Friday, July 13, 2012

An open letter to Charles E. Cheese

Dear Charles,

May I call you Charles?  I don't feel as though our relationship warrants the use of an affectionate nickname.

Kudos to you, sir, for cornering the market on cheap thrills, cheap eats and cheap prizes that enthralls children of all ages.Clearly, weary parents have been relying on hour entertainment skillz for years, so a tip of the hat to you. You've managed to evolve and embrace technology in ways other children's entertainment venues can only hope to emulate, while preserving classics that remain dear to many of us.  I still smile when I see Whack-A-Mole and Skeeball, no matter how stingy the ticket rewards get over time.

Where you have failed, and failed miserably, is in customer service when things don't go according to your policies and procedures. I won't go into details, but your general attitude of interrogation, not facilitation, is completely out of line when dealing with parents and caregivers. Those of us who are invested in the children in our lives, also strive to protect them. Accusations only bring out our protective instincts, and when our kids are involved, we go OFF!  Further, if you are calling to ask what happened, don't intimate that I am a liar.  Empathy and compassion go a long way.

As of now, sir, it will be a long time to never before we step foot in one of your entertainment places again.  While I recognize, this means a loss of approximately tens of dollars, it's the principle.  A place that does not core customer service values does not deserve another thought from the Shoup house.  I can get crappy pizza served to me by bored teenagers, minus the side of headache, anywhere.

Pizza is bad for you anyway

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