Customer Disservice

And now a word about customer service.  Uhh, lettuce make that  customer disservice to be precise.

Customer Disservice:  I can’t define it exactly, but I know it when I see it. And so have you!

My first job, among several while attending the university, was at Mickey D’s (MD) – a famous international fast food restaurant.  (I started at the top!) I’m sure many of my few readers can recall a fast food experience when you were younger & dumber.

Fast food has plenty of customers and detractors.  But one thing I learned from MD’s is their secret code. QSC.

Quality   Service  Cleanliness


This is something they aim for, not only at the local restaurant, but in all the processes/channels leading up to you eating and leaving with your food order. Admittedly, it appears they don’t always hit the mark. And neither do any others we all regularly do business with. But with MD we know they have a philosophy to provide their service/product to meet certain standards. With some other businesses you’re left just to wonder.


As I mentioned before, I can’t exactly define what I mean by customer disservice, but like Jesus Christ we can both tell stories.  True stories of the bored, selfish, ill-trained, tired, uncaring, unthinking, and so forth. Of this place and that. Or of that auto dealer or this auto mechanic. Of the fast food restaurant and the fancy expensive food hole in the wall. These stories could fill up the largest encyclopedias many times over without end.  In this writers case most will be around the local Pasadena area.  But they could be in the your area of Paris, Tripoli, Shanghai, or San Francisco, et al.  The best areas are not excluded – anyplace!

These will be some of my recent stories of customer disservice. I will say relatively little about the actual product.  Lettuce get it started with Jersey Mike’s Subs (JMS). 


First heard of JMS on Ben’s blog almost a year ago. Last month was my 1st experience eating there – baited by their Buy 1, Get 1 FREE! coupon.  This would relieve the price reservations I had when Ben mentioned his in the review.   Never been either?  Think Subway when I say JMS.




So I strolled in. Things went well. Normal. They took my order promptly (2 regular sized subs, 1 drink), asked what I wanted on the subs, and soon I was at the register. In the meantime I noticed I had somehow brought in a line up of hungry followers behind me! 

When it came to pay up…I did!  I looked the cashier in the eye and said, “Here’s a coupon!”, which he took of course. A minute later I was paying about $17.70. (JMS averages about $7.50 – $8.25 for a regular/medium sized sub. More if you order the large sub!)  My internal thought was: “hmmm… still that much??”  Getting overcharged is a regular item on my To Be Done To List. 

Luckily I always seem to put a hold on it before funds are exchanged.  But sometimes only after I’ve instructed the cashier on advanced math: “2 + 2 = 4, not 8!”   But to be fair to some of these cashiers – they’re probably still in school learning and haven’t had the needed arithmetic class yet. Or they are just an English major or majoring in drama.

But I must’ve been decaffeinated or my brain must’ve been starved along with my stomach cuz the next thing I knew I was obediently forking over the dough.  They had somehow overlooked my coupon or their short-term memory is only 5 seconds. They overcharged me about $8 and I overpaid it!

“You complained of course!”, you say.  I’ll say this. I finally realized I was robbed about 1/2 way into a turkey submarine.  When I looked up at the register/counter area I saw that lunch hour rush of customers.  I stayed in my seat. I wasn’t about to create a fuss over some devalued greenbacks & raise a bottleneck for the poor innocent souls obediently waiting their turns for food. This was my 1st impression of the place and I was now on alert to cut my losses!

Hell!, well, I’ve given this subject too much ink already!   Y’all can tell I wasn’t an English major. I did go back to give Jersey Mike’s a second chance to impress. But still didn’t get to use the coupon. Instead I was enticed by their daily special.  Subway has their specials too. Some will favor Subway, some will side with Jersey Mike.

But the point is, this is an example of Customer Disservice  #1: Overcharged!


I’m may be the rare spirit who has experienced being overcharged.  But, are you experienced?  Have you ever been experienced?  I have!  Not necessarily much, but it was enough!  And if by chance you also fit into this tiny class of victims, then please tell us your own customer service nightmares!



Gotta Take an Aspirin.  Stay Thirsty My Friends.


17 responses to “Customer Disservice

  1. Wow – with a two for one coupon (provided they actually give you the discount), Jersey Mike’s would be a steal of a deal – especially compared to Subway. Sorry you got fleeced, my doggy friend.

  2. I know the cab in NY charged me WAY more than the regular fare but I was too dumb to realize it…I hate when that happens. Living in Japan, you just sort of expect everyone to be true and honest.

  3. I hear that, pup.

    In these times, businesses are stretched and the competition is fierce. I know it’s tough, but customer service should be a higher priority now, not a lower one. I have fewer dollars to spend than I used to, and I’m going to spend them where I know I’m welcome and where the people are glad to see me. (Webster’s is a good example.)

  4. Oh, that’s happened to me too! I was really tired when I paid and only after I’d eaten did I realize I’d been given change for a ten instead of a twenty. This was at the original Europane. I considered not bothering but times are tough, so I went back to the register. At first they were skeptical but then they gave me the ten bucks. That’s good customer service. Plus the food is good. I’ll pass on the subs.

  5. My most hated customer disservice is when restaurant workers are so anxious to leave that they start to clean up when I’m still eating, and it isn’t closing time. I try to be thoughtful and not linger, but I hate dining to smell of windex and the view of chairs on the tables.

    My favorite customer service is when I arrive at a store that has just closed and is locking up, but they let me in anyway because I really need pet food or a paintbrush or something.

    • I don’t like that pre-closing tactic either, Barbara, even though I understand what the biz is trying to do. But the owner/manager if they aren’t around may not be aware of what their employees are doing! What concise term would you call that kind of disservice?

      Ironically, I’ve seem places which practice both tactics.

  6. I think Customer Disservice is more prevalent today than it ever was. I could share my stories of horrific customer service challenges we’ve faced over the last couple years, but I’d rather concentrate on not letting that happen at our store. One thing I’m really picky about is price disparity….the price should match the value of the thing and it should match what the register says. Anything less is a disservice!

    • For that matter, people’s poor behavior toward each other is more prevalent in this liberal generation than in recent more conservative generations, as well, imho.
      Btw, if u want some good customer service visit Websters Fine Stationers in AltaDena: 2450 N. Lake Ave!