by Nathan Stout (of AccordingToWhim.com)
I gave Popeyes a week to fix their wrong before I posted this but… oh well…
So last week I had a dentist appointment in Fort Worth. Afterwards, I delayed my departure of the city until I could make it to Haslet at 11:00 so I could grab lunch at Popeyes. It’s the only one that is close of Bridgeport or Decatur (30 minutes away).
I pull up, make my order at 11:00 exactly. Pull up to the window and out pops the lady with my box of piping hot spicy chicken tenders, mash, and a roll. yum…. anyway I take the box, hand her my card and she goes back in to charge me and get me my drink.
I sat there for like 3 minutes (doesn’t sound like long but when you are sitting at a fast food window it seems like an eternity). She comes back and says to me: “Our credit card machine is not working. Do you have cash?” I do not. I maybe have 2 dollar bills and a dollar or so in change in the truck. I look about and shake my head, my mind already thinking to myself she is off the script. This is not the way a major corporation should work…
After a couple of moments of letting that hang in the air, she says nothing. I reach over and get the box of food and hand it back to her. SHE TAKES IT. She apologizes then I leave.
How was this handled incorrectly?
1.) I’m sure this was a training issue. Popeyes would not want to lose a customer and get bad press over what is probably $3 worth of product.
2.) The food is now no good, it MUST go in the trash. Why throw it and piss off a customer when you could give it and make a happy customer that would give your company some promotion when he boasts how he got a delicious free meal?
3.) I am fine with her asking if I had cash. BUT, the company policy is probably that if they (the restaurant) has a problem taking payment on the spot, you comp your affected customer then put up a sign saying cash only (until the issue is resolved). Still, if I had the cash, I would have paid it, no problem.
I have gotten ‘free’ meals in the exact same circumstances from Subway and Burger King. The employees do not blink an eye. ‘Sorry our credit card machine isn’t working. It’s on the house’.
How was it further handled badly?
After not getting to eat for another hour and a half, I finally sat down at a DQ and ate while I pulled up the complaint site for Popeyes. I greatly abbreviated the story and submitted it. I fully expected to get a comp of a meal out of this. I was fuming (I still am).
30 minutes later I was contacted… by email bot. A form letter apologizing and assuring they would look into the issue.
I decided that surely I’d get a letter in the mail so I waited a week. Nothing. Now I am not being a snowflake about this. This is how you get business to fix their issues so they keep you as a customer. Customers are important. This is market forces at work here. I’m not being entitled. I am not expecting something for nothing. I’m expecting a company I spend money with to fix an issue or lose me as an customer/advocate. I can’t tell you how many times I tell people how awesome Popeyes is. I love that food. Sadly I see they do not care for keeping customers so I will do what I must to let others know how they handle their customers.