Tag Archives: customer service

Not cool, Ristretto Roasters. Not cool!

My dog looks scary.

He’s a rottweiler, and though he looks full grown, is still a puppy. I am actively training him to behave well around other dogs (people are not a problem, but when he’s on a leash, other dogs drive him batty), but he’s got some growing up to do. I’ve seen great advances in his behavior over the last few months, and I know he’ll continue to get better.

So when my running girlfriends told me that the barista at Ristretto Roasters told them (I was in the bathroom) that someone had complained about the rottweiler and the dog wasn’t allowed to come there anymore, my immediate reaction was, “Oh, shit – this is my fault, I’ll have to hold him down the street while someone gets my coffee from now on.” I understand that Jack looks scary, and I’m super annoyed/frustrated/embarrassed when he acts like he wants to tear the throat out of any dog who happens to walk by. Part of my frustration is that when he actually meets another dog face to face, or off-leash at the dog park, he’s totally wimpy and submissive – about as passive as you could get.

I thought it was odd that the barista hadn’t spoken to me, though. I had gone in to the bathroom, and while I was in there, he asked the gals if Jack was theirs. They explained that he was mine, and I was in the bathroom. Instead of waiting for me to come out, he scolded them, saying there had been a complaint about Jack, and he said in a rude and condescending tone (according to the gals), “Not cool!”

I find this especially odd because when I came out of the bathroom, I deliberately tried to make eye contact, smile and say “Good morning!” to the guy, but he turned his back when I came out, and wouldn’t look at me – so I went straight outside to see how Jack was doing.

Now as I said, my first response when I heard that Jack was now banned from Ristretto Roasters was to accept responsibility for my dog, wait on the corner, send in money with my friends, maybe even write a letter to the owners apologizing for the inconvenience. But after hearing how awful and scolding this guy was to my friends, after refusing to even look at me (knowing I was the actual dog owner), I just started getting mad.

Two of my girlfriends and I have been running a few miles two times a week for two years, always ending at Ristretto Roasters for lattes. In November, I started a meetup group for the other three days of the week, and between 2-5 of us having been going three days a week. So that’s 2-5 women going to Ristretto Roasters, 5 days a week.

Several times (twice in December), we have arrived there well after opening to find nobody there. The barista just didn’t come in to work!

A few of those times, she showed up as we were standing there. She insists on putting out all the tables and chairs on the sidewalk before letting us in the store. Because it’s more important to get those tables and chairs out in the pouring rain than let the customers standing in said rain come INside. Right?

As the girls and I walked home with our coffees today, we couldn’t stop talking about the accumulation of snark and bitterness and now open hostility we felt from the people working at this coffee shop that we loved. We felt like his, “Not cool!” remark was really how they all felt about us. They don’t like us showing up within 10-15 minutes of opening, because then they actually have to work. They don’t like that we’re all 30-40 year old moms, and not hipsters like them. They don’t like that we’re sweaty and exuberant, proud of our daily accomplishment of 3+ miles, just wanting that delicious coffee as a reward for our fitness and determination.

I was willing to continue to overlook the bad attitudes because I love the coffee and the ritual with my girlfriends. But this Jack thing threw me over the edge. Why couldn’t he approach me as a human being, and say, “I know you come here all the time, but we’ve had a complaint about your dog. Can you wait outside with him, or find another place for him to wait for you while you order your coffee? We don’t want to lose you as a customer, but we have to honor our other customers’ needs, too.”

But no, that would mean they actually cared about us as customers.

I’m just fed up with this attitude. I get that you all think you’re too cool to actually serve people. I get that you’re probably all artists or film-makers or grad students or whatever and you don’t really want to be baristas. But right now, you are in fact a barista, working at a coffee shop which is intended to serve customers. Can’t you just be a little bit nice about it? It really doesn’t seem like that awful of a job to me. The people at Starbucks all seem happy and friendly.

So you know what, Ristretto Roasters? I won’t bother you any more. I’ll save my $80 a month and won’t sweat up your precious coffee shop with my early morning running mommyness anymore.

Not cool!


Filed under Food

I’m in a co-dependent, abusive relationship with T-Mobile.

Dear T-Mobile,

Thank you for the brand new, free HTC Sensation. I’m very excited to get this phone, and I never expected to get it for free. After all, you’re selling it for $550!

