Quiznos Takes Your Money For Online Order, Refuses To Give You Food

Reader Nora placed an order via the internet with Quiznos and paid with a credit card. But when Nora’s husband arrived at the store, he was told that their store didn’t accept online orders. They had already paid online but Quiznos didn’t seem to care. Her letter, inside…

Here is my recent experience with Quiznos. Beware of their online ordering option. My husband and I are fed up and not going back any time soon, if at all.

My husband and I have partaken in the Subway “$5 foot long” sale enough times now that if I never see black olives again on a sub, it will be too soon. So we were pleased to see that our favorite sandwich chain, Quiznos, was offering a similar deal. Last Thursday night (May 8) we decided to have Quiznos for dinner. My husband agreed to go pick up the food and bring it home, so I logged onto the Quiznos web site to look at the menu. While there, I discovered that they now offer online ordering. How convenient, I thought. We could place our order and pay online, so all hubby would have to do it run in and out to pick up the toasty deliciousness. I was so very wrong.

We created an account on the site, selected our local Quiznos, placed the order (one sandwich, two “sammies” and a bag of chips totaling a whopping $11.99) and paid with hubby’s credit card. The transaction went through and a message said that a confirmation email would be sent to his email address within a few minutes. At no point did the web site indicate that our local Quiznos (#6112 in Milwaukee, WI) could not accept online orders.

When my husband arrived at the store 15 minutes later and said he was picking up an online order, the two staff informed him that their location did not accept online orders. He calmly explained that he had been able to place the order online and had already paid with a credit card, so they would either need to give him his food or provide a refund. The two staff members continued to claim ignorance and offered absolutely no solutions, even after my husband pulled up the confirmation email on his iPhone (the iPhone to the rescue again!). He even confirmed that it was the correct location. My husband is normally very reserved, but at this point he raised his voice and said, “You need to step up and provide me with some customer service!”

The “manager on duty” called the franchise owner, who eventually got on the phone with my husband and continued the argument that they did not accept online orders! Finally, after my husband agreed to email the confirmation to the franchise owner, he gave the go ahead to let the staff make our food.

This was a totally unacceptable way for the Quiznos staff to handle the situation. The employees should have made my husband our order as soon as he provided proof of the online transaction, and just figured it out later. The owner should be aware of programs offered by the corporate website, and it would be his responsibility to opt out if he wished; clearly he did not.

In the past, we ordered from that particular Quiznos a couple times a month. My friends and I always called it the “goon squad” because of the inept staff, but we kept going back because the sandwiches are so darn tasty. After this experience we will not be going back to that location ever again. Not only are we fed up with the lack of decent customer service, my husband was treated like a liar, all for just $12.

I haven’t been able to find a corporate email address for Quiznos. The web site offers a tool for complaining to the individual store, but I’m not sure if that will help since the owner wasn’t very helpful in the first place. Any recommendations from Consumerist or your readers would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Nora
Milwaukee, WI

Congrats on making Quiznos see it your way, and nice use of the iPhone! We are baffled as to why their web site would accept online orders for a store that doesn’t take them. Quiznos’ web site has a customer service link, as you already mentioned, to enter complaints. This would be a good place to start. The site also contains the corporate office’s address and phone number which is 720-359-3300. A tactful phone call and a nicely written letter may convince Quiznos to straighten up their act.

(Photo: Getty)

Comments

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  1. timmus says:

    This is EXACTLY the situation where credit card chargebacks are to be used. Get on the phone with your credit card company right away and start the dispute process.

    Not to be hating on every company that appears on Consumerist, but I’m already polarized against Quiznos for being evasive about their nutrition information… this is another nail in the coffin for me.

  2. tedyc03 says:

    *sings* Oh the chargeback train’s a-comming…

  3. SkokieGuy says:

    But the real question is did all of the flavors burst through with each toasty bite?

    P.S. Black olives hate our freedom

  4. I cannot sympathize much here. With most franchises, it’s better just to call it in. I love the internet as much as anyone, but there are a few areas where it’s really lacking.

  5. steveliv says:

    this was a bad experience to be sure, but how would you expect a refund from the local store who had no record of your purchase and who didn’t take your money. finding a contact to the online ordering dept would have been the more logical choice, and if that didn’t work, a chargeback.

  6. Jaysyn was banned for: http://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    Chargeback, easily fixed.

    Personally, I think they did her a favor because I think Quizno’s subs are disgusting.

  7. noquarter says:

    Quiznos Takes Your Money For Online Order, Refuses To Give You Food

    No, that did not happen to me. Jesus Christ Consumerist, can you please stop with the BS local news headlines?

  8. Jaysyn was banned for: http://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    @Ash78:

    Poppa John’s online ordering is very well done & executed. I always go that route as opposed to ordering a pizza by phone.

  9. juiceboxonfire says:

    I stopped eating at Quiznos when they stopped airing those awesome spongmonkey commercials. I won’t eat at a restaurant that stops playing commercials because they “freak old people out.”

