Something you should probably know about me is that I have a special way of dealing with folk who act like their mamas never taught them any manners — particularly, the ones who work in customer service. My friends from college used to call me “Politely” because I have a knack for shutting people down in the most eloquent and civil way. Take my recent experience with Hungry Howie’s, for instance.
A couple weeks ago, I went over my friend Darcia’s house for some wine and girl talk. I got hungry, so I ordered a small pizza (gluten-free, of course) to be delivered over there. My mouth was watering for some delicious pizza topped with pepperoni, mushrooms and parmesan butter. But what wound up getting delivered to me looked like it had been sitting out for the past three days. So I dialed up Hungry Howie’s to calmly express my grievances.
At first, I asked to have another pizza made, but after getting a bit of backlash when I told them what my issue was, I changed my mind and asked for a refund (y’all not about to put rat poison and spit wads in my food on my watch). I was then placed on a brief hold before the manager picked up the phone.
Him: Hello, ma’am?
Me: Yes, I’m here.
Him: We’ve already put your new pizza in the oven, so we won’t be able to give you a refund.
Me: How is that possible? I just called and I no longer want the pizza.
Him: Well, we don’t give refunds anyway, so you can either get a new pizza made or get a store credit.
Me: So you all never give refunds?
Him: No, it’s company policy.
Me: I have never heard of that.
Him: Well, ma’am, it’s our company policy — so you can take it or leave it.
Me: Sir, there’s no need to be rude.
Him: I’m not being rude. You’re asking for a refund and I’m telling you we don’t give refunds here. So I don’t know what else you want me to tell you.
Me: Okay, that’s fine. I will be contacting your corporate office.
Him: Do what you have to do. *click*
I’m sure y’all can imagine that I was fuming at this point. So much so, that I grabbed my trifling, nasty-looking pizza, told Darcia I would holla at her later, hopped in my truck and made a beeline for Hungry Howie’s. When I got there, I could tell the employees already knew who I was because everyone was dead silent — no one even looked at me. So I just stood there without uttering a single word until someone finally came to the counter. I asked to speak to the manager who I was just on the phone with. About a minute later, a pale, Squidward-looking dude comes to the counter.
Him: Hi, may I help you? (he knew exactly who I was)
Me: I just wanted to come up here and ask you in person if you typically deal with customers the way you just dealt with me over the phone.
Him: Ma’am, I already told you, we don’t give refunds.
Me: Well since I won’t be ordering from this location anymore, would I be able to use the credit at another location?
Him: No, you can’t do that.
Me: So now you’re telling me that I can’t get a refund OR use the store credit anywhere but here?
Him: Like I said, you have two options — get another pizza made or get a store credit and use it here at a later date.
Me: This is absolutely ridiculous. May I have your name, please?
Him: All the information you need can be found on the Hungry Howie’s website.
Me: Wow, I will definitely be contacting corporate.
Him: Ma’am, there’s no sense in going back and forth. I’ve already apologized and–
Me: Actually, you didn’t apologize.
Him: *sarcastically* Well, sorry — there ya go!
Me: You can go ahead and keep your sorry apology along with your sorry pizza.
Then I shoved the pizza off of the counter before walking out of the store.
“YOU ARE DONE HERE!” Squidward shouted behind me. I guess that meant I was blackballed from Hungry Howie’s.
The minute I got in front of a computer, I filed a nice complaint on Hungry Howie’s website explaining the entire situation — from the delivery to me pushing the pizza off the counter. I noted that while my reaction was in poor taste, the amount of unprofessionalism the manager exuded throughout the entire ordeal exceeded far beyond that. I also made it very clear that I will never be ordering from that location again.
The next day, I received a call from the district manager, Sarah, who had read my complaint and was very apologetic about the incident. She said that Squidward had handled the issue very poorly and she made sure to talk to all of the store managers in that location. She also said that she would be issuing a full refund on my credit card (turns out they do give refunds) and gave me a store credit — at another location.
Moral of the story: The next time you encounter a rude, ignorant simpleton who, for whatever reason, works in customer service, don’t waste your time and energy going back and forth with him/her until you’ve reached your boiling point (like I did in this scenario). Take a deep breath, get in front of a computer — or grab a pen and paper if you’re old school — and write a nice, educated letter to corporate. I promise y’all, it works wonders.
If you need help writing one, I am offering up my services. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, let me know what your issue is, and I got you (for a small fee, that is).