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Waffle House, Canton, Ga Complaint - "Don't come back" how bad do you have to be??? Don't complain at Waffle House!

Review by debdebga on 2009-10-21
Resolution Update on 10/22/2009:
The District Manager of Waffle House made everything right. He respected me and made no excuses for the bad behaviour of his staff. I am pleased with the end results....I am welcome vack to the establishment!
CANTON, GEORGIA -- Because I questioned why I was charged more than the posted $4.99 for my meal, I was asked to leave and not come back. WOW!

This Waffle House in Canton Georgia is typically getting "B" ratings or below from the health department and smells like garbage if you sit near the dish pans under the counters.

I told the waitress I would like the $4.99 Bacon Lovers BLT well done bacon on light toast. I then asked what I could have beside the Chili, she answered "hashbrowns", I ordered that and a coke. The first order came to me wrong, it was fixed and I was pretty happy, upon finishing and looking at my bill I saw I was charged ala carte for everything, totaling over 7.00. I asked the waitress why, she explained she is new and she "thought" I could sub the hashbrowns for the chili but found out AFTER the fact that I could not and thus also was charged for everything. I said this is not right and I need to speak to a manager, she said no manager would be there till tomorrow. The other waitress came over and said that the waitress was right and just because she did not tell me that I could not have the 4.99 meal, I still must pay the 7.00. I said no way, she indignantly marked the check $5.20 and said just pay that amount and DO NOT COME BACK! I tipped my waitress 2.00 and left. I am an ex waitress myself with many years in customer service and NEVER thrown out of anywhere...I am shocked. How does this happen? Does anyone care? I had stayed away from Waffle House for years due to unclean practices but thought I would give it another try. What a serious mistake. They tried to rip me off and when confronted, was embarrassed in public! WOW
Comments:39 Replies - Latest reply on 2009-10-25
Posted by Ytropious on 2009-10-21:
I'm sorry but getting thrown out of somewhere usually doesn't happen when someone innocently asks a question, I'm guessing you got somewhat belligerent over your 2 dollar difference. Sure she should have told you the sub would end up costing you more, but it's 2 dollars, just 2 dollars isn't worth getting worked up about, especially when they ended up changing the bill for you anyway.
Posted by debdebga on 2009-10-21:
Dear responder,
The question was innocent, sorry to disappoint you, I was totally within my rights as a human being and a customer. Why would I pay for someone elses mistake? Who learns from that?

There is however a happy ending to my tale of woe. The District Manager of Waffle House called me shortly after an email to the office and validated my concerns and complaints. I felt totally vindicated and made "whole". He said that the customer is always right, and he was outraged by the behavior of one of his employees. It contradicts what they try to teach the kids working there. Turn every negative situation into a positive one. Never let the customer leave unhappy. He said he spends most of his days trying to get people into his restaurants, NOT having waitresses throw people out. So I feel much better. And I appreciate the wholehearted concern the manager expressed to me.
Posted by Ytropious on 2009-10-21:
So you mean to tell me you didn't raise your voice or anything to get kicked out, you were completely innocent? I still find that hard to believe, but it's nice someone up top listened if that's really what you needed.
Posted by PepperElf on 2009-10-21:
very true.
most people aren't that nasty unless provoked etc
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-10-22:
And OP, they always say the customer is right just to shut them up. You can feel vindicated and whole. But I am with the rest of them. I don't believe a simple question is what got you tossed.

It was probably your belligerent attitude. It comes across in your post, did you know that?

Also, maybe the girl WAS new, but as a waitress yourself, you SHOULD have known that subs most times cost more. Who was trying to 'rip' who off?

