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I got fed up & asked for my money back & finally got satisfaction

Flynn Aug 15, 2005 03:08 PM

I often hear the expression on these boards to 'walk with your feet' when not happy with service. Well, I finally did that today and got some satisfaction so I was wondering if Hounds had stories to share as well. Here's what happened to me.

I was at a gourmet take-out/sitdown deli and the special was French meat loaf, mashed potatoes and grilled vegies. I asked the counterman if he would substitute the potatoes and give me something green instead. First he said no but he could see I wasn't interested in other dishes. Then he said how about creamed spinach with the meat loaf special. I said fine. When the heated plate came out it contained meat loaf, creamed spinach and a huge mounded of mashed potatoes. I asked him where the grilled vegies were. He said 'the law was everybody gets potatoes.' His attitude just ticked me off. I'd already paid the cashier and asked for my money back twice much to the first counterman's surprise who thought I'd just take the plate quietly.

The cashier also turned out to be one of the managers. He took the plate and emptied the potatoes and piled some vegies in the plate, warmed it up and gave me meat loaf, grilled vegies and creamed spinach about one minute later. Ta dah! That's how easy it was to turn around a bad customer service situation.

The original counterman apologized and said he didn't understand. I just waved it off but sometimes it really does work to walk with your feet.

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  1. r
    Rico Pan RE: Flynn Aug 15, 2005 03:23 PM

    The real question here is: What makes meat loaf "French"?

    7 Replies
    1. re: Rico Pan
      MidtownCoog RE: Rico Pan Aug 15, 2005 03:27 PM

      French Bread in the mix instead of Dorritos.

      1. re: Rico Pan
        Flynn RE: Rico Pan Aug 15, 2005 03:38 PM

        I also remember reading somewhere that meat loaf originated from French pate but there's so many variations of meat loaf but it's basically pure comfort food.

        Gee, I hope this thread doesn't morph into French vs. American meat loaf because then it belongs in Home Cooking.

        Hounds, could we stay on topic???? Thanks,

        1. re: Flynn
          Rico Pan RE: Flynn Aug 15, 2005 04:01 PM

          OK...what is the topic?

          You asked for no potatoes, you got potatoes, you said you wanted your money back, they got rid of the potatoes. Gotcha.

          So what do you want people to discuss?

          1. re: Rico Pan
            Flynn RE: Rico Pan Aug 15, 2005 05:44 PM

            "so I was wondering if Hounds had stories to share as well."

            1. re: Rico Pan
              guglhupf RE: Rico Pan Aug 16, 2005 10:07 PM

              Thank you.

            2. re: Flynn
              MidtownCoog RE: Flynn Aug 15, 2005 04:02 PM

              OK, then...

              #1 - When you start doing substitutions, you change the entire concept of a "special".
              #2 - Meatloaf should be made at home.
              #3 - Meatloaf should be enjoyed with mashed potatos.

              Peace, out!

            3. re: Rico Pan
              SuzyInChains RE: Rico Pan Aug 15, 2005 03:50 PM

              When it's made with beef tongue?

            4. j
              Jack RE: Flynn Aug 15, 2005 04:45 PM

              Only expression: it's the crying baby that get's the milk! :)

              1 Reply
              1. re: Jack
                Shep RE: Jack Aug 15, 2005 09:04 PM

                "It's the squeaky hinge that gets the oil." Or gets replaced.

              2. d
                Deenso RE: Flynn Aug 15, 2005 04:48 PM

                Good for you, Flynn. I think the posters below weren't quite getting the gist of your message, but the point is that you CAN open your mouth and get what you want. I, for one, am tired of the "Sorry, no substitutions" crap. I'm paying and I'd like to eat what I want from your steam table, please, not what you think I should have.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Deenso
                  MidtownCoog RE: Deenso Aug 15, 2005 05:04 PM

                  That's faulty logic.

                  Items are the "daily special" for a reason.

                  Not so you can create your own "special".

                  1. re: MidtownCoog
                    Flynn RE: MidtownCoog Aug 15, 2005 05:35 PM

                    Faulty logic? Sounds like an oxymoron to me.

                    If you're content with whatever the daily special is, then so be it. Eat it and enjoy it.

                    My point was that the counterman said he would substitute creamed spinach for mashed potatoes. It's not like I was asking for something fancy as a substitute and he had already agreed. He turned into a smartass instead when he presented the plate of creamed spinach with mashed potatoes. He thought he was being pretty cute so that's when I asked for my money back.

                    1. re: Flynn
                      donburi RE: Flynn Aug 15, 2005 07:28 PM

                      I'm thinking someone here used to be a counterman himself?!

