Poor Service, Improperly Prepared Food
PRIME OUTLETS, HAGERSTOWN, MD, MARYLAND -- I am writing this letter to inform you of a negative customer experience I had with the Orange Julius vendor in the Hagerstown, MD Prime Outlets. Not only do they offer poor service, but they absolutely refuse to give receipts unless you specifically ask for it.
I had a problem with my order today, and the manner in which it was handled was atrocious. I ordered 2 chili melt dogs with cheese and onions, an Oriole Blizzard, a medium Coca-Cola, and a Sundae Cup to go.
When the individual behind the counter gave me the Oriole blizzard I informed her that it was to go. She scraped off the top of the blizzard and pressed the remainder down with a flat lid. I asked her if this was the same Orange Julius type of franchise that was in the Valley Mall. She asked why and I told her that they use dome lids. She replied they were out of lids. So I asked for a new un-scraped blizzard without a lid. (The manner in which she handled the first one was unacceptable) Her attitude was take it or leave it.
The other girl that was working on my order asked me to taste the Coca-Cola because she had just had to restock it. I tasted it and told her it was alright. She filled up the rest of the cup.
She then proceeded to make the hot dogs. They were out of chili. She then asked where to get more. Once instructed she removed the chili container from the refrigerator beneath the hot dog station counter and plopped a few scoop fools in the warmer. All this is occurring within eyesite of me and with the individual rubbing her nose, scratching her buttocks, her hair and wearing no protective hand guards. I asked another cashier if I could get the phone number to the manager or franchise phone number. She asked why and I told her because you are not stocked and the service is poor. You have run out of everything that I have ordered. This just isn't right. The party I was with has already finished eating. She then informed me that this was not a fast food restaurant and asked me if I thought it was. I told her yes, and asked her for a number for the manager, owner or franchisee so I can inform them that I believe there is a problem. By this time she was stating that I did not have to raise my voice at her, which I wasn't doing, but she was. I was speaking at the same level that I spoke when I placed my order and my voice may have been loud to make sure they could hear over the crowd noise which was loud, the place was packed. I suspect that she used this tactic to intimidate me.
She asked if I wanted my money back, I told her that I just want my order, and that I have been waiting 15 minutes since I placed the order. Some other lady said that it had not been that long and that it was only 7 minutes since I placed my order. Okay, if it was 7 minutes, then why have I still not received my order? Actually folks, it was more than 15 minutes and the employees were getting a little uncooperative by this time.
The individual that prepared my hot dogs gave them to me and the packaging was opened. When she handed them to me, my finger touched the chili. It was still cold from being refrigerated and the cheese was still cold also. It was not even partially melted. I told them that these were not right, and the manager immediately yanked out of my hand and threw them away and then disappeared to the back room in anger. She didn't even ask what was wrong with them.
Another cashier asked if I wanted my money back and I reiterated that I wanted the phone number of the owner, manager or franchisee so I can complain. Another cashier (the manager?) stated that they had just taken in $2000 in a few hours and that they were out of stock because of that and what did I expect, or words to that effect. In other words, so what, screw my order.
They left to the back room again and one of them returned with a phone number and told me that I should call this number in order to get my money back. I told her that I have not received my order and should not have to call a number to receive my money back. She then said that she would call security, and I told her that she wouldn't have to, because if she did not refund my money for the order I did not receive, I would call the police myself. She gave me my money back and the phone number. I called the phone number and it appeared to be a non working number or a number with a fast busy signal. I informed her of this and she madly told me to dial the number in front of her so she could hear it. Once again we received a fast busy signal. She then went to the back room and came out and told me that it should work now. It appears that the number she gave me was not the correct number or a number to one of the employees acting as the owner.
I left the counter and met with my party and told them what had happened. I tried to call the number again to complain, it rang and no one answered. After about 5 minutes after the incident, we were approached by mall security asking us to leave. Evidently because we were trying to call the number we were instructed to call. I was completely taken aback by this, and he stated that I had caused a scene at the counter and asked me to leave or I would be escorted out. This is of course after I had left the counter and met with my party, approximately 5 minutes later. First I informed him what actually occurred, once he heard that I was given the phone number to call, and I had not caused a scene, he became very empathetic. He called his boss and let me speak with him. His boss stated that I should file a complaint with the customer service desk and they would follow it up with the Mall Management and with the Franchise Headquarters, not the local owner of the establishment.
I have frequented this Orange Julius location since it opened some 18 months ago. Particularly to order 2 Chili Melt dogs (their signature hot dogs) on each of dozens of occasions. Generally speaking, good service at this particular location is hit or miss. Even when they are not busy, the attitude and work ethic of the individuals working behind the counter leave a lot to be desired. Also, it seems that every time I visit this particular location, I have to ask for my receipt or I donÃ¢ÂÂt get one.
Generally speaking, establishments such as this run really well with direct owner involvement. I experienced exceptional service when the retailer opened about 18-24 months ago. However, I noticed that level of service and quality has gone down considerably over the last 12 months. I do not profess to know why, but would suspect that owner or adequate supervision does not occur as it once used to. I have frequented other locations of Orange Julius and have repeatedly received exceptional food and service. Probably because of direct involvement with the owner/franchisee. It appears that the girl that was preparing my order was new, and no one was going to lift a finger to help her. In fact, when I was the only customer at the counter, she was the only one working. The others had disappeared into the back room and she apparently was frustrated for having to restock everything. She started complaining to me about it. While the other employees were on break, they did not even attempt to restock. That is not teamwork and appears to be caused by a lack of adequate supervision.