The Customer Experience

Disclaimer – This post has nothing to do with the ICT industry, but has everything to do with corporate policies and the customer experience.

Last week, my wife and I were headed to Key West for our annual trip and stopped over in Miami to see Fairchild Botanical Gardens. And by the way, if you haven’t been there, it’s spectacular. But, that’s not the point of this post.

Before checking into our hotel, we decided to stop at IHOP for dinner. The building was typical, the food typical and the service bad. But the issue I had was when I went to pay my bill.

After finishing dinner, I left a tip on the table and walked up to the cashier. The check was for $20.83 and I handed the cashier $21.00, whereupon he starred blankly into my face. After what seemed like half a minute, he finally said “You’re good”.

OK, granted it was only 17 cents, but I’d never had that happen before. At that point, I’m sure I had a very quizical and confused look on my face and after another awkward silence, he finally said “They don’t give us change here”……seriously!

Is this corporate policy, franchise policy, or could employees only calculate change in dollar increments, or was he skimming. The list goes on, but for 17 cents, they have created a negative customer experience and caused this customer to not only think twice about going to IHOP, but to actively promote this story, as I am here, to others.

I’ve already sent an email to IHOP Corporate, but how do you explain this type of behavior?

Have you had similar experiences any where in the world? And how would you respond to my complaint if you were IHOP?

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