Budget101 Discussion List Archives Budget101 Discussion List Awful Carrabba’s coupon experience

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    • #272307

      Last night my hubby and I went to Carrabba’s. We go quite often. I brought an Amici Club coupon for a free calamari appetizer, which I received by e-mail.

      I explained to the waiter that the coupon was identical to another one that I had received by e-mail, and that I was worried that the second coupon could have been re-sent by mistake. I asked the waiter to check the coupon for me first, before going ahead and ordering the appetizer. I wanted to make sure it would work.

      He glanced at it for half a second and said that he sees a code on there and that it will work. He told me to hold onto it until the check comes.

      After we finished eating dinner, he said he’d take the coupon now. He came back after a few minutes and he rudely said, “You already used this coupon. You can’t use this.

      You already used it!” I got so angry! i re-explained the situation to him and told him that it was his fault.

      i never would have gotten the calamari if the coupon were no good! and he argued with me! a very young manager ended up coming over and she was rude as well.

      i didn’t like how she enunciated certain words to make me feel like i did something wrong. instead of cheerfully saying something like, “no problem,” she said, “yes, this coupon was definitely a mistake. if you ever receive a coupon like this again, make sure to have the waitstaff come get me so that i can approve this first. i’ll let you have it this time…”

      the only reason she let me use it is that i really had to exhaustively explain it to her, after i had already explained it to the waiter. just the act of having to do so much explaining was embarrassing to me.

      my hubby and i were livid. that young punk waiter put me in a very embarrassing, humiliating situation where i had to fight for my calamari. we felt like criminals.

      of course, the waiter avoided us after that, but i didn’t want to leave before letting him know what we had to go through with the manager. i told him that he put us in an embarrasing situation, and he said i put myself in an embarrassing situation. i told him that i had asked him to check out the coupon beforehand in order to avoid such a situation and he said that it’s not his responsibility to manage such things.

      while the waiter and i were arguing back and forth, the young manager came over again and said, “you need to leave now.”

      we immediately left and as soon as we got home my hubby wrote a letter to carrabba’s, letting them know that we’ll never go there again.

      it’s such a shame. all these corporate headquarters of chain restaurants really have no idea how young and unprofessional their staff can be!

    • #419200

      What a horrible experience. I feel so bad for you. I hope today is a much better day 🙂

    • #419201

      There is nothing worse then bad customer service. The economy is in the toilet and people still act like they don’t need or want your patronage. I really hope you did not tip the waiter.

    • #419206

      Thanks for listening! 🙂

      Can you believe that we did tip the waiter — I’ll bet he was SO surprised when he noticed that we left a full tip!! He did wait on us for a full hour (many trips back and forth, i.e., rounds of drinks, bread, water, meals, other little requests, etc.) so we always leave a tip for all that work even when we’re ticked off about something and feel the need to speak up. When I’m ticked off I sure do speak up about it but I don’t withhold money.

      Maybe I should, but we just haven’t done that yet. I hope the young punk felt ashamed when he noticed how much money we left him for his work, after he decided to give me lip.

      I unsubscribed from Carrabba’s mailing list.

    • #419211

      I wouldn’t have left a tip. Even though he did work for others, he didn’t for you. He gave you a hard time and then he (sounds to me) lied to his boss to cover his own butt.

      I wouldn’t have left anything for him. As a sign to let him know that he was a horriable waiter for doing what he did. You leaving the tip like you did, I’m sure he felt that he won that battle.

      People are just that way, it’s sad but true.

    • #419212

      You should really call the corporate office & inform them of this situation. They need to know when their customers are treated so awfully!!! If I were you, I would also call the local Carrabas and ask to speak to a different manager.

      I would inform them of the situation & let them know that I am calling the corporate office to inform them. They need to know how horrible their employees were. You are right!

      In this economic timethey can’t afford to treat people that way. I had a similar experience with a manager at a Kmart (although it wasn’t NEARLY as bad as what you described!) I called & spoke with the manager & told him how I was treated & explained that in these tough times I could just take my business to another competing store. He was so apologetic.

      He said he did not want to lose me as a customer. He even gave me a $20 giftcard! I’m not saying you do it for the free gift card.

      (You may still never set foot in there again no matter what they offer you.) But they need to know. Someone need to do something about those 2 employees. 🙂

    • #419213

      Oh, I told my husband what happened to you. He said he believes all the Carrabas have the name of the owner/ proprietor on the door. Hubbie said you should aske to speak with him/her.

      You may even be able to look up a contact number (office number) for him online. Hubbie says he needs to know what kind of people are working for him.

    • #419221

      That’s a good point that he probably lied to the manager to cover his own butt. No wonder I had to exhaustively explain myself to her — he hadn’t admitted the truth. Now I’m ticked off again!

      Well, my hubby did go to http://www.carrabbas.com and wrote them a long, detailed letter. I’m sure he had to provide contact information. Haven’t heard anything back.

      All I can do is hope that karma gets those two. Liars won’t ever get into any trouble. We’re afraid to set foot in there again anyway.

      I’m afraid of being disrespected and abused again!

    • #419234

      Lisa, I’m sorry that you and your husband had to go thru what you went thru. I worked in a place that the manager did it all the time, to cover herself. It would really upset me to no end, so that’s why I was thinking that that’s what the young man did.

      So that way the Manager wouldn’t get mad at him for the mistake. You know how people can be, blame someone else and no one will know. It’s good that you hubby wrote to them about this, maybe someone will step in and take care of it.

