Thursday, July 31, 2008

It pays to complain...

A couple of days ago, my 2 year old son and I ate lunch at Applebees. I ordered a new item on the menu - Cheddar Jack Mac & Cheese with Chicken. When I took the first bite I was instantly less than thrilled. It was spicy. No where in the description did it state that it was spicy. I don't like spicy food. It usually upsets my stomach. I ate what I could of it and paid the bill and we were on our way. I didn't complain at the restaurant because I figured that it wasn't their fault. They were just following the recipe. Corporate were the ones that printed the misleading description in the menu. When I got home I went to and took a second look at the menu to make sure that I didn't overlook something in the description that would imply that the dish would be spicy. I didn't. In fact, here is the description copied and pasted directly from the website:

Cheddar-Jack Mac & Cheese with Chicken

Slices of seasoned, grilled chicken breast served over tender penne pasta mixed with a creamy cheese sauce. Topped with a buttery crumb topping.

I emailed Applebees through their website and the general manager of the Applebees that I had eaten at called me yesterday. He was very apologetic and agreed that the description is misleading. He mentioned that they mix pico de gallo into the cheese sauce. He asked if I had spoken to a manager while I was at the restaurant. I told him that I hadn't because I didn't feel like it was their fault. He told me to always ask to speak to a manager if I was less than satisfied and they would make it right on the spot. He is sending me a $10 gift card in the mail to make up for my disappointing lunch! (My lunch was only $6.99 - the total bill was $14.30 before tip so this almost pays for the whole bill!)

The moral of the story is... if you are unhappy, let someone know. A lot of times you will be compensated!

Note: this doesn't always work. I emailed Starbucks to let them know of my disappointment that they had discontinued their decaf Frappaccinos and all I got was a short apology confirming that they had, in fact, discontinued them. Oh well, it doesn't hurt to try!

1 comment:

Walt and Sarah. said...

That's great that they were so good!

You got that right! It pays!

I had a bad experience at Applebee's too. It was very musty and smokey smelling in the restaurant and no one was smoking! They were very apologetic. I sent my complaint online too. The GM called and mailed us a letter good for a free meal on the house for both my husband and I!
The customer service online also sent me two $10 gift cards good at any location! I was impressed!

Several years earlier, I complained to a grocery store that the clerk didn't acknowledge me while she rang up my order. She didn't greet me or say thank you after handing me my receipt. NOTHING! That same trip, there was a rude aisle stocker too. So I wrote the corporate office and they mailed me a $20 gift certificate and the GM called me.