Sunday, April 5, 2015

An open letter to Subway, who bullied me and kicked me out of their restaurant


My name is Kelli, and I am a freelance food reviewer of 10+ years on the central Gulf Coast. I experienced an incident at a Subway in Bayou La Batre, Alabama that I would like to tell you about.

I've been a frequent customer since I moved to the region, most recently spending approximately $38 in a three week span.

In mid-March, I went into the restaurant and ordered a meal as usual. I had my computer with me that day and set it up on a corner table. I was greeted by a young gentleman who took my order and answered a couple of questions, including whether or not Wifi was available. He said it was, and gave me the password "efresh". The password did not work, but it didn't matter because I was automatically connected via the shopping center's free and open Wifi. I did my work, ate my meal, got back up and ordered cookies, refilled my drink once, and left.

I returned again on March 24th and did the same thing, minus the cookies. I ordered a meal and ate it while working on my computer on the same free and open Wifi available in the shopping center. I refilled my drink one time in the hour and 45 minutes I was there. There was only one other customer present, and he was sitting on the other side of the restaurant.

The manager approached me and informed me that she was "cutting off my internet, shutting me down, and kicking me out". I looked at her and asked her what she was talking about. She asked "It hasn't cut you off yet?" I answered "No, it sure hasn't", and continued my work. She remained next to my table and stated that I had been there too long and that I had to leave. I told her that nobody had ever said anything about a time limit for customers. She said "Well I'm the manager and I'm telling you to get out."

Let me add a side note right here, if you don't mind. My friends the Codd family had been murdered a few days prior, so my nerves were shot as it is. Also add the fact that I have adrenaline-induced paralysis thanks to Muscular Dystrophy. I'm not supposed to be under any stress, and I wasn't bothering anyone. But by golly, she was "shutting me down and kicking me out" as if I was an intruder stealing her internet. A regular paying customer, who was not even using her internet connection and never had.

So at that point, I stood up and snapped at her that I was not even using her stupid internet and that I was going to contact the corporate office. She laughed and said she would be happily awaiting that call, and that she would be happy to tell them that I had been there taking up space and using their private Wifi since 10 A.M. - which is a lie, and she knew it. She said it with so much snark "Oh let's see…you've been here since 10, right? Heh heh". She was having the time of her life bullying me, and her employees were standing behind the counter snickering.

I've attached a photo of the Wifi air port on my laptop for your convenience. Their connections, if I'm not mistaken, are called OFFICE and EMPLOYEE and are locked (they used to say something else, but I don't remember what because I never used them, thanks). My laptop, as I stated, connects me only to the FREE and OPEN public Wifi available in the shopping center. Also to recap, there was only one customer besides me in the building, yet I was being treated like I was stealing their time, space, and air. Unbelievable. For full, honest disclosure, I am letting you know that I called her an ass in frustration as I walked out the door.

In all of my years reviewing restaurants on the Gulf Coast and even large cities such as Atlanta and Alexandria, I have never had such an appalling and angering experience. For your establishment to take a customer's money, give them the Wifi password (which was never used, thanks), and then bully and banish them from the place is absolutely insane. If this is how Subway really treats their customers, you should be beyond ashamed, and I nor my family or friends will return. Someone I know who works for Subway stated that the manager's behavior was "way wrong" and suggested I contact local news. If I don't, it will be for the sole reason that I need to avoid further stress.

A final note - on April 2nd, I was two doors down about to walk into the grocery store when I heard a ruckus in the direction of Subway. I turned to see what was happening, and the same manager was standing outside the door yelling at an intellectually challenged gentleman to "shut up". It echoed through the entire parking lot, so don't be surprised if I'm not the only person who reports this one. Her incredible incompetence, lack of integrity (planning to exaggerate to corporate), and disgusting superiority complex leads me to believe that your staff is in serious need of overhaul, if not tremendous mental help. I'm so glad I was there to see that, painful and disgraceful as it was. I feel sorry for the man she mistreated, but it only strengthens my case against you. I'm afraid this is not over.

I have no intention of giving this Subway restaurant or any other another dime, but I do hope you plan to take my account seriously. Being the largest and most popular fast food establishment in the country, you should be so much better than this trash.

Thank you for your time and consideration.