Bad Customer Service Weekend, Part Two

[UPDATE 6/24/2006 : It’s really important to note here, before you read this, that this — for Krause’s — is an extremely isolated event, heck, pretty much the only time in my entire 35 years of partaking of Krause’s candies. The only reason I keep it here, is because it tells a “segment” of a story in which we couldn’t, for the life of us, get good customer service and damned near anywhere over the course of a single weekend. I love Krause’s, they’re good people, with a good product, and 99.99% of the time, great customer service. I just bought a couple pounds of chocolate there the other day. Don’t read this and think that this is a “pattern” for them, it’s not.]
Hot off the heels of my crappy experience at Boston Market, D and I decided to stop at Krause’s Chocolates on our way back from Saugerties on Sunday afternoon.
Now, I stop at Krause’s all the time. I feel it’s only fair to point out that in my 34 years of life, this is the first and only time I can remember being so pissed off at Krause’s that I walked out without buying anything. It’s also a good background reference point that the way Krause’s “works” is that you wait in line over by the showcase, where they pick your candies for you, and then walk over to the register area and pay. The only time you don’t stand in line over at the showcase is if you’re just buying stuff from the “store” area, in which case you stand there, and they’ll ring you up after they finish dealing with one of the boxed-candy customers. Because you’re a quick transaction with no real effort, nobody in the candy line complains, and life is good. That’s how it’s worked for as long as I can ever remember there being a Krause’s Candys shop.
So I’m keeping track of the whole “who was here before me” thing, in the candy line. There’s one woman in front of us, and one guy with a stack of stuff at the cashier’s counter to pay for.
The two girls who are behind the counter are moving really slow today, but ordinarily, I can accept that. I overhear them wondering aloud about what happened to their third co-worker, who was apparently on break.
Ah, the woman ahead of us is being cashed out. Excellent. So we’ll be handled shortly, and this insufferable wait (about 10 minutes at this point) will be finally over.
The girl turns her attention to the guy with the pre-packaged stuff. She rings that up. He then says, “and I’d also like a pound box of chocolate.”
Now, there are a number of proper responses to this:

  • “I’m sorry, sir, if you want boxed chocolate, you’ll have to go wait in that line over there.”
  • “Right behind you are an assortment of pre-chosen boxes of chocolate, pick up one of the one-pound boxes, and we’ll be good to go.”

… or variations on that theme.
The proper response is not to walk over to the empty boxes saying, “What would you like in that?”
D explodes (rightfully so, I’m about 3 seconds from exploding), saying “Uhhh, excuse me, we’ve been waiting in line over here??!!” in an incredulous voice, completely amazed that the girl has this low of a level of customer service.
Hot off the heels of the Boston Market episode — as well as having an hour earlier dealt with fresh-off-the-boat-and-not-speaking-english waitpersons in two different restaurants in a rather frustrating situation where one of our friends needed a bathroom and the wait-staff didn’t speak enough english to direct them to the bathroom — my pain-threshold for “shitty service” is at an all time low. This will be the fourth place in thirty-six hours that D and I have walked out of.
I throw my hands up in the air, and I’m like “Screw it, forget it, I’m outta here.” D is still railing on the cashier, but I seriously can’t hear her because my blood is boiling. Fifteen minutes in Krause’s smelling the chocolate and I wanted nothing more in life at that point than to down a couple chocolate creams, but my inner hatred of crappy customer service has trumped that and told me I can’t have any. About thirty seconds later, D follows me out. Clearly she had more to say to the girl that I never heard. Too bad. D’s a really funny person, I bet she got a lot better quips in than “Screw it, I’m outta here.”

10 thoughts on “Bad Customer Service Weekend, Part Two

  1. Dude? Are you serious? You didn’t have an extra minute to wait?
    Good customer service for the guy in front of you doesn’t equal bad customer service for you.

  2. Actually, I didn’t.
    (a) at the rate they were filling orders it would have been another 5-10 minutes. They were *that* slow while we were there.
    (b) I was trying to get out of there somewhat quickly so I could get to the airport and pick up my parents. At the time I didn’t know their flight was delayed, and I was already about 15 minutes behind schedule, and didn’t want to make them stand around waiting at the airport.
    “being able to jump to the front of the line” is not “good customer service”.

