Chuck E Cheesea not so happy happy birthday

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a verified customer
Verified customer

Well It was my daughter's 10th birthday yesterday. We decided to take her up to our local Chuck E Cheese that we usually go to at least once a month if not more. We went up and the greeter asked if we were here for anything special we told her that we were celebrating my daughter's 10th birthday. She asked us if we would like the walk-in birthday package for $5.99 I told her that sounded nice and she told us to ask for the package at the counter. So we ordered the package and we ordered our food which was all fine and well. It was a little before 4 PM when we placed our order. I didn't know that we were supposed to get the balloon, cotton candy, and goody bag when we paid for the items. I saw several others with the balloons but didn't think to ask about it. So here it was close to 5:30 and I see the staff coming out with Chuck E and they were singing to the people with the balloons and presenting them with the ice cream with the candle in the ice cream. So we sat down and waited for them to come to our table. They didn't I went to the greeter and asked her what was going on and why Chuck E didn't come to our table. The greeter was a different girl and she told me that she didn't know and would get her manager. I told her thank you and she did get him.
Well the manager came over and I asked him about the situation. He looks at me almost with a confused pissed look and says you have to pay for that. Did you? I showed him my receipt and he took it behind the counter. He then calls me and my daughter over and hands her the items. The balloon, goody bag, and cotton candy. He didn't really apologize for anything and said Chuck E is with the birthday parties in back he'll be around again soon. Which at this time I was annoyed that I thought the party package was only $ 5.99 and it turns out that they charge you for everything separate I was charged $1.99 for the cotton candy, $1.99 for the balloon, 1.99 for the grab bag, and 1.00 for the ice cream. Now that doesn't add up to $5.99 I asked the manager about that after my daughter left my side. He said that is how they ring it up. I said well they are telling people that it is only $5.99 and it really isn't he said nothing about it. He didn't hand me back my receipt I had to ask him for the receipt and he finally gave it back to me.
Ok so it does get worse... My daughter kept asking when Chuck E was coming to sing Happy Birthday to her. I told her soon. We were basically ready to be leaving at this time I was after 6 and we had about 2 hours there. So we spent more time waiting and playing games. Chuck E started walking around again and stopped at our table. I thought great they can do what we paid for and then we can leave... WRONG! The person in the costume just came by the table gave the kids high fives and tried to walk away. My daughter asked Chuck E what about the ice cream for her birthday. I was really getting upset and I told her that she would get the same treatment as the other table that we had watched get sung too and everything. Well Chuck E left and came back and tossed an ice cream sandwich on the table gave my daughter a pat on the head and walked off. NOTHING ELSE. I was furious. We left right after because she was expecting to be sung too and have a happy birthday. Instead she had an ice cream tossed at her and had to ### basically to get the goodies we paid for. My daughter cried her eyes out and told me that she never wants to go up there for her birthday dinner again. She is truly upset and I am shocked at the treatment we received there. We love going to there but I know it will be a long long time before I take my son and daughter there again. The Manager James is not running a good ship up there.
They need to think about the kids needs and they didn't' think about how my daughter would react to having someone just toss something to her, especially since she saw others getting the birthday person treatment. My daughter is truly upset.
Thank you so Much Chuck E Cheese for a unhappy Birthday experience.
Andrea Wharton


  • Ca
    Candigurl1313 Feb 17, 2009

    I hate customers, you guys are so stupid!!! First off, you didn't get the ice cream thrown to u! Hello!?! The person in the chuck e costume is wearing huge gloves with only 4 do u really think it's easy to hold an ice cream with huge gloves on?! No! So I'm pretty sure he wasn't throwing the ice cream at u, he was probably trying to set it on the table but it slipped. Plus he can't talk so he can't say sorry. Dude, just get over it! Why do customers always have to make drama?!?! UGH!

    (I work at Cec, I deal with stupid ### people like u all the time!)

    0 Votes
  • Ti
    tigger93230 Feb 17, 2009

    Candigurl its employees like YOU who give CEC a bad name. When a childs birthday is ruined of COURSE a parent is going to be pissed! You need to find a new job

    0 Votes
  • SuperN00dle Mar 09, 2009

    Haha! Oh man, I got a great laugh from that. All of it, comments included.
    I work at CEC too, but one in DE. Ours is worse, I will be the first person to let the world know that I hate working there. But since Candigurl didn't point out or elaborate the flaws in your story, I will take it upon myself to do so... and also discuss everything that you are apparently unaware of.

    First of all, Chuck only comes out for the SCHEDULED BIRTHDAY PARTIES. Sure, he comes out every now and again when the store isn't so busy, but that's generally during the week. You have to either schedule online or call the store for him to come out just for your child. Walk-in parties do NOT get any particular special treatment-- the people with the SCHEDULED PARTIES pay at least $10.99 per child ($16.99 for a Super Star Upgraded party, in which they get the works), so they ALWAYS have a first priority to see Chuck. If you had taken the initiative to do your research before you went to CEC, you wouldn't have a reason to complain unless your hostess was inadequate or something. Which, by the way, no walk-ins get birthday hostesses. Us hostesses walk in to work, clock in, and look at the birthday list to see what parties we're assigned to that day. Obviously if you're a walk-in, YOU WILL NOT BE ON THE LIST.

    One thing you have to realize is that being in that suit is not particularly pleasant, and this is coming from the only employee at my job who actually LIKES being Chuck (only because it's fun to dance and act silly and I love seeing happy children). Being in the suit is VERY, VERY hot, it's hard to move around, and it takes some time getting used to. Wearing the head frequently has resulted in me developing upper back problems (which I didn't tell my boss about, because I do like being Chuck so I tough it out), and yes, the gloves only have four huge fingers. So obviously, no one would want to be in it for a long period of time. I can guarantee you that the Chuck at your store did not mean to "toss" the ice cream, either. Things are hard to grip and place down gracefully with those gloves. Also, if you went on a weekend, it was probably packed... and kids get pretty hyped when they see Chuck. But when you consider the fact that there's a couple dozen other children in the store literally THROWING themselves at the employee in the hot ### costume, including the birthday children, BEFORE AND AFTER they had done a song and dance, you should understand that the employee wants to get the ### out of that suit as soon as possible. Also, I don't know about the branch that Candigurl works at but at MY branch, the person in the suit is usually also in the middle of hostessing a party!! So we have to run around like chickens with our heads cut off to make sure that our assigned party has everything they need for the activities that take place after the song and dance (which is placed on a countdown), take dozens of pictures, pry children off of their limbs, acknowledge every birthday child WHO HAD A SCHEDULED PARTY (because the parents paid a lot for that party, they better get to see Chuck), do a quick walk-through of the store and high-five/hug other random children, run back to the closet and change back out, run back to their party to light, cut, and serve the cake, get their client's bill finalized, and clean up AND set up for the next scheduled party in an extremely limited time frame (this all happens within a half hour, usually less.. which means that we barely get any time to clean)-- WE SIMPLY DO NOT HAVE TIME TO TEND TO EVERY CHILD. Get over it. If you really wanted your child to have special attention, schedule the damn party first. Walk-ins over at the DE branch that I work in don't get much, either. But every scheduled party that has the most basic package gets:
    -an assigned and reserved table in the show room
    -balloons (3, my dear)
    -a tin lunch box full of 100 tickets
    -each child gets 20 tokens on Saturdays, 40 on Sundays at 10am parties, or during the week
    -a special medallion that is given to them during the song and dance time frame that Chuck comes out
    -a guaranteed visit from Chuck
    -a special birthday sticker
    -1 medium 1 topping pizza per every 5 kids (so every child virtually gets two slices each)
    -free drinks, free refills, and
    -their very own hostess.

    The Super Star package offers the same thing, in addition to:
    -12 additional tokens per child, totaling 32 each
    -3D souvenier cup for every child (in the basic package, their cups are disposable)
    -a special plush Chuck doll for the birthday child, and
    -goodie bags for every child.