  10. cef21 says:

    Not sure why that’s the local Quizno’s fault — they’re just a franchise. Asking them to refund your money is like going into McDonalds and demanding they supply you food because you paid over at Burger King.

    The right thing to do would have been to pay the local Quiznos and dispute the online charge.

  11. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    I can only assume the Quiznos people thought that they were trying to scam them. The employees are under the assumption that it isn’t possible to place an online order to their location so when he came in claiming to have done so they thought the e-mail was a fake.

    This is a management/corporate error. It shouldn’t be possible to place an online order to restaurants that haven’t explicitly opted-in to taking online orders.

  12. @Jaysyn: I agree, I’ve had good luck with PJ’s online. Not as fast as calling it in, though, but more accurate.

  13. MikeB says:

    @timmus: Actually, they have their nutritional info online. Just scroll to the bottom of their menu and click display nutritional info.

  14. consumersaur says:

    Her husband should have simply gone into the bank on his next day off, waited in line and explained the situation to his financial institution and chargedback the $6 sandwich fee — or he should have called his bank on the phone, waded through six tiers of menus and robot messages to speak to someone about righting this wrong through the ever-holy chargeback.

    See? Simple!

  15. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @Ash78: There was no reason for them to assume there would be a problem. Pizza Hut also has online ordering and I only had an issue once. They called saying a coupon code I used was invalid. I said I got the code from the web site and that was that.

  16. @noquarter: Actually, it’s not BS. They refused quite a few times to fill her order. Only after several complaints did they agree to make them the meal.

    @Jaysyn: Eh, not really the point. Obviously the OP and her husband really like fast food sandwiches. I have a small weakness for fast food french fries. I do not eat them often but when I do, I should hope no one judges me on it.

  17. bsalamon says:

    I had a similar situation with a different store, but they never charged the credit card, so all was well. Either way, it can’t be good that stores offer an online ordering service then decide not to accept online offers.

  18. @cef21: Eh, it’s not really like that at all. They selected the location they went to on the website. So it’s like…paying online and then being told on person it doesn’t matter. Oh wait, that’s what she complained about.

  19. I had something very similar to this happen while placing a reservation with Hampton Inn.

    My new bride and I were headed to Chicago about a year ago, and placed a reservation with one of the local Hampton Inns online. Our card was charged, we received confirmation, etc.

    We arrived at the hotel’s location and found that all the Hampton Inn signage was either turned off or being taken down. A vinyl banner with a different hotel’s name “Countryside Inn” or something like that was on the front of the building.

    I walked inside, and it clearly HAD been a Hampton, but wasn’t anymore. I tried to check in, and they informed me that their (20 year long) franchise agreement with Hilton had lapsed a few days ago (after my reservation, before my arrival), and they were now independent.

    They didn’t have my reservation. Luckily, they did have a room, and we were able to stay (at a higher rate than Hampton had quoted/charged online).

    After returning home, I called the Hampon helpline and told them the story. The nice lady said that if I would fax her a copy of the invoice from the hotel, she’d reverse the original charge on my card, and pay for the stay at the “Countryside Inn” as part of their 100% satisfaction guarantee!

    So they went above and beyond, and I got a free stay. Good job Hampton!

  20. tkozikow says:

    @Jaysyn:

    I was going to say that online ordering at Papa John’s is very hit-or-miss in the DC area. I like the convenience of ordering online, but my experience with pizza and sub places is really not that great and I am not surprised by what happened at Quizno’s. IMO, this is really an issue for corporate and I wonder how the franchisee get the $12 credit to his sales?

  21. Geminijinx07 says:

    @noquarter: Pedantic much?
    As a consumer, we are all the collective “you” – I really don’t see how having “you” in the headline affects YOU as a reader anyway.

    On topic: If the website allowed her to choose the location and still order online, it’s not unreasonable to expect the order to be accepted at the store, franchise or not. Quiznos FAIL IMO.

  22. ajc308 says:

    I recently just moved and went online to order from Dominos.com, and when attempting to put in my order, it told me that my local Dominos does not support online orders, so I called instead. Something as simple as that could have saved this whole situation.

  23. Bye says:

    Because Quizno’s will not release their nutritional details, I am convinced it is the magical, tantalizing MSG that makes things so “tasty”.

    The resulting stomachaches, cold sweats, and racing heartbeat just remind you that you’ve already eaten.

  24. Lambasted says:

    I cannot follow the chorus of “blame the customer”. Especially the comment, “It’s better to just call it in.” Online transactions are good enough to handle all your banking matters, stock purchases, computer purchases, and pretty much every other important dealing anyone may have. Yet when it comes to ordering a damn sandwich, this woman should have known better.

    Or even better, the comment that the husband shouldn’t have expected that his online order would have found its way into the hands of that franchise. The audacity of him not to know how Quiznos structures it finances among its licensees. And shame on this family for relying on an official company site that was set up for the express purpose for which they used. Tarred and feathered they should both be.

