Thursday, August 5, 2010

Bonehead Conehead

Sometimes I just have to point out the things that bother me.

We got a coupon for Coldstone Creamery which was good only at our local store. The coupon said if you purchased a "Love It size" (medium) or larger you'd get a free cone. This seemed like a good way to treat ourselves economically on a summer afternoon and it gave me a positive impression of the company. I had never been there and it seemed a pleasant introduction.

We go inside and ponder our flavor choices. There are lots and they all looked great. The banana ice cream actually tasted like bananas, the dark chocolate was rich and delicious. I was stoked. But then the experience began to turn surreal.

The employee who waited on us seemed confused and lost. We gave him the coupon explaining we wanted the deal it offered and he accepted it. My companion ordered a Love it size. The guy hands him a cone.
"Don't I get ice cream in this?" my companion asks.
"Uh, Yeah." the employee says.
"OK so I'll take a scoop then. But please put it in a cup."
This seemed to confuse the employee even more. Finally my companion got his order in the cup as he requested.
Then it was my turn. I couldn't decide between the two flavors I had tasted.
"Can I get 2 scoops with the coupon?" I asked.
"No. Just the one, but I can give you a half scoop of each."
That seemed fair enough, a small serving was plenty for me.
"OK. Then I'll take that." and told him the flavors I wanted.
He hands me a cone.
I'm confused. "A cone?" I asked. WTH, was I supposed to scoop it myself?
"Here's your cone." he said.
"It's your free cone." the employee said.
I'm thinking, are you kidding me?
I sized him up, he seemed clueless.
"There's no ice cream in it?" I asked.
"No, you have to buy it."
"That's misleading and false advertising. We've already spent over $4 for one scoop his sorbet. What kind of deal is this supposed to be?"

The employee seemed puzzled by my dissatisfaction. I explained to him,
"The coupon says free cone, that generally means some ice cream too." There is an implied serving of ice cream in that cone. Yes, the coupon was worded free cone not free cone filed with ice cream but who goes to a store to get just a cone?

Really. Think about it. You offer your customers an empty cone in an ice cream store and that's a draw?

The deal should have been a buy one scoop get one free or at least a scoop at a discount. The employee should have offered some kind of deal or explanation as to why just an empty cone was a worthwhile exchange.

The employee even had the nerve to try to hand me back the coupon as though he were doing me a favor. "Why would I take it back? It's worthless." I said.

Imagine if you got a coupon for a "free" entree at a restaurant with a purchase. You make the purchase and you get a free plate, empty of food. Same thing.

F minus Coldstone Creamery! Bait and Switch is no bueno. I Yelped this and I sent your corporate HQ my story.  DECEPTIVE ADVERTISING + IGNORANT STAFF = NEVER AGAIN

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