom it may concern:

I bought some of the Meijer brand tortillas (soft taco size) this past Saturday. I was extremely disappointed in the quality - almost all of the tortillas stuck together and when you tried to pull them apart they ripped.

I don't know if you have any kind of store brand quality guarantee like other stores, but I was extremely un-satisfied

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Lowe's update

Follow up to my Lowe's experience.

After sending my email on the 12th, I got a response on the 13th

Dear :

Thank you for contacting Lowe's. We apologize for the problems you experienced with our Norwood, OH store.

We have forwarded your e-mail to local store management so they can address your concerns. They will contact you within 24 hours.

If you have additional questions or comments, you may contact us by replying to this e-mail.

Thank you,

Lowe's Customer Care
My response:


I appreciate your quick response. I sent the email about 10 a.m. on the 12th, and you responded within 24 hours, and I appreciate the concern that you showed in quickly responding to me.

Unfortunately, it appears the local store manager does not share your concern. Even though he/she was supposed to contact me within 24 hours, it is now the 21st (i.e. 8 days later) and I have not received a response.

Without any further information, I can only assume that either:

a) Somehow the store manager has lost the information that you sent to him or her.
b) The store manager does not really care about the poor customer service that I received at his store
c) There have been so many incidents of poor service at Lowe's that the manager is still wading through all the emails and I am still in the queue.

I hope that you will help to resolve this situation - I have to say that this delay has definitely made me more likely to do the majority of my home improvement shopping at Home Depot or my local Meyer's Hardware

Thank you,

Kroger success!!!

Following up from my letter to Kroger, I got an email from the store manager.

Dear ,

I apologize for the less than satisfactory experience that you encountered while shopping at Madeira Kroger. We strive everyday to offer our customers superior customer service. Unfortunately, this was not the case in this situation. Please accept my apologies and your next cake order for free. All you have to do is bring in this email and I will give you a complimentary cake of your choice.


Store Manager
Madeira Kroger

Score!!! I haven't decided if I will use this for my next work cake or just get a cake for our family with this or something else.

Friday, September 12, 2008



I am writing to complain about a series of extremely frustrating incidents that happened recently at my local Lowe's store (Store #1585 - Norwood, Ohio).

First of all, as part of a deck that I am building, I bought a 1# box of 16-penny ring shank nails. A few days later, when I went to use them, I noticed that the package had been opened and re-taped, apparently returned by someone and then re-put on the shelf. Apparently this person was a bit unscrupulous, as half the nails were missing and in their place were a few assorted bolts, other kinds of nails and screws (maybe to make up the weight of the nails).

This was extremely frustrating as when I buy something from a store, I like to have confidence that what I am purchasing will be high quality and what I need - not half-used material that is put back on the shelf.

So I made the trip (back) to Lowe's and returned the nails. I had no issues getting my money back so I went back to find a (hopefully unopened this time) box of nails. I found the marking where those nails were supposed to be, but on the shelf above that marking were just straight nails (not the kind I needed). I looked for an employee and after several minutes finally found one. He looked but said he didn't know anything about this and suggested I go check with the man up by the key making machine. He was busy fixing something but at least took the time to call me over the manager of the hardware department. After a few minutes, she came by and we looked back there. She opened the various cabinets and looked on the various shelves and overstock space but could not find any. She looked in the computer and said she was supposed to have 24 of them, but there were none in the entire store.

After striking out with the nails, I went to the paint department to purchase some paint. I gave the employees my paint swatch and they set to tint my paint. After waiting around for awhile, she gave me my paint. As I walked away, luckily I checked the paint droplet that she had put on the top because the shade did not look right. I can sometimes have trouble distinguishing colors and of course sometimes wet paint does not look exactly the color it will be when it dries, but I took this back to the counter just to make sure. Sure enough - she had given me someone else's paint!!! I waited around for a bit more and finally got my paint.

Now I made my way to the checkout in somewhat of a hurry. I had not counted on spending over an hour in Lowe's and was running a bit late. To top things off, the cashier miscounted the amount of money I gave her. An honest mistake and it was only 5 cents, but it really was the topper to an afternoon full of mistakes at Lowe's.

As a professional rehabber, I have always kind of been of the impression that Home Depot and Lowe's were essentially the same store - that you could pretty much find the same stuff with the same service, etc. But if this is the kind of experiences that I am likely to receive at Lowe's stores, I know which chain will be getting my business!!

Thank you for your time

Dan Miller.

