8.17.2007

lie to me

it's a rare day when we DON'T hear "but the other bux does it for me!".

i really hate 'the other bux'. i hate those 'other baristas' who apparently have no use for drink standards, health department regulations, or honesty. i hate being told by a misinformed customer that i have no clue as to what i'm talking about and that i obviously need to be re-trained. and that the 'other bux' is where i should re-train at.

"i want a sugar-free caramel frappuccino." a customer placed her order yesterday.
"ok, i do have sugar-free caramel syrup, but i just want to make sure you know that the drink still has sugar since none of our frappuccino bases are sugar-free." i told her pleasantly, but fully aware that she was going to blow her top.
"NO!" she jutted her chin towards me and rolled her eyes. "i am a diabetic, so the only thing i can drink are your sugar-free frappuccinos, and that's what i WANT!"
"ma'am," i started calmly, hating that i've had to have this same conversation with countless customers before. "we offer regular frappuccinos and light frappuccinos. now, there is splenda in the light frappuccinos, but there is also some sugar. there is absolutely no way i can make a frappuccino completely sugar-free for you - and i think you really need to know that since you are diabetic. i can, however, offer you an iced sugar-free caramel latte."
"no, no, no!" she shook her head. "you DO make a sugar-free frappuccino! i know because i get them all the time!"
"ma'am - "
"look - " she interrupted me. "i go to the starbucks down the street all the time. the guy there told me that there is no sugar at all in my drink. and i KNOW he was telling the truth because i told him i'm a diabetic."

why, oh why, do customers believe a lazy barista over an informed one?
yeah, i know. it's because the lazy barista is telling them what they WANT to hear.

"well," i continued, opting to end this as quick as possible. "THIS starbucks doesn't carry sugar-free frappuccino base."
"that's ridiculous!" she wasn't going to leave without a fight. "all starbucks are supposed to carry the same items! let me talk to your manager."

"ma'am, starbucks doesn't offer a sugar-free frappuccino base, only frappuccino light base." he told her after she'd gave him every painful detail of our conversation.
"oh, ok." she pouted. "i guess i'll just have to give my business to the OTHER starbucks down the street!"
"that's fine," my manager said with a smile and a shrug. "just remember, it will still have sugar."

i swear, sometimes i love my manager.

partner rant: ok - i'm sure you thought it was hilarious at the time, but telling non-stop talking customer that the barista brat was "missing him" and "couldn't wait for him to get back from vacation" has a load of bad karma heading towards them. i know you clutched your aching sides from laughter when you heard him say, "oh brat, i missed you as well" and "so brat, you've been on my mind lately". or when he patted his stomach to show me how those last few trips to the gym have paid off. i'm glad you had your fun, but now i have to deal with non-stop talking customer thinking i have a crush on him. ugh.

24 comments:

Eric said...

Shouldn't the other bux be informed that one of their employees is handing out misinformation that could endanger the health of a customer? A diabetic consuming sugar unknowingly is really dangerous. Like telling someone with a peanut allergy that you carry peanut free PBJs
PS how is the lighting study going. Hit me up if you have any ??

Monica said...

that same laziness on the part of a waiter i had once almost killed me. he got sick of coming back and forth to my table to tell me whether crertain dishes had food i'm allergic to in it. but anyway, it's frustrating as hell to try to explain to and reason with people who refuse to listen to you.

Jen said...

Hey! Just popped by to say that I love your blog, read it all the time. I have to ask your advice though - I have an interview for my local bux (in the UK) on Tues - can you give me any tips on how I can imprss them?

Anonymous said...

I don't do Starbucks (I'm too cheap) so I wonder if there are handouts with a list of ingredients so these arguments can be settled more easily?

Wry Exchange said...

But, but the customer is always right! Make me happy, for I am special!pfff.

Cinderelly said...

I had to laugh. I used to have red hair and wear glasses. After I switched to blonde hair and contacts, I had a couple come into the restuarant I work at and get mad at me for actually charging them for thier gravy. They then went on to say that "The nice little redhead with glasses that works here never charges us." So I asked them "her" name. Yup - same as mine. With a staff of 7, it's not hard to figure out they were lying to me, about me. I politely pointed out that I was the same person and that I always charge for gravy.
LOL

still me said...