                  2. re: Deenso
                    Flynn RE: Deenso Aug 15, 2005 08:24 PM

                    Right, Deenso, the squeaky wheel gets the oil.

                    I think the other posters 'got' the gist of the message but they're basically what my mother-in-law used to call 'kibbitzers' a/k/a needlers.

                  3. s
                    Sir Gawain RE: Flynn Aug 15, 2005 05:20 PM

                    Excuse me, but I can't stop wondering... What else, aside from feet, is there to walk 'with'?

                    I suppose legs, to which feet are attached... but it still seems like an odd maxim.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: Sir Gawain
                      dave g RE: Sir Gawain Aug 15, 2005 05:26 PM

                      I think it is supposed to be "VOTE with your feet".

                      1. re: dave g
                        Tracy L. RE: dave g Aug 15, 2005 11:49 PM

                        I thought it was "vote with my wallet". as in money talks...

                        1. re: Tracy L.
                          cendant RE: Tracy L. Aug 16, 2005 10:33 AM

                          i love this board but it seems that lately it is attracting far too many pedantic/instructive/ 'one ups man'-like people. They tend to move conversations over to who used the right phrase; the proper name of the neighborhood where a restaurant is located, and the accompanying historic zoning laws; spelling, historical references etc. Keep to the chow folks and 'live and let live'!!

                          It seems that every time this board gets mentioned in press its users are refwrred to as 'nerd' or 'geeks' and I can certainly see why.

                          1. re: cendant
                            Flynn RE: cendant Aug 16, 2005 11:29 AM

                            Thank you for making this point.

                            And it doesn't really add anything to the topic which I know plenty of people on these boards have previously written about.

                            1. re: Flynn
                              Sir Gawain RE: Flynn Aug 16, 2005 05:52 PM

                              What seems far more annoying to me (and I know I'm not alone) is the recent tendency to start threads like "some people have no manners" or "this server was so rude to me, let's hear your own rude server story", or "can you believe the outrage of what some people dare to do with their food", followed by a request for affirmation/sympathy. When the topic is this boring, any diversion is welcome, especially since the language in which these posts are written is often far more interesting than their substance.

                              1. re: Sir Gawain
                                Flynn RE: Sir Gawain Aug 17, 2005 09:50 AM

                                Don't know if I agree - when a topic is boring on these boards, people just don't reply and it moves down the threads and disappears. Newer topics then appear on the top hierarchy. That's how the Chowhound software works. Why would anyone reply to boring topics anyway?

                    2. f
                      Fida RE: Flynn Aug 15, 2005 08:37 PM

                      Sorry, Jack, but the apt phrase isn't "It's the crying baby that gets the milk."

                      If memory serves, the correct expression was Flynn's own, which I believe was: "The squeaky Chowhound usually gets the gravy."

                      Yes, I've had similar experiences, but nothing so dramatic as to qualify as a story. I think, though, it's not just a matter of using your feet, whether to walk or to vote. The point is that you were using your mouth - clearly asking beforehand, and clearly objecting afterward. Leaving isn't that effective without speaking up. I think that if a place has 10% fewer customers, they'll probably blame it on the economy, or on new competition in the neighborhood. But if 10% of the customers complain to the manager, there's a better chance that the lesson might be learned.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Fida
                        Flynn RE: Fida Aug 15, 2005 09:34 PM

                        "But if 10% of the customers complain to the manager, there's a better chance that the lesson might be learned"

                        Fida, I love ya! Excellent points.

                      2. w
                        Wayne Keyser RE: Flynn Aug 16, 2005 01:08 AM

                        Not just that you didn't get what was agreed upon, but you got an "in-your-face" snarky comment accompanying the not-as-agreed dish - good for you for making noise!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Wayne Keyser
                          Sharuf RE: Wayne Keyser Aug 16, 2005 12:08 PM

                          Not getting what you want is annoying, but getting BULLSHIT about it is offensive and infuriating. I have a severe allergy to bullshit.

                        2. j
                          julesrules RE: Flynn Aug 16, 2005 12:36 PM

                          Well to be honest I probably would've asked for (and been happy if I had received) a little extra grilled veg, hold the potatoes. My logic being that the potatoes are the cheap filler and their price point/profit margin are based on that. Yes that is somewhat based on my experience as a counterperson where we served lunch specials and people would ask for substitutions that were NOT price equivalent. For example wanting Snapple instead of soda, when we charged twice as much for Snapple (based on our costs). Of course, the customer could always get exactly what they wanted - just not always at the "special" price.

                          BUT the attitude & behaviour of the counterman - whole different story - good for you.

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