Category Archives: Customer Service

Not cool KFC….not cool.

Bad Customer Service.

I’ve written on the subject in the past and here is one more entry into the file. I drove into Manhattan earlier today to get food from one of the few Halal KFC’s in the US.

My sister and I ended up paying extra (like we usually do) just so we would have a bucket just of breast pieces. The cashier went to speak to the manager just to see if there were enough Halal pieces in stock to fulfill our order and came back to tell us that it’d have to be a mix of Extra Crispy and Original to fulfill our order of a dozen breast pieces. We were fine with that. When we got back home buried at the bottom of the box were a couple of pieces of grilled chicken instead. Not cool. I didn’t drive all the way into the city (or pay extra for that matter) just to get grilled chicken. I don’t eat healthy at home so I certainly won’t go out somewhere and do it! I ended up calling their customer service and “Bobby” was really nice over the phone and told me he’d pass it up the chain of command. I have also tried to contact them via Twitter. Hopefully someone calls back and at least refunds part of the bill (if not all). Basic customer service. If they are willing to lie about what pieces they are giving me why should I or anyone else trust that they are actually giving me Halal chicken?

This KFC is located at 208 McGuinness Boulevard Brooklyn, NY 11222

Yes, I understand that this is a first world problem but a corporation as big as Kentucky Fried Chicken should no tolerate this from their franchisees. Will someone from KFC contact me? I’ll keep you updated.
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Foursquare Lists

Now that Foursquare has added lists I am really going to make more of an effort to review places I dine at. I already did one such review earlier.

What is Foursquare?

Foursquare is a location-based mobile platform that makes cities easier to use and more interesting to explore. By “checking in” via a smartphone app or SMS, users share their location with friends while collecting points and virtual badges. Foursquare guides real-world experiences by allowing users to bookmark information about venues that they want to visit and surfacing relevant suggestions about nearby venues. Merchants and brands leverage the foursquare platform by utilizing a wide set of tools to obtain, engage, and retain customers and audiences.

At first I wasn’t sure how much I would use Foursquare but over the course of the year I have been using it more and more not only to get reviews for places but to leave them myself as well. It is a neat little tool that can be very helpful not only when you’re visiting a new city but also roaming around your own.

Do you use Foursquare? Why or why not?
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Islamophobia a.k.a bigotry continues to run wild

Just wanted to share two stories of bigotry I’ve come across today.

So our Fox affiliate takes one bigot, interviews him and tries to turn this into a “news” story. Similar billboards have been up on the New Jersey Turnpike for months if not years. I’m sure I’ve seen billboards for Churches as well.

You can find out more about “Why Islam?” by going to their website or calling 877-WHY-ISLAM

In similar news Whole Foods has caved in to bigots as well.

UPDATE: Whole Foods has said via their Twitter account that the promotion is still on and it has not been cancelled. They do point out the mistake of one of their regions.

Hi everyone…..we’d like to address the many comments coming in regarding the promotion of halal products for the celebration of Ramadan. We are still carrying and promoting halal products for those that are celebrating Ramadan this month. We never sent a communication from our headquarters requesting stores take down signs or remove parts from this promotion. We have 12 different operating regions and unfortunately, one region reacted by sending out directions to promote halal and not specifically Ramadan after some negative online comments.We’re extremely excited about offering halal products products for our shoppers and we stand behind them AND our promotion of them.

The company posted that on their twitter account earlier through several tweets.
Tweet 1
Tweet 2
Tweet 3
Tweet 4
Tweet 5
Tweet 6

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Kabab Paradise

This blog has primarily been sports and politics related since it started, over time though I have been sprinkling in posts dealing with Customer Service experiences. I will try to make it a habit to review more restaurants and other places of business for my New Jersey readers.
Kabab Paradise

60 Main Street 
South Bound Brook, NJ 08880
(732) 667-3674

I can’t say enough good things about this place. It is a great addition to the Halal restaurants that have popped up on Easton Avenue in New Brunswick. A few people recommended this place to play when it first opened up a few months ago. This is really close to where I live so we gave it a shot. I’ve been here a number of times over the past couple of months and have not been disappointed yet with the food. 

So far I’ve tried the Philly Cheesesteak, Lamb Gyro, Wings, Tikka and various Kababs and everything has been good. The portions are really good even when you don’t order rice. 

I will recommend calling in your order ahead of time. This place is always really busy so a wait time of half hour or so is not uncommon. The sitting area is not that big so I usually just go wait in the car after placing the order. Do not get discouraged by the long lines if you go here. It just tells you how good the food is. Wait it out and you won’t be disappointed. There is a Subway and a Domino’s in the same strip mall that just sit empty because of how good the food is here. 

I am all for supporting small businesses, especially when those businesses are run by honest people. The first time we went here we thought we were overcharged. I posted this information on Foursquare and Zabihah as a heads up for anyone else who was planning on eating there. Much to my surprise the next time we went in the person behind the counter immediately recognized my sister and remembered that he had overcharged us. He told us that he had credited the money back on to the credit card the same night. When we went home to double check, that was indeed true. We hadn’t approached him about a refund yet the refund was already made. There are a lot of big businesses that need to learn a lesson from them. 

