Does a nasty customer’s video help or hurt Dunkin’ Donuts?

A profane video that a customer shot in a Dunkin’ Donuts store is making the rounds online today. Most of the criticism of the video focuses on the customer, but it may not be attention the brand wants. UPDATE: Dunkin’ Donuts is honoring the employee berated in the video.

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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.

“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.”

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