What’s Your Complain Threshold?

Happy American Thanksgiving! I hope all you Americans are having a great time celebrating with your families and are not reading this. Let me just say that I am quite J to the EALOUS of you and all the eating and leisuring you get to do today. Our Canadian Thanksiving is long over (mine was great and full of eating!), and I definitely had to work today and ate pizza for dinner because I felt lazy after the gym (excellent pizza though – veggie from Toppers!)

I am actually thankful that our Thanksgiving is when it is though. I like that we have a longer break between Thanksgiving and Christmas – it gives me time to get amped up for a holiday all over again! And it gives my pantaloons some time to recover.

But moving on…

I have been on a pretty big coffee kick lately.

(Lexy, I know you are frowning upon my non-reusable cup and I am sorry. I promise I usually use one, but I forgot it on this day. Please forgive me.)

I have been getting coffee every morning on my way to work and it has made sitting in traffic slightly more bearable. In the picture above I have Tim Hortons coffee, but I usually prefer McDonalds. I am pretty sure they add crack or something to theirs, because it is so good and I can’t get enough of it!

The past four days, McDonalds drive-thru has messed up my coffee order. I always ask for a regular coffee with milk instead of cream (so one milk, one sugar). They are usually pretty good at getting it right, but not this week. Monday through Wednesday they added cream only. No milk, and no sugar.

Monday through Wednesday, I didn’t say anything about it. I don’t really like cream, but it wasn’t a huge deal…I just kept hoping they would get it right the next day.

I am not really a big complainer and I tend to avoid confrontation. I don’t like to make people feel uncomfortable or awkward, and sometimes I feel like “situations” can be avoided by keeping quiet instead of complaining. I am very understanding and can handle a few mistakes before I reach my “complain threshold”. I will never complain just to complain. However, once my complain threshold is reached, I will say something, even if it creates an awkward situation.

If I am overcharged for something? Complain threshold reached. Hair in my food? Complain threshold reached. Absolute wrong order in a restaurant? Complain threshold also reached. Three days of incorrectly made coffee?

Complain threshold reached.

So this morning, on the fourth day, I said something. I asked the girl who took my order if she would mind please making sure that my coffee was made with sugar and milk instead of cream, because my coffee order had been wrong the last couple days. She said no problem. It was a very pleasant exchange.

I got my coffee. And guess what. CREAM ONLY. Argh, I don’t like cream! It is too creamy! And I like my sugar!

I didn’t discover this until after I started driving, and if it had not been the same thing happening all week, I would have just kept going and drank the whole thing. If I hadn’t specifically asked them to take note of what I was asking for, I probably would have kept going also. But I was peeved. I build up the courage to say something and they still mess it up? Oh no. No no.

So I drove back there, went inside, told them about their mistake, and that they had been messing up my coffee all week, and asked if they would mind remaking it correctly. And they did. They also refunded my coffee and gave me a $5 gift card (which I honestly didn’t even want to take because I know it is really not a big D).

But I guess it pays to complain.

So I would like to know, what is your complain threshold? What does it take for you to complain? Would you have complained the first day your coffee was incorrectly made, or would you never complain even if it meant getting the wrong coffee order forever? What is your enough is enough point?


23 responses to “What’s Your Complain Threshold?

  1. I would’ve complained the first time they messed up my order. Tim Hortons is bad for giving coffee instead of tea. I am a tea drinker. I have to check my tea every time I get it. I’ve been known to march back in and complain once or twice. 😉

  2. IT PAYS TO COMPLAIN. Especially when this kind of crap happened FOUR days in a row. Luke HATES it when I complain, but you paid for that stuff! You paid for what you wanted and then didn’t get it. I say GO FOR IT.

  3. What…??!! They messed up your order 4 times before you decided to complain???! Girl, you are impressing. I would have gone the 1st time, ask for a refund the 2nd time, asked free McNuggets w/ BBQ sauce the 3rd time, and drown the girl who made my coffee in the deep fryer the 4th time.

    My Complain Threshold is nonexistent. It’s worse when it’s in the morning. And if there’s no more Nestle coffee (NOT Maxwell house. NESTLE), get away from me. AND if I realize there’s no more toilet papers AFTER my salad (you know, those big salads that we love but transform us into fart machines) just came out of my butt hole and that I have some shit sticking to it.