    My one and only experience with Quiznos they screwed up my sandwich and I never went back. I am not kidding, it took the Manager to intervene to understand my “no cheese” request. I simply asked for a steak sandwich with sauce but no cheese and the clerk was flummoxed. She turned to the Manager for help. I was not surprised when I got home and found no cheese and no sauce. After choking down my dry meat only sandwich, I decided it was back to Subway for me.

  25. MonkeyMonk says:

    I once bought a Quizno’s sub at a local Chicago store. The cashier was on the phone the whole time and pretty much ignoring me. Then right in the middle on my transaction she break into tears and runs into the back. From the gist of the conversation I’m guessing someone broke up with her.

    I always hate when retail employees talk on the phone in front of customers but these was really awkward.

  26. coan_net says:

    @cef21: This was my thoughts also. It is not the local stores fault – it is the on-line retailer.

    Best thing to do would have been to pay for the local food, and then fight the on-line retailer for the refund (and chargeback if needed). It is not the local stores fault for the problems of the on-line corporate.

  27. Mr. Guy says:

    was that letter written by Onion columnist Jean Teasdale?

  28. lol @ the chargeback train…

    chuga chuga chuga chuga chargeback

  29. WingZero987 says:

    I am a victim! An American Victim!

  30. Kevin Cotter says:

    I’m not so sure I would want to eat sandwiches made by the monkeys you just argued with, then called the manager on!

  31. chiieddy says:

    @timmus: Why, they got their sandwiches. They just had to fight for them. They’re not out the money.

  32. danacknyc says:

    “…but we kept going back because the sandwiches are so darn tasty.” Oh my…

  33. thegirls says:

    To all of those blaming the customer – Why is it their fault?

    When Pizza Hut started their online ordering system, I tried to order online but my local Pizza Hut didn’t participate. When it was time to select the store that I wanted to order from, my order wouldn’t go through because they didn’t participate. Once they started participating, I could order and pay for online for delivery from this store.

    If Quizno’s online ordering system allowed them to select this particular store location for pickup, then it’s not the customers fault, it’s Quizno’s fault.

    The customer shouldn’t have to think ahead about whether or not this is a franchise that may not participate in this program, etc. That’s something the online ordering system should have taken care of.

    Most likely, if it didn’t get resolved w/the franchise owner, then they probably would have done a charge back. But they did the right thing by trying to resolve it with the store first!!!!!!!!!!!!! Let the franchise owner take it up w/Quizno’s Corporate.

    Quit blaming other consumers because they aren’t as informed as you THINK you are!

  34. sgodun says:

    Sorry, but I have a small problem with this. An email on someone’s cell phone does not in any way constitute “proof”. It takes very little effort to spoof an email address; I can send anyone here an email addressed from “confirmation@quiznos.com” with a simple receipt in about five minutes and to the casual observer it would look legitimate.

    Yes, Quiznos screwed up — but it wasn’t the Quiznos FRANCHISE that screwed up. It was the Quiznos CORPORATION. Consider: Did the franchise set up the web site? Did the franchise accept the order? No, they did neither. The corporation did. For “Nora” to penalize an innocent franchise over the poor process of the corporation is just plain stupid. If I were the owner of that Quiznos I wouldn’t want Nora as a customer anyway; anyone that narrow-minded is more trouble than they’re worth.

    This is the real kicker: This was a totally unacceptable way for the Quiznos staff to handle the situation. The employees should have made my husband our order as soon as he provided proof of the online transaction, and just figured it out later. The owner should be aware of programs offered by the corporate website, and it would be his responsibility to opt out if he wished; clearly he did not.

    First, your husband did not provide proof, as I already explained. If you wanted to provide proof then you should have taken your iPhone and shown the manager your credit card’s online banking system, showing the charge amount on the online statement. That would have proved that Quiznos took the order.

    Second, it is completely unfair to say that it’s the owner’s responsibility to be aware of decisions that happen above him. Yes, the owner should be aware of it — but it’s not automatically his fault if he isn’t. The CORPORATION should have made sure the owner is aware. Do you have a job where you work for someone else? Are you aware of EVERYTHING that the owner decides upon for his business? At any point in your professional career, has anyone EVER asked you about something that you had no idea about — but were supposed to be a part of? ‘Cause I’ve got news for you: That sort of thing happens ALL the time, and not just at Quiznos.

    If you want to be upset about the situation, fine. But don’t direct your ire towards the local franchise. Take it up with corporate.

  35. Buran says:

    @thegirls: Thank you for getting it right.

    And what’s with the “chargeback” crap? They got what they paid for even if they had to raise a fuss to get the store to not fraudulently fail to provide the agreed and paid for service/product.

  36. @Rectilinear Propagation:

    If I was an employee at the Q I too would have thought scam.

    This issue all started because the local store did not or could not properly opt-out of the on-line ordering.

    I blame Q’s corporate on this one.

  37. Buran says:

    @sgodun: I have news for you: those confirmation emails ARE meant to be used AS CONFIRMATIONS and include an order number in them. How stupidly simple is it for the store to confirm that the order number is in fact valid and was in fact issued in the name of the man standing before you, possibly even holding up his credit card or other ID WITH THAT NAME ON IT?

    99.999999999999999999% of people ARE NOT SPOOFING THE EMAIL and just want what they paid for, and if it is not provided to him, that’s FRAUD.

  38. tubby says:

    @sgodun: 100% right. A lot of people get mad at franchisees even though they don’t have to conform to corporate offers. That’s why we always see “at participating restaurants.”

    But Quiznos, near me, has been among the most difficult fast food joints I’ve ever seen when it comes to participating.

    Once, a manager yelled at me because I tried to use a “free salad with purchase of sandwich and drink” coupon.

    I said “ok, well, then just sell me the sandwich. you charge 99 cents for a soda that costs you a few pennies, and the shredded lettuce you call salad and charge another 99 cents for probably costs just as little to make. instead now you’ve lost the dollar and a customer.” all over 99 cents of profit.

  39. BigElectricCat says:

    New Flatbread Scammies!

  40. thegirls says:

    @Corporate-Shill:

    When you have a problem with your bank teller, don’t you talk to the branch manager first. Then if it’s not resolved, you may have to escalate to corporate. But at first, you deal with the people at the branch you’re working with.

    Same thing here!

    I didn’t realize that I should look and see if every single store I go to is corporate or franchisee owned, just in case a problem may arise!

    If the online ordering system allowed them to order from that store online, then the franchise owner needs to resolve that up with corporate, not the customer!!!!

  41. coan_net says:

    As a side note, I’m not saying that it is the customers fault – I’m just saying it is NOT the local stores fault.

    It is the fault of the Quiznos corporate on-line ordering site.

    The customer taking it out on the local store was not the correct thing to do in my opinion.

  42. SonicPhoenix says:

    @Buran:
    If the store is unable to take online orders, what makes you think that they’d be able to access the system that links online order confirmation numbers to customer names or credit cards?

    Also, wasn’t there an article here a while back about how badly Quiznos corporate screws their franchises? Or was that just a sidenote in an arbitration article?

  43. Breach says:

    Im sorry but Why the F*** would you do an online order for sandwich, to much hassle to just walk in and order the damn thing like a normal person?

  44. Buran says:

    @tubby: They took the order. They extended the offer and it was accepted and payment was offered and taken. If the local shop was not participating, the order would not be accepted. The order was taken, therefore the local store agreed to fill it.

    You would be right IF there had been a message stating that that store was not a participating location.

    But it was. It was the manager’s/staff’s fault for not being properly trained on a system they agreed to take part in (or the order wouldn’t have been accepted).

  45. Youthier says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: Agree! The frontline employees can’t give out “free” (in their minds) food. As we learned from the Tim Horton’s debacle, they can get fired for that. The fact that the franchise owner argued with them though is asinine. It was HIS job to handle the situation or empower someone at that location to handle those decisions.

    I wonder if the “manager on duty” was the same type of thing when I was an employee at a chain ice cream store – which means, person who has been employed the longest (regardless of the fact that person may be 16 and employed 3 months in their entire life).

  46. Buran says:

    @SonicPhoenix: But they were able to take online orders. The customer didn’t get a “you can’t order from that store” message.

    And there is no possible way that a franchise of a national chain would not have a phone number to call in case of problems.

  47. Buran says:

    @Breach: So everyone who orders anything from any store in advance for any reason is not a “normal person”?

    Fail.

  48. Sarge1985 says:

    Just found this:

    Quiznos e-mail format first_last@coltrin.com

    Greg Brenneman – President and CEO
    Rick Schaden – Chairman
    Ben Howington – Press Relations
    Eric Anderson – Just a name listed on the site

    A general phone number: 866-4-TOASTED

  49. thegirls says:

    @Buran:
    Exactly! One of the great things about online ordering is just that, so that when you get to the store, you don’t have to order and wait while they make it….You order it online and by the time you get to the store, your sandwich is ready and waiting!

    It cracks me up how judgmental folks are – They think that if a person doesn’t think and act the way they do, then somehow they’re out of line.

  50. cef21 says:

    @Buran: Who is “They”? It reality, the company that took the order is not the same company as the local shop. The store was not able to take online orders. The customer’s beef is with the company that told them otherwise. (Which happens not to be the local store.)

  51. macinjosh says:

    @generalhousewifery: noquarter’s complaint is that Consumerist sometimes writes the headlines as if it happened to all readers rather than just the submitter. The implication is that it will happen to everyone.

  52. macinjosh says:

    @Breach: So that it’s ready (and all paid for) when the person arrives???/questionmarkslashslash

  53. pine22 says:

    @Breach: i agree. i mean i can understand ordering a pizza in advance because it takes some time (20-30 mins), but ordering ahead at quiznos? is it really that bad to go inside?

    im sure quiznos corporate should be able to give you a refund and a bunch of coupons for the trouble.

