Gonna try this forwarding-an-email-to-my-blog thing out again.
My original message, the first non-automated reply from Subway, and my 1st response, all below. This is the follow up to my blog post entitled Five. Five dollar. Five dollar… foot up your ass. Please see that if you need more of a back-story.
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From: ERiC AiXeLsyD <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Anna Marie Seeley <email@example.com>
Sent: Thu, October 29, 2009 10:40:28 AM
Subject: Re: Subway [Customer ID: 1918316]
Hello Ms. Seeley,
Thank you for your swift reply! I am glad to see this is not an automated response. As I’m sure you’re aware, the bulk of my message was directed at the culmination of Subway’s identity as a corporate entity, its choice in advertising, and visits in general to restaurants in the Southwestern PA area over a number of years. My comments were meant for the eyes of someone on a higher corporate level. I feel that this is the level that needs to be made aware of who and what exactly is representing the Subway brand surrounding Pittsburgh.
I have included the full text of my original message below your reply for reference, as it was cut in half by the 3000 character limit, and not included in this message chain.
Below are the addresses of Subway restaurants (obtained form your store locator) that I can remember visiting over the years…
3147 Banksville Rd
Pittsburgh PA 15216
4613 Centre Ave
Pittsburgh PA 15213
4516 William Penn Hwy
Murrysville PA 15668
4145 William Penn Hwy
Monroeville PA 15146
195 A Sheffield Drive
Delmont PA 15626
302 N Center Ave
New Stanton PA 15672
1200 Corporate Dr
Canonsburg PA 15317
2200 Washington Pike
(Located in Wal-Mart)
Carnegie PA 15106
5126 Route 30, Ste 320
Greensburg PA 15601
As for the specific location of the deathfish-flinging incident, that would be the Subway located in the Banksville Shopping Center on Banksville Road. The limited-menu location that I discovered in Wal-Mart is the Washington Pike address in Carnegie, PA.
I hope that you get a chance to review my first message in full, and are able to pass it on to the appropriate parties for a reply.
Thank you for your time, and care in directing this to the appropriate people. I hope to get another response as quickly as yours!
On Wed, Oct 28, 2009 at 5:25 PM, Anna Marie Seeley <seeley_a> wrote:
Dear Mr. Aixelsyd:
Thank you for taking the time to share your comments with us. Our customers
provide us with valuable input, which we use to improve our operations. As
part of that commitment, we know that we have to continuously seek
improvement and monitor our performance.
All restaurants are individually owned and operated. In order for our local
regional office to investigate this properly, we need to know the exact
location of the SUBWAYR restaurant that you have visited. Can you please
reply by e-mail or by calling me at 1-800-888-4848 to provide me with a
complete address of the location you visited? Please refer to the Customer
ID listed below when replying.
I appreciate that you took the time and effort to contact us and am looking
forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.
Anna Seeley x8201
Customer Care Representative
Customer ID: 1918316
My original message in full:
Hello Sandwich Art Dealers,
I’d like to start out by saying I find that web submission comment forms are generally a letdown. As the submitter you’re usually sent a ‘form letter’ type of reply that doesn’t address any specific issues, and thanks you for the input. Less often, it’s followed up by a seemingly more caring missive that really doesn’t address anything specific, and sometimes attempts to placate the sender with some coupons, a T-shirt or something to that effect. It’s also generally a letdown, because I can’t cc myself a copy of what I sent, and it’s a 50/50 shot of whether my original comments are to be included in any future correspondence. Then there’s the issue of the dreaded “Your message exceeds XXXX characters” error message. When did someone’s opinion become relegated to a set limit of letters, numbers, and punctuation, my friends?
At any rate, I should move on to the point of my web form submission, as I’m sure you’ll agree by this point. I write to you today to express my general dissatisfaction with the state of Subway as it stands today.
At the top of the list: the inclusion of the seafood sub on your menu. This has plagued me for years. I have a severe shellfish allergy, and will go into anaphylactic shock if any food that I ingest were to come into contact with crab, lobster, shrimp, oyster, etc., or even the same food prep area. I have seen more than a few Subway employees who aren’t exactly sanitary in their sandwich artistry, flinging microscopic bits of crab (or imitation crab) meat all over the adjacent meats, cheeses, vegetables, and cutting board area. The last time I had this discussion with a slovenly employee at the Subway in the Kuhn’s Plaza on Banksville Road in Pittsburgh, PA… as I explained that my sandwich must not touch any shellfish or remnants of shellfish she touched the eternally-damned-to-the-wrong-function ice cream scoop that had been sitting in the red and white pile of mushy death and swung it all around spewing certain doom to the immediate food prep area and all the while exclaiming something to the effect of “Well, that’s OK, no one ever orders this stuff anyway.” I just stared blankly in disbelief as a reply. If she didn’t already know what her sandwich-baggied hands had just touched and distributed the contaminant that I had previously noted was a toxin to my system, then there was no way I was going to be able to impart this wisdom to her. I found myself having to exit on that occasion, to never return to that location.
Are sandwich artists trained in the ways of sanitary work stations, cross contamination, allergens, and general good hygiene? One would hope, but the question has been raised.
How can I complain about Subway if I never eat there, you ask?
I did discover that I could get my Subway fix due to the limited-menu Subway located inside the WAL-MART in Heidelberg, PA. After all, as I’m sure you know… the smell of your bread baking is intoxicating. Sadly my friends, that is where the romance ends. I used to applaud the meatball sub from Subway, and held it as the standard to which all meatball subs were to be measured. This was once upon a time when the bread was doughy, the triangle was removed from the top, and replaced… keeping the meatballs secure in a blanket of cheese to ensure safe delivery to my digestive system. I know, this was a lifetime ago, but it still burns, amigos. It still burns. (I even remember the waffle fries that went through their own tiny toaster oven which have sadly gone the way of the Dodo.)
Have you seen the Left-Handed Cartoon about Subway, cheese tessellation, and soul-crushing disappointment? A friend of mine posted the humorous drawing on a message board a while ago… and sadly it rings true of the current state of Subway. (It’s located at http://www.lefthandedtoons.com/77/ for your reference if needed.)
Lastly, I find the current crop of five-dollar foot long commercials to be among the most annoying in the world… especially the one with Jared and the football players. What advertising company actually took money for that? Hopefully it was an in house idea. If not, then you were played (as they say in the streets).
As noted in my opening paragraph, I understand that is customary to include a trite reply and coupons in apology for dissatisfaction. If so inclined… please make sure they’re for Jersey Mike’s, Quiznos, or Sheetz. (FYI, Sheetz touts a far superior foot-long sub for only $4… This reminds me of when you guys started toasting subs after Quiznos moved to town.) I would include W.G. Grinder’s, but they recently started serving a crab-cake sub, so they’re also on ‘the list’. Perhaps a Jimmy John’s coupon would work? They’re fairly new to the Pittsburgh area, and I’ve yet to go to one… I wouldn’t mind trying them out! Jersey Mike’s is by far my favorite though. They’re not the cheapest, but worth the price in quality! Being a national chain, you may not be familiar with local Pittsburgh area heavyweights Carhops or Uncle Sam’s. They would be sandwich makers to emulate!
If you’re not comfortable providing a coupon to a direct competitor, I understand completely. I would also appreciate any discounts from Qdoba, Chipotle, or the Pita Pit.
Thank you for your time, I look forward to your personally tailored reply, and perhaps a continuing dialog on Subway’s sandwich artists, advertising, and overall quality of the name brand.
(I reviewed this Subway last year on Urbanspoon.)