Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Caribou Coffee Carma

Yes, I know I spelled karma wrong.

Ok, throughout December 2010, Caribou had their Spicy Mocha as their Monday special.  I order a complex mocha--not to be a pain in the a$$, but because that's the way I like it.  Here it is:
  • Dark Chocolate Spicy Mocha w/ the following changes/add-ons:
    • less chocolate
    • soy milk
    • no whip
    • extra hot
    • extra froth
    • half caff (sometimes--depending on the time of day)
I know, I am being "that guy".  The one that orders the screwy drink, holds up the line, etc. but they are fast and it doesn't seem to take them any longer to make...   So anyway, I do this a couple weeks in a row and as usual, the drinks are perfect.  Caribou gots it going on.

The New Year is hear, they don't have the same special, and I was a little mocha'd out (or have had enough sweets the last couple of weeks).  I am passing by one of the Caribou's in Rochester and see a sign up advertising their more expensive coffee's selling "2 for $20".  The line was a bit long so I passed and went back later.  LACUNA (their best coffee to date, in my opinion)--I grab a couple pounds and they ring up for $27.98.  I point out that they are only $20.  Another guy working there leans over and tells the girl ringing them up that they are $20.  However, between the two of them they can't get the register to ring them up right.  The guy asks if I can come back tomorrow.  I thought he was kidding, but the look on his face was, well, there was no look.  I said, "Not really. Can I just give you the correct amount and you can figure it out later?"  He says no, then explains that he has to call the "Help desk and it probably won't be programmed right til tomorrow."  I know what help desks are like.   I again say I would rather not have to come back.  He offers to call the help desk while I wait.  I then tried to logically explain what was going on.  I said "If you are going to call the help desk now, and probably fix the issue, can't I just leave the money with you instead of waiting here? "  I was told a simple "No."  I put the coffee back and just left... confused... I was waiting for someone to tell me I was being "Punk'd".  Very weird.  On my way back to work I thought maybe this was karma for ordering complicated mocha's.

The people I was with at the time said I should email Caribou and file a complaint or something.  To me, there was really nothing to complain about.  It wasn't bad service, it was strange service or no service.  I left there with the same thing I would have left with if they weren't open.  Later that day I went to their site and went thru the 'tell us how we're doing' link (or something to that effect).  I told them about the experience and how odd it was.  I also told them that when I worked at Caribou (about 8 years ago, for about 6 months), I said we would have taken the money or resolved it somehow right then and there.  

The next day I went by a different Caribou location and bought the coffee (it rang up right).  Now get this... later that day I get a voice mail from someone from Caribou (in the Twin Cities) apologizing for what happened the day before.  Even later that day, a different person calls me and personally apologizes.  I explained that there was nothing to apologize for, but thank you--it was just a strange experience.  The guy insisted, as a 'Thank you' for telling them about the experience, that he let them send me a gift card.  Sure, why not. 

The other day I got a gift card from Caribou in the mail.  Nice. The phone call was beyond what I expected... the card makes it even better. 

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