Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake

[personal] Lightning rod for terrible customer service

More grumbling, feel free to ignore.

Apparently the universe heeded my grumbling on Tuesday about Apple's warranty service policies [ jlake.com | LiveJournal ] because yesterday I got seriously pwned in the customer service department by both the SE Portland location of Papa Haydn's restaurant and my good friends at the Portland Pioneer Place Apple Store.

My aunt M. was briefly in town from Colorado, so she and [info]tillyjane (a/k/a my mom) and my dad and (step)mom and Lisa Costello and I went out for lunch. Where it took Papa Haydn's over forty-five minutes to get our orders out from the kitchen. That would be four sandwiches and one bunless hamburger. Not exactly a weird special order. What made matters a lot worse was after the first five or ten minutes, our waiter vanished and hid from us. We got no updates or apologies or explanations or help. Instead we got to watch other tables get seated, served and cash out while we waited for our food. These days, on chemo, long delays for food are extremely troublesome for me, and my willingness to be good humored about problems is a lot less than normal. But the total lack of engagement by the waiter was really the topper. One bad lunch has managed to irritate me enough to wipe out a decade of goodwill from pleasant dining experiences and tasty food.

In fairness, after Lisa Costello and I left to get back to our respective Day Jobbery, the host apparently came over and made some amends. Would have been nice if they'd done anything whatsoever in the hour or so I was sitting in the restaurant, almost all of it waiting unacknowledged for whatever the hell happened to our order in the kitchen. I won't be going back to Papa Haydn's. Not with those kind of kitchen and server training issues.

Later that same day, Team E— went to pick up [info]the_child's MacBook Pro from its repairs at the Pioneer Place Apple Store. Apparently you cannot pay for something at the Apple Store with a credit card over the phone. I explained to the Apple employee waiting on Team E— that I was very ill, and could not come down to the store in person. She apologized. I asked to speak to the manager. She went off, then came back. The Apple Store manager refused to even speak to me, merely instructing the front line employee to re-iterate the policy. Team E— had to leave, I had to go out to the ATM to get cash to pay for this, coordinate deliver of the cash to Team E—, and they have to make another trip today.

I understand why some establishments won't do a Card Not Present transaction. It's a fraud issue. That policy causes problems for me personally, and is not the least bit disability-friendly in general, but I recognize my needs are shared a very small fraction of Apple Store customers. However, the manager declining to speak to a customer on request is inexcusable. Unfortunately for me, unlike Papa Haydn's, I don't have a serious alternative to going to Apple for service and repairs. There is another Apple Store much further across town, and there are some independents here who can in some circumstances honor AppleCare warranties. Why the hell the manager wouldn't just talk to me in the first place baffles me.

So, yeah, grumbling.

Tags: apple, cancer, child, culture, family, food, friends, health, personal, portland

  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened