customer knows best?

one of the hardest types of customer to deal with is the "know it all" customer. the type that has a fixed idea in their head about bux products and refuses to change this idea, even if a barista, manager, or nutritional information pamphlet tells them different.

my fellow barista brat at a different bux told me the story of one such know-it-all customer while she was making a double chocolate chip frappuccino:

know-it-all customer: "stop! don't put any chocolate on top! my daughter's allergic to chocolate!"
fellow barista brat: "oh, this must not be your drink because this is a double chocolate chip frappuccino."
k-i-a customer: "no, that's mine! just don't put any chocolate on top because my daughter is allergic and i don't want to spend the night in the emergency room."
fbb: "uh, you do know that there is chocolate all throughout this drink, don't you?"
k-i-a customer: "the chocolate inside the drink is fine because it's soy-based. she just can't have the stuff on top."
fbb: "ma'am, there's no such thing as soy-based chocolate here. in fact, there's no soy in this drink at all!"
k-i-a customer: "yes there is! i looked it up online! the soy-based chocolate is fine, ok? just don't use the real chocolate on top."
fbb: "i'm trying to tell you that the stuff on top is the exact same stuff we put INSIDE the drink. if you're daughter is allergic to chocolate then she shouldn't be drinking this. period."
k-i-a customer: "it's fine, i'm telling you! i looked it up online and soy-based mocha will not affect my daughter. just put whipped cream on top and leave the real chocolate off!"
fbb: "fine. whatever you want."

i hope know-it-all customer goes back online and finds this post! imagine putting your kid's health at risk because you think you have all the answers.

partner rant: it's bad enough that you leave the backroom littered with your half-finished drinks, but knocking three of them off the desk and neglecting to mop up the mess is extremely rude. even if you were in a hurry to leave the least you could've done was inform us about the spill. sometimes partners can be just as bad as customers!


Anonymous said...

most likely her daughter isn't 'allergic' to anything. after years of restaurant industry experience, i've learned that an 'allergy' is a technique often used by customers to get their server to pay attention. it's their passive way of trying to ensure you don't screw up. So, for example, "i don't like mushrooms - please don't give me any" becomes "i'm allergic to mushrooms". they have so little faith in the quality of service that they can't just say what they mean, tell us what they want without embellishing, and depend we'll get it right.

Liz said...

Un. Real.

I swear, in all my years in (non-food) retail I never heard anything this stupid. I agree with the first poster, she probably was trying the "allergy" angle then felt stuck when she got caught out, but a self-depricating "It's not soy? I was not aware of that" would have dug her out of the hole really quick.

I'm going to stare into the middle distance for the next several minutes to try to comprehend why people have their heads so far up their own asses. I will likely fail.

SkippyMom said...

I agree with the top two posters, as the woman allowed the chocolate inside the drink but not on top ... preference not allergy.
That being said I actually DID have a chocolate allergy growing up - not the life threatening kind as in a peanut allergy - but if I ate chocolate my /bumpy and itchy to the point you couldn't see my facial features (eyes, nose, lips) it was scary b/c it came on all of a sudden and I didn't eat chocolate for years...but I did grow out of it. Still, I don't like chocolate to this day and that allergy did suck, because it hurt if I accidently ingested it and Mom wasn't super viligant about it, nor should she have to be - it wasn't going to kill me, just cause discomfort.
This customer is just WRONG on so many levels, b/c obviously the partner knew what she was talking about - hell, she MAKES THE DRINKS - the mother just wanted it w/o the syrup on top and as the other posters said - she wanted to make sure she got it her way ....
I hate narcissistic liars who use their kids for their own entitlement.
Great post!

SkippyMom said...

Oh, one more thing....isn't soy a substitute for dairy products - so if she was allergic to chocolate, wouldn't the allergy be the same if it was soy or dairy based because you still have to use COCOA beans to make the chocolate syrup? She said soy based didn't effect her chocolate allergy - what does SOY have to do with chocolate ... wouldn't it be lactose intolerant and then wouldn't that negate the whipped cream anyway?

