Saturday, April 15

Outsourcing Disservice

My husband told me that McDonald's is piloting a new program in some of its "restaurants," wherein drive-thru patrons are actually connected to a central customer service location that takes the order and sends it back to the appropriate McD's location, rather than give anyone at the actual restaurant a headset. I find this to be equally breathtakingly promising and incredibly scary.

On one hand, I might actually be saved from experiences like the one I had last week. I ordered a #10 combo (fish sandwich) with no tartar sauce. Wising up, I was not deceived by the "Special Order" sticker on the box, and actually inspected my food before leaving the drive-thru. Good thing, because my sandwich was swimming in tartar sauce, though it lacked cheese.

"Excuse me," I said, catching the woman's attention. "This has tartar sauce. I ordered it without."

She frowned. "He [the guy at Window #1, who actually took my order] said 'only cheese.'"

Uhhhh . . . "That's right. ONLY cheese means YES cheese, NO tartar sauce."

When I got my replacement, it had only HALF a slice of cheese . . . as though they'd ripped off the uncontaminated half from my original sandwich and salvaged it. I chose to consider it a diet sandwich and drove off.

So, anyway, perhaps if I had a highly-trained McDonald's menu specialist in a cushy chair in a cubicle somewhere in Oak Brook, Illinois, things might go better.

On the other hand, I could repeat the outsourcing experience I recently had with Delta Airlines. I admit it, it was my fault. I purposely confused the hell out of the automated phone tree to speak with a warm body. And then I had the temerity to ask for TWO price quotes-- my destination airport was flexible, either Cincinnati or Dayton would have worked for me. But Ms. Delta Specialist really had a hard time understanding that I could fly to EITHER airport; she kept giving me a quote for BOTH. As in, Baltimore to Dayton to Cincinnati.

I tried to spell it out. Nicely. I swear. But then she asked what airport I wanted to fly into once I left Ohio. I said, "Round trip." She said, "But what airport?" I said, "ROUND TRIP. Back home." "I don't understand."

No, really. She said that. I asked if I could speak with a representative who DID understand. Silence. "Okay," I tried, "See, when I go on vacation, I leave my home in Baltimore, but my home stays right where it is. So when I fly BACK HOME, I want to fly BACK TO BALTIMORE."

No wonder Delta's going under. (And, for the record, I went with United. They were also $600 cheaper. No joke.)

And that is why I am both intrigued and terrified at the prospect of outsourcing disservice.


At 9:08 PM, Blogger Jen P said...

Things may have changed, but when I worked at McDonald's (many many years ago), filets-o-fish only came with a half slice of cheese. Maybe they still do?

At 3:48 AM, Anonymous Jason said...

Yup, I checked the McDonalds website and the fillet-o-fish is only supposed to have half a slice of cheese.

At 8:27 PM, Blogger Meg, Customer Disservice Lightning Rod said...

Well, whaddaya know. I've always gotten a whole one before! Guess my McD's is just now getting up to speed . . . ironic, isn't it?

At 8:28 PM, Blogger Meg, Customer Disservice Lightning Rod said...

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