gwen (gwenix) wrote,

  • Mood:

Sigh. Bad Customer Service complaint.

I hate that lately my blog has been open letters of complaints... I've been very busy and haven't had time to blog about anything else recently. And sadly, anger is often a strong motivator. But here's my open letter to Sbarro's for an extremely unpleasant situation I suffered today:


This is in regards to an employee of the 441 Smithfield St location; he is an older man who usually is responsible for warming and distributing the food. I do not know his name, but he is clearly older with greying hair, and a foreign accent. I will henceforth refer to him as "the employee in question."

Today I was at Sbarro for my lunch break. I ordered what I always order: a spinach stromboli. While waiting for it to warm, another lady ordered the same thing. I was idling while waiting, so did notice where hers was put relative to mine. When the employee in question retrieved my stromboli, I noticed he picked up the other customer's order, which had been in less time. I mentioned this to him, and he told me I was wrong, but that I should return it if it was cold.

I paid for my order and sat down. Sadly, my stromboli was barely lukewarm, and the cheese was still somewhat solidified. I debated taking it back, but knew I wasn't really going to be able to eat it as it was.

When I approached the employee in question, he started yelling at me immediately about how he did not take the wrong stromboli. I did immediately point out that neither of us were going to change our minds, so we shouldn't discuss this, but he continued arguing and yelling at me with all kinds of accusations and insults and putting me on the defensive. He even accused me of complaining on a prior date, which I do not recall, after ordering a broccoli pizza, which I would not have ordered. After the third time I mentioned that we were not going to change each other's minds about the events so could we drop it, he finally did while still muttering.

This was all issued at me at top volume while there was a line of customers waiting to place their orders looking very shocked at the proceedings. I was also horribly embarrassed, and very disappointed in having to put myself in a position of having to defend myself for a mistake he made. To be fair, he did heat up the stromboli, but my problem wasn't that a mistake was made, it was the verbal assault I got for asking for the mistake to be fixed -- in the manner he told me to do!

Further, when I went to the lady behind the cash register and asked if I could file a complaint, her response was, "He's heating it up for you now, right?" I pointed out that I was angry with his treatment of me, not the stromboli, and she maintained he was heating it up and refused to let me file a complaint.

And so, I bring this to your attention here. I am also posting this complaint as an open letter on my blog. Please respond so that I can let my readers know that the corporate company is much more responsive than that branch.

Thank you,

Gwendolyn R. Schmidt.

UPDATE 2:45pm:

I received a response from the company already, as follows!


Below is a very detailed Guest complaint concerning a Very Disappointing
SERVICE PERFORMANCE she received TODAY at your Smithfield Street
location at lunch time. It also illustrates the show that must have been
put on in front of a large lunch crowd. This could entirely been avoided
by simply a "S.I.N." (Settle IT NOW) Approach to handling a Guest
Complaint. Does your team really understand that the Guest is Always
right? Please Address this with the Team there today at Lunch Time and
take the steps to correct. I will be reaching out to the Guest - Ms.
Schmidt by phone (I am Copying Her on this e-mail as well) and will be
offering her my apology and a thank you for letting us know. I suggest
that you also reach out to her and make it right. Great Food and
Atmosphere just doesn't make it alone for a restaurant's success today.
Great Service is that 3rd Leg, and without it your business will surely
fall. I know that You as an Owner and Your Team is Better than this!
Copy me on the outcome.

Jeff Pingor - Sbarro NE Director

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