(Note: This is a follow-up to my previous post about "McDonald's Japan's Unbelievable Customer Service.")
So the call from the McDonald's manager came on Sunday around 11:20am--a good 25 minutes earlier than I was expecting. He asked if I would mind if he left/came over a little bit earlier, which was fine by me since I was up anyway and had not yet eaten anything.
As promised, he came bearing not only my 690yen refund for the Hawaiian BBQ Pork Burger (Set) that wasn't, but also with a freshly made replacement set.
Having had some time to think about what I would say, I was glad that I was at least able to somewhat apologize for having inadvertently made it into such a big deal with comments along the lines of: "I"m sorry, if only I had noticed it while I was in the store..." and "Thank you and sorry for making you come all the way out to deliver this to me."
Also, I was glad that he did in fact come over to our apartment instead of me going over to the McDonald's (as my husband suggested I should call back and say that I would do). If I had gone into the store to pick up the refund, all of the staff would know my face and I doubt that I would feel comfortable eating there again anytime in the near future. But this way, only the manager can connect my face to the complaint. And since I had never seen him before I opened the door, I think it's fairly safe to assume that the manager isn't usually out front, seeing customers.
As for the "proper" Hawaiian BBQ Pork Burger itself, well, it probably wasn't worth all of the fuss. There wasn't even all that much pulled pork on the burger anyway--I had to look twice after taking off the top bun to confirm that I hadn't somehow managed to get a pork-less burger a second time. The pork definitely did make the burger tastier the second time round but it didn't improve the taste enough that I would bother going back to eat it a third time.
So yeah, if you're going to make a complaint at McDonald's, I would highly recommend doing it in person while you are at the restaurant, rather than escalating things by filing a complaint through the McDonald's Japan's online comment/inquiy form (which I forgot to mention in the previous post was a bit of a pain to find anyway). My husband said that the apology wouldn't have been so over the top if I hadn't gone higher up the command chain with the complaint, and I tend to agree with him.
The idea of the personal apology and hand-delivered replacement meal sounds impressive and makes you feel like the company values its customers in theory, but in real life it is just a really awkward and embarrassing situation all around. And if--as my husband suggested (I hadn't even considered the possibility
until he pointed it out)--it was indeed only by command of the McDonald's
headquarters that made the manager apologize in the way that he did,
and it wasn't something that the manager genuinely felt that he should do, then that definitely changes my perspective/feelings on the matter. It would suck to work at a company that makes you apologize so abjectly over such a small issue. Valuing customers is important, but it is more important to value your employees and to treat them with respect!
I would like to think the best of the manager and McDonald's, though. Even though I would never ask or expect someone to go so far in apology--especially over such a minor matter--I would like to take the gesture at face value as a sign of the amount of respect the Towada Aeon McDonald's has for its customers.
And to end the post on a lighter note, have fun playing a game of "Spot the (Pulled) Pork"!