Update and Zipps’ Response to Being Kicked Out of the Bar

Customer Service

With any business, making mistakes with customers is inevitable. Every good customer service training program or expert will agree that the key to minimizing damage and maintaining customer goodwill is in the proactive steps the business takes to recover.

Here is an update to my situation, and some observations.

Todd Goldman, one of the managing partners of Zipps, posted a message to “Customer and Inquisitors” on my blog on Wednesday. You can read it yourself in the Comments section in the original post and form your own opinions. I was not personally contacted  prior to that posting on my blog.

Mr. Goldman did send me a personal email of apology later that evening. He has asked that I keep the gist of that communication between us, and I will honor that. 

I replied, and also explained that for over 28 years my focus has been on helping businesses, not trying to tear them down. As I reiterated, I said in the article I was a fan, and a big customer of Zipps and Goldies. And I had never done anything like this before. Because I had never experienced anything before so outrageous, that was such an egregious example of customer mistreatment. I explained I did have some issues with what was said in the apology email. I also provided my office and cell numbers.  

I quickly received another thoughtful reply, via email, again apologizing, promising everyone involved on their end had been dealt with, and that they will certainly use this as a learning experience. He seems like a very good guy, and I believe that lessons have been learned and actions have been taken. They obviously are a successful business, and are doing a lot of things right.

He also invited me to contact them if I’d like to talk to them .  

In conclusion, do I have a warm and fuzzy feeling about them now and will I be going back?

Probably not in the short term. They are very steadfast in defending their Split Policy, as you can see in their response. Just as it is their right– or my right, or anyone’s right who owns a business– to charge whatever they choose, however they choose, it is a customer’s right to not patronize a business. I have a fundamental problem with a quota being placed on the number of items customers must order lest they be assessed a fee, regardless of whether any additional value is provided. Despite their assertion that this is an "absolute standard in the industry," in my experience it is not. Or perhaps the hundreds of places I’ve been in, or the restaurant owners and service workers I’ve talked to over the past few days are not part of the standard. I think split charges are a bargain when the customer agrees to and wants the added value if provided, but I resent a mandated “Sharing” charge, just like I resent a “Resort Fee” at a hotel when I don’t use any other service besides the room, or the hundreds of ticky tac charges assessed on cable and phone bills.

And maybe I’m naive, but I’m shocked at some of the comments that were attempted at the blog. More than a few started out with, “I wasn’t there, but…”, “I’d don’t know for sure what happened there, but”, and then they went on to describe how hostile and out of control I acted. They said they “heard” this from the other customers who were there. Actually, there were THREE other people at the bar. The guy at the far end whom I described and had asked me about the situation, and the woman next to me and her friend, whom I also mentioned as sharing her horror story with me. There were a few others scattered in booths away from the area who couldn’t have possibly heard anything. And by the way it was mid-afternoon, not night time, as one person described, since he was in there “minutes after Art left that evening.”  

And after all of this with the apology,  one more surprising thing was just was brought to my attention moments ago: Ironic how on Zipps own Facebook page they have just posted how I am deleting comments on MY blog from their supporters. Remember, I was asked to leave their place for talking to customers.  The unfortunate event last Saturday happened exactly as I described it, and I refute any insinuation that I acted any way other than described, and certainly won’t allow any speculation to the contrary be posted on my forum.

I am now officially worn out from this entire episode. I have a business to run, and need to find a place to have a burger–maybe a whole one– and a beer.

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