Thursday, 27 May 2010

A PR girl's morning rant about Subway

Haven't we discussed the importance of customer service to a brand? Have we not said that it can be the unique selling point in the sea of marketing and PR "propoganda"?



I could not cook lunch last night and the rains usually come down in a gush just around lunchtime everyday, so I knew that getting lunch would be an ordeal. This being said, I went to the nearest Subway to get a salad. Let me just say right now, I hate Subway. Their service is atrocious. The sub is clearly for substandard and if anywhere else was open at 6.30, without me having to get back into my car and lose my parking spot. I would have been there.Their winning points are that they open early and they sell lunch items during the breakfast session, so I could get my salad, put it in the fridge and save myself from starvation at noon, when it is sure to be pouring and flooding. But oh, you annoy me. It's my own fault but I can still rant about it.

1. It never ceases to amaze me that the Subway lines are not only long, but slow moving. Busy people buy breakfast and I have never seen an empty Subway. So one would think that between 6.30 - 9.00, which is a heavy traffic time, one would load up on the staff behind the counter. One would think!

2. If your sandwich artist only started today, is it wise to put her on the assembly line during rush hour? I don't want her learning the ropes when I am trying to get back to my desk before 8am. Put her on the cash register or on the toaster. Girlfriend was clueless and painfully slow.

3. And this is where it directly affects me. If you're selling salads, shouldn't you have salad dressings? And worse yet, if you know you DON'T have salad dressing, shouldn't you tell the customers ordering the salads that you don't have any BEFORE they order, so they can then decide whether they will take the salad anyway? not eat salad without some kinda salad dressing!!! I am not a huge fan of salads but give me a little bit of dressing and I will eat it willingly. So imagine my vexation, after 20 mins of standing waiting for the salad, having her put the wrong stuff on it, and then when I ask for my dressing, she rolls her eyes at me and tells me there is none. I don't think I needed to be asking for my dressing. You should have been asking me or advising me that there was none. She looked at me. I looked at her.


I was not a pleased customer. But it was too early in the morning for me to do the "disgruntled customer thing", so I then asked the cashier whether they were getting any dressings later in the day. She tells me "Hopefully". So, trying to help them out now, because I am annoyed beyond, but really trying to hold it in, and I tell her, if the weather holds, I would just take the short walk back to get my dressing. I thought I was being generous!

This was the answer:

"Well...hmmm....ummmm...yeah.... you could try that, but that is if anyone remembers you"


The response should have been

"Miss, I am so so so sorry for the inconvenience and if you wish to collect a pack of dressing later, I will put it aside for you. Let me put a note on your receipt so even if I am not at the counter, someone would be able to assist you. Again, so sorry for the inconvenience. Is there any dressing you prefer?"

Oh no...I have to HOPE someone remembers me. Thanks Subway. Thanks. And you want me to come back right? The sad thing is, I honestly don't think they care if I come back or not. They don't look at it as a lost customer, a bad reputation. It's just another miserable customer they got rid of. Super job, Subway!

I will be back tomorrow with regular posting.


So, I too have issues with Subway and their turnaround time. One day a couple of weeks ago, though, I was in Arima, with little option for lunch, so I went to the Subway on Broadway.

When I ordered, I was advised that they only had Parmesan oregano bread. I did not specifically want that, but I was hungry and I wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible.... but seriously, don't you haver systems in place so that you can avoid lacking ALL but one type of bread? Geez!!

Anyways, the service was the usual poor quality (why would I want extra cheese on the sandwich which I specifically asked for no cheese?). Coming up to cash, they asked if I wanted anything to drink... yes, I would like a coke zero... sorry, they have no drinks in the machine, only bottles. Again... why let that happen? the soda syrup is not that much of a perishable item.... come on!!

So I paid the cashier, and I remarked (because I had already resigned myself to it), that I didn't havwe a choice with the bread, so technically, they should not be charging me for it.

*steups. Her response was to steups. Well, luckily I was in a rush, because I couldn't stay and give that lady a piece of my mind. Really... is that where we are? A customer is inconvenienced by your actions, has to pay more, has paid more, after paying has suggested that they should not be charging for more, but has not asked back for a refund, and you react by steupsing???

Needless to say I have not been back there since. In another place where I usually have lunch in POS, I have regular bust ups with them about their pricing. However, their reactions are always one of respect, and they ALWAYS take the time to explain why they charge how they do... I don't always agree, but at least I can make a choice. I will always go back to them despite their expense (not as regularly therefore), because of their attitude the workers. Attitude means a lot to me, however, given the lines that adorn Subway and others of their ilk, I am not sure it means a lot to the majority of Trinidad society

Here's my question: is it Subway or is it Subway in Trinidad? I've been to a handful of 'dining establishments' in TT where the service was not even worth commenting on.

On one occassion I phoned up the manager to complain and he said: 'Me eh know what do do gyul, de staff and dem jus doh care'

What on earth was supposed to say to that???

As usual - just wanted to fling in my two pence :-)

Well it is Subway in Trinidad, which says it all. That being said, as part of a global brand, the local franchise owners should be concerned, as well as global marketing or whoever monitors their brand worldwide. So while it may be the Subway here, it has an impact on my overall perception because guess what...I don't eat Subway anywhere else either.

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