Monday, February 13, 2006

Swiss Chalet--Again!

It’s getting to the point where I’m thinking I shouldn’t be ordering at Swiss Chalet anymore. (Even though I like their food.) In addition to my previous beef with them, they’ve given me problems again.

We ordered last night—without getting drinks, of course—and included a cheesecake in the order. When they came, they had forgotten to include it. So far, I’m not too annoyed; yes, they made a mistake, but no big deal, it happens. Luckily, we discovered it while the driver was still in the driveway, so I was able to run out and tell him that the cheesecake wasn’t there. He didn’t have it in his bag, so he called back to the store, and promised me that he’d be back with the dessert. This was about 8:30.

Unfortunately, an hour passed, and he still hadn’t returned. Now I was getting a bit annoyed. So I called back, and got someone on the phone, and asked him if there was a way he could check up, and see if the driver was still coming. He said that the best he could do would be to send a “message” to the store, and let them know that our dessert had been missing, and ask them to resend it. And then—get this—he told me that I shouldn’t have bothered talking to the driver, I should have called the main number instead. He gave the strong impression that he didn’t trust the driver to come back.

So I asked him what I should do if the driver didn’t come back, and he said to call back again. This was a little after 9:30.

10:00 rolled around, and no driver, so I called back. Only to find that you can’t call back, after 10:00, because they shut all the phones down. I tried a number of different customer service phone numbers they had on their web site—all of which probably pointed to the same place; there were 416 numbers for Toronto, and 800 numbers for the rest of Canada—but they were all closed.

So I had to resort to using their online form, to submit a complaint.

I don’t know why I bother airing my complaints on my blog—it’s not like I’m calling for a boycott of Swiss Chalet or anything. (Which, considering the low readership of my blog, would be an empty gesture.) On the other hand, I don’t know what else I should be using my blog for, so I might as well write about the things that are bugging me, along with all of the other crap I write about...


Anonymous said...

On the note of blaming fellow coworkers in the customer service industry... we were actually told to so... as a second resort. First resort, blame neither the customer nor the company. Second resort, take the blame, but never yourself or the customer gets to have a field day on you, someone they'll never have contact with is a fine scapegoat. In fact, we have an entire department that's fictional to lay the blame on, so when people write, we know what their problem is; it's code for "the customer screwed up but we can't say it."

David Hunter said...

I agree with the idea of having a department you can blame things on, somewhat. Used judiciously, this has the effect of placating the customers.

However, that's different than saying to the customer "you shouldn't deal with our drivers, because I don't trust them".

Anonymous said...

I vote for the boycott! I stopped eating at any of their establishments long ago, so I'm for the boycott!!!
A lot of ppl call just to complain and then get over it, so I'm sure that part of the deal was to just let ppl get it out of their system and everyone is somewhat happy.
But I have noticed a huge decline in the customer service industry all together, I'm often annoyed about something because no one really cares or tries anymore.... well except Mike Scott Fredrick at the Jack Astor's in London on Wellington, he ruled!!!

David Hunter said...

I've had a couple of conversations recently—with different groups of people—about the fact that customer service in Canada is, in general, much worse than customer service in the States. People mention driving across the border and seeing a huge difference, with dirty washrooms and lackluster service in Canada, compared to good service in the US.

I don't cross the border often, so I can't really compare, but this is what I'm hearing, and the consensus is, so far, unanimous.

One of the theories is that in the US they know that people will complain more than they will in Canada, so they know they have to do a better job, whereas in Canada, because we don't complain as much, they know they can get away with doing a half-assed job. There might be something to that, but it seems too pat, for me...

Anonymous said...

How odd that Y(oung) A(merica) has outsourced ALL of their customer service positions to Canada then. Then again, it probably just has something to do with our low dollar at the time they moved it, as they are a money grubbing bunch.