Sunday, August 25, 2013

What Happened to Ethics and Customer Service

A fun little story of an epic fail in ethics and customer service today:

Taco Bell had a big sign right over the cashier today that got me for an impulse buy. Shredded Covered chicken burrito, $2.99. It's a deal. I'll take two. I added up my order in my head as I went, and the total she asked for seemed like more than it should have been. I paid it, but it bugged me as I ate. When I was leaving I noticed that there were no customers at the counter. So, I stopped by and asked for clarification.

Me: I don't understand the pricing on my receipt, and I was wondering if you could clear it up for me. I might be missing something.

Cashier: Okay, I'll try.

Me: Your sign right there says that the chicken smothered shredded burrito is $2.99 each. I ordered two. That would be six bucks. But on my receipt it's $7.98. What am I missing?

Manager, who came over to help: The chicken burritos are $3.99 each.

Me: Not on your sign. It's right there over your head. $2.99 each.

Manager: We'll it's $3.99 with tax.

Me: No. It's not. You have a separate line on the receipt for tax. And besides, the tax on three bucks is not a whole extra buck per burrito. The tax on my whole meal is $1.06.

Manager: We'll it says $3.99 on the computer.

Me: I can't see your computer. I can see your sign. I ordered from your sign. Your sign says $2.99

Manager: The sign is wrong. I can't change the price.

Me: You know that is the wrong answer, right? You charged me two dollars more than the advertised price.

Manager, taking the sign down in front of me: The price is $3.99. I can't change the price.

We'll we're not getting anywhere here. It's Sunday, and I just heard a great sermon, and I'm in a good mood, and I'm not getting through to this ethics challenged manager. So I left.

Before I got on my motorcycle though, I turned and walked back in. I saw that the manager had changed the sign to $3.99 - that quick - and hung it back up. I smiled and asked simply and politely "How can I contact the owner of this store?". She gave me a phone number, I thanked her, and I left.

If the owner of the Taco Bell is reading this, I have questions: What happened to customer service in America? To ethics? Well, the computer says what the computer says and that's that.

And, in the words of the paperboy to John Cusack way back in "Better off Dead": I want my two dollars.

1 comment:

  1. if a store incorrectly posts a price, they are required by law to honor that price, even by mistake.

    about 20 years ago i was in a samsonite luggage store and saw a nice leather briefcase that was accidentally marked $10.99 instead of $109.99. with a smile, i walked up to the register and said, "if this is really eleven bucks, then i'll take it." my intention was a joke. my intention was simply to point out that it had been mismarked so they could fix it.

    the cranky old woman behind the register made faces, snarled, probably cursed, and then sold it to me for the wrong (but legally right) price. afterward, i told her that i didn't really want to buy it. i just wanted to help. but she was being so rude about it that i bought it just to teach her a lesson.

    still have it too.