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View Full Version : I wrote the first complaint letter in my life to a restaurant the other day.


kantonburg
02-06-06, 06:34 PM
Went to Texas Steakhouse the other night and as usual ordered the Chicken Tenders and fries. This particular meal comes with cole slaw, which I don't like, and as far as I can remember have substituted green beans for them. I was informed by the waitress that I could no longer substitute green beans for the slaw. I informed her I had always done this but not anymore. She said I could get them for an extra fee. I gladly declined. In my letter I suggested this is something they should reconsider because if a customer has a choice to go somewhere where they have choices they'd be more inclined to do so. All I want from this is to be able to get my green beans.

So has anyone written a complaint letter and if so did you ever get any feedback?

edit: I mentioned in the letter that I felt substituting a vegetable type side dish for a vegetable dish was fine. It's not like I was trying to exchange the free rolls for a steak dinner. I really don't know why this irks me so much but it does.

Deftones
02-06-06, 06:41 PM
Went to Texas Steakhouse the other night and as usual ordered the Chicken Tenders and fries. This particular meal comes with cole slaw, which I don't like, and as far as I can remember have substituted green beans for them. I was informed by the waitress that I could no longer substitute green beans for the slaw. I informed her I had always done this but not anymore. She said I could get them for an extra fee. I gladly declined. In my letter I suggested this is something they should reconsider because if a customer has a choice to go somewhere where they have choices they'd be more inclined to do so. All I want from this is to be able to get my green beans.

So has anyone written a complaint letter and if so did you ever get any feedback?

Yes. There some quickie Chinese chain here called Chop Stix. I guess they are popping up all over. I ordered Sweet and Sour Chicken. It came w/ white rice, but I wanted fried rice instead. I asked them if I could substitute fried rice for an additional charge. Every place I've been to will allow you to do that for just a bit more. They told me no, and I'd have to pay for a full order ($7 or so). I was pissed. So I came home and wrote them an email. They sent me a letter back which was a canned response. I emailed them again after I got it, stating that I'd never frequent their restaurants again due to the lack of flexibility in menu options and for their lack of personal response.

skiblet
02-06-06, 06:43 PM
yep, i have


"Dear logans steakhouse - please train your wait staff to act accordingly when a 4 year old black girl goes on a chaotic rampage in your restaurante that spreads fear, mayhem, and general discord in a 50 foot radius"

Jadzia
02-06-06, 06:47 PM
Went to Texas Steakhouse the other night and as usual ordered the Chicken Tenders and fries. This particular meal comes with cole slaw, which I don't like, and as far as I can remember have substituted green beans for them. I was informed by the waitress that I could no longer substitute green beans for the slaw. I informed her I had always done this but not anymore. She said I could get them for an extra fee. I gladly declined. In my letter I suggested this is something they should reconsider because if a customer has a choice to go somewhere where they have choices they'd be more inclined to do so. All I want from this is to be able to get my green beans.

So has anyone written a complaint letter and if so did you ever get any feedback?

Wasn't this an episode of "Everybody Hates Chris"?

kantonburg
02-06-06, 06:48 PM
Wasn't this an episode of "Everybody Hates Chris"?

:confused: I musta missed that thread.

Jadzia
02-06-06, 06:52 PM
There was an episode where the mom and cheapskate dad go out to eat at someplace like Bozanza, and she doesn't get any coleslaw with her meal, so she asks for them to bring her some, and the waitress says it will cost 79 cents additional, etc.

I watch way too much tv. :lol:

devilshalo
02-06-06, 06:53 PM
Back in the early days of AOL, I used to write complaints about service and service interruption and send them to Steve Case. Back then that was what you did and they had a customer base of about 800K. This was during their big push for more sheep and about the time they raised rates significantly from $20 a year to $24 a month (we're talking around 1994-95).

I did this once a week. Logged how many times I had service interrutpion, how many times I'd get a busy signal thru dial-up. yada yada yada and included them in the email. I ended up never having to pay for my account for nearly 6 years before I got it TOS'd for the final time.

kantonburg
02-06-06, 06:54 PM
:lol: I thought it was an "inside thread" joke. I guess I don't watch enough. I've never heard of it. :)

devilshalo
02-06-06, 06:55 PM
Now, is there any wording anywhere in the restaurant, on the menu, etc. where no substitutions are allowed? If so, you got nothing to complain about. Just because a competitor does it, doesn't mean they are obligated to do the same.

Kittydreamer
02-06-06, 07:01 PM
Ok, I can totally understand not wanting the coleslaw because coleslaw is really yucky. But then to actually ask for greenbeans?!? Are you insane?!?

jfoobar
02-06-06, 07:05 PM
Should have gotten the succotash. Mmmmmm, succotash.

kantonburg
02-06-06, 07:05 PM
Now, is there any wording anywhere in the restaurant, on the menu, etc. where no substitutions are allowed? If so, you got nothing to complain about. Just because a competitor does it, doesn't mean they are obligated to do the same.

