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If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say… Say It On The Internet!

June 2nd, 2005 · No Comments

Last night, Geneva and I had a craving – the kind of craving that can be satisfied only one way – with a delicious spicy chicken burrito from Taco Bell.

With all the funds that Taco Bell has poured into advertising their line of spicy chicken products, it’s no surprise that I assumed that the Nanuet location would carry the variety of burrito that we desired. Alas, the standard commercial disclaimers applied in this instance. Taco Bell, as a franchise based business, apparently didn’t require all of its locations to carry the spicy chicken. So, although the Nanuet location didn’t carry it, some Taco Bell, somewhere, did. I ended up offering to drive to the Taco Bell in Montvale.

Pulling into the drive thru, we excitedly asked if they had the spicy chicken burritos. “Yes we do,” the drive thru box clamored back. “Yes!” we exclaimed excitedly, before placing our order. The employee announced our total and asked if I’d like anything else, but before I pulled away from the menu, I wanted to just confirm that they accepted credit cards. I know that many fast food locations other than Taco Bell don’t accept credit cards, but seriously, just about every place within a 10 mile radius of New York City does. Of course, this story wouldn’t be penned if they accepted credit cards, because that was only the beginning of the journey.

We waited to exit the drive thru, being trapped since there were cars both ahead and behind us. I got the idea that I could get some money from the ATM at my house (that stands for Affluent Tired Mother, who was certainly in-bed as all of this transpired). When we arrived home, my mom gave me $20 and asked that it last me a while. I agreed, since after all I was getting paid for the first time the coming Friday. We rushed back to the Taco Bell to alleviate our hunger, with cash in hand. Pulling back up to the drive thru at 10:55 PM, and seeing the prominently lit “Drive Thru Open” sign in the store window, I pointed out that, “we barely made it!” Of course, if this Taco Bell was like others, it would be open later than that, but that’s aside from the point here.

We didn’t make it, but not because we arrived after 11 PM. My car’s clock is not fast, for the record, as it synchronized perfectly with my cell phone’s network clock and my laptop’s clock (which is synched with Windows time). This Taco Bell closed five minutes early. Leave it to New Jersey to screw up Taco Bell. Furious, I called 1-800-TACO-BELL seeking justice. The first call had barely started before my cell phone unexpectedly dropped the call. I was put back in the queue when I called back, but oh, how it was worth it.

I spoke with a gentleman named Larry that was more than happy to hear about my experience. I started off, of course, mentioning that I absolutely love Taco Bell and have likely spent hundreds of dollars there this year alone. I proceeded to also mention that, of course, I knew it wasn’t his fault, but that I just wanted to vent about it to someone in the company to see what they think. After telling him the story, he agreed wholeheartedly that the store management erred in closing early. After hearing about that, I of course mentioned that I could care less about Pizza Hut, but loved all the other YUM Brands (including KFC, Long John Silvers, and the A&W Restaurants). He was extremely helpful, and completely restored my faith in the customer service policies of Taco Bell.

He offered me vouchers for two free meals, which I gladly accepted.

And, I likewise offered him more business for Taco Bell in the future. Not that he’d ever gain from that, aside from maybe the satisfaction of knowing that he made someone’s day. But still, the moral of the story here is three-fold: first, that if you run a business, especially one that markets another company’s name, you can’t just close down before regular business hours because you feel like it. Next, that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, both on my own part, and on part of Larry the customer service representative. He was so friendly, helpful, and responsive that he completely mended any emotional rift that the experience had inflicted upon me. And finally, that if you are upset about something that someone does to you, don’t try to get even as a first resort, just try to find out what you can do to make it right.

Larry made it right, and I will remain a loyal customer to all YUM brands except Pizza Hut, of course, which for all intensive purposes is the red-headed (literally) step-child of the YUM corporation.

So for once, I had something nice to say about a company on this site, thus proving once again that I’m not just a bitter short guy with nothing better to do but type about how he feels like companies exploit him. Because in fact, there are plenty of positive corporations and organizations, and it’s just a matter of finding them and being loyal to them – because if they’re good companies, they’ll stay loyal to you as well.

Ferns on Tweed Boulevard in Blauvelt, NY
Today’s random image is a shot of ferns growing on the side of the road on Tweed Boulevard in Blauvelt, NY. I always thought that ferns were cute for some reason, and of course because I think they’re ‘cute’ I’m going to incur an incredible amount of flak from my readers. Well you know what? They’re cute. I’m having a good day, let me appreciate nature.

Tags: Business · Complaint Department · Skippy Stuff

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