Posted: July 16, 2013
No seriously, I am currently boycotting Chipotle and have been for quite some time…since at least 2007.
I am asked quite frequently both at home and while traveling on official quest business, why I will not go to Chipotle. So I thought I would take a single blog entry to explain.
Let’s get this out of the way first. It is not a political stance on the mistreatment of chickens or because I think that free range tomatoes are superior to caged tomatoes. It is a customer service issue and based firmly on my belief that I do not patronage companies that treat me like crap.
Here is the story.
Back when I was a customer of Chipotle, my work colleagues and I would eat lunch at Chipotle at least 3 times a week. We were hooked, like Kramer to Kenny Rogers Roasters. To add a little excitement to a lunch break, since we would all order burritos, we would weigh them on a postage scale to see who got the biggest and smallest burritos. This went on for awhile and we may have even had a pool on it.
After some time, we noticed the burritos getting lighter. And since we had actually been weighing them we knew this to be fact. One week, they were significantly lighter than the lighter ones so I decided, partly as a lark, to see if this was a corporate cost cutting move or a single location going rogue. So I emailed corporate HQ to inquire.
I received a call from the regional manager to tell me that the store manager would be contacting me. As an aside, I love companies that call me to tell me that someone else will be calling. Do you really have that much free time? I don’t need a call to tell me someone will be calling! But back to the story.
The store manager called and invited me in for lunch and to discuss the issue, since it was not a cost cutting move and it should not be happening. I explained that I did not see the need as my email was self explanatory. But since I was a regular customer with widely different experiences it would be valuable for him if I came in to discuss it with him. Reluctantly I agreed and set up a meeting.
I arrived at the time and place and was informed that the manager had taken the day off. I explained the situation and no one at the store knew what I was talking about. This pissed me off. So I wrote an email back to the regional manager and store manager asking what was going on. I am still waiting on a reply from either one of them.
I did not ask for this meeting. When the Chipotle manager insisted, I scheduled it and then they did not show or apologize or even respond. If they never set this meeting, I would probably still be a customer. To me, this demonstrates a lack of customer service (or basic human manners) with respect to a customer who you set up an appointment to discuss customer service. Ironic isn’t it?
As a result, I now boycott Chipotle. I do not give my business to companies that treat me in such a manner. I realize Chipotle could not care any less about me or if I go there any more. My 3 visits a week is meaningless to them. But it means something to me as there is a principle at hand.
I do not force this view on others as this is America and people are free to spend their money as they wish (I do not believe this for a second but I will leave political issues out of this), but for me, Chipotle does not deserve my business.
Carry on! #boycottchipotle