Customer Service? A joke?


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Mar 31, 2009
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My friend and I were at sitting at the Barnes and Noble Cafe a little bit more towards the evening. I was reading and my friend was studying for her classes. At the beginning of the session I ordered a Marble Macchiato and asked for a cup of ice. The cafe began to fill with people at the barista forgot to provide me with my cup of ice. This is fine seeing as how I could probably get a cup of ice later. After studying for a little bit time, I went back up to the barista and requested for my cup of ice. She said of course since she had forgotten to give me the cup of ice earlier. This barista was more than helpful.

After getting my cup of ice I went to the side bar and decided to add some of their complimentary non fat milk in order to decrease the bitterness. I then poured my coffee into the cup of ice and returned to my seat. Later on another barista came and decided to lecture me by stating that she saw that I asked for a cup of ice from her coworker and added milk to the cup. She then stated that the next time I went in I would have to pay for a cup of chocolate milk. I was taken aback slightly since I had poured my cup of coffee into the cup of ice to make my drink iced. The barista didn't care and wouldn't to what I had to say only to continue to reiterate her point like I was stupid. Oh yes, I forgot, the barista that troubled me was a larger sized blonde woman with a confidence issue ( more than likely ) and a large head to boot. This power trip will soon end someday I hope!!!
You know, poor customer service experiences often end up being the stuff legends are made of. by this I mean how many times does the average customer tell someone about good or above average encounters with service staff or a particular organisation? Not really that often. A poor, or hideously bad encounter with service personnel in a cafe, a hotel, an airline or a shop ends up being spread like wildfire. I still have a story I tell relating to a very bad experience my friends and I had in a 5 star hotel in NZ...back in the late 1980's!!! In these times competition for customer loyalty is tough. Loyalty is encouraged by deliverying not only excellent product at a fair price, but ultimatley by giving seamless and quality service to customers. The service aspect often is the intangiable. Customers will put up with a slip up occasionally in their cup of latte, but they rarely forgive a time when a barista is rude to them, or a cashier argues about something. I think this post above points out just how hot under the collar a customer can get...all over a cup of ice!


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freekwentrdr said:
After getting my cup of ice I went to the side bar and decided to add some of their complimentary non fat milk in order to decrease the bitterness. I then poured my coffee into the cup of ice
Why didn't you order a iced Marble Macchiato in the first place? If the drink is bitter, you should have brought it back and ask the barista to make one correctly. Without knowing the barista's attitude and her tone, it is hard for me to say if she acted inappropriately. The flip side of poor customer service is inconsiderate public. From my point of view as a shop owner, the non fat milk/whole milk/cream at most cafe's station is for people who have regular brewed coffee and add no more than 2 to 3 ounces of cream to their coffee. While most customers use condiment station exactly as designed some people take advantage of it. Too many shops have had people asked for espresso in larger cup and then filled the cup with milk making a so called ghetto latte; while people sometimes grab too many sugar packages and napkins, I once had a gal emptied half a bottle of honey into a glass jar and took the jar of honey with her. Above and beyond abusing the condiment station, I have had too many people asked for cup and hot water to steep a tea bag that they brought from home; I have had people sat whole day in the shop reading free magazines or using the free wi-fi without buying a thing; I have had people sat at our outdoor area with other shops coffee, hell, I have had people stole bathroom tissues, ceramic cups, and barista's tip, I can go on and on but you get the picture. As much as you don't like poor customer service, baristi and shop owners don't like to have people take advantage of their shop. In my shop, cold drinks cost more than their hot drinks counter part simply because plastic cups for cold drinks cost more. If you were in my shop you drank some of your latte and went back to the station and add more milk to your drink then pour it over ice, I will think you are abusing the milk station and will tell you so, politely.