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On Tuesday I went to the other side of Swindon to clean an AGA cooker. The job was booked in at 0900 and as I got there about 20 minutes earlier I decided to drive up the road (about 2 miles away) to get a quick coffee from McDonald's. McDonald's is, or usually is, the place you go and wonder at the way a great business should work, all smoothly and perfectly by a load of 17 year olds. The ideal business model. Usually its great service with not so good food with quite good coffee. But not this time!
I thought I'd have a coffee in McDonald's have a quick look at the news and then drive back to get to my job exactly on time. It took me about 7 minutes to drive to the McDonald's and when I got there I parked up got out the van. Then realised that it was undergoing refurbishment which meant that I couldn't go in and order over the counter as I was expecting to. I did see that a van was driving through the drive through though.
So I got back in the van and drove through the drive through.In the past I've been used to ordering at the first window of a McDonalds Drive Thru and then picking up at the second window. But the last time I went to do this I noticed that they had installed an ordering point, a speaker phone thing on stand, which is on the approach to the first window – I presume it allows the staff to cope with orders when the queue is long by giving them more time.
Anyway my I ordered a coffee at the order point and the guy on the other end asked me if I wanted a large one. Well I've never had a large cappuccino at McDonald's before so it must be a new thing, so I said "Yes okay". Then I drove to the first window to pay. When I got there I remembered that I had a McDonald's free coffee card – that is I'd collected the stickers off the sides of the coffee cups and put them on a card – six of then mean a free coffee. So I got it out and said can I have a free one. Now here is where it all went wrong.
The guy on the till said to the other Mc Worker making the coffee, "Change that to a small coffee, as he wants a free one". This really infuriated me as everywhere else I go to satisfy my caffeine habit I normally get asked if I want a small one or large coffee with my free card and now here I was asking for large one they were going to give me a smaller one to the one they had up sold me. Also I was in a rush and I didn't want them to change my order. If I ordered at a counter then I would have shown the full card as I ordered. Also for me a keep the full loyality cards in my wallet for a special occassion. I know it seems daft but I think I'd like to enjoy my free coffee when I get it. I've saved the little stickers or the stamps and I want to enjoy that coffee as "The Free One"!
I normally ask for the small one on the free coffee card as the smaller cappuccinos tend to be perfect and when you increase the size the quality tends to decrease (well saying that I think Star bucks quality on the larger cappuccinos is fine as they put in an extra shot on their large cups as a matter of course but they don't do a loyalty scheme). But everywhere where I go with the loyalty cards they always ask the question "would you like the larger coffee as your free coffee?". Coffee loyaty cards that I have in my pocket are: Marks and Spencer, Costa Coffee (though they have now switched to another card where you get points – similar to our very own Oven Gleam VIP loyalty scheme), Coffee # 1 (which is a fabulous local coffee chain who are National Award Winners in coffee making), and McDonald's. All of them have offered me the larger coffee as the free one. But oh no not McDonald's.
I asked the Mc Worker to read out to me, as I didn't have my glasses with me, the condition on the card which said that the free one had to be a small one He didn't read it he just said, "oh it's always a small one for the free one" (when I got home I read the small print on the loyalty card and it didn't say anything on the card about a small coffee – it just says Terms
and conditions apply).
Anyway they changed it to the small one. I said "I don't want that one I want a large coffee and I'll pay for it". I kept my card and paid for the large coffee. I drove to the second window and then realising that I was going to be a couple of minutes late for my job (accordingly to my Tom Tom sat nav) I was in such a rush that I drove off without the coffee! McDonald's because of there rubbish speaker phone system, their normal eagerness to up sell and their infuriating stubborness to give me a large coffee for free really didn't do it for me.
But I did get to the AGA cleaning job on time.Google+