On Valentine’s Day, Tim and I scooted on over to TGI Friday’s to avail ourselves of the three-courses-for-$12.99 deal. We ended up leaving because a) the location didn’t honor the deal and b) the service was not good.
To be exact, the one server working the entire bar (on a holiday!) took 10 minutes to greet us and stated point-blank that the special was not honored there. She didn’t apologize for the mix-up. (Yes, it wasn’t her fault, but a good server will keep the customer happy by apologizing.) After she promised to get us the other special’s menus, she took three more tables’ orders. So it was another seven minutes or so until we got the menus — which she handed us by leaning over the bar. Tim nearly fell out of his chair reaching for it.
I know the restaurant isn’t exactly four-star, but we expected better service than that.
Later that night, I wrote a lengthy complaint about our experience. The company responded a week later by email. There was an apology and the assurance that our complaint was being forwarded to the restaurant. I had kind of hoped for a freebie of some sort, but I shrugged it off.
I was really excited, then, when $24 of gift cards to TGI Friday’s came int he mail. It was accompanied by another apology, yada yada. We were completely focused on the free meal.
On Sunday, we decided to go for lunch, reasoning that the leftovers would serve as dinner. And this time, I made sure to find a location with the $12.99 deal.
Things did not start well. We waited nearly 10 minutes for someone to approach our table. Finally, Tim got annoyed and went to complain. Less than two minutes after he sat down, we had a server at our table. She was very apologetic, which we appreciated because she wasn’t even assigned to our area. Nevertheless, she served us wonderfully, checking in often and keeping our drinks refilled.
Our annoyance had completely gone by the time the check came. After the gift cards, we owed about $15 before tip, but a manager came by and told us he had zeroed out our check completely. He apologized that we had to wait so long. We thanked him, and we made sure to leave the waitress a good tip for her extra efforts.
In the end, we got two good-sized meals for the cost of a $10 tip.
And that, my friends, is the power of complaint!
Do you make it a habit to single out particularly bad (or good) service?
Also be sure to check out Lynnae’s piece about consumer complaints over at Almost Frugal!