And you were right on your lst line. You did not question, you CONFRONTED.
Posted by PepperElf on 2009-10-22:
o i hate that prhase "the customer is always right"
cos usually it's being used by a customer who's acting like a spoiled brat
and they expect that phrase will excuse their bad behavior
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-10-22:
pepper, high five!
Posted by debdebga on 2009-10-22:
What a bunch of doubters. The Managment has the video tapes of what happened and he asked my permission to use it in his very next training class, a class in what NOT to do to a customer. I said it was okay with me. He wanted to fire the girl, a begged him not to, it's too tough to find a job right now and the kid probably needs it. He could not promise me she would keep her job, his quote was, "heads are going to roll". Even if I was beligerent, (which I was not (this time)), I merely wanted to pay the agreed upon price, not the mistaken price. Under any circumstances that behavior should not be tolerated. Embarras a customer in front of other because YOU made an error...hey fess up, own IT! If you don't own it you are doomed to repeat it and some other poor customer is going to be put through the same crude handling and no one wins...especially the restaurant. I did beg for the girl to keep her job, but now after reading these posts, I'm not so sure...looks like someone needs to be taught a lesson afterall.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-10-22:
Yes Deb, how insensitive to want someone to lose their job because WE called you on your attitude. You are losing more of your credibility. I also doubt you had to beg for the waitress to keep her job. ANY manager who discussed disciplinary action of any employee to anyone other than that employee & an immediate supervisor would be sued.

Try to tell us another one.
Posted by PepperElf on 2009-10-22:
"This time"?

That doesn't sound good. To me that sounds like there ARE times when it happens.

Heck now I"m wondering if perhaps this isn't the first altercation, which could explain why things might have gotten heated up quickly.

which also means i'm starting to wonder if was staged.

maybe a little bit of "oh her again. i hate her. i'll show her up this time! i'll make a point to NOT react just to make sure she gets in trouble!"
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-10-22:
Sam Walton always said 'The customer is always right'. I'll believe that to be true until the day somebody more successful than Mr. Walton says differently.

Deb, There are commentators on this board who no matter what the review always find a way to blame the customer mostly via negative assumptions about situations they were not a party to and are ignorant of. Consider the source I always say.

Good for you standing up for yourself and big kudos to the district manager for stepping up to the plate. The district manager quote is priceless. Good Review!
Posted by PepperElf on 2009-10-22:
o yes walmart's legacy
that explains a lot in a way
because walmart also has an infamous history of abusing their employees.

but this isn't about walmart... this is about a case where someone didn't get belligerent "this time" at an employee, a case were every updated post has more and more farfetched information.

and i'll have to look up labor laws but... if i'm not mistaken companies aren't allowed to tell customers "yes this employee has been fired"... because legally the customer doesn't have the right to know the financial status of an employee.
Posted by skelly39 on 2009-10-22:
Is it really that impossible to believe there are jerks in the workforce? I have dealt with them. You guys haven't had a cashier or waitress with an attitude problem? Why are we doubting the poster? Sounds to me like the waitress copped an attitude and it went from there.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-10-22:
Absolutely correct skelly39! It amazes me some people on here have no problem believing and negatively assuming that customers can have bad attitudes or act irrational but feel like the same can never be true for service people.

"because legally the customer doesn't have the right to know the financial status of an employee"

I'm not going to research the law but common sense tells me that's not true because anytime a baseball manager, football coach or high profile CEO get's canned it gets reported on the news as so-and-so got fired. If there was a law protecting such information then employers wouldn't be allowed to issue press releases about firings to the masses.
Posted by skelly39 on 2009-10-22:
Thank you, Stew. I do think there is something prohibiting employers from releasing details about actions they take with employees, but I don't know for sure. I just think it's kind of sad that we automatically assume the consumer is WRONG. Not everyone in the service industry should be in the service industry.
Posted by debdebga on 2009-10-22:
I am a female and I CAN lose my cool, I have only been in Waffle House twice in 4 years, I don't think my waitress was out of middle school at the time. I resent the implications. I think that for me to "lose my cool" with a highschooler would have been inappropriate, I knew she was confused and mistaken...not a federal offense.
Thanks to Stew and Skelly for the support and understanding. As to being fired, they have already had issues with this gal prior to my incident, she is not a team player.
Posted by PepperElf on 2009-10-22:
so... you're saying that you do lose your cool
but that it's inappropriate to do so to a teenager

so there's an age level where it's appropriate then?


as for sports teams... you're talking about a public job where the person is already in the news

if you notice, on job applications you have to specifically give permission to contact former employers. if the status of your former employment was, as you claim, public-right-to-know, then no application would have that checkbox because potential employers would automatically have the right to ring the old bosses up to talk about you.

since that's not the case... it's rather clear that sharing employment status for private jobs with customers - is inappropriate and unprofessional
Posted by debdebga on 2009-10-22:
Elf,
Plain and simple, the waitresses behavior was unprofessional and inappropriate. That's it.