Unless they've added it to their menu I didn't really look for it and she didn't make any effort to point it out. It's something I've done for years and was informed it's no longer allowed. If so I can live with it. I was just offering my suggestion to them. I just feel given the choice of eating somewhere I have options vs. a place where I don't. I'll take the option place. Thats like not having the option between a baked potato or french fries.

kantonburg
02-06-06, 07:11 PM
Should have gotten the succotash. Mmmmmm, succotash.

I'd be sufferin' from that succotash.

Sdallnct
02-06-06, 07:48 PM
In the last 5 years or so I have done it a bunch of times. However, I don't just write complaint letters I write "good job" as well. Couple of ones I remember:

-I e-mailed the maker of a high end CD player I have that gave out after five years. While it was not a complaint, I mentioned I was disappointed. They maker (out of England) forwarded my e-mail to the local distributor who called me and stated that if I paid for shipping to him, he would review the unit with a tech and write me an estimate of repairs for free. Since the unit did not work, I did this and paid the $20 shipping. In less then a week he called stating a major part went out and while not under warranty "in his opinion" should not have gone out after 5 years and he fixed the unit for free and paid for return shipping to me.

-An LCD Computer monitor that I bought off display went out after 1 year (far as I could tell it only had a 90 day warranty). I e-mailed the company who sent me a return authorization and who fixed for free and paid for return shipping.

-A 10 year old soft sided brief case that I loved had the zipper go out. I e-mailed, they explained they had a life time guarantee (I did not know this) and they sent me a return label and in less then 15 days total I had the brief case back.

-Bought something from a store on the net with free shipping (it was a large item). When I didn't like it, I e-mailed and asked to return it. They advised it was not a problem, but I had to pay for shipping back which would have been a 1/3 of the cost of the item. When I wrote back to complain, I got a call from a local B&M of the store who apologized and said if I would bring it in to them, they would give me a full refund and they would take care of returning for me.

-e-mailed the company regarding excellent service I received from one of their employees. A supervisor called me back thanked for taking the time and told me if I asked for him on my next visit he would give me a free bottle of wine (local resturant).

-a funny one my wife did, was she wrote a premium cat food company and wrote the e-mail as coming from our Cats, basically saying how much they love the cat food but their "owner" won't buy it because it was so expensive. The Cat food company sent back a snail mail package, labeled to our cats, with a couple of free samples and about a dozen coupons.

dtcarson
02-06-06, 08:06 PM
I have, quite a few times, written either a restaurant or manufacturer of a product. The key is to always start with something positive, then factually discuss what you think went wrong. Snail mail is usually better than email as well.

Regarding substitutions--Yeah, I do that too. Some places do, some places don't let you. Usually you can sub side for side, except for a few which have an additional charge clearly stated on the menu.

You could add beans for a fee, in addition to your slaw, or substitute for a fee? And of course it depends on the fee--I'd pay a quarter to sub fries for slaw, if I had to.

But yes, I prefer options/flexibility to not having those things.

And if you get exceptional service, it's always good to give that feedback as well.

ukywyldcat
02-06-06, 08:13 PM
I wrote on the back of a check one time "Shit service deserves a shit tip." and left nothing once. It was the most pathetic restaurant service I had ever witnessed, at a restaurant called Toucan's in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. This place had fairly decent food, and even ok service most of the time. And the meal didn't involve an insulin injection, for those of you who get an instant boner anytime you can bring that up. ;)

EdTheRipper
02-06-06, 08:18 PM
I e-mailed Longhorn Steakhouse about a bad meal my wife and I had there. After a few weeks, we received a $30 gift cardin the mail from the district manager.

DVD Polizei
02-06-06, 08:28 PM
kantonburg will fight for his green beans. You sir, are my hero. :up:

tasha99
02-06-06, 08:29 PM
I wrote a letter to El Toritos because when I measured my "pint" of salsa, I consistently only had about 1 1/2 cups. This mattered a lot to me because at the time I was buying about 2 pints a week. The district manager was really responsive--I got lots of free salsa and a free dinner for two. However, the problem was never really solved--within a couple weeks, they'd gone back to 1 1/2 cups and though I could get my full 2 cups, it required talking to a manager at the restaurant,etc. I eventually quit buying salsa there because I couldn't count on how much I'd get.

Kittydreamer
02-06-06, 08:35 PM
What is with you people?!? Green beans are really gross!!!!

kantonburg
02-06-06, 08:37 PM
kantonburg will fight for his green beans. You sir, are my hero. :up:

You darn skippy!!!