PS - In the end, it kind of worked out well, since after leaving Lowe's, I drove 1/2 mile down the street to Home Depot, where the nails were over 30% cheaper!!! ($3.59 vs. $5.39 for a 1# box)

Update: I had to follow-up to this email when nobody answered

Walmart Price Scan


I am writing in frustration from the level of service that I received recently at the Deerfield Walmart Supercenter (Store #1441 - Mason, Ohio). I am typically not a Wal-Mart shopper, since the Wal-Mart that is closets to my house (Store #2250 - Highland / Ridge) is not in the best part of town and always seems a little dingy if not outright scary. But I had a Wal-Mart merchandise card from a return I had recently made and there is a new Wal-Mart that recently opened on my way home from work, so I thought I would give it a try.

I came in because I needed to purchase a plain white T-shirt for my son to take to school for a tie-dye project that they are doing. I went in, and asked the greeter where the boys' clothes were. He pointed me in the general direction and I headed back that way. So far, so good. I got to the shirts. Although I only needed one, plain white T-shirts were only sold in 3 or 5 packs. After comparing a few different sizes and brands, I settled on a 5 pack of shirts that was marked as being sold for $5.00.

I took them up to the cashier where they rang up at $5.50. I told the cashier that they were marked at $5.00 and we kind of awkwardly looked at each other for awhile. So I decided to just take them back and go double check that I had a) read the sign correctly and b) grabbed the correct package. I went back and verified that both of those were true - they were truly marked at $5.00, not $5.50.

So I went back to the checkout lanes. The cashier I had first talked to had people in our line, so I went to the open lane next to her. I explained to her that they had rung up at $5.50 but they were priced at $5.00. Most stores that I go to would have just accepted my word on that, counting on the fact that most people will not sacrifice their honor or integrity for 50 cents!!!! But apparently it is different at Walmart.

We ambled back to the shirts at approximately the speed of an advancing glacier. We got back there, sure enough, they were marked $5.00 and we (again slowly) marched back to the checkout lanes. On our way back, I asked if Walmart had a price-scan guarantee where you get the item for free if it scans wrong, similar to Kroger. Rather than just answer the question, she laughed at me! As if this was the silliest thing that she had ever heard, rather than the actual policy of the nation's largest grocery store company!!

I did get the item for the marked price of $5.00, but if this is the kind of service that I can expect at Wal-Mart stores, I guess I will go back to my life of not shopping there.

Thank you for your time

Dan Miller.

PS - In just doing some Internet searching, it appears that Wal-Mart DOES have this kind of price scan guarantee after all!! Way to add insult to injury there!

Ed note: I did send that PS as part of the comment - also, like some stores Walmart does limit the number of characters you can send. But at least it's 3000 (instead of 1400) so I was able to fit it in. I had a few good metaphors for how slowly we walked back there but I went with the glacier one. I was going to apologize for making fun of the elderly but I didn't want to waste the characters :-)

Kroger cake fiasco


I am writing to complain about some poor service I received this morning at my local Kroger store (#402 - Madeira Ohio). At my work, we have a team meeting each month and as part of that we buy a cake to share as a birthday treat for the members of our team who have had birthdays during the past month.

Today was the first month of it now being my responsibility to buy this cake. I headed to Kroger early this morning and started browsing the cake selections. They all had various prices on them but there was one without a price. I held it up to the worker behind the bakery counter and asked how much this cake was. She said $8.99 - this seemed like a good deal compared to the other cake prices so I put it in my cart and headed to the checkout.

When I got there, it rang up $15.99. I told the cashier that the bakery worker had told me it was $8.99. Apparently $8.99 is the standard price for 1/8 sheet cakes, whereas the one I got was a 1/4 sheet. I asked her to call back to bakery on the phone which she did. Rather than modify the price to $0 (which would seemingly be the thing to do per your price scan guarantee), or even apologize for not seeing the size of the cake I held up (after all, an honest mistake), the bakery worker told the cashier THAT THE CAKE I HELD UP WAS A 1/8 SHEET CAKE!!!! Umm, no, no it was not.

If this is the kind of service I can expect from Kroger stores, I will be making my future monthly cake purchases at Meijer.

Thank you for your time

Update 21-Sep-2008 - success!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

In which National City does not read my email

Following up to the last post this is what I get back from National City

Dear ,

We appreciate you taking the time to contact us by e-mail on September 4, 2008, concerning your account.

I understand your concerns and apologize for any inconvenience. If the item pending is a check we cannot verify at that time who the check was made out to. This amount could also include one or more checks in one total. They will then be separated when they actually post to your account that night.

We do appreciate your business.

Should you have any additional questions or concerns, we will be happy to assist you. Online Banking Specialists are available Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to midnight EST, and Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST. You may contact us directly at 1-888-622-4932.

