So, I fired off two more emails… One to Subway, and one to my new friend Mr. Jones at Quiznos. No response from Mr. Jones yet, but we do have one from Subway. I’ll share it all below!
OK, so email one, to Subway:
From: ERiC AiXeLsyD firstname.lastname@example.org
To: “Bridenbaker, Mack” email@example.com
Cc: Paula Gomez firstname.lastname@example.org; Kevin Kane email@example.com; Anna Marie Seeley firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent: Mon, November 23, 2009 10:24:20 AM
Subject: Re: Subway [Customer ID: 1918316]
Hello Mr. Bridenbaker,
It’s been over a week since your email to me saying that Ms. Gomez would address my concerns and I’ve yet to see any sort of response. I still haven’t had a reply to my initial message to Ms. Seely, or from anyone on your team. I’m disappointed in the lack of comment overall, my first message which was sent on Oct. 28th has still gone unanswered.
I now understand why the employees in your stores have an “I don’t care” attitude. It trickles down from the top, and certainly must be passed on in franchise owners, hiring, & training.
I’m amazed at your total lack of concern for the decline of your once championing establishment. I should perhaps pass on my shellfish allergen and cross-contamination concerns to some allergy awareness groups. Perhaps allergy awareness lobbyists will warrant some attention. Everyone I know already hates Jared and the $5 footlong commercials, so I don’t need to push the issue on that one. The concept of cheese tessellation will obviously elude the average sandwich artist from now until the end of time, so we have no hope there.
Perhaps in copying Quiznos’ idea of toasting subs, you should also adopt their business model in using better quality ingredients and customer service policies. I have had a continued dialog with them regarding your lack of customer service and their seemingly misleading Toasty Torpedo ads with the very tiny hands. They proudly stand behind their ads (however creepy), their innovation, and their customer service.
Not signed. On purpose. Notice all the Cc’s, everyone hates that… I don’t care who you are. I tried to poke at every issue and make empty useless claims about allergy awareness groups, and I brought up that Quiznos is the trend-setter while noting that they’re also not perfect.
And, on a friendlier note to Quiznos, I decided to reveal my intentions to an amicable Mr. Jones:
From: ERiC AiXeLsyD email@example.com
Date: Mon, Nov 23, 2009 at 9:22 AM
Subject: Re: The Quiznos Toasty TorpedoT ads?
To: “Jones, Tony” TJones2@quiznos.com
I must confess, I do have a blog and I have been chronicling my email escapades there. I like to play them as part consumer advocacy, part humor and all goofy. I used to write snail mail letters, but email has made it so much easier & faster. Some friends have encouraged me to keep writing, so I have. I really enjoy the open & honest dialogue that we have going on, and appreciate that you stand behind the product & integrity of your company… and take the time to respond to emails such as mine. Also, you obviously have a sense of humor, which has to be a “must” for any kind of customer interaction. I’m sure you get goofier emails and phone calls from actual crazy people.
I’m intrigued at your suggestion that I get into consulting or franchise journalism. Do you know how I would even go about this? Would I need to obtain a degree in something? I hope to grab followers to my blog just for amusement, but am unaware as to how to make it a profitable venture, ha ha ha.
Thank you once again for your time, I’m actually waiting to hear from some of your Quiznos colleagues, and Subway has still not given me a response beyond “someone will respond”… not that I’m at all surprised by that at this point.
Hopefully he writes back in a positive light, and still finds all of this amusing. Still waiting for further comment from his other colleagues, none of which have really delivered so far.
And, now, the fun part… Subway’s response (or lack thereof):
Date: Mon, Nov 23, 2009 at 3:03 PM
Monday, November 23, 2009
Dear Mr Aixelsyd:
First, allow me to apologize. Secondly, I would like to thank you for taking the time to contact us and share your comments.
At each SUBWAY® restaurant, it is the goal of every owner; manager and employee to produce each sandwich and salad properly made to order.
Our customers provide us with valuable input, which we use to improve our operations. Your comments were shared with the regional office in your area as well as the owner of the SUBWAY® restaurant that you have visited. Since all restaurants are individually owned and operated it is the owner who would be the person to contact you in response to your concern.
I have gone ahead and copied our Training Department so that further lessons can be addressed with owners and their employees on proper handling.
Again, I appreciate you taking the time to contact us. SUBWAY® looks forward to your continued visits.
Heh. “First, allow me to apologize” not followed by an apology is extremely profound, and hopefully intentional. Then, she thanks me for writing, probably through gritted teeth.
This line reeks of copy & paste: “At each SUBWAY® restaurant, it is the goal of every owner; manager and employee to produce each sandwich and salad properly made to order.”
And, I love the long winded “it wasn’t me”/”it’s not my fault”/”it’s not my problem”: “Your comments were shared with the regional office in your area as well as the owner of the SUBWAY® restaurant that you have visited. Since all restaurants are individually owned and operated it is the owner who would be the person to contact you in response to your concern.” Basically, she’s telling me that I’m being ignored by a lower level.
“I have gone ahead and copied our Training Department so that further lessons can be addressed with owners and their employees on proper handling.” With what? Cross-contamination? Cleanliness? Cheese tessellation? How to reply to customer emails?
“SUBWAY® looks forward to your continued visits” …so we can spit in your food? Did she read my emails? Perhaps this whole thing is just a reading comprehension issue. I find it amusing that the e Subway spokesperson declined to comment. Perhaps now is the time to move into old-school W(aL)D mode, and reply that Subway will not be allowed on the moon when I’m emperor.
Are there any psychologists or psychiatrists out there reading this? I’d love to get your take (…if you can tell me without telling me what my own problems are, ha ha ha).
If you haven’t been following,you may want to check out the back-story rundown here: If we’re keeping score, that’s Subway 1 and Quiznos 3½. That should explain the last email, and at the bottom there’s a rundown of all the ones that came before it (with links) if you’re interested.
Also… lots of people have been telling me they’re following… by word of mouth, or Facebook, or Twitter, and even via text message… but I beg you, if you’re reading… post a comment here, and others may have a comment about your comment. I see by the stats that people are reading. Don’t be shy. We’re all friends here. Except for you, people at Subway… Except for you.