Old. Na. I guess it's more a suggestion letter than a complaint. Besides. It's for their own good. ;)

NotThatGuy
02-06-06, 08:53 PM
I use to do this, and got results. Now I only do it if it was either a big problem and/or high ticket item. There are a few things i've done on principle (like papa john's screwing up my order a few times....it isn't even very good pizza, but it was convenient)

-p

zekeburger1979
02-06-06, 08:57 PM
Back in 1998, Wendy's was running a promotion for the Nagano Olympics. The promotion was that for every value meal you bought, you would get a scratch off card where you could win prizes.

The Wendy's I went to was doing it where it was one card per tray regardless of how many value meals were ordered. My family and I, 5 of us, ordered 5 value meals and got 2 scratch off cards.

I went up to the counter to ask for the remaining three cards and was told by the girl at the counter and the store manager that 1 card per tray was their policy. I went back to my table and told my mom what they told me. After we were done, I took one of the comment cards home with me, filled it out explaining what had happened, and mailed it out.

A few weeks later, I got a letter in the mail from the district/regional office. The manager apologized for what had happened, said that they contacted the store and corrected the problem, and best of all, included certificates for about $25 in food.

A couple days after receiving the letter, I went back to Wendy's, and got food with the certificates. This time, after ordering 5 value meals, I got 5 cards. I don't remember if I won anything, probably just more free food.

Nice stories, Sdallnct. Nice to see that there are companies out there that put a premium on customer service.

milo bloom
02-06-06, 09:19 PM
What is with you people?!? Green beans are really gross!!!!


Amen!!!

And the only way to eat coleslaw is to wrap a barbecue pulled pork sandwich around it, Memphis style.

DVD Polizei
02-06-06, 09:42 PM
What is with you people?!? Green beans are really gross!!!!

Fear Factor gross?

DVD Josh
02-06-06, 09:58 PM
Went to Texas Steakhouse the other night and as usual ordered the Chicken Tenders and fries. This particular meal comes with cole slaw, which I don't like, and as far as I can remember have substituted green beans for them. I was informed by the waitress that I could no longer substitute green beans for the slaw. I informed her I had always done this but not anymore. She said I could get them for an extra fee. I gladly declined. In my letter I suggested this is something they should reconsider because if a customer has a choice to go somewhere where they have choices they'd be more inclined to do so. All I want from this is to be able to get my green beans.

So has anyone written a complaint letter and if so did you ever get any feedback?

edit: I mentioned in the letter that I felt substituting a vegetable type side dish for a vegetable dish was fine. It's not like I was trying to exchange the free rolls for a steak dinner. I really don't know why this irks me so much but it does.

The first issue is that you went to steakhouse for your usual - CHICKEN FINGERS!!! :D

silentbob007
02-06-06, 10:00 PM
I wrote to Pizza Hut once because a local store decided to abrubtly end a self-advertised promotion and gave me grief when they took the phone order yet refused to give me the price when I picked it up. I ended up with a free "anything you want" pizza.

Recently I wrote a letter to Southwest Airlines about my luggage getting soaked, and though it took a while, I received an individualized response with vouchers for more than I paid for the original flight.

I comment about my history with the company, rationally state my complaint, then specifically state that I'm not demanding compensation ... just writing to inform them that they have an unhappy customer.

PopcornTreeCt
02-06-06, 10:05 PM
Isn't anyone else shocked that he wrote a letter complaining about an extra fee? God forbid you actually get bad service at a restaurant, you'll be picketing outside!

Heat
02-06-06, 10:07 PM
In the complaint letter, don't be nasty and say you'll never eat there again even if your life depended on it, etc, just say that you are disappointed with their new policy and that you wish they would reconsider it.

Regarding the guy who wanted fried rice instead of white rice, I've never seen a Chinese restaurant that would make this switch - fried rice takes more work for them to make.

And I haven't written a complaint letter in a while (5+ years), but a policy that I have that I recommend to everybody is that when you write a complaint letter to one company, write a "good job" letter to a different company (one where the employees are really good, where you really like the product, etc).

Deftones
02-06-06, 10:40 PM
In the complaint letter, don't be nasty and say you'll never eat there again even if your life depended on it, etc, just say that you are disappointed with their new policy and that you wish they would reconsider it.

Regarding the guy who wanted fried rice instead of white rice, I've never seen a Chinese restaurant that would make this switch - fried rice takes more work for them to make.

And I haven't written a complaint letter in a while (5+ years), but a policy that I have that I recommend to everybody is that when you write a complaint letter to one company, write a "good job" letter to a different company (one where the employees are really good, where you really like the product, etc).

Do you eat at many Chinese places. I said most they charge a bit extra for that. I have no problem paying, but I've only ever had one flat out tell me they wouldn't do it. Pei Wei does it, along with every other mom and pop joint I've been to here in AZ.

Sdallnct
02-06-06, 11:02 PM
What is with you people?!? Green beans are really gross!!!!