  54. lauy says:

    I love this site…but when will people learn that you can’t file a dispute and except a chargeback IF YOU GOT THE PRODUCT or SERVICE in question??? This kind of spiteful activity only ends up costing YOU money in the long run. The average cost a chargeback is about $50…and who do you think ends up paying this? YOU as the consumer…increased bank fees, higher interest rates, etc. Also, a dispute that is less then the cost of chargeback is often just taken by the financial institution as a loss – which is, again, passed back to the consumer in the long run. The post last week about companies that supposedly buy “chargeback lists” would not exist (if they really do; I still think it’s a scam) if there weren’t people who abuse the process, as above posters have suggested.

    The ability to dispute something is a wonderful thing – but just like anything else, those who abuse the process only ruin it for everyone.

  55. smirky says:

    Let me say that first, it is neither Nora, her husband, or the franchise store’s fault that the on-line order was allowed when in fact it would not be forwarded to the store. However, it is the franchise store’s problem since the store is representing Quiznos. The store should follow through with the Quiznos agreement and then address corporate about the fubar.

    I would like to say that I’m surprised at all of the blame the victim going on here but that would be a lie.

  56. Buran says:

    @cef21: It’s a franchise of that company, and as such is expected to do certain things. I don’t expect my pizza shop to suddenly try to back out of providing the order I paid for. I expect to be told up front if they don’t take online orders, and that is how it has always worked.

    If quiznos.com takes my order, then yes I do expect the selected shop, the one which accepted my paid online order according to the site, which has QUIZNOS on the sign, to provide that order without any BS.

    If they have any problems, I expect them to take it up with corporate. Not expect ME to do THEIR JOB for them.

  57. ChuckECheese says:

    @coan_net: Or she may have have seen one of the little people.

  58. 44 in a Row says:

    Who is “They”? It reality, the company that took the order is not the same company as the local shop. The store was not able to take online orders. The customer’s beef is with the company that told them otherwise. (Which happens not to be the local store.)

    The question then becomes what kind of relationship Quiznos has with its franchisees. Most franchises, even though not owned by the parent corporation, still need to comply with the parent’s regulations and standards, and those things are usually outlined in the franchise agreement; a local McDonald’s franchisee couldn’t decide that, for example, he thought Whoppers were a better product and thus wanted to serve them instead of Big Macs. Often franchisees have the option to not participate in special promotions, but for things like online ordering, I’m not so sure they can necessarily just opt-out of something like this.

  59. mmejanvier says:

    “GIVE ME SOME CUSTOMER SERVICE. . . and a Turkey Bacon Ranch on wheat with NO ONIONS!!! SERVICE AND NO ONIONS!!! THAT IS WHAT I WANT! DO YOU SEE MY iPHONE? SERVICE!”

    That being said, if this had happened to me I would have just grabbed one of those giant bottles of pickled banana peppers and ran. In your face mis-managed fast food franchise!

  60. Buran says:

    @Ash78: I use pizzahut.com for my “pizza needs” and for me it’s much faster and more accurate and no having to struggle to understand the clerk (my hearing is not very good).

    Pizzahut.com at least lets you save a “playlist” of frequent orders that you can use to easily re-order the same thing repeatedly, but even without that, you get used to where things are on the site relatively quickly — at least, I did.

    I also find ordering by mobile web/SMS much easier to use when wanting to pick up food on the way home. Just dash off a quick text message or web order and the food’s ready and waiting by the time I get there for me to take home.

  61. cef21 says:

    @44 in a Row: I doubt they opted out. It’s much more likely that the national organization started it up before actually getting all of its franchisees up to speed.

    @Buran: “the one which accepted my paid order online according to this site”. But, in actuality, did not accept the order and, which clearly wasn’t even aware of the order. Let’s change it just a little bit — Let’s say you ordered a pound of Starbucks Coffee from the Starbucks website, which sent you to your neighborhood Kroger (which sells Starbucks coffee, next to Maxwell House). Should the Kroger have to give you coffee even though they have no idea what you were talking about?

    It’s the same thing. Two completely different companies.

  62. thejackalope says:

    @Breach: I very much prefer to do all my food orders online – sandwiches, pizza, whatever. Why? Because I have all the time in the world to peruse the menu and make sure that it’s ordered exactly the way I want.

  63. thegirls says:

    @cef21: @cef21:
    Stupid analagy!

    The Quizno’s franchise is a licensee of Quizno’s corporate, so they are part of the same company umbrella!!!

    Starbucks just sells to Kroger, they’re have no other corporate relationship.

  64. Buran says:

    @macinjosh: It’s a style thing, I think, and a warning that it *can* happen to more people.

  65. Ninjanice says:

    Hmmm… so the OP ordered food and ended up recieving the food. What’s the problem? I understand that her husband was inconvenienced, but guess what? That’s life. Suck it up. Not only that, but if the location her husband went to doesn’t take part in the online ordering, then Quizno’s the corporation (or online entity) took her money, not the particular location that her husband went to. So when the “goon squad” got involved, the were really just doing their job. They make a sandwich, you pay for it on the spot, then you get you sandwich. That’s what they were trained to do. Since their location doesn’t participate in online ordering, they were never trained to do anything else. They called the owner to try to help this lady’s husband. To me it seems like they were trying to help her husband.

