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Last Friday morning I was planning on getting into work early, so I made a quick stop at the outlet Dunkin’ Donuts located inside the Pride station on the corner of East Columbus Avenue and Union Street in Springfield for a breakfast sandwich and coffee.
Inside, there was a small line in front of the DD counter, but within a minute I was at the head of it.
“Can I get the number five combo with cream and sugar,” I said to the server, a young man who was attending the register. A “number five” is a ham & cheese bagel sandwich with a medium coffee.
He looked back at the large menu just above and behind him, then rung up my order before handing me a receipt and walking away.
Was he getting my order?
When he came back, he immediately began taking someone else’s order. It occurred to me then as he was talking to the other customer that I hadn’t got to choose what kind of bagel I wanted for my sandwich.
Quicker than I could ask, the server again walked away and fetched a small bag. He brought it to the counter and set it in front of me. “There you go,” he said to me, “Thank you.”
But I was confused.
It was only then that I looked at my receipt, and there I discovered that the server had only charged me for a bagel sandwich – and even then, it was for a plain bagel, which I don’t much care for.
I put up my hand and called out to him. “What about my coffee?” I asked him.
He looked at me, puzzled. “You didn’t order one.”
“Yes I did,” I replied. “I ordered the number five combo with cream and sugar.”
“You didn’t say you wanted a coffee,” he said back to me. “See… if you want a coffee with a combination you have to say so.”
To this my mouth went ajar. What the hell does this kid think “combo” refers to? And what the hell did he think I was referring to when I said “with cream and sugar” – did he think I wanted it sprinkled on my sandwich?
“No…,” I said loudly back to him, “A combo comes with a coffee.”
I looked around for a manager and asked the kid if there was one, but he either didn’t hear me or didn’t want to reply. I then pointed up to the sign and, slowly and clearly, I read it out loud: “D-D Combos… All combo prices include a medium coffee.”
To which the server said, “But I only charged you for the bagel sandwich.”
Arrggh! But I didn’t order a bagel sandwich! I ordered the number five combo! (Lesson to me: I should have looked at the receipt sooner.)
The server then asked me: “Do you still want a coffee?”
“Yes!” I said back to him.
“Okay,” he said, “But I’ll have to charge you the full price. If you had ordered it with the combo you would have paid less.”
To that last comment I almost wanted to jump over the counter and strangle the kid.
“Just get me the coffee,” I said with a sigh as the customer line began to grow again.
Later in the day I went online and filled out a complaint at the Dunkin’ Donuts website. I have yet to hear back from them, so perhaps they don’t care so much that they have a server charging people extra because he doesn’t understand what “combo” means. [UPDATE! Read in comments, below]
A friend of mine joked to me afterwards: “Next time you’ll just have to itemize everything in your order – just like when you order it separately.”
And so much for the convenience of the Dunkin’ Donuts combo.