  4. I’ve had it happen a couple times at Starbucks. Usually I go back right away and ask them to fix it unless I’m in a rush. I’m really picky: I feel like I should enjoy everything I pay for, so I’ll let them know if they’ve messed up. I find if I’m polite, though, they’re very accommodating 🙂

  5. I am seriously impressed you stuck it out nearly 4 times with the wrong order! When it comes to coffee, I like to have it made to how I like it and no other way please. It’s not complicated or anything- skim milk and 2 sugars, but it’s a small delight in my day and I like to keep it perfect haha. So my complain threshold for coffee (and food in general) is rather low, but I can tolerate other things for a much longer time 🙂

  6. I’m a big time complainer. But I pick and choose my complaining and it usually has to do with my mood. I’m rarely a “nice” complainer so if I’m in a nice mood, I just don’t say anything. So, with that said…sometimes even hair in my food isn’t enough for me to complain. I’ve been known to pull it out and keep eating if the food is delicious enough.

  7. The first time it happened I would probably grumble, but not complain. I think 4 days in a row and after specifically saying “hey, please no cream this time” would have hit my complain threshold too. But, if a completely different meal from what I ordered was brought out I would say something. So, I guess it depends on “magnitude” and effort to bring it to someone’s attention.

  8. Ah! I was totally going to post about this, due to Starbucks. I am not a complainer. I can roll with the punches, but I have reached my complain threshold at Starbucks a handful of times. I’m probably an annoying customer, but I need to watch them making my drinks, because anything other than nonfat milk makes my stomach churn. I have seen them use 2% and I politely said something, and I’ve seen a barista use nonfat milk, run out, then use 2% to top it off. Merrr. I’ve also received a latte that consisted of steamed milk only haha and I had to drive all the way back to the store.
    I definitely would have hit the complain threshold with that Tim’s story. What is it that makes us so crazy about our coffee?
    I have worked in restaurants for 7 years now and so I’m pretty resilient when it comes to complaining there. I’m also very non-confrontational.

    • I definitely alreadycommented on this comment, and it disappeared!
      Since I don’t go to Starbucks very often, if they get my order wrong I am definitely complaining. It’s expensive!
      Those sneaky baristas. This comment made me laugh 🙂

  9. Four days in a row is definitely 3 days too many! One mistake? Such is life. But a week’s worth? Argh! For me, it also depends on how much effort it requires on my part. So, say I ordered something in the drive-through and it was wrong, I probably couldn’t be bothered to go back and fix it. But if the exact same thing happened in a sit-down restaurant, then I’d send it back. I’m pretty lazy.

    The one thing that I always want to complain about but never do is rudeness. I hate it when people are rude to me, and I consider complaining, but then I worry that maybe their kid is really sick or they just lost their house. Yes, I worry a lot about strangers and make up life stories for them. I’m kind of a spaz that way.

  10. I too tend to avoid confrontation and am not that bold about complaining…so good for you for going back AND getting a free gift card! My friend did that when her computer broke down under warranty and totally upped the $ she got back. I don’t think it’s good to complain just for complainings’ sake (there are already enough people who do that) but if there’s something genuinely wrong, I think it’s valid (and just look what you can get).

  11. Oh my gosh. love this post because growing up in the restaurant industry I try not to complain unless its something that really drives me crazy (when it comes to food/service I mean) for example, I hate doing anything that involves sending food back (have you seen the movie Waiting?) but I like my steak rare and usually order it med rare at restaurants. I got one recently that was RAW and i had to complain. Also, overcharging. I always try to be super duper overly nice about it unless someone is being flat out rude to me.

    • I worked in retail for SO long and it would always bother me when customers got whatever they wanted if they bitched enough. People complained about the stupidest things. But yes, there is a threshold. Raw steak = complain threshold reached 🙂

  12. Thank you for making a note to me. Good to see I’m still influencing even when I’m gone. I’ve been bad this year and I have to start using the reusable mugs when I go out for walks. But most of the places I go to have compostable mugs.
    I’m like you with my complain threshold. I usually wont complain the first time because I don’t want to waste. But every day. I would be complaining once they got it wrong twice. Annoying!

  13. Darla Doogleberry

    The last time I complained it was because the speculum was too cold.

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