My job is not hanging by a thread, my tips are not affected, my employment record is not in jeopardy and my boss is not giving ME a talking to, so what's the deal? What's your ponit, do you have one? Are you simply trying to provoke me, well nice try.
Posted by JR in Orlando on 2009-10-22:
It seems strange to me that you post this on October 21st and then by a second post you are telling how the manager of the placed called you. That time line does not work out. Either you knew the happy ending when you posted the complaint, but it out - or the manager called you between the posting of the complaint and your second post. My gut instinct tells me you either knew it before and omitted it, or made it and the later posts up so you looked better.
Posted by PepperElf on 2009-10-22:
My point is that

1) They should not have disclosed her employment status to you. It's none of your business despite the incident.

2) From what you've posted here, I do suspect it wasn't just her acting out without being egged on in some fashion.

Even you posted that you have been belligerent at times.

So yes, from what you have claimed to be "true" it does sound fishy.

If this offends you... o well.

JR - exactly!
When one already knows the outcome of the story, one normally posts it right away.
It sounds more like it was all made up as an attempt to say "see? i was right?"

Posted by Ponie on 2009-10-22:
JR, I thought the same thing you did. Rather than the title: 'Waffle House, Canton, Ga Complaint,' I think it should be 'Grimm's Fairy Tales, Vol. II.' In addition, we get more details of the 'conversation' with the district manager in each successive response. IMNSHO, this is a playwrite in infancy and a plot is being floated for the final submission. Ordinarily, someone doesn't get into district mangement by so freely discussing an employee's record(s). Anyway--what's the beef? She didn't pay the higher price even with an incorrect substitution.

Posted by PepperElf on 2009-10-22:
Heck... you know I'm almost wondering what will happen next in the story.

My bet is on some sort of physical confrontation.
Most likely a tale about the waitress picking a fight, getting her butt kicked by the OP and then going to jail.

And of course the cops will be giving the OP all the juicy details on the waitress's legal status and criminal background, even if they're not allowed to by law...
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-10-22:
"I knew she was confused and mistaken...not a federal offense. "

Then why are you HERE? I do not believe the waitress was rude to you. I think you got rude and got tossed by the manager. You said yourself you confronted her about the charge. A confrontation if NOT a question. It's a whole lot of attitude where none needs to be.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-10-22:
You gotta love how certain people are on here about their pure speculation. No where did the OP state on what date this incident occurred. I myself have posted reviews weeks or even a month after the experience I'm writing about. Nothing unusual or unbelievable about that.

"someone doesn't get into district mangement by so freely discussing an employee's record" -- Oh please Louise. One of the biggest gossips I've ever encountered had a star on his shoulder. I've run across countless senior leadership peeps who do nothing but bad mouth, blame and gossip about their employees. OP's account totally believable.

Bottom line is that aside from the OP none us were witness to this incident or to the district manager communications. The OP posted nothing that isn't feasible or believable. I'll never understand vitriol based upon pure ignorant speculation. Silly.
Posted by skelly39 on 2009-10-22:
Right on, Stew. Since when did everyone become a detective? Or a novelist? Let's stop filling in the blanks or looking for cracks in the story. Do I think the OP was a perfect angel? No, but it's not like she threw her plate at the waitress...at least I don't think she did.
Posted by JR in Orlando on 2009-10-22:
Stew: Its doesn't matter how long after the incident the complaint is posted. The question is why when she first posted on October 21st did she leave out the part about the apology, etc., yet when she then posted later on October 21st, the apology etc was reported. It appears as if she deliberately left out the apology from her initial complaint, unless the highly improbable happened and all this contact with management occurred after her initial post and before her later posts.

If this occurred a while ago, this would even further support my feeling that she is making this up as she goes, since the chance of being called by management between the post is infinately smaller as time passes.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-10-22:
Jr, All I know for sure is the only thing I know about this incident is what the OP has posted. I have no proof that any of the statements are false. None of the statements made by the OP are impossible or even improbable.