This is their second location. Their original spot is still open at 76 N Beverwyck Rd # 2, Lake Hiawatha, NJ – (973) 334-7900

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“Sorry, we don’t accept cash”

“Sorry, we don’t accept cash”

That’s not a phrase that you hear often. It is certainly not a phrase that you hear when you are at a store trying to purchase a good or service. I certainly had not encountered a situation like it until today. I tried to buy gas from a Sam’s Club gas station today but the attendant told me they did not accept cash. I couldn’t believe it at the time. Luckily there is a Shell station right across the street so I just went there and got gas from there.

For those of you don’t know, Sam’s Club is a wholesale retailer (similar to Costco and BJs) owned by Walmart. Sam’s Club gas, like pretty much everything at Walmart is significantly cheaper then the other brands. A customer buying gas across the street at the Shell station pays on average 10-15 cents more per gallon then a Sam’s Club customer. As gas prices have gone higher a lot of companies have started posting two separate prices for gas. One for customers paying cash and one (usually anywhere from 5 to 15 cents per gallon more expensive) for credit card customers.

I thought about the words printed on every American bill that say “This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private” but, there is no federal law that requires businesses to accept cash as a form of payment. The following is from the Federal Reserve website,

However, no federal law mandates that a person or an organization must accept currency or coins as payment for goods or services not yet provided. For example, a bus line may prohibit payment of fares in pennies or dollar bills.

Some movie theaters, convenience stores and gas stations as a matter of policy may refuse to accept currency of a large denomination, such as notes above $20, and as long as notice is posted and a transaction giving rise to a debt has not already been completed, these organizations have not violated the legal tender law

 I checked with a friend who works for a State Senator and she told me that the State of New Jersey does not have a law requiring merchants to accepts cash as payment.  In some ways it does make sense. Not accepting cash certainly eliminates the possibility of the attendants working at the gas stations getting robbed. People like me take shots at Walmart quiet frequently for their practices but this is actually something they should be applauded for, unless of course there is a sinister motive that we just can’t currently figure out. Like I mentioned earlier, I pay by credit card most of time I get gas so I likely won’t be affected by this in the future.

Have you ever encountered something similar?

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Blinds to Go Customer Service Part 2

Read Part 1 of my issues with Blinds to Go here.

Blinds to Go is an absolute joke. You’d think a company of that size would take every step necessary to ensure that a customer who just had a horrible experience because of the incompetence of their employees walks away somewhat satisfied. If anyone else was in their shoes would they not make an effort to try and get the customer their money back so they may consider buying from them again at a future date?

They claim on their website that “Our commitment to personal service is legendary.” What a big lie that is.

This is the e-mail I received from them earlier today:

As per our phone conversation yesterday afternoon, I looked into the matter. We do apologize for the inconvenience you had encountered with the backorder due to high demand. Unfortunately there had been a misunderstanding in regards to which of the products (Mini Vintage / Vintage) was on backorder. These products are very similar in name therefore before releasing the order it was made clear which of the two is in backorder. The expected date of receiving materials is not yet known. I did call Aqueilla from our store location in Metuchenand discussed the situation.  

Aqueilla called me back explaining that she will refund you the deposit that you already made. However, in regards of the installer’s service, we will not refund the money that you paid for the measurements. We only give reference of professional installers to our customers. The installers are separated contractors and this was explained to you. If you want, we can provide you a copy of the measurements which you can use again in any other company. That is the policy of our company and that is our final decision.

Thank you for your patience.

Have a great day! 

Roberta Trindade

Customer Service

Blinds To Go



I am currently writing up a response to them right now and obviously want my money back for the measurements. What good are the measurements to me without their blinds? Each company measures in their own way depending on the type of product they carry. What an absolute joke that this company wants to distance itself from the installers and measurement company. When  you walk into the store and ask for someone to come out and take measurements they give you the business cards for 2 companies that do the job for them. They staple these business cards onto the Blinds to Go brochures. Can someone tell me where I can find e-mail addresses for their executives? These are there names:
Stephen J. Shiller – President
David Shiller – Founder
Nkere Udofia – Board of Directors

I will be reaching out to New Jersey Consumer Affairs if this does not get resolved today.
Read Part 1 of my issues with Blinds to Go here.
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Blinds to Go Customer Service

Customer Review:
Blinds to Go
143 US Route 1 South,
Metuchen, NJ 08840
Phone: (732)452-0910
Fax (732)452-0912

We placed an order for blinds at the store in Metuchen, NJ on 10/12/2010. We ordered total of 10 horizontal and 2 vertical blinds. At the time of the order we were told that the two vertical ones would be on backorder but everything else would be available for installation. We were promised temporary shades for those 2 windows in question. 

We got measurements done through a company they recommended to us. We got a call from the store on Friday to schedule an installation date because our order would be ready by Sunday. Once they told us that we arranged for a moving truck so we could move our stuff into our new home knowing that the blinds would be scheduled today (Monday). 