  66. Buran says:

    @cef21: Yet again, they did, by not saying “that location doesn’t support online ordering right now”. Site says qiznos, so does the store, so yes, they are the same company.

    This is how it works. Have a look at how pizza chains do it.

  67. Paranoid2000 says:

    “I stopped eating at Quiznos when they stopped airing those awesome spongmonkey commercials. I won’t eat at a restaurant that stops playing commercials because they “freak old people out.”

    I’m kinda the opposite; I’ll avoid a business if the commercials are annoying. I don’t want my money to fund the commercials that annoy me. 15+ years ago, I used to eat at Carls Jr. 2-4 times a week. Then they started their ads showing people slobbering/drooling the burger all over, kinda grossing me out. I sent an email to Carls HQ, and got a reply from someone who agreed the commercials were tasteless, but they were increasing sales significantly and would stay. They still use commercials similar to those, and I’ve been to a carls exactly once in the last 15 years. (Only because someone else was driving.)

    As for quiznos, I used to go once in a while when they had coupons, cause without them the prices were much higher than any other sandwich shop around here. The local store gave me a hassle one time using a coupon I printed from quizno’s web site. The employee was such a dick about it, I’ve never been back to any Quizno’s since. The food is good, but there are many other options that are as good or better that don’t have poor customer service.

  68. BrockBrockman says:

    I wouldn’t go back there anyways, unless you want some special toppings on your tasty sammies.

  69. Brunette Bookworm says:

    Having tried to use the online ordering for Quizno’s but being told the local store didn’t accept it, I kind of wonder if maybe the local store to this person just didn’t know how to check the orders. I would like to be able to use the online ordering for my local store, especially since most orders I place are large, catering orders for lunches for work meetings. It’s much easier to do those online than read off a couple hundred dollars worth of food over the phone.

    I just don’t know who is at fault here, Quizno’s corporte people who did the website or the local store. I think we need more info on it.

  70. cef21 says:

    @Buran: They ARE NOT the same company. It’s a franchise. If a store in Miami ripped you off, you can’t sue a store in Texas to reclaim it, because THEY ARE NOT THE SAME COMPANY, even if they have the same name on the outside.

    @thegirls: You’re right — they only have a contractual relationship, nothing more. The store is not a subsidiary. The main company does not own the store and they are not responsible for each other. They are not part of the same corporate umbrella (corporate umbrella == common ownership.)

  71. thegirls says:

    @cef21:

    You’re wrong…..being a franchise is being part of a corporate umbrella.

    Most franchise owners have to pay to purchase the franchise as well as ongoing royalty and possibly even marketing fees to corporate.

    The draw to purchasing a franchise is that they get own their own store and utilize the benefits of the brand, products and marketing and infrastructure already put in place by corporate. Making things much easier than if you had to start from scratch.

    The downside is CONTROL! The corporate has a lot. If the store owner does something that is considered harmful to the brand (inferior service or products), the franchise can be dropped!

    It’s in this Quizno’s franchise owners best interest to provide good service or corporate will be on them…and they have every right to do so.

  72. sgodun says:

    @Buran: I have news for you: those confirmation emails ARE meant to be used AS CONFIRMATIONS and include an order number in them. How stupidly simple is it for the store to confirm that the order number is in fact valid and was in fact issued in the name of the man standing before you, possibly even holding up his credit card or other ID WITH THAT NAME ON IT?

    Thank you for missing my entire point and demonstrating exactly what I was referring to.

    It would be VERY simple — IF the LOCAL FRANCHISE had anything to do with the situation. You conveniently ignore the FACT that the particular Quiznos franchise in question was obviously not set up to receive online ordering, and it was Quiznos CORPORATE who made the mistake of accepting the order. Heck, from the sound of things it seems like that particular franchise didn’t even know that Quiznos even HAD an online ordering system.

    Put yourself in the situation of the manager: Your store doesn’t have online ordering; you know this as a fact. Someone comes in and claims to have ordered something through a system THAT YOUR STORE IS NOT A PART OF. There isn’t any proof in the universe that will demonstrate to a franchise owner that he is supposed to give you something without receiving payment in return.

    99.999999999999999999% of people ARE NOT SPOOFING THE EMAIL and just want what they paid for, and if it is not provided to him, that’s FRAUD.

    You’re absolutely right, but franchise owners are expected to keep very tight books. That .000000000000000001% can be responsible for fraud.

    Why is it so difficult for you to distinguish between the error made by CORPORATE and, for all intents and purposes, the persecution of an INNOCENT franchise owner?

  73. thegirls says:

    @cef21:
    You obviously know nothing about franchises.

    Aside from the initial franchise purchase fee. The franchisee has to pay ongoing royalty and possibly even advertising fees.

    You see – the franchisee get to utilize the perks of being a part of the corporate umbrella. The benefits of purchasing one is that you get to utilize the brand, products, marketing and infrastructure that the corporate has put in place.

