Working with the public for several years I know how to treat a customer & I expect to be treated professionally when I visit a business. I understand that people have bad days and that may show a little in their job at times, but there are some people who simply do not belong in a job where customer service is required. I had an experience that is a perfect example of someone who does not understand how to deal with customers.
My mother, sister and I had been to a few stores in town. We often buy the Route 44-ounce drinks at Sonic. They have a promotion where you get a validation code for a free 44-ounce drink by calling their toll free number and answering a few survey questions. You may not always get the receipt that has the promotion, but with as many as we buy, we get them quite often.
On August 25, 2010, we had three validation codes and stopped at our local Sonic restaurant to get two Route 44 cokes and a sweet tea. Each having the validation code, we wanted to see if we could have the order rung up separately so we all had our own chance of getting another free drink. When the Sonic employee asked for our order over the speaker my mother explained that we each had a validation code and asked if we could have them rung up separately. He said yes but when he realized we were only using the validation codes for the free drinks and not purchasing any food he told us he could not do that. We decided to order my sisters drink and we would go through the drive-thru to order the other two drinks.
After a few minutes, the employee brought my sisters drink out to the car and did not offer to give the receipt. As the employee started to walk away, my sister asked for her receipt. (Keep in mind, the promotion is at the bottom of the receipt.) If you do not have the receipt, you do not have any chance of getting the validation code. We noticed right away that the receipt was torn by hand – the survey information removed.
We pulled out and went to the drive-thru to order the other two drinks. After placing the order and pulling around to wait for our drinks, I decided to get out of the car and ask the employee why he tore the receipt and to ask for the rest of it. As I stood outside the employee door, I could see through the window as the woman was preparing our drinks & placed them on the tray. There was a man sitting at a desk who glanced up at me, I smiled and waited patiently for someone to open the door. The female employee had her back to me, but as I stood there watching, I saw the man who had brought my sisters drink earlier reach over onto the tray and pick up our receipt. He laughed as he picked up the receipt. This made me furious!
I saw the “Employee’s only” sign on the door, but without even thinking, I reached for the door. It opened and I stepped inside. I said “Excuse me”. The female holding the tray with our drinks turned around to see me. I pointed toward the male employee and told her I wanted the receipt that he threw away and I wanted his name. She was obviously shocked and said “Uhhhh, Dave” as she turned toward him. His smile disappeared when I told him that I wanted the receipt – as well as his name. As he reached into the trash and pulled out the crumpled receipt, he told me his name was Dave. I didn’t catch his last name, but at this point I didn’t care. I was calling customer service because, in my opinion, when he removed the free drink from my sisters receipt he was stealing from her.
I took the drinks from the lady as Dave handed me the rest of my sisters receipt. I walked back to the car with our drinks and we drove away. I put my straw into my cup and took a drink of my tea. I almost spit it out. The tea was old and spoiled.
My sister stopped at the same Sonic again a couple of days later and found the general manager was there. She apologized and gave her some free survey receipts for the problems we had. That was good customer service and much appreciated. However, we stopped back again today and my tea was, once again, spoiled. This made the third time I have had spoiled tea at Sonic. I think in the future I will pass on Sonic tea… at least for awhile.