May 21, 2010

Einstein's Bagels: DEAD TO ME

As I told you yesterday, I use coupons.  I am a crazy coupon hoarder.  And, usually, I will not eat somewhere or buy something out of the ordinary without having a coupon--a good coupon.

About every month, Einstein Bros Bagels mails us a reusable coupon for "Free Bagel Fridays"--for months, I have been able to pop into my local Einstein's, order a bagel, and leave without paying a single penny . . . and  get to reuse the coupon for 3-4 weeks.  It's been magical.

You can imagine my dismay when the coupon this month was changed to "BUY ONE get one free Bagel Fridays."  I threw the coupon on the bottom of a large pile of junk mail, mourned the loss of my free bagel run, and went about my month.  I picked it up a few days ago and thought maybe I was being too harsh.  Two bagels for 99 cents (the price of bagels at Einstein's) is still a really good deal.  Plus, I can feed myself and Troubletron for less than a dollar.  My heart softened.

This morning, I headed into Einstein's and ordered our bagels.  Two Blueberry, toasted, one with butter (Troubletron), one with cream cheese (me).

I've always gotten cream cheese on my free bagel.  For free. For months.

I got up to the register to pay.  I handed the cashier my coupon, told her what I'd ordered, and began digging in my purse for just over a dollar in change.

"$4.24," she said.

I looked up at the little screen on the back of the cash register where your ordered items appear, and said, "uh, I think you charged me for someone else's stuff."

"Nope.  All yours," she responded.

"No," I said.  "I should only be paying for ONE bagel.  I gave you the coupon for the free one.

"Yes, I know," she replied.  $4.24"

Now, blog readers, I don't really like to make a scene in a store (like someone I know ... Mom ...), but I also don't like to be taken advantage of.  And, I don't like to pay $4.24 for anything that is supposed to be 99 cents.  I'm going to show you my receipt now, which I think will highlight my frustration and explain a little better why I was so upset.

(The drink was not on the screen when I was arguing with the cashier).

I said, "look.  I don't know what a 'DC refill' is, but I didn't order it.  I'm not a senior, I'm 30.  I ordered two bagels, not three.  I see that you gave me two different coupons.  I only gave you one."

Her only response for those extra items were "those are from before."

"Before what?"

"From BEFORE."

"Before f-ing WHAT?!"

I was getting frustrated.  I tried to calm down.

"Ok.  I don't understand why all that extra stuff is on my receipt, but I'm going to try to accept that it's ok since most of it cancels out anyway.  But . . . I didn't order two "schmear" bagels.  I ordered two bagels, one with cream cheese, one with butter," I said in what was clearly a failed attempt to stay calm.

The cashier wasn't calm either.  She looked scared.  "Yes, two schmear bagels."

"I have NEVER been charged for the cream cheese on my free bagel before.  But, I'm going to assume you've changed your policy on that.  That's fine.  If you're charging for cream cheese on the free bagel, now, I will accept that and know better in the future.  BUT, I need you to look at the menu board where it says that cream cheese and butter are each $.60 per bagel.  Now explain to me why I am being charged $2.49 per bagel, and not $1.59 per bagel."

She went to get the manager.

The manager just said, "That's how we do it now."

"So, now you charge more than the menu says?  That's illegal," I stated.

At this point, there were 8-9 people behind me in line, rolling their eyes and acting annoyed.

"Fine!"  I exclaimed.  "Fine.  Just charge me 4 times the amount I should be paying for this, I will report you to the Better Business Bureau, and we can all get on with our days."  She took my credit card, pushed some buttons, scanned it, and handed me a receipt.

I walked out the door, looking to make sure my receipt reflected all the RIDICULOUSNESS of our conversation  . . . and I noticed the drink.  She ADDED a soda at the end of our conversation, when I gave her my card.

"WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU!?" I screamed as I stormed back into the store.

"Ma'am" the manager began walking toward me.  "I thought we had settled this issue."

"OH, WE HAD, UNTIL YOUR CASHIER ADDED A DRINK ONTO MY RECEIPT."  I have not been this mad in a LONG time.

The manager handed me a drink cup.  She HANDED ME A DRINK CUP.

It took all the restraint in my person not to fill up that soda and fling it in her face.

I walked out.  Having paid $5.63 for a bill that should have come to $1.20, with tax.  But, they haven't heard the last from me.  I do not mess around with injustice.

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Today on our private blog: I've met someone special!

12 Robot Reactions:

Trouble Tron said...

Ummm....thanks for the bagel. It was good!

Jodie said...

This is beyond bizarre. Wow...not sure what else to say! BIZARRE!!!

Anonymous said...

i'm furious just from reading it.. here you are trying to pinch pennies every way possible and this gets thrown in your face?? the manager was totally sticking up for the WRONG gal.

Shackles2Garlands said...

Report this to the company!

You are still a better person than me though. I would have just walked away without paying a dime, and cut my loss with the bagels.

Beth said...

That is messed up. You need to get your money back. I'd seriously call their headquarters, file a complaint, and demand a refund.

JakieWakie said...

I hope that whatever you do to follow up on this--report to the BBB, complain to corporate Einstein's, or something more lawyerly that doesn't even occur to me--there's a good story to follow. Stories of people being douchebags and you not taking it are my favorite of your blog posts.

NG said...

Yeah, I'm with Shackles... I would have left them with their now unsellable bagels and none of my money.

Miss Scarlet said...

That's so weird bc I work in retail and I would have given you anything just to make it okay. Maybe their computer system is really weird or something. It's still not right. butter and schmear are NOT the same thing AT ALL.

jess said...

get 'em tiger! i will not be eating a bagel from them till this get resolved.

Shons said...

I've never dined at an Einstein Bagels and will continue to do so. So suck it Einstein. Suck it.

Cathy said...

please post all follow-up! this is going in my "book" of things to tell my employees NOT to do.

PKYoung said...

You've got a private blog again? I'm I cool enough to be invited??