Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Bed Bath and Beyond Goes Above and Beyond

My mom sent me a bunch of unused gift cards which I was naturally very excited about. I was especially eager to spend a $25 one at Bed Bath and Beyond in Selinsgrove.

Should I put that money towards a mandoline slicer or pasta machine or some canning supplies? I was giddy with possibilities. I decided to double check at customer service to see if indeed my mom had spent any money on the card. She had previously given me a Barnes and Noble gift card that was supposed to be unused, but only had $1.68 on it.

The sales lady ran the BBaB card through the machine and (gasp!) it told her that the card was invalid and should be discarded. She tried keying the number in by hand and again it told her to discard it. She was perplexed and I was so disappointed (all those cool kitchen gadgets staring me in the face and not a dime to buy them with). I asked her if there was a number on the card she could call just to make absolutely sure there wasn't any money on it. She ended up calling the manager and he made the call. I wandered away feeling disheartened because I was pretty sure I wasn't going to be making carrot chips with a new mandoline slicer. My daughter tried to comfort me by telling me that maybe Santa would bring me one for Christmas. (Honey, you're looking at Santa and in this economy Santa needs that $25 gift card.)

The manager tracked me down in front of the punch bowls and told me that he made a couple calls and  figured out that the card had been deactivated because it had not been used for a long time, but there was still $25 on it and that I could use it in 48 hours. Hooray!

The sales lady could have just told me I should throw the card away after she tried twice to run it, but instead she went the extra mile by calling the manager and getting him to help me. He went the extra mile by making some phone calls to try and get to the bottom of the problem. I have been in similar situations before where I could tell that the salespeople didn't care about the customer and just said there was nothing more they could do. Good job Bed Bath and Beyond, see you in 48 hours when I spend the heck out of that gift card. Two thumbs up.

Dick's Sporting Goods, Speedy Service with a Smile

A few months ago, my sister bought me a metal water bottle at Dick's Sporting Goods as a gift. It was beautifully designed with a flip top lid. Unfortunately, it leaked all over the contents of my purse. I returned it and upgraded to a purple Nathan brand water bottle with a silicone base, a flip up straw, and a clip to attach to a backpack. The second water bottle leaked on everything as well. The cup holder in my car always had a little puddle of water and my purse always had soggy spots in it. Strike two! I kept that Nathan water bottle for three months, leaking all the while, but didn't really like to use it.

I finally decided that enough was enough and walked into Dick's and explained that this was the second malfunctioning water bottle I had from their store in the past 3 months. The sales girl told me to pick out a new one and then looked up my Dick's reward card number because I didn't have a receipt. I found another water bottle and she let me exchange it. The best part was that since the new water bottle was $5 cheaper than the first one she gave me CASH BACK! I didn't even use my Dick's reward card when I bought the second water bottle. The sales girl was pleasant and did the exchange in a timely manner, plus I felt like she cared that I had been sold a defective product and really wanted to remedy the situation.

I will definitely return to Dick's Sporting Goods in Selingsgrove or Muncy in the future. I feel like there is trust between the salespeople and the customer (take a note Wal*mart). Two thumbs up for Dick's!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Mya's Cafe, a Mediocre Experience

One of my favorite places to get a bite to eat in Lewisburg is Mya's Cafe. They serve breakfast and lunch and have reasonable prices. I've probably been there 10 times in 3 years. I like the atmosphere, the tables outside, the locally-grown chemical-free produce, and the artwork for sale on the walls.   My favorite sandwich is the grilled turkey with cranberry chutney, sage mayo and brie on multigrain ciabatta. I substitute curly fries instead of the potato chips that come with it.

This past Tuesday I decided to meet three friends there for lunch, two of them have boys under the age of five.  Our waiter took a very long time to come over and take our order. It took him 15 minutes to bring back 8 glasses of water and 7 straws (there were only 6 of us at the table). Although they have a short children's menu with chicken fingers, grilled cheese and peanut butter and jelly on it. They didn't have juice or milk for my friend's son. We ordered and sat waiting for our food for a VERY LONG time, probably about 45 minutes. When our food finally arrived it was lukewarm and most of the orders had been mixed up. My friend had ordered a regular Reuben sandwich with potato chips and the waiter brought her a Portabello Reuben with curly fries. He brought me my usual turkey, cranberry and brie but with potato chips instead of curly fries. My other friend's caprese sandwich was cold and so soggy with balsamic dressing that she was practically wringing out the bread so it didn't get all over her. The waiter tried to fix things, but didn't give my friend any chips with her Reuben when it came out, but at least it was hot.

Someone told me that Mya's is under new management. The service before was mediocre, now it is plain awful. The waiter didn't seem to be too bothered that he had screwed up so much. I love that sandwich so much that I'll just have to start making it at home. I don't think I want to wait 45 minutes for a cold sandwich that is supposed to be served hot again. Two thumbs down for the service at Mya's Cafe.

Wal*mart-Get Shot Down, Leave Angry

All day long my kids have been asking me to take them to Wal*mart to exchange some items. My oldest son bought a pair of walkie-talkies that will not stay charged. He, of course, did not save the receipt (he's 11) nor the packaging and bought them using a gift card. We went to customer service to see if we could exchange them. One employee told us that it was fine and we went to get another pair. They were out of stock. Here is an account of the worst customer service I have ever experienced:

Me: There aren't any more of these in stock. Can we get store credit instead?
Employee: No. (said in curt manner)
Me: Can we get a raincheck for when they come in?
Employee: No. There's nothing I can do. (said in very annoyed voice)
Me: Can you tell me when you will be getting more walkie-talkies?
Employee: The delivery truck comes every day and no one knows what's on it. There's nothing I can do. (said with a load of attitude)
Me: If I have the gift card that my son bought it with, can you look up the exchange using that?
Employee: No. There's nothing I can do. You will have to just keep coming in and checking to see if they are in stock. (said in slow deliberate voice, implying that she thinks I'm an idiot)
Me: All right, I guess that's what we'll do then.

That employee was so rude to me. I would understood if I was trying to return dirty underwear or something, but it was not something unreturnable. What I strongly dislike about Wal*mart is that they have nearly everything all in one place so I am pretty much forced to go there on occasion unless I want to drive an extra half hour to Selinsgrove. I try to avoid going there unless I absolutely have to.