Oh no my dear...

fresh green beans, apple smoked bacon, onion, butter, salt/pepper...yummy...

Or I've done this when I wanted to "kick it up a notch" (Yes, an Emeril receipt)


1/4 cup clarified butter or vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 small green peppers, (such as jalapeno or serrano), stems and seeds removed, minced
2 teaspoons turmeric powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1 pound green beans, tough ends removed
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons sesame seeds

In a large saute pan, heat the butter over medium-high heat. Add the garlic slivers, peppers, turmeric, cumin, and cayenne, and cook, stirring, until the garlic begins to turn golden, about 2 minutes. Add the green beans, water, salt, and stir well. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the sesame seeds and cook uncovered, stirring, until toasted, 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove from the heat and adjust seasoning, to taste. Serve hot.

innocentfreak
02-06-06, 11:56 PM
Let's see...

Papa John's for their new Deep Dish which is a reheated pizza and the fact the sauce on the garlic parmeson breadsticks always spill everywhere since they don't wrap them in tinfoil. I received a free order.

McDonald's ---closing the drive thru while people were still waiting in line and had been since before they closed by about twenty minutes. The district manager tried to insist I was mistaken and even when I offered my receipt from another restaurant showing the time he wouldn't believe me. I was given two free cards for combo meals, but have never been back.

Brach's --- wrote to tell them how much my mother loved their gummy red hearts but she kept getting ones which had hard chunks in it. Apparently it was just sugar, but mailed us multiple bags and coupons.

Hanes --- wrote to tell them how I was disappointed that their tshirts fell apart after one wash when I purchased them at Kmart instead of Sam's and to complain about the varying degrees of quality based on where I bought what I assumed was the same product. got nothing out of it other than the explanation which still doesn't sit well with me.

Nissan --- lack of dealer support and customer service. refusing to do repairs under warranty that they had service bulletins on and multiple known issues with the car. No response other than they have no control over the dealers they can only make recommendations. Will never buy a Nissan again.

I am sure there are more.

Snorker
02-07-06, 12:08 AM
your beans cost more because slaw is next to free for the resturant. its a cost cutting/money making move on their part. Meals come with slaw (which costs next to nothing) and then if you want something else it costs more (an add on you might otherwise have not decided to get). Don't expect them to change it.

Bill Geiger
02-07-06, 12:36 AM
I e-mailed Longhorn Steakhouse about a bad meal my wife and I had there. After a few weeks, we received a $30 gift cardin the mail from the district manager.

:up:

Never had a bad meal at the Longhorn I used to frequent back in Pennsylvania... love that place! Best burgers and cesear salad on the planet!

NotThatGuy
02-07-06, 12:56 AM
I too have had very good experiences at Longhorn. They service is usually at least decent, and the food is very good (for the $). The last time I ate there I was visiting my parents and they screwed up my mom's salad (gave her shrimp instead of seared tuna on her salad) We mentioned it in passing to the guy who stopped by (manager I guess), and he comp'd it on the check.

It was a little thing, but they earned my business for the next time I'm looking for a steak.

-p

Rockmjd23
02-07-06, 01:41 AM
I don't think I've ever complained at a restaurant or store. If I don't like a place, I just don't go back.

namja
02-07-06, 02:49 AM
Well ... not a LETTER but ... we visited the manager of the local Macaroni Grill today.

We called in an order to go. I had the Eggplant Parmesan and Caesar Salad. My roommate had some pasta and breadsticks. When we got home, the eggplant was still frozen in the middle. In the salad was a metal bracket about 2" long and 2" wide. I wasn't in the mood to make a big fuss about it, but my roommate was kinda ticked and wanted justice. So we drove back to Macaroni Grill and talked to the manager. My roommate did all the talking in a very gentle voice, almost laughing because of how ridiculous it was. I just stood there and smiled--chuckled actually--because I found the whole thing quite amusing. The manager gave us the money back for both our meals plus a $20 gift certificate for future use.

I guess we may be going back there to eat.

mndtrp
02-07-06, 03:54 AM
I've never actually written a letter, but I have spoken with managers/owners before. Usually, though, it's about something I thought was exceptional, as opposed to something faulty. The few times I have mentioned something I disagreed with, it was comp'd. I'm usually pretty satisfied, though.

AGuyNamedMike
02-07-06, 06:43 AM
I've handled all feedback to the manager face to face while at the location.

Green beans are good, m'kay?

cpgator
02-07-06, 07:47 AM
Wrote a complaint letter to my apartment management company last week - I believe this is the only complaint letter I have ever written, since I figure they usually are just a waste of time.

An ode to my pet salamander and other related management issues.