  3. People are paid to do a job and they expected to do the job quickly, not lolly gag around and make a paying customer wait while they take their sweet ass time, we as a customer go to these so called fast food restaunts for fast sevice, hence the name fast food.
    Why should one customer get perfrct smiley service and the next have to wait a additional 15 mins because the pimpling faced tenagers do not know their jobs. I agree with derek all the way, hell if we do not take a stand for ourselfs who will.

  4. Yes, I see the point, but stand up for yourselves? Isn’t that a little over the top? Quick service is what attracts people to eat “fast food.” It certainly isn’t the nutritional value of the meals. When you don’t get the service like you would expect, then you get pissed about it, but what about the times when you do get the service that you wanted? I’ve seen Derek acknowledge exceptional service, but more often than not it is the bad service he receives that is brought up. We’re talking about Boston Market and Krauses Candy here. Neither has a reputation for being fast. Boston Market prepares it’s food as needed or shorthly before it is needed, it is prepackeaged, but these things take a little time. If Derek wanted to eat a Steak Ummmm then he could have gone to any real fast food joint and ordered one. That isn’t what he wanted, he wanted sirloin steak and that takes time to cook if they run out. I’m sure he wouldn’t want to eat a piece of shoe leather steak that has been sitting under the hot lamp for 3 hours either.
    Krauses Candy will never be confused for “fast food.” There are kids working there and maybe they aren’t so “customer service” oriented, big deal. A pound of chocolate isn’t going to take 10 minutes to pick out, it takes 2, maybe 4 if the guy is a weasel, there will be less than 20 pieces of chocolate in there. If the girl stood on her hands to get them it wouldn’t take that long. Really guys- do you sit in traffic and wonder how come these people get to go to the toll booth before you did?
    “It is my right in the McDonalds Constitution….” ahhh forget it.

  5. I’m totally on your side on all counts dude. Although I would not go as far as not going back to Krauses, I have totally stopped going to both Boston Market and Wendys. Not only for the shitty service and bad attitudes $ 6.50 an hour can provide, but for the total lack of culinary delight that I used to derive from both establishments. A long time ago I once worked at Wal Mart and spent the first half of my day building up an appetite for the HUGE amount of super tasty ham and turkey Boston Market gave you for like $6. Then as soon as the “newnwess” wore off the food went to shit andthe portions diminished. Same at Wendys. The hamburgers tasted fresh and abso-freakin-lutely the best around. Now, not so much.
    Again I’m with you. Sorry you had a shitty day, but, you have Friday night to look foward to!

  6. When I stated stand up for ourselves I did not mean start a chant of (Why are we waiting) I meant make it known that the service is crap and do not sit on our hands and be quite and accept it
    Agreed the two places in question are not the norm for fast food, but the are not 100 dollar a plate restruants either, they are a place to recieve food quickly for very little money …ie fast food

  7. I work for Krause’s Candy Company and feel I have to address this posting. On the average, there are approximately 4-5 Krause’s employee’s to every one customer, so many in fact, a customer might get “asked” to be helped by 2 or 3 different people. It’s amazingly ironic that I should read this posting because our customer service is the main priority of this company as was stressed in our training procedures. In acuality, we have a sign that hangs “behind the scenes” stating that the customer is our #1 priority, without them we wouldn’t have a job, which is in fact, true. I’m truly sorry for your less than perfect experience at Krause’s and hope that you’ll give it another chance. Maybe God was trying to teach you a lesson in patience on that day.
    Sincerely,

  8. Ann,
    Believe me I’ve been back to Krause’s many times since then. As I said in the lead-in to my post, Krause’s had gone 34 years without disappointing on the customer-service front. I wouldn’t even have blogged about this one-time-affair at all if it hadn’t been that I was just having such a streak at the time of bad customer-service experiences, one right after the other, enough that I was starting to feel cursed. 🙂
    Peace,
    Derek

  9. As an employee of Krause’s Candy and manager of our website I would like to ask you to consider removing your negative comments about our customer service. We do appreciate that you have somewhat retracted your comments since your original blog in October of 2005 however, it has been brought to our attention that when searching for “Krause’s Candy” on the internet your comments are listed right up in the top 10 search results. It concerns us that potential customers will view your complaints and not take the time to read through the later comments stating that your unpleasant experience at Krause’s Candy was a “one-time-affair”. We appreciate your consideration and your continued business. Thank you!

  10. I’ve put an update at the top of the page, before the article itself, to try and put things in perspective BEFORE a visitor reads, just in case they don’t read down to the comments.

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