Monday, March 17, 2008

Would you trade your debit card for a free meal?

Last night I was having a serious hamburger craving. The girls were all chowing down on cereal (their favorite Sunday evening meal, since we never have it for breakfast) so I went to Sonic to get Kelly and me a burger.

I ordered Kelly's toaster and my cheeseburger, onion rings, tots, and Kelly's drink. (Yes, I went to Sonic and didn't get a Dr. Pepper! Too late in the day and I wanted to sleep last night.) I swiped our checkcard (you run it through like a credit card but it works like a debit card deducting money straight from our account) through the console. It showed "approved" and I settled back to wait for our order.

I waited nearly 10 minutes. Then the lady comes out with our order, and asks for payment. I told her that I paid with the card in the machine on the menu. "Oh." She says looking dumbfounded. "Can I see your card? I need to check it. I'll be right back." So I fish my card back out and give it to her.

I wait nearly 5 more minutes until she comes back out with my receipt wrapped around the card. She hands it to me and starts to leave. But I unwrap the card and looked at the receipt as I always do. I noticed out of the corner of my eye that the card didn't look right - different picture than is on mine. I look again and sure enough - different card, different name, different bank.

I called to the carhop, "Ma'am, this is the wrong card!" She comes back to my window. "What?"
"This isn't my card," I tell her.

"Oh." I take it this girl was NOT valedictorian of her class. She grabs the card from my hand. "Just a minute." No apology. She was confused and couldn't hide it.

So I'm already thinking that this is not good. Sure enough the next thing I see a few minutes later is a man (to use the term loosely) coming out to my vehicle. He started off by apologizing and explaining that the carhop had mixed up my card with another customer's. And she had already given my card to them and they had driven off. He then went on to tell me that he didn't know what he could do about it. He didn't have a way of contacting them and he didn't know what else to do. He did assure me that the charges had been charged to the right card, the mix up had happened after that. Very comforting. This was a VERY young guy who had obviously gotten a good case of the confusion his carhop had.

OK, so at this point I am pregnant, hungry, and have been waiting for about 20 minutes at this place. Only to have them take my card - when I had already paid through the console at the car station - and give it away to who knows who. And it is the card that comes right out of our account. I am trying not to get angry, although I am clearly frustrated. He then rather lamely tells me he could remove the charge for my meal, for the inconvenience "if you'd like." If I'd like? I told him that I would appreciate that (and yes I imagine there was a slight tinge of sarcasm in my voice). So he took the receipt with him while I brought home our meal, wondering if it was even still warm. I did ask his name and his manager's name before I left. I had a feeling my husband would want that info.

When I got home, I told Kelly, "You are NOT going to believe this." He was not happy. I tried to call the bank number to get the card canceled as I'm explaining it, but the guy I was talking to didn't seem to understand me and transferred me to the wrong place. So I hung up in frustration. That's when my sweet husband took the phone and told me to go sit down and eat. As I opened the sack and got out our stuff, I discovered that they had gotten our order wrong! I nearly howled!

Fortunately Kelly got through and got the card canceled. I had to call this morning to order new ones. There was only one charge that we hadn't put on our account, and it was for six bucks at another fast food place. So we figure the people didn't even look at the card and went and got someone else who didn't want Sonic some dinner. Otherwise we figure they would have hit the HEB or gas station and tried to rack up some serious charges.

Kelly went by the Sonic today to talk to the manager. The assistant manager I had spoken to hadn't even told his manager what had happened. So he was not very happy when he heard Kelly's story. And of course, handling more than one customer's card at a time is violation of store policy for this very reason. And when he heard that after all that the order was even wrong, I think he could have fired someone on the spot had they been there. :-)

So we are without checkcards for several days, will have to watch our account like a hawk, and change some of our registered cards online all for a free burger meal that wasn't quite the right order and wasn't hot anymore when we got to eat it. Sound fair to you?

I still haven't decided whether I will allow a Sonic to take my card back into the store anymore. Don't want to over react and at times the outside machines do break down. But I will always wonder if I'm going to get it back.

1 comment:

Lora said...

I would have been livid! Jeremiah wouldn't be very nice either-lol! Honestly, I don't think I will let anyone take my card in after reading that!