Poor Service in the Village
Posted Thu July 13, 2006 4:12 pm, by Charles G. written to Taco Bell
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On Tuesday, July 11th I had one of the worst experiences I have ever had at a Taco Bell. What is striking about this is that it comes hot on the heels of one of the best Taco Bell experiences I've ever had.
I hadn't been to Taco Bell in over a year, but I was curious to try the Crunchwrap Supreme and the Mountain Dew Baja Blast, available only at Taco Bell. On July 10th, I went to the Highway 36 Taco Bell in Hazlet, NJ, tried both items, and was pleased by the quality of food, my service, and the price of the meal (I have submitted a compliment on this location through tacobell.com).
I was not intending to eat at Taco Bell again so soon, but the next day, I found myself on my way to a meeting with just a few minutes to spare, and not much cash on me. I spotted a Taco Bell at 331 Sixth Avenue in New York City. I had just enough for a Crunchwrap meal, and just enough time to eat it while walking to my meeting.
I entered the restaurant at approximately 1:30 PM, and noticed that there was quite a bit of garbage on the floor near the condiments, and on several of the tables. I know it is difficult to keep fast food restaurants clean during lunch in New York City, but it was especially noticeable. While waiting on line to order, another customer stepped on one of the many packets of sauce strewn about the floor, spattering me and another customer with sauce. This was very annoying, but I tried to put it in perspective, and I didn't complain. Shortly thereafter, someone came out and began to clean the front of the restaurant.
My visit, however, did not get any better. I ordered my meal, and asked for the Crunchwrap without tomatoes. I was order number 125. I waited well over six minutes to get my order. This location is a combined KFC/Taco Bell, so I understand that customers who ordered chicken might get their orders ahead of me, but customers who ordered after me who also ordered crunchwraps got theirs ahead of me as well. I understand that I asked for a special order (no tomatoes), but given who the crunchwrap is made, it doesn't take any longer to make one without tomatoes than it takes to make one with.
I thought about complaining, but the cashiers were so rude, I decided against it-- I really didn't want to get into an argument while there. One of the servers would loudly berate anyone who didn't pick up their orders fast enough when she called their number-- "What's wrong with these people?" she would say, "They came here to eat, why don't they pick up their orders?" Then she called order 129 (I was still waiting for mine). A young man came and picked it up and sat down to eat. A minute or two later, she called 129 again. Obviously, the young man didn't pick up the order, as he had already sat down. She began to get annoyed as she called the number again. I volunteered that I thought she had already called the number, but I was told that she had not. Sure enough, within a couple of minutes, Mr. 129 comes back up to the counter, and tells the other cashier that he has the wrong order. She snatches the food away from him, and yells, "Well, this isn't yours!" I again offered that 129 had been called twice, but the cashier again ignored me. The young man waited to get his replacement, even though it was ready and sitting behind the counter. It took them a minute to realize that his correct meal was behind the counter, and they angrily thrust his meal at him, even though it had been sitting for almost four minutes!
But back to me. After a six minute or so wait, I hear the food prep woman talking with the manager, and she mentions "crunchwrap no tomatoes," and I am relieved that I can finally get my meal and leave. I watch as they prepare the cruncwrap, and to my immense disappointment, the food prep woman cracks the shell into several pieces, and instead of replacing it, they arrange the pieces in the tortilla and clumsily close it up. So after waiting six minutes, I get a bvroken cruncwrap that I cannot even eat while walking-- the pieces of shell ripped the tortilla, so I had to sit in the restaurant and eat it, and then practically run to my meeting.
I did not want to take the time to lodge a complaint there, especially after seeing how the staff treated other customers. I am not looking for any compensation, no free meals or anything. I just wanted to point out that the service at this location is woefully unacceptable, and I certainly will not return to it. I have also lodged a much briefer version of this complaint at tacobell.com.
I would just like someone to improve the customer service at the 331 Sixth Avenue loaction. It is an embarassment to Taco Bell.
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