Interestingly enough JR my wife and I get into similar discussions. She lives life by her perceptions and intuitions (which grrrrr by the way are usually correct) while I live life by verifiable facts without passion or prejudice. We're all just a bit different in how we perceive life. That's a good thing.
Posted by Ytropious on 2009-10-22:
Are we all forgetting this entire review is over 2 dollars? 2 DOLLARS. Someone got thrown out of a Waffle House, how we'll never know...over 2 DOLLARS. When I eat out I've not run into this problem, but if I enjoyed my platter, even if I get a surprise on the bill that says I subbed X for Y and it cost 2 more dollars, I'd just be happy my platter was good and worth the 2 extra dollars. I'd like to think I'm not alone in feeling that way...
Posted by PepperElf on 2009-10-22:
not to mention you'd be spending the $2 anyway if you left a tip
Posted by Ponie on 2009-10-22:
Right, JR. If these things took place prior to the posting of the complaint, why weren't they mentioned? I see one 'problem' here: The new kid on the block didn't know a substitution could be made. The more experienced waitress gave an explanation and when questioned, adjusted the bill. So--why the complaint? Now let's see which part of this response will be quoted.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-10-22:
I think the complaint came about when the OP was told to pay and 'DO NOT COME BACK'. Sometimes you gotta read the whole review to truly understand the situation. As to why the district manager conversation wasn't mentioned in the review? Who knows? I don't but it wasn't really relevant to the OPs complaint. The OP wasn't complaining about the DM. The OP's complaint was with the waitresses.

OP's are dammed if they don't provide follow up and they're damned when they do. Caustic.
Posted by debdebga on 2009-10-22:
Thanks again for the support Stew! Your account is totally accurate. I had dinner at 5:30, posted to the Waffle House Site as soon as I got home and posted on here moments later. I had just hit SEND on the 3 cent forum and the phone rang with the DM Mr. Gary L from corporate. He provided me with his cell # and mailing me coupons for my unfortunate experience...I could not believe I was being responded to that fast either...amazing. I did ask him how he coud get the message that fast (20minutes or so) and he said he has been having some issues with that restaurant and all registered complaints (with names and phone numbers) are handled immediately because they go into his cell phone somehow, I was impressed. I told him that I just blogged his restaurant and I also promised him that I was going to recind my complaint due to his impressive response. He was a doll.
Posted by Flexanimous Fellow on 2009-10-22:
Sorry..i'm not really buying into this either. I'm not saying a consumer has no right to complain about a perceived negative experience from an establishment, but I think the subsequent conversation with the DM is a bit fabricated. Combining all the responses to the thread by the OP, in summary, the District Manager told her that:

1. "I spend most of my days trying to get people into my restaurants, NOT having waitresses throw them out."

2. He wants to use a videotape of this ordeal in training classes.

3. He wanted to fire the girl from her position.

4. Heads are going to roll.

5. They have had issues with this particular employee.

6. He provided his cell number to you.

7. He has had other issues with the restaurant.

That doesn't really have the ring of truth to it. Not only do I give the DM the benefit of the doubt that he has a busy schedule and doesn't necessarily have the time to have an over-the-phone cup of tea with a random complainer, I also believe he wouldn't be as unprofessional in his response by boasting negativity about that restaurant, and especially about a particular employee. That doesn't make sense. I'm not doubting your entire complaint, but I think the response you received is a bit fluffed up.

Happy dining!
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-10-22:
LOL! Out of all our responses STEWS was the one she praised. He of course agreed with her. If you need $2 that bad, I will give it to you.
Posted by PepperElf on 2009-10-23:
As i said earlier there would be more stories being written.

Wonder what the next installment will bring... I'm still betting on there being a fight-story thrown in...
Posted by debdebga on 2009-10-23:
6. He is sending me coupons.
7. He appreicated me bringing this to his attention.
8. I can be his guest at this restaurant at his table
9. My picture is not on their front door with a line through it! LOL
10. Thanks for acting nicer than he would have done during the same incident.

Lady..I could suggest what you might do with that $2.00, and after that, get a life.

This is DONE!
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-10-23:
I have a life. It does not include getting my jollies off harassing waitresses to make myself feel like a woman.

By the way, why are you singling me out? Do you think I am more apt to put up with it than anyone else on here? You got bigger problems than we originally thought.
Posted by PepperElf on 2009-10-23:
So wait... if we agreed with the OP then we would have lives?

That's not saying much. If in order to "have a life" we have to agree with her complaint?

Posted by Ytropious on 2009-10-25:
"I can be his guest at this restaurant at his table"

Riiight. Like you'll ever be in the same restaurant together. It sounds like a funny dream to me. I don't know of too many DMs who actually eat in their restaurants.

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