    The downside is cost and, related to this thread, CONTROL. If the franchisee provides inferior products or service, the corporation can drop them for breach of contract.

    So – there is common ownership there!

  74. thegirls says:

    sorry about the duplicate! Thought the first one didn’t go through…

  75. Edward Lionheart says:

    What is wrong with Consumerist commenters???? A person performs an online transaction, it’s confirmed, he goes to the store, is refused repeatedly, and lets us know–and people here write things like “Suck it up?” Jesus. If the local franchise doesn’t understand the issue of online orders, it IS their problem. They get their meats and bread from the parent company and presumably abide by a set of corporate policies… Anyway, people who come to Consumerist to tell people with real service issues to “suck it up” should get lost. Go work for a boss who shares your belief that it’s always the customer’s fault. And see how long you remain in business. No one needs you here.

  76. Buran says:

    @thegirls: thanks. That’s exactly what I’m trying to get at.

  77. Buran says:

    @sgodun: Why is it so hard for YOU to understand the concept of “offer made, accepted, payment submitted” they are then LEGALLY BOUND to follow through.

  78. thegirls says:

    @Buran:
    back at ya!

  79. Buran says:

    @Edward Lionheart: What’s wrong with them is that no matter what the victim does, it’s wrong.

    Apparently, the store not filling paid orders is OK. Apparently, order confirmations are not really confirmations. And so on.

    The one that blows my mind? Apparently, the customer is a dick for not accepting management’s excuse and expecting the store to fill the order and deal with accounting for it later. And yet a Walgreens manager who does the same thing (tries to stiff the customer when the right thing to do was to comp the order and deal with it with corporate later) is the dick in another story?

    I don’t get it either. The responses to this story are really aggravating me for some reason. Maybe it’s the hypocrisy…

  80. Buran says:

    @sgodun: Oh, and go read the other comment that proves that YOU GET A MESSAGE TELLING YOU A STORE DOES NOT PARTICIPATE IF THEY DON’T.

    This store WAS OPTED IN. They decided to be dicks and fight someone who just wanted WHAT THEY HAD ALREADY PAID FOR, and it’s the customer’s fault?!

  81. cef21 says:

    @thegirls:
    If Quiznos HQ owed you money for, say, computer paper you sold to them and told you to collect it from Quiznos #6112 in Milwaukee, but that store refused to pay, would you demand that the store pay up? When they didn’t, would you complain about Quiznos HQ for lying to you, or about store #6112 for not honoring something they knew nothing about?

    If you went to court, which one do you think you’d collect from?

  82. cef21 says:

    @Buran: Quiznos HQ may be legally bound, but the local franchise is not. They are two different legal entities and one does not have the legal ability to bind the other.

  83. mizmoose says:

    If I had a dime for every “Corporate does things online but they don’t send us (local branch) the information” story I’ve heard, I’d be a zillionairre.

    My favorite was a motel I used to stay in while traveling. I would make reservations online, and never had a problem. I was staying there enough that I knew most of the front desk folk. One day on a whim I made a reservation for a higher-priced upscaled room. When I got to the motel they apologized; the room that corporate had allowed me to reserve was not even available, as someone had be living in it for the past 3 months! (I had made the reservation a couple weeks before.) Apparently the corporate reservation computers had almost no tie-in with the local motel’s reservation system. They just booked rooms, and, hey, overbooking? Happened all the time in the busy seasons, because the Corporate system had no idea how many rooms the local sites actually had rented out.

    This was a whopping 2 yrs ago. I understand it’s not much better now…

  84. Mr. Gunn says:

    Oooohh! You have EMAIL on your iPHONE! WOW!

    I’ve never seen a PHONE with EMAIL before! How cool, neat, and positivily jet-setting!

    A Winner Is You!

  85. allstarecho says:

    Can’t even escape the ipuke fan boy comments in a story about Quiznos…

  86. thegirls says:

    @cef21:
    Once again, incorrect analogy!

    Please, read up on how franchises work before your next rebuttal.

  87. Smashville says:

    What I’ve gathered from this is that cef21 is either an idiot or just likes to argue.

  88. cef21 says:

    @thegirls: I’d be interested in why it’s a bad analogy. I know precisely how franchises work. How many franchise agreements have you read?

    In my analogy, I have the franchisor making a commitment, saying that the franchisee would fill it. I pointed out that if the franchisee doesn’t meet that commitment, you would go against the franchisor and not the franchisee.

    That seems to explain this situation precisely. I would be interested to know why you think it’s valid when the commitment is paying for computer paper, but not valid when the commitment is refunding money for an order placed on the franchisor’s website.

    The franchisee has no obligation to fulfill orders on the website unless they have an agreement with the franchisor (or the customer) to that effect. Judging by the fact that this shop doesn’t take online orders, it appears that agreement is not in place.

    @Smashville: Must be a bit of both. Sometimes it’s like arguing with a rock.

  89. Buran says:

    @cef21: Quiznos pays the local store for the food you bought. All they do is take the info; it’s the local store that collects the money. (The company gets a cut via franchise fees, I imagine).

