You would think that a company like Panera would not need to steal $3 from a guy like me, but that is exactly what they did.
Yesterday, around 2:30PM I walked into the Panera in Fleming Island, FL to get a chocolate brownie.
An older lady was ordering in front of me, when all of the sudden she decided to change her order. The cashier said she needed to get a manager to void the first order. The cashier was told that all the managers could not be bothered because they were on a conference call.
The cashier was lost as to what to do? Another cashier was standing there and they were talking about how "scared" they were to try and void the order on their own. I waited, the lady waited and finally they asked the lady to move over one register and they took her new order on that one. In the meantime the other cashier could have taken my order, but seemed like she could care less.
Finally, it was my time to order and I ordered up my brownie. I took it over to the table sat down and when I tried to stick a fork in the brownie, I realized it was seriously going to take two hands to do that.
This brownie was hard as a rock and apparently had been sitting in this Panera since the Nixon administration. Totally serious, if I threw this brownie at the store window, it would have broken it (the window, not the brownie).
I took the brownie back up to the cashier and banged it on the plate so she could hear that this was one rock hard brownie.
She first said, I could just put it in the microwave.
I'm not sure what that would have done, but since the brownie had frosting on it, I really didn't think that was a good idea. She started squeezing (or I should say attempted to squeeze) the other brownies in the case and realized that they were like rocks as well. Go figure.
She then asked if I wanted to have another pastry that was in the case? Like I said, this was 2:30PM, the only thing left in the case were orange scones and some cobblestone something.
I told her no thanks and she suggested the microwave again. I declined one more time.
What she never did do was offer my $3 back.
I'm guessing because that would have required a manager and remember, they are on a "conference call."
So, I left with no brownie and less $3.
I came home tweeted that Panera ripped me off, wrote a bad Yelp review and sold the Panera stock that I owned.
Panera's social media team reached out to me, but the dialogue between them and me ended right around 5PM and I haven't heard back. I guess the Panera social media people just work 9 to 5 and then go home.
I did send them a final message saying that they can keep my $3 as they obviously need it more than me. I also told them that I won't be returning to Panera, a place that you all know that I have eaten at hundreds of times.
I can get the fact that the brownie was beyond stale. What I can't understand is the absolutely awful customer service.
How hard would it have been to say sorry, reach in the register and give me my $3 back? I would have been on my way, I still would have returned to Panera in the future.
Also, how about one manager stays on the floor and the others can tell him/her exactly what was said on the conference call. Unless it was a call to decide how to make the brownies a bit softer than granite, I can't believe that it was so important that you would give up customer service.