Dearest Waterford Management

I moved into the Waterford Apartments in the beginning of October 2005. Prior to deciding on the Waterford and signing the lease, I worked with Amanda Branch. She went over the list of amenities that would be available to me, which included use of lighted tennis courts and racquetball courts. Of the amenities stated, these two were the most important. During my tour of the complex in August I asked to see the racquetball court, but was told by Amanda it was currently closed due to needed repair (caused by a leaky roof) and renovations. However, I was assured it would be reopened prior to my move in date. Shortly before my move in date, I even purchased a new racquetball racket in anticipation of having use of the court.

During my first week of living at the Waterford, I tried to use the racquetball courts, only to find out it was still closed. When I asked management about this, they appeared to have little information about the status of the courts. No one knew when they would reopen, but assured me it would be soon. It is now four months later, and there is still not an adequate court to play on. I have asked about the courts about every week or two since moving in, and still very little progress has been made.

About two weeks ago I received a call from management informing me that the lights had been fixed in one of the courts, and that I could start using that court. When I went to use the courts last night, I was happy to see that management was correct that all the lights were now working. However, this apparently was the only problem that management had resolved. The first problem was the heater was turned up all the way, causing the court to be disturbingly hot. Luckily for us the broken window in the door allowed for a slight breeze to enter the room. Another problem was the ceiling tiles hanging down. Given all the issues with the courts, this has usually been more of problem more to laugh at then get upset about, but unfortunately last night our ball ended up going into the open hole in the ceiling to be lost forever. Another concern was all the dirt/sand on the floor. Sand on the floor of a racquetball court is extremely dangerous and will quickly cause an injury. Why management could not ensure that the court was not at least swept up after the copious job of changing the light bulbs, is simply confusing.

These are just a few of the issues with the courts, but the only ones I am concerned about. While I have no grand illusions that these courts will ever rise above an embarrassment, they should at least be playable. I can play with the mold, the door that won't close (actually if you can do something about this, it would be great), the broken window in the door, the unfinished back window with the protruding bolts, the separating planks on the floor, the salamander who crawls out from the bottom of the wall and runs across the floor several times a game, the dirty and warped walls, etc. And this is the good court - the other court.... shutter...

A playable court should be clean, have lights, have a hole-less ceiling, and be kept under 150 degrees. I have tried over and over with management to have these basic problem resolved, but in the past four months, extremely little has been accomplished. It would appear the racquetball gods are angry with me.

My other issue is with the tennis courts. This one is simple (at least it would seem). I would like to have ALL the lights working on the courts, not just half. While you might think that half of the lights working is better than no lights working, you would be wrong. With only half of the lights on, it is impossible to see the entire court. I did try to play once this way, but my friend decided he would hit all the balls into my dark spot making it impossible for me to see them - we haven't spoken since.

I try to be a good tenant - I pay my rent on time each month and try to remain patient. While there are other issues with the complex, these two issues upset me the most because they played a big factor in my decision to move to the Waterford. I have absolutely no idea how these two issues could not have been resolved in the last four months. It should not be my responsibility to have to constantly stay on the management group to have these issue resolved. All I am asking is to be given what I was promised upon signing my lease agreement. I have lived up to my end of the agreement, so now it is your turn.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or updates (or a replacement racquetball).

Mankal
02-07-06, 07:50 AM
Went to Texas Steakhouse the other night and as usual ordered the Chicken Tenders and fries.

What the heck are you ordering chicken fingers in a Texas Steakhouse for?
That in itself is a crime my friend...... :p

mndtrp
02-07-06, 07:57 AM
Oh, yeah. I forgot to throw in my support for green beans. Green beans rock!!!

kantonburg
02-07-06, 07:57 AM
What the heck are you ordering chicken fingers in a Texas Steakhouse for?
That in itself is a crime my friend...... :p


Sorry. I'm not too keen on restaurant steak. At least not non-high end steakhouse. But their chicken tenders are the stuff legends talk about :P

Mankal
02-07-06, 08:34 AM
Sorry. I'm not too keen on restaurant steak. At least not non-high end steakhouse. But their chicken tenders are the stuff legends talk about :P

I was just pulling your leg, cause you wont tell me the namebrand of those chicken cheesteaks....hmmmffff some help you are..... rotfl

But really I have complained to:
1. Dominos: I wrote a letter to the general manager asking him that if I order a pizza with half pepperoni then why do I get charged full price for the topping? Why dont they "double" the amount of the topping to one side?
His response: A twenty dollar voucher for pizza
2. Chili's: We had the crappiest customer service a few years ago and I wrote to them, they repsonded that they agreed the waitresses work too many tables at once and often "forget" customers. They gave 40 dollars in coupons

Michael Corvin
02-07-06, 08:41 AM
your beans cost more because slaw is next to free for the resturant. its a cost cutting/money making move on their part. Meals come with slaw (which costs next to nothing) and then if you want something else it costs more (an add on you might otherwise have not decided to get). Don't expect them to change it.