Hi again! It's the blogger formerly known as 'silversonic'. I changed my name and dumped the old stuff and now I am back at it with a fresh blog.

Happy to be back and I will be visiting you often!

Manuel said...

the customer is always right, but very regularly wrong....

Jerry said...

Brat, How come the baristas in all the bux I've gone to have never heard of you? In the past few weeks I've been in Las Vegas, Virginia, Orlando and home on Long Island. I've mentioned your blog at least a dozen times and no one knew about it. But, they've all said they'll be checking it out!

Cheers,
Jerry

Professional People Pleaser said...

I totally hate people like that. I get told by my clients all the time that I don't know what the hell I'm talking about and "that's not how you all did it/charged three years ago" (obviously these people never heard of inflation.)

However I have been to a Bux here in Dallas that suggested the guy I was dating (when he asked what sugar free drinks they had since he is diabetic) try a "sugar free" light frap. Luckily the next time we went in he didn't remember what the hell it was and just asked for "that sugar free caramel drink" - it wasn't til they handed him the iced latte that he knew it wasn't the same thing...

Anonymous said...

I learned long ago not to argue with idiots or crazy people. In this case I would've smiled and given her what she wanted, perhaps with a few extra teaspoons of sugar added.

BTW, congrats on the book.

Sling said...

My response as a bartender to "The other Place" type comments was,"..Yeah,I know.I wouldn't blame you if you never came back here again!"..I don't suppose that would be Starbuck's policy though.

Manuel said...

"ok - i'm sure you thought it was hilarious at the time..."

It is mean but very funny all the same...

slskenyon said...

I think there is a difference between not offering the best possible customer service and not being able to offer it. Just recently, I was close to a hotel in which I had booked a room and after driving for hours, I wanted to check in and take a shower. Since I was hours before check in time, I called ahead about it, but the desk clerk insisted upon sticking with the rules, even with unused rooms available. That, of course, caused me to reconsider giving them my business. However, if there were no available rooms, I would have been content to wait--which is much more like your situation with the mix.

And the diabetic should be careful given the amount of sugar that IS really in that mix....

Seth said...

Yay manager! I love manager's who don't fulfill every whim of every last stupid customer. They're not always right!

Beth said...

That's frightening. If she's so concerned about her diabetes, why didn't she LISTEN to y'all?

Hoodlum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
If Life Were Sane said...

I am highly allergic to lemon, rash, breathing difficulties, the whole nine yards. If someone who was serving me something told me "oh that has lemon in it", I wouldn't stand there and argue, I would order something else!!! I would ask though why the other Bux lied to this woman? If someone did that to me, they would be putting me in a highly dangerous postion!

Allan said...

Yikes!The other bux is going to kill her with sweetness.

Rambling Mom said...

Dear Customer,

I can tell you're an intelligent person, concerned about your health, if you go to the starbucks website, you will see that even the light Fraps have sugar. I'm sorry that the other barista was lying to you. What is the address of the store, so I can report that barista to the district manager??

(I REALLY have a hunch that the customer is lying anyway).

The OE said...

Recent updates to secret agent continuing education specify that anything with splenda is not suitable for consumption during a stakeout.

Anonymous said...

what i don't get is, why would you even bother to tell her all of this information? if i had ordered a sugar-free caramel frappucino, then [at least in my eyes] it would mean that i wanted a frappucino made with sugar-free caramel syrup. granted, this is a different situation but why did you even get involved? why didn't you just make her a frap using the sugar-free syrup. it's so ridiculous.

A.J. said...

I had this problem a week ago or so at my store. "We order it all the time though." It took about 10 minutes to explain the whole thing to this lady.

Anonymous said...

I'm pissed!! First, thank you for the info on bux. I go there all the time and ask for the sugar free frap!! I never questioned if it had sugar or not as a barista asked me if i wanted it instead of my ice latte I usually get with the sugar free caramel. She knows i don't want to have sugar. My boyfriend comes home today after talking to someone like you with a brain and a heart and tells me there is no such thing as a sugar free frap. I look on line and find out i've been drinking sugar for weeks!! I'm gonna be talking to a manager for the first time cuz i'm pissed!!!!