-Online Banking Support


to which I responded

Thank you for your very timely response. I understand that policy and have no problem with that. The reason I emailed is because I was extremely frustrated that the lady SAID she could help me when, according to the policy you just quoted me, she could not.

Rather than listen to me when I explained my problem, she just read from her "script" telling me "Sure I would be happy to help you with that"

That was and is the source of my frustration

I can help you with that I mean no I can't (National City)

Me and National City are foes. Foes so much to the point that I should probably just ditch them.

Now this particular instance was not as bad as how they routinely job me with overdraft charges that take me days to get reversed, but it was still annoying


I recently had a poor experience with a customer call center support technician and would like to pass it on to you, in the hopes that you will use it to improve your call center and keep my (and other customers') business.

I was viewing my accounts online (I like to periodically monitor them since even though I am supposedly signed up for balance threshold email alerts, I never seem to get them until my balance drops below zero and I get charged $34 overdraft charges). As I was viewing them, I noticed a pending check for $600. Since I don't remember writing a check for $600 (and neither did my wife), I called up National City to see if they could shed some light on what exactly this check was.

After going through the various options and getting to an agent, the conversation went a little something like this:

Me: Hi, I have a pending check for $600 and was wondering if you would be able to tell me what this check was for.
Her: Sure, I'd be happy to help you with that

She then verified my identity and the account and such.

Her: Yes, there is a check or checks that is pending for $600.
Me: Okay, can you tell me who they were written to or anything about them?
Her: No, I wouldn't be able to tell you anything about them until midnight tonight.
Me: (Confused since she earlier said she could) Okay, thanks

Now I understand if you have technical system limitations that prevent her or anyone from knowing this information yet, and I understand that she is probably just reading from a script when she said she could help me but I had already explained my problem - if she couldn't help me WHY DO YOU HAVE HER SAY THAT SHE CAN!?!?!?

It was very frustrating

Thank you for reading my report.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Home Depot update

Despite some people thinking that my kind words to Home Depot would ALSO net me free stuff, it did not (nor did I expect it to)

But in the interest of full follow-up, here is what they responded back

Dear Dan,

Thank you for contacting The Home Depot.

We appreciate you taking the time to forward your kind words! Our
company was built on the core value of providing excellent customer
service. We are glad to hear that you received this kind of service from
our associate.

We will forward your comments to the Store Manager of the Pleasant Ridge
Home Depot store. Thank you again, for taking the time to let us know
that we exceeded your expectations.

We look forward to your continued patronage and assisting you with all
of your home improvement needs.


The Home Depot

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Home Depot

So to start off my career posting at Complaints from Me, I thought I would totally mix things up.

#1 This is not a complaint
#2 It is not from "me" at least not from Braden who originally conceived of this blog.

I like to inform companies / stores when I receive bad service. This is in part to get people to improve their performance / service and in part for free stuff. When I tell people I know about this, many times they just write me off as a whining blowhard who is up to no good. So I thought I would share a note I just dashed off to Home Depot about some actual GOOD service.


I would like to write to congratulate you on the excellent service that I received at your Pleasant Ridge store in Cincinnati, Ohio yesterday (9/1/2008). I wrote a few weeks ago to complain about some poor service so I felt that I should also write when I receive outstanding service.

I was at your store to buy a few things for some fall projects - towel rings, towel bar, a few toilet paper holders, and a 36x60 mirror for our bathroom. As I was loading the mirror into my car, it fell and broke. I was not sure what to do so I went with my son back into the store with the mirror. I was not sure if it could be exchanged or not.

I got to the customer service desk and asked what could be done. The lady at the desk said she would have to call for the return. Eventually she said it would be okay and to just go pick out a new mirror.

I was extremely grateful since I did not have another 60 dollars to buy a mirror and if she had not allowed me to exchange it I would have had to just go back home to my wife and family and explain how we would not be having a mirror on our bathroom wall.

I'm sure that she would have been within her rights to disallow the exchange and I would probably have accepted it, but it is actions like this that make me glad to return to shop at your store

Thank you for reading this

Dan Miller.

Monday, September 1, 2008

My Letter to Subway

To Whom It May Concern:

After a long 12 hour shift at work my wife asked me to stop by Subway on the way home to get a couple of foot-long subs so that we wouldn't have to worry about taking time to make any food and could enjoy the evening and go to bed. I got to subway and waited while the only employee was busy trying to help customers as fast as she could. I told her that I wanted my sub on the Italian herbs and cheeses bread. She told me that they were out of that bread, so i asked for an alternative kind of bread. They were out of that bread. So I called my wife to ask her what she wanted and we finally settled on plain white bread, much to our disappointment. We continued to order our food as normal, and the employee tried her best to help me out. When we got down to the fresh toppings, I asked for tomatoes, only to find out that there were also no more tomatoes available.

