Customer Service at Carl’s Jr. in Eloy

Today, Franklin drove to Carl’s Jr. over in Eloy.

It’s nice that he has a drivers license now. He’s ready for college to start mid-January. He is excited to go driving for almost any reason, and in my opinion can always use some additional driving experience before he must be driving back and forth to college. So we thought a quick trip to Carl’s Jr. would be a good opportunity for him to get a little bit of extra driving time in. Little did we know that this would also teach Franklin another lesson in customer service.

Here’s the part that is important to understand before we get started: we live in a little town called Arizona City, and the only Carl’s Jr. near us is at the ToltecTech Road exit on I-10, about an eight minute (5 mile) drive from our house. (There is another Carl’s Jr. in Casa Grande, but it’s a 10 mile drive.) It’s not like when we lived in Tucson and Carl’s Jr. was only a couple blocks away. Here, it’s eight minutes there, 10 minutes in the restaurant waiting, and eight minutes back. Unless I stop there on the way home on my normal weekday commute back from Tucson, in which case, it’s right on the way.

Arizona City in the lower left, Carl's Jr at the Toltec Rd exit on I-10 on the upper right.
Arizona City in the lower left, Carl’s Jr at the Toltec Rd exit on I-10 on the upper right.

Franklin gets to Carl’s Jr. and goes in to order. He places his order, which according to the receipt occurred at 3:22 PM, and as we have taught him to do, he checks the bag before he leaves to make sure everything is in there. Then Franklin makes the drive home.

We all grab our respective sandwiches and head into the living room to watch another episode of Star Trek: TNG, and Franklin discovers that his double meat Memphis burger is actually a single meet burger.

So, given the failure of the restaurant to provide him with the sandwich that he ordered and paid for, Franklin was faced with the choice: go back to the restaurant and request that they give him the sandwich that he ordered, or basically live with the sandwich he was given.

But he knows that I can’t let it go that easily! What I’m willing to do is call the restaurant and calmly inform them that they have made an error, and request what sort of accommodation they are willing to provide. I’ve done the same thing with the Burger King that is at the Sunland Gin Road exit on I-10. I called Burger King, and since nobody answered, I left a voicemail. Within a few minutes I received a phone call, and the manager there indicated that the next time we were in, they would provide a free sandwich made the way we intend. I was expecting the same from Carl’s Jr. But I was disappointed.

Here's our receipt.  I called the number at the top.
Here’s our receipt. I called the number at the top.

I called the number indicated on the receipt, and let it ring, and ring, and ring some more. No answer! I waited on the line at least two minutes, giving them a fair chance to try and get to the phone. Well, you know, sometimes they’re busy and just can’t get to the phone. So I hung up, waited another minute or two, and called again. Ring, and ring, and ring some more for another two minutes, and again no answer! And no voicemail! Now I’m a little upset! It’s one thing to not receive something the way you ordered it and the way you paid for it. It’s another thing not to answer the phone because you’re busy with customers. But it’s entirely something else, when there’s not even a voicemail. Heck, I even have the ability to fax them a note, but there’s no fax machine listed.

So I pull up my trusty web browser to look up Carl’s Jr. and I find a number for customer service. It’s a toll-free number, and after dialing it and waiting on hold for about 3 minutes [with the usual reminder every 20 seconds that our call is very important to them, spoken in a voice that sounds much like Worf from Star Trek: TNG], a very nice lady comes on the phone and takes down my information. She tells me that the regional manager for this Carl’s Jr. store will call me. This is approximately 4 PM on Thursday afternoon.

Friday morning, 1/4/2013:

Here it is 8:30 AM the following morning, and so far no call from the regional manager. Assuming that I do hear from him sometime in the next day or so, I’ll return and give you an update. But you can be sure that if I do not hear from the manager, my next steps might warrant a complete blog entry of their own.

Saturday morning, 1/5/2013:

Still no call-back. Posted this on Twitter:

@CarlsJr How long should I expect to wait for a regional manager call-back?

We’ll see what happens.

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