In January 2012 the Subway Breakfast Sampling information passed through my social media feeds and I shared the information on a post through Google+, even my mom signed up. It was an offer available in selected areas of South Carolina, Charlotte, NC, Asheville, NC, Augusta, GA and surrounding areas from January 30 through February 4, 2012.
You visited the site , selected the Subway store, the breakfast sandwich, the day and time you wanted to visit the store and receive a breakfast sandwich and a cup of Seattle's Best coffee. You received a confirmation email and an option to add it to your calendar. You were given the choice to print the reservation and give it to the cashier or show the reminder on your smartphone. The day before the event I received an email reminder. I even received a text message reminder.
So on Saturday morning, February 4, we headed out to our local Subway. We arrived a few minutes early and there were no lights on in the store and my mom said, "Oh they are probably inside doing the prep work and will open on time". I verified that we were at the correct store via the text message, Google Maps, and the Gmail confirmation on my smartphone. At 0805 we pulled up to read the hours of the store and it was supposed to be open at 0800. I tried calling the store but only received a busy signal.
We decided to wait it out. About 0810, the Subway employee pulled up, jumped out of her car motioned for me to roll down my window and said, "Give me 15 minutes I am running late". A few more cars pull up and people are starting to stand out side the door. About 0815 the Subway employee opens the door. The first family orders, then she announces, "No steak, no tomatoes, and no coffee". We asked her where was her help and she said no one else comes in until 0930. Then we asked where was Mr. David Bell, the manager, and whose name was on the email confirmation, she shrugged her shoulders and kept working as she had 4 groups of customers. I told her I was going to call her boss, not to punish her but that we all expected on the last day of the promotion that the event would be implementing the lessons learned from the beginning (January 30) until today. A customer tapped me on the arm and said, "I think that is his phone number" as she pointed to a sign on the cash register. Of course when I called the phone call went straight to voicemail.
So in addition to this blog post, comment on the G+ post, I am also submitting Customer Feedback to the local store via the Subway store site.
I don't have a problem with Subway, I have a problem with the customer experience. In the end, the breakfast sandwich was not bad but businesses should not build up the customer expectation just to let them down during the experience. Maybe my next experience will be better? If you participated in the Subway breakfast promotion how was your experience?