Today we received a call from the store after 3 PM telling us that the 2 vertical blinds were in store but everything else was on backorder and would not be installed today. When we asked them to explain how that ended up happening they didn’t have an answer. We called the 1-800-Blinds-7 number and spoke to a representative who’s first response to our query was, “What do you want me to do?” Does this pass for acceptable behavior at this company? The person on the phone told us nothing could be resolved today because the sales representative we originally dealt with was not at the store today. Can someone explain to me how that is our problem? Does all business at Blinds to Go come to a halt every time one employee has the day off? Do their stores not keep computerized records of these transactions? Do they not have the capability to track the progress of orders from their headquarters? The Customer Service representative told us we had to deal with the local store and when we explained the issue further their response was that the salesperson may have been confused because the name of the blinds we ordered were similar to other ones in the store. Can you please tell us how it would be our fault if the sales staff does not know the merchandise your company sells?
We decided  to go to the store to speak to someone in person. We got there at 6:15 and spoke to the person who called us from the store earlier in the day. This person told us both the horizontal and vertical blinds were on backorder when placed the order (which doesn’t explain how the vertical ones were in store today when they originally called us). They said the blinds would not be in stock until some time in November. They finally called the salesperson at 6:45 and said that they told him that we were told that all the blinds were on backorder. That is absolutely not true. The store called us on Friday to ask us to schedule an appointment with the installer. Why would they do that if they knew that the blinds were on backorder? We asked them to give us the name of someone higher up in the Blinds to Go chain of command that we could get in touch with but all they did was direct us to the customer service number which was of no help earlier in the day. We asked them to call whoever they needed to call because we wanted a waiver of installation charges for the inconvenience. They went on the phone with someone but told us we could get temporary shades for now but we would have to pay for the installation of those temporary shades as well as the blinds when they came in? Blinds to Go expects us to pay extra because of problems on their end? In speaking to someone at their headquarters the person at the store told them that he was playing phone tag because neither the customer nor the salesperson was there in the store. That was a flat out lie because we were standing there right in front them. This asked us to be “grownups” about this. What part of this was our fault? 
While the person we spoke to at the store didn’t solve our problem their co-worker at the time was completely rude.  Both of them kept saying that they couldn’t do anything until tomorrow when the original salesperson was in the store. They had just spoken to this person 15 minutes earlier so why did they both refuse to call them again to try and get some answers? They said it was 7 PM so they could not call them. The co-worker shut off the lights to the store saying “we have to get home to your families” and forced us out of the store. Once again I ask, does this pass as acceptable behavior at Blinds to Go? Would the staff have also forced us out if we were there to make a purchase?
I’ve worked as a Customer Service Supervisor and store manager for 3 major retail companies. I understand problems arise with orders sometimes but it is completely unacceptable to wait until after 3 PM on the day of the installation to notify the customer of a problem with the order. Nowhere in retail is it acceptable to act the way their staff did both on the phone and at the store level today. They need to remind their staff that this isn’t a charity that they are running. As paying customers we should be treated with more professionalism. 
As a result of carelessness and lack of professionalism on their end we are sitting in a new home right now with no blinds anywhere. 
Has anyone else out there had issues with Blinds to Go? 

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Laffair II Bake Shop‎ in East Brunswick is a joke

Customer Review:
Lafair II  Baker Shop
312 Rues Lane, East Brunswick, NJ 08816-3609

We placed an order on behalf of someone here a couple of weeks ago. It was for a 6 year old boy’s birthday. We selected a Spongebob Cake from their catalog that after all decorations and toys cost us $135. We had paid in full ahead of time. When we got there to pick up the cake, it was all wrong. Instead of looking like the cake in the picture it was a purple cake with flowers and Spongebob toys on top of it. When asked their response was “the person who took the order should have told you that we don’t do that cake anymore.” This obviously drove me crazy because the cake was in their catalog and they had a week to call and let us know of any changes but instead someone at the bakery thought it was a bright idea to have a purple cake with flowers for a 6 year old boy without asking us.

I spoke to the owner and got them to change the cake so it looked more like what we had ordered. This process took about an hour and we waited for the cake at the bakery. The owner told us she would give us a discount on the cake as she rightfully should have. It is Customer Service 101. While the cake was being changed though she sneaked out the back door of the bakery. I only noticed because I was looking outside the window of the bakery and saw her driving away.

We finally got the cake almost an hour later. When I asked about the discount the employees had no idea what was going and the owner had told them nothing. One of the employees claimed that the owner had to “leave to go to a funeral.” The least they could have done was come up with a better excuse. For about 10 minutes they kept telling me that the owner’s husband was in the back and he would come out to see how he could help. He never did. Instead two sons of the owner who were probably both in middle school came out and said they couldn’t give me a discount. At this point I couldn’t take it anymore and had to make a scene and couldn’t care less what their other customers thought.

We finally managed to get $25 back. The cake wasn’t for me or I  would have left it there and gotten all my money back as their attitude was completely unprofessional. I don’t know how you can run a business while using such ridiculous practices. If you know of anyone who’s thinking about placing an order there….CONSIDER THIS YOUR WARNING.

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