I Declare A Fatwa On Dunkin’ Donuts

It’s been a long time since I’ve experienced this level of abysmal Customer Service.

D loves her morning coffee. But, sometimes, she wants coffee and a breakfast wrap, or a bagel, or donuts, or something. At which point, we usually pile into the car and run over to the Dunkin’ Donuts.

Neither of us is a huge “cream cheese” fan for morning bagels, so we usually order our bagels with butter. The problem is that the last four or five times we’ve brought the bagels home, we’d discover – ta-DA! – cream cheese. And since I absolutely despise cream cheese on bagels, that generally means I go without (since, on a work-from-home day, I’ve already lost enough time on a breakfast run that I can’t really justify going out and getting something else).

So this morning, when we went through the drive-thru at the Dunkin’ on Ulster Avenue in Kingston, we were very specific. Here’s how the order process went:

  • Plain Bagel, Toasted, with Butter
  • 2 Old Fashioned Donuts
  • Everything Bagel, Toasted, with Butter
  • Gingerbread Donut
  • Large French Vanilla Coffee, Regular

And, then, at the end of all that, the following missive: “PLEASE make sure the bagels have butter. Every time we order bagels with butter, we get home to find they have cream cheese on them.” The disembodied voice on the other end of the speaker says “sure, no problem.”

We pull around. I have to repeat to them the quantity and type of donuts, because apparently that got lost in translation somewhere. They give me a total, and we pay. I get my receipt, and a bag with the bagels. On the receipt, one of the bagels is listed as “PLAIN CC”.

Me: Both of those bagels have butter?
DD Cashier #1: Yes.
Me: Because this receipt says that one of them has CC.
DD Cashier #2: One butter, one cream cheese.
Me: No, both butter, just as I requested.
DD Cashier #1: Can I see that?
(we pass back to her the bag with the receipt with the bagels. She goes off and appears to check something. She comes back a minute later, handing me the bag back)
DD Cashier #1: OK, it’s all right.
(I pass the bag to D in the passenger seat, asking her “check it over.” She discovers her everything-bagel is, lo and behold, with cream cheese)
Me: (passing the everything bagel back) That certainly looks like cream cheese, not butter.
DD Cashier #1: What’s it supposed to be?
Me: BUTTER!
(she takes the bagel and walks away. There appears to be some discussion out of sight about what’s going on)
DD Cashier #2: The manager is getting you a refund. The problem is when you order a Combo 3, it defaults to Cream Cheese unless you say otherwise.
Me: I didn’t order a “Combo 3″. I ordered a bagel with butter, and another bagel with butter.
DD Cashier #2: I know, but just in the future, if you’re ordering a Combo 3.
Me: But I don’t. And I didn’t.
(she wanders off)
DD Manager: (handing me like 60ยข or something) Here’s your change. So you know, a Combo 3 –
Me (and D, almost in sync, shouting almost the same thing nearly at the top of our lungs now): STOP. I didn’t order a combo 3. I ordered a “bagel with butter”. And every time I order a “bagel with butter” you guys want to give me friggin’ cream cheese, and I hate cream cheese.
DD Manager: Well, it should all be fine in the future.
Me: Well, look, you guys haven’t gotten it right the last five times we’ve ordered it, and no matter how many times I said “butter” this time around you still couldn’t sort it out. So the problem is in here (making gestures towards the Dunkin’ Donuts building), and not in here (making gestures towards the car). So you’ll forgive me for doubting your guys’ ability to get it right.
(DD Manager walks away)
(we wait)
DD Manager: (looking back) Do you need something?
Me: The other bagel?
DD Manager: what other bagel?
Me: The everything bagel with butter that we sent back because it was wrong?
(some shuffling out of sight, and the Manager comes back with a bag, which I hand to D, again imploring her to check it. While this is happening, the car behind us pulls around and leaves. I don’t blame her, it’s been about 10 minutes we’ve been sitting here by now).
D: It’s butter.
Me: Great, we’re outta here.

As we pulled away, I declared Dunkin’ Donuts “dead to me.” It’s worth noting that the last fast-food joint I declared a dead-to-me fatwa on, the Boston Market, closed its doors a couple months later. That’s the kind of trendsetter I am. When I stop going places, those places go out of business.

So I’m lookin’ at you Dunkin’ Donuts. You’d better educate your staff not to change the customers’ orders into unwanted combos that actually mess up the order, and to tell your managers not to berate their customers for “ordering things wrong”, when they’re not actually doing so, or it’ll be your undoing.

One thought on “I Declare A Fatwa On Dunkin’ Donuts

  1. This entry made me laugh. I wish I had the power to put places with crappy customer service out of business! People suffer through it too much, they should always voice their dissatisfaction.

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