Ding. Ding. Ding. We have a winner. Slaw is a throwaway item. Almost like parsley. Don't be fooled by the amount, it still a cheap item and a way for the restaurant to make/save money by offering it standard and charging for substitues. As far as you having done it many times before doesn't matter. If they raise the price of your chicken fingers by $.35 cents do you protest until you get them at the old price?

I don't think it warrants a disgust letter at all. It's just a company trying to save a little and stay in business.

RunBandoRun
02-07-06, 08:51 AM
About ten years ago I had Sunday dinner at Red Lobster with my girlfriend at the time. When we were finished, we gave them a $100 bill to pay the check with. Since we'd had drinks and desserts, the tab was close to $50. It took them twenty minutes to get our change back to us. So I ratted them out to their customer feedback hotline and they sent us a $50 gift certificate.

Well, we thought we'd be foxy and use the certificate for a party tray the next time we had people over, rather than actually eating there again. So I ordered the tray two days in advance, and when my girlfriend went to pick it up the day of the party, they had to throw one together because they hadn't made one up. My girlfriend raised hell and set a brick under it, so they let her keep the certificate.

This happened one more time before they finally got it right and we had to surrender our gift certificate. By then, we'd made $150 off of them and every time we had friends over, their eyes were peeled for the shrimp tray. :lol:

kneijst1
02-07-06, 08:54 AM
Written a couple emails in the past couple years. One to Papa Johns for royally screwing a pizza order (got a call from the manager saying the next one is on the house). Also I wrote to those drinkable yogurt places saying how much I liked their product, but saying they should offer a low-sugar version. I got a nice response back plus a couple coupons for freebies.

kantonburg
02-07-06, 10:33 AM
I was just pulling your leg, cause you wont tell me the namebrand of those chicken cheesteaks....hmmmffff some help you are..... rotfl



Ah....I didn't even notice :lol:

Ben732
02-07-06, 10:41 AM
Several years ago my mom ended up writing a letter to Boston Market. She was in the restaurant to get dinner and noticed her server was not wearing gloves when preparing her order. When she complained to the cashier at the restaurant, she was told that it was the manager so they couldn't say anything.

My mom wrote a letter and received gift certificates in the mail along with an apology. My mom refused to go back there so she gave the GCs to my brother.

A few years later, that restaurant went out of business and is now a McDonalds! Go figure! :)

resinrats
02-07-06, 11:30 AM
Wow, three pages and no mention of little kids wrecking the joint.

kantonburg
02-07-06, 11:32 AM
Wow, three pages and no mention of little kids wrecking the joint.

first page ;)

http://forum.dvdtalk.com/showpost.php?p=6761731&postcount=3

Pistol Pete
02-07-06, 11:41 AM
Probably the most profitable was the one I wrote to American Honda. The clutch on my car "broke" out of warrenty at 62K. Because clutch had a manufacturing defect, I wrote a letter to them requesting that they pay for the repair. They agreed after a 20 minute sitdown with the factory zone rep and sent me a check for $800. I should frame that letter.

Dr. Henry Jones, Jr.
02-07-06, 11:46 AM
After reading this thread, I think I should just start making up complaints and writing letters to get free stuff.

devilshalo
02-07-06, 11:51 AM
After watching Summer School, I think I should just start making up complaints and writing letters to get free stuff.
You go, Chainsaw!

silentbob007
02-07-06, 04:33 PM
After reading this thread, I think I should just start making up complaints and writing letters to get free stuff.

That would be a brilliant way to screw companies out of money and products when they are trying to do the right thing ....

naughty jonny
02-07-06, 05:10 PM
That would be a brilliant way to screw companies out of money and products when they are trying to do the right thing ....

It's also the best way to ensure that companies don't actually listen to people when they do have a valid complaint. Too many people 'cry wolf' and the company ends up just ignoring everyone.

Also, the other thing to remember is that when you do complain, your name is going to be recorded on their complaints database, and they would seriously question you if you complain too many times.

While they'd be unlikely to follow through, complaint letters for issues that never happened might actually consititute fraud by deception, and that could end up getting you charged with something. Most companies would simply just bin it, but there could be someone who wants to make an example of a serial complainer.

If, for example, you wrote the same standard form letter to Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, KFC and Long John Silver's, you might (probably unlikely, but possible) find that the parent company simply refers the matter to the police.

Is it worth it just to get free stuff?

Chrisedge
02-07-06, 05:57 PM
I wrote one to Blockbuster. (See my sig site)

I've written and verbally complemented more managers and companies than I've complained about.

kantonburg
02-09-06, 11:29 AM
Well I got home at lunch today and had a letter from our local Texas Steakhouse.

