It doesn’t happen very often, but it did tonight, so I thought I would share:

Have you ever gone into a fast food restaurant, maybe even the drive through, place an order and then end up waiting 20 minutes? Long story short, I think it is absolutely wrong to support or reward businesses who give poor customer service. If you make your order in a drive through and its 10 minutes before you can even pay, its just a sign of things to come (poor customer service). Unless you are really, really hungry- I would say leave at this point and never return to that place. (It also messes up the sequence of their orders).

There is something called the “commitment principle” which is once we agree to something, either verbal, written, or financially- we are much more likely to concede additional losses as the agreement moves forward, simply because we have already committed. I believe that many fast food restaurants know this, especially after you pay money . You think, “hey Ive been waiting for 20 minutes now and I still dont have my food, what’s taking so long? I should leave, but DANG Ive already paid, so Ill just wait.” and so you wait, and wait and wait, they FINALLY give you your food and everything is “fine” because they just took advantage of you and said “thanks” as they handed you your food a half hour later. This will continue and they will never think they are doing anything wrong.

If you do come back, what this means is that you have just given them permission to do this to you over and over and over and over. At this point its your fault.

If there are extremely long lines, dont go there – we have better things to do with our time than stand in line. If I am ever waiting more than 12 minutes at a “fast food” restaurant…..I LEAVE.. Even if I have paid or not- I just get out of there. Obviously different at a sit down restaurant, but a fast food place? Its not worth the frustration, anger, time value, and then worth rewarding poor customer service. Hardly anyone ever leaves, but when a customer walks out on them, especially after they have paid- this causes a sense of panic among the staff- they will come running outside after you (its happened to me many times). They know you are waiting and they see you…sitting there…patiently…..and as long as you are, they can take as long as they want- and they know it. If you walk and they don’t come running after you, then your business isn’t important them anyway.

If you have paid a lot of money ask for the manager and a refund- do not deviate from the refund-(the “take away principle”- rarely exercised by customers, but extremely powerful) Have your mind set to take your money and never return. Chances are, not only will you get your money back, you will usually get all that food you ordered too, because otherwise they will throw it away. Don’t let the manager talk you into a “few apple pies” to make up for it, and dont ask for the food either, just say “I want a refund, you have wasted my time- please dont make me ask again”.

Dont reward businesses who give poor customer service, it just keeps them alive longer to prolong the inevitable. (Go out of business).