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How long will you refuse to patronize a business because of bad service?

A friend of mine wanted to go to lunch at a particular Mexican restaurant, and I told her I would prefer it if we ate somewhere else instead. A few years ago, I went to the restaurant and had such terrible service that I wrote an e-mail to the corporate headquarters to complain. It didn't help how I felt about the restaurant when I never got so much as a return message, let alone an apology.

The issues were that the hostess and wait staff were standing around gabbing and didn't even notice when we came in, so we had to seat ourselves and then also invite another couple who entered after us to take the table next to ours, since the staff seemed too busy to welcome them and find them seats. Then an older couple in our party specifically asked the waitress to split their order by having the kitchen staff cut their burrito in half and put each piece on a separate plate. The waitress flatly refused, saying it wasn't up to the cook to divide their food, and they could do it themselves or get help from someone at the table. At the end of the meal, I asked for a wet towel to scrub two or three coats of refried beans off my toddler, who was in the beginning stages of feeding herself. First the waitress said no, I should have brought one from home. True enough, but I'd forgotten to put one in the diaper bag. I insisted, and she brought out a dry towel. I asked her to please go get it wet with warm water, and she must have dipped it in a soap bucket because when she came back, the towel smelled like bleach and dripped with suds. I asked her to try again, and finally got the wet towel. If it hadn't been for the other problems, I could have dismissed the towel incident. Anyway, I said I wouldn't be back. My friend says I need to get over it already. So how long will you all usually stay away from a business where ou are disappointed with the customer service?


Asked by Ballad at 5:17 PM on Apr. 25, 2013 in Money & Work

Level 45 (193,996 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (17)
  • If it's bad enough, I will NOT go back, ever, and your situation is one of those.

    I think almost 10 years ago now my husband and I went to a Mexican restaurant that HE said was phenomenal. We went over 20 minutes with empty glasses (pet peeve of mine). In that time our server, two other servers, and the manager walked by multiple times, never once looking at our table. We finally got refills when I rudely slurped the last bits of melted ice up the straw for a good 2 minutes or so. We also got the check with those refills. AND, it was NOT our server that brought the refills, it was the manager that had walked by multiple times before.

    I can understand slower service when they're busy, but there were a total of 4 tables in use when we were there. There was NO excuse for that crappy service.

    We have not been back since, and tell our friends NOT to go there either.

    Answer by Rosehawk at 5:44 PM on Apr. 25, 2013

  • There are so many great restaurants here, once I have a bad experience somewhere, I mentally cross them off the list of places we go to. I would rather go places where I can get good service and a positive experience.

    Answer by JulieJacobKyle at 5:23 PM on Apr. 25, 2013

  • Bad service can have a lasting affect.

    I will avoid a place for a long time after having a bad customer service experience. I do understand that one employee or two are not a reflection of a company as a whole, but it's still hard to return to places like that.

    If only we could do that with places like the DMV, power companies, etc. ;)

    Answer by Skepticchick at 5:24 PM on Apr. 25, 2013

  • One chance then if I am not happy I'd never go back.

    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 5:24 PM on Apr. 25, 2013

  • Depending on the bad service, I may never go back. If the service they provide is one I can get somewhere else (say, a Mexican restaurant when there's 2 that are equally delicious), I'll never go back to the one that gave me bad service, and I'll also tell all my friends not to go there and post reviews online specifically mentioning the bad service and how wonderful their competitor is. If it's something I can't really get anywhere else (say, the only drive-in theater in town or the only dry cleaner), I'll keep going there, but I make sure they know it's under duress. In fact, there's one place I went that when I had to go back after bad service, I walked in and saw the same person who'd been so horrible before, and I flat out told her, "If you are as rude to me this time as you were last time, I will be rude in return, and trust me, I can do way better than you." Apparently, she'd already been busted for it, though. lol

    Answer by wendythewriter at 5:53 PM on Apr. 25, 2013

  • I will not go back for as long as I remember the incident!

    Answer by shareleann at 8:58 PM on Apr. 25, 2013

  • if it's bad service, i would try again. only because the company might have switched hands, they are always firing and hiring people. so you never know. but if it's the food, we never go back! hubby got a bad case of food poisoning from mcdonalds in ohio and he won't eat at any of them now. most of the ones i've been in in mich and indy, i wouldn't want to eat there anywhere.

    if you go, make sure you and your friend agree, that if the service there isn't to your liking, you'll walk out and go someplace else. she should understand and agree to it.

    Answer by noel1978 at 12:46 PM on Apr. 26, 2013

  • I usually give a place 2 tries, if I encounter the same problems both times then I don't go back. There have been a few where at the insistance of friends we have revisited but on our own, no. There are so many places we haven't gotten to yet I don't waste my time repeating mistakes.

    Answer by emptynstr at 3:20 PM on Apr. 26, 2013

  • First impression is the only impression.. I will/can donate my money somewhere else

    Answer by MsViv at 7:46 PM on Apr. 26, 2013

  • Forever, until there is new management or until I'm sure there is better staff, service or food there. I once ate at an Outback Steakhouse that served raw shrimp. I told them about it, they took it off my plate, supposedly put it back on the grill (which is against health inspection code by the way!), and brought it back still raw and gray 3 times! Cooked shrimp is white & orange, not gray. They didn't even want to deduct the shrimp off my bill. There are plenty of other restaurants or locations, so you should not feel like you have to eat at just 1 place. It's your money, you can do as you please. There's no shortage of Mexican restaurants either. I also never went back to a vet's office because they kept taking walk-ins when I had an appointment, came on time & still had to wait. People who came in after me w/o an appt were seen & it seemed like discrimination.

    Answer by hellokittykat at 8:31 PM on Apr. 26, 2013