Dear Five Guys: Don’t Copy Customer On E-mail Where You Call Him A “Douche”

fiveguysemailHave you ever penned a harshly worded e-mail about someone and then panicked for a moment when after you hit “send” out of fear that you may have copied the target of your vitriol on the message? 99.9% of the time, you did not… but when it does happen — and when you represent a major fast food chain — the results make for good Internet.

Consumerist reader John and his co-workers often place group orders for pick-up at their local Five Guys. Recently there was a minor screw-up and the group was charged for fries that were not included. And so John filed a polite complaint online and received a nice e-mail in reply.

The Five Guys employee — a district manager for the local franchisee in Massachusetts — initially offered to issue a credit to the purchaser’s card and to send a gift card as an apology.

But when John wrote back to say that the gift card could not be used to order online, the Five Guys employee accidentally ripped off the veil of politeness when he copied John on an e-mail to another co-worker at the franchisee.

Reads the e-mail from the district manager to his colleague in reference to John’s complaint:

This is from the guy about the online order screwup. This guy is a perfect example of why this world is fucked. What a complete asshole. I’m speechless over this douche. All of this over missing fries. Fuck him and his tool office mates.

We were all set to contact Five Guys HQ on John’s behalf when someone at the corporate office caught wind of his post about the e-mail on Twitter.

“She has given me a couple of proposals to win back my group’s business,” John told Consumerist after speaking with the rep. “I told her I would be touch with all of my co-workers that usually order from them and get back to her with our decision.”

In spite of the nasty e-mail, John says he is willing to give Five Guys another shot.

“I believe in second chances(sometimes),” he writes, “and so far with the Five Guys response, I think they are close to earning that second chance.”

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  1. MarthaGaill says:

    I wonder, though, what his email said to elicit this kind of reaction from her. If there was a mistake and the giftcard didn’t work properly, he could have handled it politely or, you know, just gone into the restaurant and used it in person.

    I think management has to be really careful about what they say and to whom they say it, but I get the feeling he popped off something pretty rude first.

  2. SingleMaltGeek says:

    Oh, HELL no.

    I have very little patience for companies that take my money and don’t give me what I paid for, and takeout orders are a prime example. You get home and you just want to enjoy your food, and suddenly you’re missing something that you paid good money for. This happened to me repeatedly with Cheeburger Cheeburger, and despite a small gift card in compensation for the last time I complained, I will never get takeout from them again.

    I actually love Five Guys, but if this attitude about my takeout order is acceptable, I will never order from them again. There are plenty of other options where I don’t have to constantly worry that I’m getting robbed of something I paid for and was looking forward to.

    • illusio26 says:

      I assume you’ve never made a mistake in your life?

      • SingleMaltGeek says:

        I have. But none so big that a client didn’t want to do business with me again. And of those that impacted anyone else, never more than twice; I took them all very, very seriously and went to a lot of effort to make sure they wouldn’t happen again. The Cheeburger Cheeburger I mentioned did this repeatedly, even after I contacted management (who seemed to think I was making a big deal out of having to stop eating my dinner and drive back to get the topping I paid for in order to ensure domestic tranquility in my household, the only reason I even put up with them as long as I did.)

  3. C0Y0TY says:

    This sounds like a variation on the SNL MetroCard sketch with the rude rep and polite customer.

  4. kb says:

    I have learned a long time ago not to trust low-paid employees to get things right.
    They need to be baby-sat.
    I check the contents of my carry-out orders before leaving the premises. I have lost count of the number of times that they got something wrong.

  5. CommonC3nts says:

    To be fair the guy was a douche for complaining after getting their money back and getting a free gift certificate. What more did they guy want except to be a difficult customer???
    If you cant use the gift certificate online he could have phoned in his order, ordered when he got there some extra items to use the card on, or he could have just thrown the free card away.

    • CzarChasm says:

      I agree, customer was pretty douchy. What more did he want?
      ” I expect not only a credit for the food we did eat, but I want a written apology from the minimum wage 16 year old who made the unforgivable mistake of forgetting to include one of the items in out 15 item order.” – John the douche
      I get it, we order out all the time here, it’s annoying when they forget something, but never once has anyone here suggested we do anything more than ask for them to get it right.

  6. Airwave says:

    Total dickhead move. Possibly because of unfamiliarity with how to forward on iPhone w/o cc’ing original sender?

    That said, I have only had wonderful 5Guys experiences. One time I was trying to be good by ordering only a burger. The counter guy said, “hey I’m sorry but some fries jumped into your bag”. Not a full order, mind you, just a handful. That so made my day! :o)