    • #419236

      Neither the waiter nor the manager should have been arguing with you. The saying “the customer is always right” applies. Just one customer with bad service can, by word of mouth, tell 5 friends, who in turn tell 5 more and so on(this is proven fact).

      Most places don’t want the bad publicity. I would definitely follow up with a phone call to Corporate, otherwise, you may or may not hear anything. Phone calls get more of a positive response, especially for what you went through.

    • #420876

      wow that was rude

      what happen to “the customer is always right”

    • #424386

      That’s sounds soooooooooooooooooooo frustrating!

    • #424547

      I love Carrabbas and this story reminds me of one horrible experience we had while visiting our local establishment a few years ago. I knew the owner Proprietor very well because we used to go there up to 4 times a week. On this one particular visit I wasn’t feeling well but my Fiance wanted to go out to celebrate our anniversary or something along those lines.

      We got seated right away. However, after about 15 minutes or so we still hadn’t seen our waiter. So I grabbed one passing by and they apologized and went to get ours.

      The waiter came out and apologized himself and said he was in the back helping clean up or something along those lines. He took our drink and dinner order and then came back with the drinks and bread. We asked for straws and he told us they were out yet the table across from us had some.

      We just went with it. Whatever, not worth arguing over some straws.

      Our soups and salads come out and our waiter is not the one to bring them. We need a refill and still no sign of our waiter. Our meals come out and they were wrong so they had to be sent back.

      They bring them out again and still no waiter. No refills no nothing. By this time I am livid and not feeling good to boot.

      So we finish our meals never getting a refill and still not having even seen our waiter. The place is pretty much closing and we are still waiting for our waiter. The manager on duty wasn’t walking around or anything.

      Finally I have to grab someone to ask for our waiter and told them to tell him just bring the check. He comes out and wants to give us a refill. I tell him don’t waste his time just bring the check.

      I am fuming at this point because we have been there for 2 hours. I am not always this patient. Maybe it was because I was sick and just didn’t feel like getting into it that night I truly don’t know why I waited so long for everything.

      Well the waiter brings us the check I give him my card immediately because I wasn’t sure when I would see him again. We then wait again which seems like an eternity for my card to come back. It comes back and he tries to be polite but I wasn’t listening to a word he said.

      He walked away and for the first time ever I left a $0 tip. I was a good customer and well known by most of the waiters there and always left at least a 20% tip if not more. This time he got nothing because he deserved nothing.

      I had it in my mind to talk to Frank whom at the time was the Proprietor for that location when he came back from the company trip to Italy that apparently all of the Proprietors went on. Well as we are walking out I get to the car and start to open the door for my Fiance and the front door opens and out runs the waiter. He yells “hey!

      what the f*** is this for!” i stopped in my tracks and and started to walk towards him because i was already so mad i was surprised i was even able to control myself. i started to yell back and ask him if he is serious.

      i asked him if he was that stupid that he really needed me to explain it to him. i said you know what lets go inside. i walk in and see familiar faces sitting at the front table chatting one being the manager on duty.

      this guys says to me “you have a reputation for being a bad tipper.” i looked at him and said you are about 2 seconds from getting knocked the F*** out so you better stop talking nonsense. I looked at the familiar faces and say I have a reputation?

      If I have any reputation it’s coming here too much and tipping far better than most I am sure of that (we had the regular waiters whom happened to be off that night and they wouldn’t charge us for appetizers or drinks every now and again so we would include what they cost into the tip so that their tip was higher than average). They all look at me and say we have never heard this nor have we ever received a bad tip from you. So he had apparently thought I was a different customer or mistaken me for someone else they may have talked about earlier that evening.

      I explained to his dumb ass and the manager why he was left nothing. Everyone there seemed to agree except for stupid that he got what he deserved and that was absolutely nothing. They all apologized to me except for the horrible waiter and I left.

      The manager followed me out and said he would talk to frank as soon as he came back.

      A week or so later we go back and Frank is in. He comes over sits down with us and apologizes for everything. Lets me know that he fired him because it was completely unprofessional and he deserved what he got.

      I said to Frank you know I have had some bad waiters in my time but he took the cake and for the first time ever I didn’t leave a tip. Frank apologized again and I believe even picked up our tab for that evening. I told Frank the part that pissed me off more than anything was saying that I have a “Reputation of being a bad tipper.”.

      I looked at him and said how can I have such a reputation when I always leave a bare minimum 20% and most of the time it’s upwards of 30-40%. He said he believes he had me mistaken for another regularly bad customer that was there at the same time. Several of my regular waiters came up to us and said how shocked they were and couldn’t believe that happened.

      A couple even mentioned the waiter in question was very abrasive and difficult to work with not to mention flipped out on another customer the same day.

      I as a Manager also know that the customer is not always right but in some instances they are. Seems as though most of the time they are just trying to get one over on you and you have to stand your ground and not let them win. Some people are impossible to please while others are easily satisfied.

      I just had a pissed off customer leave my establishment as I was writing this. I did some work for him and he messed it up when in stalling it. He brings it back to me in pieces and expects me to fix it for free or a discounted rate because he just spent X amount on it yesterday.

      It’s not my fault he messed it up and yet he acts as though it is and denies denies denies it until I have to prove it to him that it’s physically impossible for it to have happened the way he explained it. Now he admits it and expects me to fix it for practically nothing. Why should I after all you did was deny deny deny and then admit when you knew I had you caught in your lie.

      Customers are not always right.

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