    I guess you have never, ever ordered anything online that you then picked up at a local store, nor do you understand what it means to be a franchise or division of a larger business.

    Again. They were opted in, which means that they were part of the system that ensures the local store gets paid for the order. There’s no buts about it. The customer had already paid, so the store had an agreement with that customer to provide food. The store was in debt to that customer. The customer called the debt in.

    When you are in debt, you don’t get to opt out of repaying it. When you have an agreement to do something, you don’t get to not do it.

  90. thegirls says:

    @cef21:

    Re: your question?
    I’ll tell you if you tell me first….How many franchise agreements have you read? Or better yet, how many Quizno’s franchise agreements have you read?

  91. Porcelina says:

    This has also happened to me in Las Vegas. Or one time, I placed an order online, then called the store to double check, they said they had no clue what I was talking about, and that a transaction never came through (that store DOES accept online orders, but said that they never received mine), they assured me my credit card would not be charged. So I RE-placed the order over the phone, gave my cc#, and they delivered my sandwiches. 10 min after I am done eating, ANOTHER driver from the same store shows up with the 2nd sandwiches, and even though I explained to him and then called the store again, that we only ordered once, they refused to take the 2nd charge off my credit card until I called the store manager. WTF?

  92. Ben Popken says:

    Neil writes:

    I’m a former restaurant manager of a Quiznos. I’d have posted this in the article’s comment section, but for some reason comments on my account are disabled. I’d have used the form on the site, but that doesn’t show up for me. Both odd. Anyhow, here are some things I think your readers might find interesting and could shed some light on what happened to that guy.

    As you know, Quiznos are owned by franchisees. Quiznos hard-sells these franchisees, promising them huge profits (not exactly shocking). Combine the unrealistic promises with the fact that it is basically the cheapest national franchise to own and you have a recipe for disaster. You have owners who were just looking to make an easy buck, but the fact is it is VERY difficult to make money owning a Quiznos. Across the nation you have owner/operators who become disillusioned and it shows in the poor quality one finds when they walk into a Quiznos.

    An example of how Quiznos Corporate fleeces its franchisees:

    I was told this by a franchisee whose store is a Training Store. A Training Store is where all franchisees are sent before they can open their own Quiznos. There they are trained and certified to manage/operate a Quiznos. It is actually a fairly long program, etc.

    At any rate, when I was there taking my manager certification test, I asked why recently there have been so many coupons coming out over the past couple months. He explained to me that recently Quiznos Corporate took out a loan to expand their operations. However, unlike a standard loan you or I would take out, they did have it set up as a set monthly payment. Instead, their royalties they collected based on sales were pledged as payment. I do not recall if it was just a percentage, or all of the royalties. They then flooded the market with coupons, which drives up sales. However, it also eats into the franchisees’ profits.

    Quiznos makes money two ways: royalties and “incentives” from their vendors. The more product that Quiznos restaurants buys, they more they get back from their vendors. Call it a kick back if you want. Because their royalties were already going to the repayment of their loan that avenue of income was gone, so they sacrificed their franchisees.

    Sorry for the long email- I just thought you may find it interesting. I am not attempting to justify the Milwaukee owner’s actions (they were reprehensible), but maybe shed some light on how such a stupid customer service mistake could happen. Unqualified owner + Failing Business = Bad Customer Experience.

    On the flip side, the stuff in the Quiznos manual you posted about a year ago really is pushed hard at all of the corporate events. Customer service is stressed hard.

    Neil

    P.S. check out all the RipOffReport.com’s entries filed by Quiznos franchisees here

  93. Anonymous says:

    I experienced a very rude employee at Store #2040 in Federal Way, WA on Feb 26, 2009. I was the only customer at 10:30am. I ordered two sandwiches, with a coupon for “Buy One, Get One Free”. When they went to ring up the coupon, the clerk couldn’t read the promotion code on the bottom of the coupon because I had accidentally cut it a little close, cutting off the bottom half of the five digit code. I had the other coupons with me and pieced them together so you could make out the code, but the lady said, “Corporate won’t accept that.” I asked her if she had a piece of scotch tape, and we could tape it together. She said, “I don’t have any tape. Why don’t you just use the other coupon.” By that time, I was getting a little irritated because she was being so petty. I told her, “Because the coupons are not the same. That one is ‘Buy a drink and a sandwich, get a sandwich free’.” Then she said, “So you wouldn’t pay a $1 to get a free sandwich?”. Now I am getting mad. “No! I have a coupon and this is the one I want to use.” She said, “I don’t HAVE to accept any coupon.” So, I said, “I don’t HAVE to shop here,” and headed for the door. She yelled after me, “Your sandwiches are ready. Are you going to just waste them?” I told her, “You eat them or throw them away. I don’t care.” I went to another Quiznos a couple miles away and used the coupon, no problem, but, Rude Quiznos Lady @ Store #2040….hope you enjoyed your lunch. You’ll never see me again.