Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hee Haw and Star Trek collide to create Mentor 1

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

GREAT idea. Mayor Bernero announced a plan like this in Lansing too last week! TCB

Christian Duque said...

I love this blog, but I can't say that I'm really feeling the same vibe Biggby Bob is.

As a valued customer since the day I set foot in Lansing to attend grad school, I have been in at one of six Biggby Coffee shops (all owned by Mohamed Shetiah).

I have about five or six friends - all of us regulars at the main shop I visit. I'm also friends with all of the barristas and tend to stay friends with them after they leave or are fired - some under quite dubious circumstances.

The store I visit is said to be "the troubled store," and so...it's alleged Corporate sent a new manager out. She's very rule-oriented and nice, but not really nice like these kids that really love their customers, she's nice in a contrived kind of way (in my opinion).

So naturally, like any regular I'd whine about the new manager - this store has had a few and I'm well known there to fight for the barristas through my comments & suggestions & my wallet (spending between $3-$7 a day! Everyday).

So in whining I told this one barrista how the new manager was so rule-oriented and this and that and she said "if she doesn't do what she's told she'll get eaten out." -- Yeah, she actually said that. So I laughed and said "no I don't think that would happen to her" and walked away. It was very uncomfortable hearing that kind of language.

I'm sure she meant to say "chewed out," but nonetheless, you hear something like that and you can't tell me you wouldn't at least feel the least bit awkward. What was I supposed to do? say?

So apparently my laughing made this young lady uncomfortable, she went to the new corporate manager, and when I went for my cup of coffee the next night, said hello to my fellow-regular Bill, and said hello to barrista friend T.J., I was informed that I was no longer to be served at this location and that I was effectively banned.

T.J. was even surprised no one had contacted me. No one cared to ask for my side of the story or even and this is the place the State News says the Customer is King at?

I was always treated like gold by the kids behind the counter, but then as of the last 2-3 months many of them were getting the axe. Some allegedly for stealing "cool whip" of all things... others for not having doctor's notes (you try going to the doctor which charges $250 (Lansing Urgent Care), when you barely make $200wk), and others just quit because they just couldn't deal with all the drama.

One young man quit and was allegedly told if he ever returned he'd be trespassing. Upon asking the corporate manager, she replied that was untrue. So who knows.

Point is, here I am on Day 3 and I feel like I won't be able to have my cup of coffee with Roger, Bill, Donna, and all the nice barristas b/c of laughing at one barristas off color remark and being on the s-list of a corporate manager that quite frankly just didn't like me.

I knew how she ran the ship in E. Lansing (the #1 Store) and I knew what was coming to my hang-out.

I have been blogging for years and I think maybe now is the time to put these thoughts, the righteous complaints of a Lansing consumer onto the web.

This is just for you Mr. Biggby Bob. I love your coffee, love your employees, but this is an absolute injustice.

You can deny service to whomever you like, but in all my life I have never been BANNED from anywhere, much less a coffee shop.

Is this how you do business Sir?

BIGGBY BOB said...

Wow, I'll have to check into this a little.

Can you tell me specifically which store you were banned from....I'd like to track this story down a little more :)

Christian Duque said...

Yes. I was banned from the Biggy on W. Saginaw, adjacent to the Meijer.

www.BannedFromBiggby.com

BIGGBY BOB said...

Thanks for letting me know what store you were banned from Christian :)

I checked out your website www.bannedfromBiggby.com ...it strikes me that you are trying to be personal and hurtful.

Christian Duque said...

I'm a consumer and I am simply stating where I'm coming from. You don't ban valued customers or turn them down for service based on no wrongdoing.

I am quite hurt and I plan on sharing my thoughts in an open & free manner.

Good day to you, sir.

BIGGBY BOB said...

I understand that you are hurt...that is clear.

I have not denied that this has happened...and I have agreed to look into it. Information you just gave me about the store location has allowed me to look into it further. But you have barreled forward in an incendiary manner without an opportunity to respond.

Even your own language suggests that you were 'efectively' banned and not actually banned.

I am in the process of investigating...but I am starting to think that it may not be worth my time....if all you wish to do is inflict harm on others...which appears to be your intent.

In spite of this I will move forward...and hope that you do me the courtesy of posting my responses with your letter, on your web site.

Regards,
Bob

Christian Duque said...

You sir, are the epitomy of a good business man (and that's not brown-nosing either). Here you are, the CEO, looking into matters YOURSELF!

I want you to know a few things.

1. You have amazing barists.
2. You have amazing locations.
3. You have an amazing product.
4. You have lost me as a customer.

I don't want back in, I will never go back in. But the fact that I was treated in this fashion is the basis of this website.

I have fellow regulars emailing and calling me, offering to PAY for me, just to see if management will turn me away, to make a statement. And while I appreciate their good intentions, I'm not about to endure any further humiliation.

Please understand this, you're straight aces with me. I love your product and really appreciate your help, but things are apparently done very differently in Lansing than anywhere else.

I wouldn't stick my neck out were it not for the fact that I have the truth on my side. Whatever I write I actually saw, heard, and/or lived - there is no better or stronger defense to free speech, than the truth.

The truth is I do respect you and wish your business only the best - but you can't spit on someone and then expect them to wipe off & smile.

Don't worry about investigating. I'm seriously touched by even your offer, it's the most anyone has done in over a week and it means a lot, but even you are powerless at this point.

It's a franchise.

Terry said...

Just thought I'd correct your comment about a $250 charge at Lansing Urgent Care. I own Lansing Urgent Care. Patient visits for those without insurance begin at $80 - less than virtually any other clinic in the city. The hospital owned urgent care clinic begins at over $200 and the ER can easily run over $1000. So, your point is well taken but your facts are way off - Lansing Urgent Care is about the most economical cost friendly clinic in the city. Enjoy your $6 cup of coffee :)