Dear kantonburg,
I just wanted to respond to your feedback on the website. First of all, I am sorry for the inconvenience. I'm excited to hear the great comments about Texas Steakhouse and Saloon. On the other hand, I want you to know that, one way or another, we will get you green beans. We are currently updating our menu and hopefully it will clear up any confusion when we roll it out in March. The reason the servers were told not to substitute slaw for other items is that cole slaw is considered a condiment and not a side item. Though, I do not believe it is worth the controversey, I would like to take care of the guest. Please let a manager know if there is a way we can help you anytime.

Thank you so much
Please call anytime

Chris B.
General Manager
Texas Steakhouse and Saloon

How about that! I can respect that answer. Oh and I did get a $10 GC :D

btw. The whole letter was written in CAPS. F'er. :lol:

Duh Vuh Duh
02-09-06, 12:21 PM
[QUOTE=kantonburg]cole slaw is considered a condiment and not a side item[QUOTE]

So, I guess that means I can go there and ask for some slaw anytime just as if I am asking for catsup or tabasco.

Glad to hear you will be getting your beans.

Bandoman
02-09-06, 12:28 PM
How come most restaurants don't have green bean casserole on the menu? Why should I have to wait for Thanksgiving and Christmas to get this delicious treat?

ben12
02-09-06, 12:54 PM
-a funny one my wife did, was she wrote a premium cat food company and wrote the e-mail as coming from our Cats, basically saying how much they love the cat food but their "owner" won't buy it because it was so expensive. The Cat food company sent back a snail mail package, labeled to our cats, with a couple of free samples and about a dozen coupons.
Good way to get your cats on some mailing lists and (hopefully) pre-approved for credit cards!

Shazam
02-09-06, 01:35 PM
Well I got home at lunch today and had a letter from our local Texas Steakhouse.



How about that! I can respect that answer. Oh and I did get a $10 GC :D

btw. The whole letter was written in CAPS. F'er. :lol:I'm glad that the Manager also realized that the waitress totally over-reated.

Y2K Falcon
02-09-06, 01:51 PM
My girlfriend raised hell and set a brick under it
Is this a saying I have never heard of before? I'm always interested in increasing my vocabulary.

Numanoid
02-09-06, 02:16 PM
Am I the only one that considers reading a description of something for sale and agreeing to purchase it more or less a contract? If I want to make alterations, I must be willing to pay for them.

kantonburg
02-09-06, 02:23 PM
Am I the only one that considers reading a description of something for sale and agreeing to purchase it more or less a contract? If I want to make alterations, I must be willing to pay for them.

Are you serious? This is a restaurant not the sale of WMD. Same reason if you want to add pickles, onions, and relish at your local Burger King's order. Except in this case I guess the Green Beans are the cheese.

Y2K Falcon
02-09-06, 02:26 PM
Are you serious? This is a restaurant not the sale of WMD. Same reason if you want to add pickles, onions, and relish at your local Burger King's order. Except in this case I guess the Green Beans are the cheese.
BK is a bad example. They have had that "Have it Your Way" campaign for years. I ask for changes there all the time.

I have heard of folks get lettuce/tomatoes added to a quarter pounder, for example. But I have pretty much only removed condiments at McDonalds, not tried to add something.

Nothing pisses me off more than removing 3 things from my burger order, and adding one thing, and getting charged for the one thing. :grunt:

Or when I forget about the melted cheese at Fuddruckers and buy their upsell of sliced cheese.

Numanoid
02-09-06, 03:06 PM
Are you serious? This is a restaurant not the sale of WMD. Same reason if you want to add pickles, onions, and relish at your local Burger King's order. Except in this case I guess the Green Beans are the cheese.I think you made my point.

dtcarson
02-09-06, 03:42 PM
I think had that *always* been the case, it wouldn't be an issue.

Olive Garden gives you free salad with an entree. I don't eat salad. But they won't knock any money off if I refuse it. So I let them give it to me.

If I say "Can I sub this for that" and they say yes, well, fine. We've mutually agreed to amend the contract. Changing that process after years without making an announcement somewhere [even saying "no substitutions" on the menu], while technically 'legal', is not very customer-friendly. The customer has had a perception that the store has helped to reinforce. I've run into that in my industry, which is servicing medical equipment. For years we didn't require non-contract customers to give a purchase order number when requesting service. Then we cracked down and made them do what they should have been doing for years, and hell was raised with bricks under it [I like that saying], even though we announced it months before and sent everyone letters informing them of the new policy.

I can see some substitutions, and I can see not allowing others. The customer should ask, the server should be straightforward about what s/he can/can't do, and what if any additional cost might be incurred. And the company should be careful about what perceptions it reinforces. At Long John Silvers I expect to be able to sub fries for slaw. It's even an option on their register. I have done this for decades. If I go in there and am suddenly told I cannot, with no warning [even a note on the menu board], I would probably react like Kantonburg. I would not, however, expect to sub five shrimp for slaw, or a chicken plank for slaw, due to the cost differential.

devilshalo
02-09-06, 03:53 PM
Are you serious? This is a restaurant not the sale of WMD. Same reason if you want to add pickles, onions, and relish at your local Burger King's order. Except in this case I guess the Green Beans are the cheese.
Why is it that people expect competing companies to follow the rules of another? They have as much obligation to cater to a substitution as much as you having to being their patron, which is exactly nil.

