They *bleep* you at the drive-thru


Hi there… I’d like two random hot beverages and two random bagels, either toasted or not, one with 1/2 a cup of melted butter on it, and one with just the tiniest scraping of some random type of cream cheese, please.
I’m sorry, sir, but we can’t do that.
Why not? You do it every other day…

Gail and I are fairly regular Tim Horton’s customers. Each of us stops for a tea and bagel pretty much every morning on our way to work, as well as on long drives up north and such. We’ve been to many Tim’s locations around Ontario, but in terms of service, the two worst we’ve been to are the two nearest our house. It’s become a running joke in our family whenever we go to one of these two: “What did they get wrong this time?” Gail drinks decaf tea and I get steeped tea, and at these two locations, we frequently get regular tea. A couple of times we get coffee instead of tea, and neither of us can stand coffee so in those cases, not only do we not get our tea, but the coffee gets wasted. They also screw up on bagel types, muffin types, and cream cheese types, or else we’ll get butter when we asked for cream cheese or vice versa. Sometimes they’ll cut the bagel in half, drop a slab of cream cheese in the middle and wrap it up instead of spreading it around. Other times we’ll ask for butter and the bagel will have either a tiny scrape or be literally dripping.

The servers are human, so mistakes are going to happen. I don’t have a problem with that, the occasional mistake is inevitable. But at these two locations, the percentage of screwed up orders is much higher that at other locations we’ve been to, and it seems that quality control is of minimal importance. These locations are the closest to our house, but they’re not the ones we visit the most often, so it’s not the case that we visit there more often so we see more mistakes. To make matters worse, we are going through the drive-thru most of the time, so we don’t always notice the problems until after we’ve left.

After our latest screwed up order (last Friday morning), I got annoyed and sent an email to Tim Horton’s customer service explaining all of this. I didn’t really expect anything to be done, but I feel a little better having done something. To my amazement, I got a phone call from them (customer service) on Sunday afternoon. The very friendly person on the phone apologized for the inconvenience we had experienced, and assured me that as soon as she was off the phone with me, she would personally call the district manager responsible for those locations and get them to talk to the owners and staff and reiterate the importance of consistency and getting orders right.

I expected to get a response, but more than likely it would be a form email saying “Thanks for your email, we will investigate your problem and take appropriate steps” or something equally meaningless. The fact that I got a actual phone call was great, but I was even more impressed that it was (a) within 48 hours of my email, and (b) on a Sunday. Kudos to Tim Horton’s customer service.

And to top it all off, the Roll up the Rim contest started again today, and I won a doughnut.

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