Here's the lead up to this story...
I go to Taco Bell a few days later. Part of it was because I only had 5 bucks for lunch, but a much bigger part now was that I wanted to see if the menu boards had been changed. I already knew I would be blogging about all of this, so this had the potential to add more to the story.
And, as you can imagine, I was not disappointed.
The same boards were in the same place. There were two older ladies right ahead of me, and because I was on a time schedule, I was a little fidgety. Though I wasn't fidgety for this purpose, the older ladies in front of me were kind enough to let me go first, as they didn't know exactly what they wanted.
By this point, I'm just going to have some fun here... I got to the counter and smiled, saying, "I want the Deal #4, please add on a cheesy roll up, and I'd like a Doritos Locos Taco Supreme, no lettuce or tomatoes." And then I added on, "And I'd like to pay this price [pointing to the promo menu] and not that price [pointing to the other menu three sections down], if you don't mind."
The cashier looked around at both menus, looked back at the screen and looked up again at the promo menu. "They are two different prices," he observed.
"I know, and I'd rather pay the $1.49, not the $1.69," I said with a pleasant smile.
"Well, I can't do that, because the computer rings it up for $1.69," he started, and I replied, "But you have it on the menu board for $1.49." He pointed way down to the other side and said, "The price is $1.69, though, cause this one [pointing to promo menu] is old."
Perhaps I should have just paid the 20 cents extra and have been done with it. Perhaps I should just chalk up the 20 cents as the price for stupid people, or for incompetence, or just as a Taco Bell thing... but no. Not today. Not with this. I'm right. I don't care about the 20 cents. I don't care if I pay $1.69 forever. I just want someone at this stupid fast food place making $7 bucks an hour (too much for some of these guys) to realize that what they are doing is wrong, and somewhat cheating the customer, because until Vivian pointed the other menu out, I had no clue they were two different prices for the same item--seriously, how often do you check your receipt?
"Well, sir, whether its old or not, you have two prices for the same thing, and I'm asking to pay the cheaper price."
"I'll... well, I'll have to get my manager..." he stammered. I nodded, "That's fine."
While Genius Einstein went to find his manager, I heard the two older ladies behind me with this exchange:
Bertha: He's right, there are two different prices for that same taco
Batilda: I know! How stupid is that to leave that up there?
Bertha: Well, its not his fault they were too lazy to take it down. He should get the cheaper price.
I smiled, knowing at least I had Bertha and Batilda's support.
Instead of Big Brother Manager, I had Forty Something White Guy come out, and say, "Is there a problem?"
Now, up until now, even though its been a level of mediocre service and slight incompetence, everyone has been at least pleasant. This guy, however, changed all that. He didn't want to be there, he didn't like being bothered by something as dumb as a customer being overcharged, and he had this "I'm 44, a shift manager at a Taco Bell on a Tuesday afternoon, where is my life going" air about him. Don't get me wrong--there is nothing bad about working at a Taco Bell in your 40s, because a job is a job, work is work, and who knows what circumstance led him to be here... but he was bitter.
"Yes sir, I noticed that you have two different prices for the Doritos Locos Taco Supreme, and I am requesting to pay the cheaper price."
Like all the other Bell-hops, he glanced at one board, to the other, and back to the first again. He looked at the computer, then back up to the menus once more. "So, you want to pay the $1.49? The price is $1.69."
"Maybe so, but the menu here says $1.49."
"This is an old menu, sir, and we just haven't taken it down yet."
"Again, maybe so, but there is no expiration date on the promo menu, and because its still up, I think you should honor it."
And then, he said the worst thing possible... he looks at me and said, "Okay. I can do it for you THIS TIME. But next time, you'll pay the regular price."
Wait... what? This time? Like I'm asking something unreasonable? Like I am negotiating the price of a taco? Like I'm trying to wear you down, and I lowballed you for a Quesadilla Supreme by not offering a cent more than $1.08? This time? You can do it for me THIS TIME?
I paused for a minute, bit my tongue, and quickly assembled my respectful, yet direct, response. "Well, sir, until you change the menu, you'll have to do it again, because you are offering this item for $1.49." Seriously? He'll do it for me this time?
Anyway, it was changed, and my bill went down 20 cents.
My plan is to visit Taco Bell over the next few days and see if the boards are different. Wanna bet they won't be? We'll see if Grumpy Manager will do it for me this time again.
PS... I drove by Taco Bell this evening, glancing in the window as I zipped through the parking lot. Guess which menu boards were still up? Yup. I almost went in, not to order, but to just say, "Did you know that you have the same taco up there for two different prices? Just sayin'..."