Friday, August 21, 2009

Buffalo Wild Wings

To whom it may concern:

I am writing to share my experience at a BW3 restaurant (Store #3334 in Mason, Ohio) this afternoon (Friday 8/21). In these tough economic times, I usually bring my lunch, and so when I take the opportunity to go out to lunch, I hope more than usual that it will be worth my time and money.

The waitress did not point out the lunch specials that were available. I was looking through the regular menu (at things that were at least $2 more expensive) for quite awhile before one of the other guys at my table found the lunch menu.

The food took an inordinate amount of time. As I said, I do not go out to lunch very often so I don't have a great sense for how long things "should" take, but when I commented on it, the other members of my party agreed that it was a longer than normal time. They were surprised since the restaurant was not busy at all.

I ordered the Cheeseburger Slammers lunch menu, with no lettuce, tomato or onion. When my meal finally came out, I found that those items were included. Apparently they come on the side, so that was good enough. And sure, I ended up just taking them off and it was not the end of the world, but to me, good customer service would not have put them in the basket. I mean, somebody somewhere in the restaurant (whether it was the cook, the server or someone else) had to put them on there at some point! When the food came out, another guy at my table who had also ordered the Cheeseburger Slammers mentioned that mine had the no lettuce, tomato or onion (he ordered his with those and wanted to make sure that we each got the right one), only to find out that both did. The server did not apologize, nor offer to remove or exchange them, but instead just said "They're on the side". Again, I don't want to make a huge deal over this and if this was the only thing maybe I would not have brought it up.

The food was decent. My burgers were cooked a little longer and were a bit cold (if that combination makes sense). Perhaps this is related to the longer than average wait time? The bottle of ketchup that was on the table was nearly empty. I am sure that this is not the waitresses fault and it wasn't a huge deal since I just grabbed a bottle from a neighboring empty table. In a positive note, I did appreciate the speed with which my drink was refilled, including a time when the waitress just brought a refill without asking when she saw my cup was low. I always appreciate that.

When we paid, the server brought our checks and we put our money or cards on the trays. When our change was brought out, I found that my receipt / change was switched with the gentleman sitting next to me. Not a huge deal since it turned out that although we ordered separate meals, our meals both were the same amount and we had both paid with $20 bills.

Thank you for your time in reading this. I am sure that you pride yourselves in trying to foster a good dining experience and I hope that these comments will help you as you try to improve your overall customer service.


So in their feedback form I wrote

I had a poor experience at lunch today. I wrote a very thoughtful and detailed note describing the different areas of service but because you have decided to limit me to only 1500 characters, it would not fit.

So I have had to publish it on the Internet in order for you to be able to read it.

And then I linked them to this post.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Kroger cart locks and bikes

To whom it may concern:

I am writing to express my frustration about 2 experiences at the new Norwood Kroger in Surrey Square in Norwood, Ohio. This is not the closest Kroger to my house, but it is nearby, and occasionally I shop here. So with the opening of the brand new building, I thought that I would give it a try.

I was amused to see the messages in the shopping carts about how the wheels would lock up if you removed the carts from the parking lot (as marked by the yellow boundary lines in the parking lot). The message was just such a contrast from the brand-new and fanciness of the building. But that was fine, since it is generally not my intent to steal shopping carts.

I purchased a few things and then headed back to the car, which I had parked on the north end of the parking lot, near the McDonalds drivethru. As I took my cart out to my car, the wheels locked up on me a full 2 rows from my car. I saw that the yellow boundary line was still a good 10-20 feet away. Needless to say, I did not enjoy having to carry each bag of my groceries from my locked up cart to the trunk of my car.

Then last week, I was out for a bike ride, and I got a flat tire near the Norwood Kroger. My patch kit was unable to fix it and so I walked my bike towards the store. It was my intention to check if Kroger sold bicycle patch kits or anything that might help me. I didn't think that they would but since it was a new Kroger that seemed to have more general merchandise items that it was at least worth checking before I had to call my wife to come pick me up.

I took my bike inside with me so that I could make sure to buy the right kind. Obviously I did not ride my bike in the store. But it didn't matter as the security guard told me I had to leave. I tried to explain but he was not interested. So that was disappointing.

I guess I will have to continue to do my shopping at Meijer, Sams, Biggs, Aldi or possibly some of the other Krogers nearby.

