the rest is still unwritten

Sunday, July 24, 2011

WTW!? : Magallanes Starbucks' Skewed Sense of Service

Now, I am probably one of the most laid back and easy-going people you will ever meet. I smile at strangers, I hum showtunes and pop songs in public and I like kids. Generally, my fuse is remarkably long, but tonight something made me snap. UGH.

Starbucks: Don't give me reasons to not like you!

So I had just had a lovely dinner out with my entire family. On the way home, we decided to stop at Rustan's Supermarket at the Paseo de Magallanes. While my mom was grabbing some chips and dip (we were planning to watch Pete's Dragon when we got home) my sister Geanne and I decided to go to the Starbucks a few doors down.

My sister headed for the couch as I made my way to the counter. There was just one other customer in line before me and she had already given her order. However, she was still asking some questions about Starbucks' tea selection, which wasn't a problem at all. After her two minute inquiry (which concluded without a tea purchase from the woman), she finally took her receipt and we exchanged smiles before she headed over to the claiming area.

It was my turn to order.

After greeting each other good evening (which generally indicates to the customer that it is in fact their turn to order) and handing her my credit card, she asked me what I would want to have tonight.

To my left (behind me in line) was a man who was already taking money from his wallet which at the time didn't mean mucheven if he had placed the money on the counter while it was my turn to order.

As I was telling the barista (whose name I believe is Sen) that I wanted a White Chocolate Mocha and a Dark Mocha Frap, the man behind me started to speak.

Normally, pushyalbeit harmlesscustomers don't really bother me. What really infuriated me was the next series of infuriating events:

Sen put down my credit card and, without a word to me, turned to fix Mr. Important-in-a-hurry's drink. I was in shock. I mean she was in the middle of taking my order! This in-your-face display of disrespect and disregard of protocol caught me completely unawares. As I looked from barista to customer, my shock slowly turned into something more than mere irritation.

There's more.

The barista then handed the man his steaming cup, completely bypassing me, and takes his money off of the counter as the man leaves to go and add sugar and whatnot into his cup. She had the nerve to hand this guy his order while he was standing right next to me! Sen then continued to punch punch punch into the register completely oblivious of me glaring at her AND she then proceeds to go give the man his change and receipt at the fix-in's counter abandoning me to ping pong emotionally between anger and confusion.

As Sen handed the man his change, she had the gall to stay and have a little chat with him and another barista (whose name I believe was Jessica. Yes I have the visual and aural memory of Hermione Granger. PS. The man was in a shirt with maroon stripes and green cargo shorts, round head with rat-like features, but I may be biased). After bidding each other cheery goodbyes, Sen returned behind the counter and re-took my order. Betch.

Perhaps the man was a friend of Sen's, or a loyal customer, but this behavior by both individuals is inexcusable and completely unacceptable. Besides, Sen, how do you expect to gain any more "loyal" customers if this is how you treat "new" customers.

Luckily for the staff of Starbucks tonight, making a scene is not my thing. I had to help myself from telling her offfrom telling her that not only was what she did exceedingly disrespectful but it displayed a painfully insufficient grasp of customer relations. Instead of berating "Sen", if that is her real name, I left Starbucks huffily with my sister in tow.

As I got home, I hastily went on the Starbucks website and discovered that there was no link to contact them by email (lucky them), but I did find the branch telephone number (lucky me). They should be expecting a call from me sometime Monday morning.

Poor form Starbucks barista.
Poor form.

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