If you dislike rudeness, profanity, or racial slurs, you should probably avoid this video that a Dunkin’ Donuts customer made
, and which was posted to Consumerist and other sites Monday.
The customer, who starts the video by telling the cashier that he is “under video surveillance,” complains that she didn’t get a receipt the night before, and then she demands a free order. Dunkin’ Donuts’ policy is to give customers their current order for free if they don’t get a receipt; the customer says she was told to come back the next day.
The customer asks for items she didn’t order the night before, talks to uncomfortable fellow customers, and berates the cashier, who stays calm and helpful throughout. He even agrees to give the customer her order for free. Much of the criticism of the video has centered on the rude customer, who also turns the camera to show herself, but Dunkin’ Donuts is certainly caught in the fray.
Jonathan Bernstein of Bernstein Crisis Management says the customer’s rant certainly doesn’t hurt the brand, however.
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“Customers like this are actually the easiest type of criticism to manage, because when they rant like this they completely undermine their own credibility,” he says. “Dunkin' Donuts' reputation wasn't harmed, and they need not respond further.”
Gerald Baron, principal at Agincourt Strategies, agrees that the brand, which hasn’t publicly responded to the video, should probably stay above it, though the company should “monitor it closely because probably someone who had a bad experience will chime in with nasties about the company.”
“If they do say anything, it should be along the lines of, ‘We want to express our appreciation to our valued employees who in this case, as they do so many times a day, treated a troubled customer with respect, care, and dignity,’” Baron suggests.
He adds that this particular video, which includes mentions of specific products, such as the strawberry Coolata (and which Dunkin’ Donuts didn’t have to pay for), could be a blessing in disguise.
“Everyone is trying to figure out how to create content that will go viral,” Baron says. “In this case, the rather obviously ill woman created that content for them.”
The company responded to the video Wednesday, but not directly to the customer who made it, instead, it'll be honoring the employee she berated, Gawker reports
"We believe this is a powerful example of great customer service and the
respect our crew members have for our guests," the company said in a statement. "The franchise owner of the
restaurant has reached out to the crew member privately to express and
demonstrate his personal appreciation."