Tuesday, January 08, 2008

No competition

Tuesday, 8 January

While I try to patronize small businesses (see my entries about local bakeries and local yarn shops), I admit I'm a frequent customer of corporate giant Starbucks. I rationalize this allocation of my dollars by noting that it's a local company, a local and progressive employer, and a supporter of bike racing. Still, when our team ride met at the Redmond Peet's last Saturday, I thought it would be a good opportunity to see how the competition works.

The experience was not nice. The woman who took my order repeated it back incorrectly ("no lid" does not mean "no room"), I corrected her, but then she delivered something else ("short" does not mean 16 oz.). She never made eye contact with me during the entire transaction. I do get tired of the perpetual smiles at Starbucks and the query of "how's your day going so far?" that opens nearly every transaction, and I'm often grouchy and sullen myself (there's a reason I'm not in retail), but my coffee experience is so much nicer when it's, well, nice. Howard Schultz is back at the helm, and hopefully he remembers that customer service is the edge that will keep us out of Peet's and McDonalds (ewww) for our coffee fixes.

5 comments:

Old as dirt said...

Honey, you're never grouchy and sullen ;-)
btw, Can I buy a new disc wheel??

Curly said...

May I have OAD's old disc wheel when he gets a new one? I assume that it's ZIPP and can adapted for the track...

STOKED I AM said...

Now wait a second....I get OAD's hand-me-downs. What's the point of letting him get a new disc wheel unless I get to upgrade to his old one? Funny how that works. It's MY disc wheel that's about to implode and HE's the one who gets the new one....He's getting a lot of metaphorical mileage out of that tandem we got last year....

Argentius said...

Wait, was the bad experience at Peet's or SBUX?

The "No lid" thing I think is kind of annoying myself, if this is the 'bux.

We are actually NOT PERMITTED to offer a drink without a lid.

Except in Canada, where it is standard.

Wha?

Some lawsuit magnet thing, perhaps. But I hate making a pretty latte, then covering it up with a plastic lid...

The conclusion? Ask for a "for here" ceramic mug. It happens so irregularly that many baristas just kind of Don't Hear it when you ask.

Crap, this is going to have to be transferred to my own weblog.

STOKED I AM said...

A ceramic mug is room temperature (i.e., a lot colder than my coffee) and most baristas look resentful when you ask them to warm it up (which takes a good 15-20 seconds filled with boiling water). A paper cup delivers hot coffee. A lid is forever fodder in a landfill. 95% of SBUX baristas will deliver a drink without a lid; some make you promise in front of others not to sue if you spill.