At the end of June David was in a play at Mainstreet Center in Parker. This was a Missoula Children’s Theater production and I’ve written about these productions before (David as Mowgli). These productions are a whirl-wind. The kids audition on Monday and perform on Saturday.David and I know the routine because he has done a number of Missoula productions. He auditions starting at 4 pm at the end of auditions (right around 6 pm) the kids find out about parts. Many of the older kids begin rehearsals that night at 6:30 pm. That means that they need to eat. David and I go to a nearby fast-food place to grab him something to eat and then I return him to the theater and head home only to have to pick him up again at 8:30 pm.
That night, David, picked Jack-in-the-Box for dinner. Generally, the boys prefer Jack-in-the-Box over other burger places. David placed his order (drive-through) and we went around to pay. The employee asked us to pull around and told us that he would bring our food out – I hadn’t paid either. I told him that we had to get back to rehearsal and asked if they could try to hurry. He nodded.
I pulled around and we waited, and waited and waited some more. At this point, David had less than 10 minutes to eat and get back to the theater. I had him run in to find out what the problem was. David was angry because he felt rushed and went in and told them that he needed to be at rehearsal in 10 minutes, we ordered almost 20 minutes before and it was ridiculous that he had to wait that long for his food. Apparently, they were having a problem with the computer register. So, they gave David his food without us paying for it.
Here’s the problem – not that we got his food for free – I told them that we had a limited amount of time and they didn’t tell us that they were having problems. If they had, we would have gone somewhere else and no harm done. I realize that they probably wanted to try to fix the problem and not lose our business, however, they inconvenienced us and I had made them aware of our time restrictions. I find that to be rude. Very rude.
Now, if they had told us what was going on, I would have thanked them and gone somewhere else. I would have also made sure that we went back there during that week and I would have thanked them again. Instead, I avoided Jack-in-the-Box for the entire week AND am writing this post about the poor customer service we got there.
I like Jack-in-the-Box and I will go back there (not like Chic-fil-a which needs its own post). However, I expect that if I am going to spend my money somewhere, I get decent customer service. Even at a fast-food restaurant. It doesn’t take much to be honest. It wouldn’t have taken much for an employee to come out and tell us that they were having problems and give us the option to wait or go somewhere else. Honesty and consideration would have gone very far in creating a loyal customer in this case.
Managers – take note, it is better to admit an issue and give a customer the option to go elsewhere than make them wait and piss them off.