I mean, it isn't relevant, b/c as the partner pointed out, there wasn't any soy in that drink, but still...makes you go "Hmmmmm"

Anonymous said...

I once had a customer tell me that it was vitally important that I use decaf espresso in her latte because she was quite allergic to caffeine.

Customer health and safety is important, non? (Dammit, did she think I was retarded? She was a regular... always ordered a caffienated drink... pft) I explained to her that decaf espresso has minor traces of caffeine, and I couldn't guarantee that there would be no caffeine in her drink. And I refused to kill my customer.

Caught in a lie, she didn't know what to do... so we politely refunded her and wished her good health.

Next week she comes in and orders a decaf latte, leaving out the nonsense about an "allergy"... for godsakes.

-former barista

Thy said...

i once heard a woman ask,

'is there meat in this meat sauce?'

people never read anymore.

Sling said...

Why don't they just say that they are anal retentive,self centered ,passive aggresive wannabe "special" buttplugs,,,you know,instead of "allergic"?...

Ben said...

The poor deluded woman. Why can't some people listen when people with a much greater knowledge are offering advice ?

Natalie said...

Even if there was such a thing as soy based chocolate, why would anyone want to consume it?? The thought makes me shiver.

mellowlee said...

OMG! Firstly, can you imagine being allergice to chocolate? Life just wouldn't be worth living! Secondly, what a stuborn ass! Some people are just mental! I agree with the first posters theory of using allergies to get what she wanted. People are weird hey.

The Girl with Moxie said...

I caught a friend pulling that allergy trick once. She told the waiter "egg whites only - I'm allergic to the yolk". I nearly fell out of my chair. I seem to recall I made fun of her for doing it...but I bet my derision didn't stop her from doing it again.

Anyone else remember the "Sex and the City" episode where Carrie gets caught by her boyfriend (played by Ron Livingston) in her lie about being allergic to parsley? Same thing.

I have a bad reaction to raw onions - not an allergy, though. Not once have I said I am allergic to onions. I look the server straight in the eye and say "NO ONIONS". It usually works.

Peter said...

"soy based chocolate" is just some good ol' fashioned self deception. If you want to eat chocolate every day there's got ot be a way to convince yourself it's healthy--even if it kills your own child.

Kiz said...

Soy chocolate does exist, but it's chocolate that's mixed with soy flour and/or soy milk, so that people who are lactose intolerant can still eat it. It still uses real cocoa beans, however.

This particular customer likely had no idea about that, and was just using it as an excuse to keep with the "allergic" byline.

-However- if the customer were telling the truth, that barista would've needed to refuse to sell her the drink. Knowingly handing over a drink that could pose serious and immediate health risks (e.g., "my daughter will end up in the ER tonight if she has any chocolate") can expose you to some legal problems. It has the added benefit of letting the customer's lie come back around on her. K

Kiz said...

EDIT: Soy chocolate is also made so that people who have gluten allergies can also eat it. There's no such thing as a chocolate made for people allergic to chocolate, however; if there were, it's definitely not available at bux. K

Anonymous said...

..fellow barista brat sounds very very wise.. dumb customers should listen more often, or better yet not speak at all

barista brat said...

anonymous - that's probably true. i remember a woman who was "allergic to whipped cream" but had no problem drinking the milk that was in her latte.

liz - haha, how did the staring go?

skippymom - i had a friend that was told by his parents that he was allergic to chocolate. as an adult he found out that they only told him that because they didn't want to buy him candy!

anonymous - haha, it's so funny these customers that come in everyday and think we don't remember what their drinks are when they say "oh, i NEVER order it with whipped cream/nonfat/decaf"

thy v. - that's too funny! i bet she's one of my customers...

sling - but then they'd be telling the truth!

ben - i have no idea, but it happens all the time.

natalie - haha, you're a purist, eh?

mellowlee - i'm guessing you're a chocoholic!

girl with moxie - good for you for keeping your friend honest ;)

peter - those are the exact people that order the frappuccino lights and add syrup, whipped cream and tons of caramel on top.

kiz - i can't even imagine what chocolate made with soy would taste like.

Beth said...

What. An. Idiot.

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