Thank you for your time

National City branch visit complaint

To whom it may concern:

I am writing to express my frustration with the new National City branch building at 5550 Ridge avenue in Pleasant Ridge in Cincinnati. It looks very nice from the outside but the method of entry leaves much to be desired.

I don't know why the decision was to limit entry to 1 person at a time. I can only assume that it is some sort of security measure, though upon first glance it seems of dubious merit. Not to mention that I don't really feel like Pleasant Ridge is a particularly dangerous part of town, where a bank might need enhanced security measures.

If it was just me entering, I'd have no problem. But this past week I came with my whole family. I had been needing to get something notarized with my wife and I both signing it, and it can prove challenging to get both of us (which necessitates bringing our 5 young children as well) at the same place at the same time during a bank's normal operating hours. But I was off work last Wednesday (August 12th) and so on our way down to the museum, we stopped by the Ridge branch.

While my wife was getting the baby out of the car, I attempted to go in with the other 4 kids. I saw the signs to enter only 1 at a time, but I went ahead anyways because I had all my kids with me and couldn't just leave them there. I don't know if you have kids, or how old they might be, but the odds of successfully explaining the correct procedures for entering the bank to an autistic 9 year old, as well as 7, 4 and 2 year olds is approximately 0%.

Obviously we were unable to enter the bank. After awhile, a woman came over the intercom and asked how many people were in the vestibule. I replied "1 adult and 4 children". She said "Normally I would make you go out and come in 1 at a time but I will let you in this time." So we finally made it in! Then my wife came in, pushing our baby in the stroller. And unbelievably she had it even worse! Obviously we could not leave an 8 month old to try and enter by himself, so they both went in to the vestibule area. She also appeared to speak to someone over the intercom (I couldn't hear what was being said) but eventually she got the door unlocked, but because the vestibule was so narrow, it was nearly impossible for her to push the door open since the stroller was in front of her. And there was no room to get around the stroller or turn it around. It took 3 tries before she was able to get in.

After that, the rest of the trip was fairly uneventful. The wait was longer than I wished it was, but we were able to get our documents notarized and head out. I can't really fault the customer service of the teller. And the manager-type man who notarized our documents was very nice.

But I would like to ask that this method of entry to bank branches be stopped. Or at the very least limit it to branches that really ARE in bad neighborhoods, where I wouldn't want to take my kids anyways.

Thank you

Dave and Busters complaint

To whom it may concern:

I am writing with a complaint about the Dave and Buster's store in Cincinnati, Ohio. This summer, my family and I chose to do a "staycation" where we stayed in town and did activities here locally.

One of the activities that we chose to do was to visit Dave and Buster's and play some games. I had a gift certificate for a $10 power card and so we set off on the last day of our staycation, Wed. August 12th, before I had to go back to work the next day.

When we got there, we were informed by the girl who was working the front desk that the fine print on my gift certificate indicated that it was not good on "Half Price Wednesdays". Apparently (as you are no doubt already aware), on Wednesdays all games cost half as much.

Now, to me this seemed reasonable. It seemed that D&B management wanted to avoid turning the $10 gift certificate into essentially a $20 gift certificate. So I suggested that if games were half price, that she just give me a $5 power card for my $10 gift certificate, since that would essentially be the same thing. She rotely repeated that she could not help me. Perhaps this is just not allowed, or perhaps she did not understand me, or perhaps she wanted to get back to the doodling on her paper that I had interrupted.

The kids were EXTREMELY disappointed. At least we got to take a picture outside with D&B in the background and the family all growling our disappointment, for the blog recap and Facebook picture upload.

So we ended up coming back this past Monday (the 17th). It was a bit more inconvenient, since I had to meet up with them after work and still get back before too late since school is now back in session and it was a school night. I had no problem getting the $10 power card.

But then, in a revelation that made things EVEN MORE GALLING, I learned that the $10 power card that I received on Monday is good any day. So there is nothing to prevent me (other than having to make 2 trips) from getting the $10 power card on Monday and then returning on a Wednesday for $20 in games! So essentially I was denied usage of my certificate on Wednesday, forced to listen to nearly a week's worth of kid disappointment, all for NOTHING!

We were extremely disappointed in our experience with Dave and Busters and we thank you for taking the time to read this.

Update - Apparently Dave and Busters has no way to email them from their website? What is this, 1995? I'll show them - I'll tweet this over to them!