There’s something odd going on at reader Brian’s local Friendly’s. Brian and his wife ordered and paid for two sundaes, but when Friendly’s discovered they were out of the flavor they’d requested, things got complicated. First, the employees refused to give Brian and his wife their money back because the manager doesn’t allow refunds, then, when they asked to speak to the manager, not only would she not speak to them, but she also wouldn’t allow the employees to say her name.
Here’s Brian’s letter:
I thought you might be interested in an unbelievable experience I recently had at a restaurant.
Last night I went to Friendly’s restaurant in Norristown, PA to get ice cream. My wife and I each ordered a sundae with butter crunch ice cream. After we paid for them, the cashier realized that they were out of butter crunch. My wife is pregnant and has dietary restrictions that prevent her from eating chocolate or nuts – which rule out almost all of the other flavors. So, since they didn’t have butter crunch, we just asked for our money back.
However, she told us that she isn’t allowed to give refunds. The cashier explained that their manager had been giving too many refunds recently, and that the manager would get in trouble if she issued any more. So because they didn’t want the manager to “get in trouble”, they refused to give back our money – despite the fact that we had paid for two sundaes that they couldn’t give us.
We then asked if we could speak to the manager about a refund. After a worker disappeared into the back for a few minutes, we were told that the manager was in the back and on the phone, so she couldn’t come out. I was astonished that the manager refused to come out and help us deal with this issue. After waiting another 5-10 minutes, the employees told us that the manager would not be coming out from the back. I suspect that the manager was not even in the store and the “on the phone” excuse was just used to cover up for her.
We asked for the manager’s name, and were told by three different employees that they aren’t allowed to tell anyone her name. So not only did they refuse to let us speak to a manager, but they wouldn’t give us her name! However, I managed to overhear one of the other workers mention the first name of the manager [redacted.] The employee looked terrified after realizing that the manager’s name slipped in front of customers.
By the time we had been waiting at the counter for about twenty minutes, the cashier said that she would be willing to return the cost of one sundae. This was completely unacceptable, since we had paid for two sundaes that we never got!
Eventually, after about thirty minutes, one of the employees agreed to get one of the half gallons of butter crunch from the take-out freezer to make our sundaes. Finally we got the food we paid for and left.
So apparently the manager at this Friendly’s restaurant:
— has instructed her employees not to issue refunds – even when they are fully justified – because she doesn’t want to “get in trouble”.
— has strictly forbidden her employees from even telling customers what her name is.
— refuses to talk to customers, even if they specifically ask to speak to her. In fact, I strongly suspect that she was not even in the restaurant, but told her employees to say she is “on the phone” to cover for her if she is not there
I tried contacting the store’s general manager about this, but his business card only lists the phone number of the restaurant. I’ve put out an “email carpet bomb”, but haven’t yet gotten a response. Maybe getting the story out on your site will encourage them to do something about this.
You might want to also give your local consumer affairs department a heads up about this new “policy.” Selling a product they don’t have and then refusing to issue a refund isn’t, um, cool. Ya know? Come to think of it… it’s not exactly friendly, either.
(Photo: *nomad* )