So in the end, I had to wait longer than normal to get my sandwich on my third choice of bread with no tomatoes. By no standards the end of the world, but an annoyance nonetheless, and it seems like this is a problem that you should consider addressing, as I am not a little less inclined to stop by Subway after work. After all, the big draw to subway is the fact that I can get exactly the sandwich that I want at a good price and very quickly. If you start taking away these benefits, you risk losing customers.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

My Letter to IHOP

My wife and I love to eat at IHOP. Delicious food at reasonable prices bring us back for more. Today I went by myself just as a chance to get away and enjoy a good omelet, and good food is exactly what I got. The service from my waitress was unremarkable - neither good, nor bad. Unfortunately, what ruined the entire meal for me and left me with a sour aftertaste is the way that I heard the wait staff treating the kitchen staff.

My table was only separated from where the orders are dropped off my a thin half-wall, and throughout the time that I was there I constantly heard the wait staff (one in particular, though I don't know her name) yelling condescendingly at the kitchen staff. I heard things like, "I said extra crispy bacon, this is extra limp" and "I told you to add strawberries to that pancake, can't you do anything right?" and "I'm still waiting on that order of fries I told you about" and on and on. Now perhaps it is true that the cooks were having a bad day or really weren't good at filling orders properly (though my food was excellent, as usual), but there needs to be a better way to handle situations like this other than getting up attitudes and yelling across the kitchen so that everyone can hear.

As I waited in line at the cashier's station, the cashier was having trouble figuring out which table the customer in front of me was from, and the waitress who had taken care of that customer came up and with a "well duh" attitude pointed it out and brushed off some concern that the cashier had (it was all in restaurant jargon, so I didn't really understand what the problem was) and said, walking away, "she's still really new here. She's only been here a year." That kind of statement, said with a joking smile, would not affect me normally, but today it was just the last straw in a bad experience. Next time I want a good omelet, I will find a Denny's or a Shari's, or maybe if I really feel like IHOP, I'll drive to a different one.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

My Letter to

To Whom It May Concern:

I recently ordered a large number of pens and pen refills from your company. This order was completed late on a Saturday night. Imagine my pleasure when the order was dropped off at my door on Tuesday morning! I was very happy about the speed of delivery.

Unfortunately, when I opened the box, my pleasure turned into disappointment as I saw that the order received did not match the product advertised. I bought from your company instead of the several other companies selling the same product (Papermate Flexgrip Ultra Retractable pens) because you advertised a three-pack of black colored pens where other companies seem to be advertising a three-pack including one black pen, one teal pen and one purple pen. Please see your advertisement at

Sadly, what I received from you was the set of pens that I did not want. I chose the black colored pens because where I work and where I use my pens I try to dress and appear very conservative and I do not want bright, flashy colors to interfere with my serious job. It might seem somewhat frivolous, but to me it is important nonetheless.

I hope that we can find some way to rectify the situation, as I was duly impressed with your prices and your speed of delivery. The pen refills that you sent are exactly what I expected and work properly so I do not need any replacement or modification regarding that product.

I look forward to hearing back from you regarding this issue.

Monday, August 4, 2008

My letter to Arco

My gas tank was riding the "E" line today. I have been busy the last several days and hadn't noticed that it was so low. I made a straight line for the nearest gas station that I could find to fill it up. It happened to be an Arco. You probably know that Arco doesn't have a great reputation for quality gasoline, so I wont stress that, but at this point I just wanted to throw a couple of gallons in the tank to stay afloat. I pulled up to the station and opened the tank. I took out my debit card and entered it in the computer.

"Arco will charge a service fee for this transaction" came back the computer's reply.

Well, guess what? There was a 76 station just a mile down the road, and I was willing to risk the distance. They had no problem accepting my business.

I'm afraid Arco is now off the list of gas stations I will shop at.

I hope you enjoy your service charges from those willing to pay them.

The Benefit of Feedback from Customers

I started this blog to chronicle the feedback I give to businesses after I have particularly good or particularly bad experiences.

I recently e-mailed several establishments after bad experiences and this has prompted me to do so more often.

I work in the service industry as a Nurse in a busy ER, so I understand the importance of good customer service, but even more importantly, I understand the importance of getting feedback about what is going wrong and what is going right.

I hope that with this blog - provided I don't get bored of it - I will be able to write about some of my experiences, what made me want to write to customer service about them, and what kind of response I get.

Stay tuned.