Subway - Rude Manager Sets Precedent for Rude Employees
DEERFIELD BEACH, FLORIDA -- On December 29, 2012, I visited one of your establishments at 50 SE 20th Avenue in Deerfield Beach, Florida, at approximately 3:10 P.M. I ordered a double chicken salad. Once I sat down, I discovered the chicken had been warmed up, which melted the cheese, and there was too much salad dressing for my liking. So, I approached the cash register where I told the gentleman the issues and that the salad would have to be remade.
He didn't even address me and turned immediately to the girl next to him making subs and told her the situation. She then told the girl who made the salad at which point I heard, “She didn't tell me she didn't want the chicken warmed up.” My first question to you is, why do I need to tell her? Shouldn't she be asking the customer their preference in the first place?
The manager of this location, whose name I cannot reveal, as he would not divulge this information, so for all intensive purposes, he will be named “Bob”, heard the commotion and asked what the issue was, addressing me in a very unfavorable manner. He completely dismissed the issue at hand and simply stated, “This is a Subway policy and the chicken has to leave our hands to the customer hot”. How this pertains to having the salad remade, I'm not quite sure.
Bob then turned away and continued making incoming customers' subs. After a few minutes of being ignored, I spoke up and asked the cashier if they were planning on remaking the salad or to just ignore me, their customer, all day. Bob began a shouting match with me, telling me that he told me to wait while they served other customers and said to me, “You're a rude person and I don't deal with rude people. I told you to wait, so why don't you go home and get some training on how to be nice.” This was quite hurtful and disappointing to hear.
As someone who worked in the service industry for more than a decade, I'm sure you know as well as I that you never talk to a customer or client like that, even if they are in the wrong. His job was to diffuse the situation and fix the issue. All he had to say to calm the situation down was, “Sorry about that. We'll get your salad remade once we clear up this line of other customers.” It would have been that simple, but he continued to belittle me and behave condescendingly in front of the other patrons by first offering me a refund and then refusing to give me a refund stating that he does not “take commands from rude people or give refunds to rude people”. Bob got so frustrated that he threw out my salad and even told me leave.
He then ignored me, even after I asked, “Are you giving me a refund or are you remaking my salad?” He said NOTHING and continued to cash out other customers UNTIL he found out my boyfriend was recording the situation on his smartphone, a video I would be more than happy to share if you would like a copy. Only THEN did he give me back my money and even said, “Thank you”.
I am completely shocked at the way this manager handled the situation. When a customer comes to you with a problem, regardless of their demeanor or attitude, your job as a manager and a leader is to be objective and to help the customer. I am told by this manager that I need training to be less rude, so after hearing (and potentially viewing) what transpired, what, in your opinion, would this manager need? I am absolutely disgusted with this situation; I have never been spoken to like that, thrown out of a restaurant, and embarrasssed like this. This was completely the wrong way to deal with a customer.
If someone has an issue with a product you are offering, does this entitle them to speak to a customer like this? I can only imagine the repercussion this had on the customers around us as well as his staff. Every other customer in the restaurant was looking at us with their jaws dropped. If this is the poor attitude Bob portrays on how he handles this type of situation, his employees will only learn this destructive behaviour. If you are looking to hire motivated people, as your website states, you definitely have a manager working at this location who is motivated to lose customers, which is no way for a leader to act.
I've always been satisfied with the service and food at Subway, but after this interaction, please be assured that I will be retracting my future patronage from any Subway restaurants, as this experience has understandably turned me off. After weeks of contact with head office, I finally heard back from the district manager who sent me a one-line email stating that he was sorry and welcomed me back at any time. This less-than-acceptable reply prompted me to email him back and ask for a better resolution and he never answered both emails I sent him. I finally had head office contact the owner who supposedly said the employee was laid off for a week and retrained and that I was invited back for a free meal. Being from Canada, I can't imagine how I would take advantage of this offer, but the owner and head office never answered me on that either. That's some award-winning customer service!