RunBandoRun
02-09-06, 03:54 PM
Is this a saying I have never heard of before? I'm always interested in increasing my vocabulary.

My mother used to say it.

kantonburg
02-09-06, 03:56 PM
Why is it that people expect competing companies to follow the rules of another? They have as much obligation to cater to a substitution as much as you having to be their patron, which is exactly nil.

I'm not expecting them to follow anyone. I'm just saying if you were given two options of equal product. One with choices and one without I'm sure I'd know which way you'd go.

devilshalo
02-09-06, 04:03 PM
I'm not expecting them to follow anyone. I'm just saying if you were given two options. One with choices and one without I'm sure I'd know which way you'd go.
So it's a matter of convenience? [Again, I'll just point to my statement on the first page that the establishment has signage somewhere stating 'no subs']

I'll take Deftones example.. you're craving Chinese food and you want to sub steamed rice for fried. They say no, "We don't substitute." You say.. "Well, Panda Express does it all the time, why can't you?" "We don't substitute." Now, take the following scenario into consideration... you really, really want Chinese food and you really, really want to sub the fried rice, but they're not going to do it and the nearest Panda Express is 40 mins away. You're either going to grin and bear it and pay extra for the fried rice, or you're going to drive to Panda Express. What's your choice?

dtcarson
02-09-06, 04:09 PM
True, but those aren't equivalent choices. I'm sure it was implied in k-burgs 'choice' comment, that 'all else being equal'. But as with any decision, lots of factors go into this one, and depending on the prevailing mood of the consumer, any one of them could be the 'main factor' at any given time. I usually go to Wendy's for lunch, because it's quick and cheap; but sometimes they're so busy I go across the street to mcDonald's, which is more expensive but quicker. So those days I prioritize speed over value. Now, the 40 miles to Panda Express is an exaggerated version of that same scenario. Is choice/flexibility more important at that time to that consumer than a 40 minute drive?

While I might use 'Other restaurants allow me to sub' as a reason to go to that other restaurant, I personally wouldn't use it at another restaurant. As long as each restaurant represents itself clearly and doesn't serve me fried rat, they can all run their business the way the want. Perhaps the 'choice' place will see an increase in business, combined with negligible cost increase. Maybe the no-choice place saves more money than they'd make by being flexible.

Bushdog
02-09-06, 04:23 PM
Also, why shouldn't he express his preferences to the company? If enough people do, they will alter their policy.

kantonburg
02-09-06, 04:59 PM
So it's a matter of convenience? [Again, I'll just point to my statement on the first page that the establishment has signage somewhere stating 'no subs']

I'll take Deftones example.. you're craving Chinese food and you want to sub steamed rice for fried. They say no, "We don't substitute." You say.. "Well, Panda Express does it all the time, why can't you?" "We don't substitute." Now, take the following scenario into consideration... you really, really want Chinese food and you really, really want to sub the fried rice, but they're not going to do it and the nearest Panda Express is 40 mins away. You're either going to grin and bear it and pay extra for the fried rice, or you're going to drive to Panda Express. What's your choice?

Well in your scenario I'd just grin and bear it. Obviously each situation would be different. I'm using my example knowing there are at least 8 other choices within a 2 min drive of where this particular restaurant is. But I do see your point.

kantonburg
02-09-06, 05:04 PM
While I might use 'Other restaurants allow me to sub' as a reason to go to that other restaurant, I personally wouldn't use it at another restaurant.

Exactly. I would never do so either. I guess my point in this was for years I was allowed to sub green beans for slaw. I know how it can be. Catch a waiter/waitress in a bad mood, trained wrong, or just a plain asshole. I asked why and she said we just can't anymore. I left it at that. I never said in my letter that one place does it and so should they. I said if given choices I'd be more likely to choose an establishment where I have choices.

devilshalo
02-09-06, 06:33 PM
Perhaps the 'choice' place will see an increase in business, combined with negligible cost increase. Maybe the no-choice place saves more money than they'd make by being flexible.
Which is kinda my point. The restaurant doesn't need to cater to public demand. They have the right to make a choice, just as much as the consumer. But it's not an obligation to do so.

immortal_zeus
02-09-06, 11:59 PM
This thread inspired me to send an email to Sephora since the sales associate who assisted me yesterday was very helpful. She spent 15 to 20 minutes with me helping me to figure out which cologne I wanted. When it came down to the final two I couldn't decide, so I bought both. :D And I know she didn't get any commission....I wish she did, though.

http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f240/immortal_zeus/zeus.gif