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.