All I wanted from you was to get the contract-renewal price of $199. But see, when my husband called you to renew our contract and order his new phone, you sent his new phone attached to my phone number instead of his. So I couldn’t get my Sensation. It seems like it would be easy enough for me to get my new phone attached to his phone number, and then we’d just switch… but no, that would be too simple because I need to have the data plan.

So the lovely gal in the store spent an hour on the phone with customer service, customer loyalty, and about four other of your departments, all trying to convince them to make a simple switch on the computer: change that phone to my husband’s phone number.

But no, you wouldn’t do it. You said we had to wait for the new phone to arrive, send it back, and start over.

Do you know why we didn’t order my HTC Sensation over the phone when we ordered my husband’s phone? Because we knew if we ordered it over the phone it would take a few days to get here, and I needed my new phone NOW. Not in a few days.

But since you refused to correct the error, we were forced to cancel our whole contract. The plan was to walk down the mall to Verizon, sign up for a new contract and get a phone that I could start using right away.

The only reason we didn’t is because when we called to cancel, you miraculously discovered that lo and behold, we were eligible for a free phone! Oh, and a discount on the data plan for 2 years! Suddenly you realized that you were about to lose customers of 15 years so you finally decided to do something about it.

But here’s the thing, T-mobile. That just cost you a lot of money. A new phone, plus several hundred dollars in data plan discount. It wouldn’t have cost you a thing to just switch the dang phone to my husband’s line so I could get my new dang phone on the day that I needed it.

I’m glad you’re sending me a free phone. I will love it. And I’m glad to get a discount on data. But no discount and no free phone will give me back the time I’ve spent, and you can’t erase the anger I feel towards you.

This is not the first time you’ve pulled this trick on me, T-mobile. Get me so mad I’m ready to quit, then shower me with gifts to get me to stay. This feels like an abusive relationship to me, T-mobile, and eventually I will walk away.




Filed under Technology & media

Doubletree is really stepping it up a notch or two.

I had the pleasure of attending Bloggy Boot Camp this weekend in Seattle with my good friend Vivian from The Vivacious Gourmand. When I looked in to the conference hotel, I saw “Hilton” and said, “Hooray!” Then I saw “Doubletree,” and I said, “Awwww.”

But Hilton Doubletree Seattle Airport impressed me. The room was clean and lovely, the amenities were luxurious, and the staff went out of their way to be friendly and accommodating. It was definitely more Hilton than Doubletree, at least my old perception of Doubletree.

I paid the extra $10 to have a “fee-free” room, so parking and internet access were included in the room cost. This is a great deal, because overnight parking is typically $20 and internet is $12.95-14.95 depending on where you look.

I declined to pay an additional $10 for a mountain view room, but the staff person who checked us in was gracious enough to give us a lovely room. We were initially given a room on the 6th floor overlooking the airport, but we kindly asked if there was anything better and she kindly gave us a 10th floor room looking out at Mt. Ranier. Ahhh, that’s better!

Objects out the balcony are closer than they appear.

Kindness goes a loooong way, no?

We had a slight hiccup with the internet access. After 20 minutes on the phone with three different people, I still wasn’t able to get connected. I’ve got to tell you – at a blogging conference, I kind of want my internet access!! But at a certain point, it was not worth the time it was taking out of my day, so I gave up.

I mentioned the problem to the front desk clerk upon check-out, and she assured us she would rectify the situation. Ever astute, Vivian suggested that perhaps they could put something towards our breakfast, since that was our next stop. “Of course,” the woman said, as I was filling out my comment card. She gave us extremely generous credit towards breakfast, which we made full use of, I tell you.

We ordered Lox Benedict and the most dreamy corned-beef hash with poached eggs. I don’t know if we were just famished, but that breakfast was DEE LISH US. I was really impressed with the quality of the food, and even more impressed with the staff’s willingness (and empowerment!) to take care of us when something went wrong.

Kudos to the management for attending to the details, and for encouraging your staff to be so friendly and accommodating. I felt very well taken care of, and it was a delight to stay in the lovely room overlooking the trees and mountain.  And kudos to SITS Girls for choosing well when placing the Bloggy Boot Camp conference!



Filed under Travel