    I don't know about other locations, but there is only a 90-minute time period for each party. Actually, this applies to ABSOLUTELY EVERYONE (scheduled party, walk in party, random guest or whatever) and this really only applies to the weekends because it get insanely busy and crowded, and we can get like 15 scheduled parties in one day. That's the biggest complaint out of every party I've had, which I wholeheartedly agree with because if you spend $300 on a damn birthday party (which I actually had one who did so just yesterday), you should get to stay there as long as you please. But according to my boss, it's a safety issue. So it's best to do parties during the week, because you could be there as long as you please.

    Although I hate CEC with an undying passion, I had to set you straight because you did not do your research. I hate it when people ### about things when they haven't done anything beforehand to prevent the issues such as the ones you have run across.
    My dislike for CEC has very little to do with the customers (they're actually pretty damn great most of the time! :] ) but rather with the way we are treated as employees by both our own management AND some horrible customers. Furthermore, the majority of people fail to realize that most CEC employees (particularly the hostesses) are WAITRESSES and we very rarely get tips because of this. And don't even try to say that maybe it's because I'm a horrible hostess or I don't do my job right or I don't act like I like my job. It's quite the contrary. Every birthday parent HAS to fill out a comment card at the end of their party, in which they also rate their hostess and write down any complaints-- I have never, ever gotten a single complaint and I always get ALL "excellent" ratings. I go out of my way to tell my clients the TRUTH about CEC, and I even tell them to spend as little money as possible so that they don't get screwed over although I am definitely supposed to be SELLING them things to "make their party better" (they don't. They're just wastes of money and will heighten the parents' anger when they see how much money they've spent but still got screwed over in the end). So understand that it is highly frustrating for us hostesses as well, to hear ### from our managers, birthday parents, general guests, and guests of parties about things we cannot control and WE have to suffer for it by not getting a tip-- all because the customer is unsatisfied with the company as a whole.
    And to REALLY top it all off, we're doing some SERIOUS hardcore multitasking throughout our entire shift, especially during parties. I can tell you right now that although I am only supposed to be a hostess, I am also a cashier, I work at the merch counter (which is probably the worst task ever, in my opinion), bus all tables throughout the ENTIRE store, watch over Kid Check at the front of the store, act as Chuck when needed, conduct birthday shows, wash all dishes, keep the salad bar up to par, prepare foods for the week, make cotton candy while doing other tasks, RUN PIZZAS AND OTHER FOOD TO EVERY CUSTOMER IN THE STORE, clean bathrooms, clear AND set up birthday parties in an extremely limited time frame (which is insane when I'm doing this for more than one party at a ###ing time), get my parties to leave so I can clean and set up (which is hands-down the most difficult task ever, because they won't get the hell out of the showroom!), stock the front counter, and thoroughly CLEAN THE ENTIRE SHOWROOM AT THE END OF THE DAY BY. MY. SELF. And it's only a matter of time before I am also taught how to fix games and cook, which are basically the only tasks left to learn. It ###ing sucks.

    And yes, I am looking for a new job. I have been looking literally a month after I started working there-- it's that bad. This is my first job, so it's obviously temporary. I am a college student, a self-proclaimed over-achiever, and my boss claims to respect that but does not understand that I want less hours so that I can STUDY.

    So hon, think of the other sides, too.
    And for future reference, do not go to CEC. As a whole, the company completely blows. You're better off going to the mall and the park than you are at CEC.

    0 Votes
  • Ol
    Old Papa Jul 23, 2010

    Having both worked at and been a customer to multiple theme parks (including the big one in central FLA), I can relate to both points of view.
    The bottom line appears to be unmet expectations plus poor communications; a bad combination.

    To Dickson City, PA, the hostess was derilict in not telling you the limits of the Walk-in package when she first pitched it to you. Perhaps she was under orders to be vague so that you would accept and pay up first and then learn the truth when it was too late. Either way, management could have and definitely should have handled it better.

    That said, super noodle's description of the work environment reminds me of many a hectic day at the theme park under the heading of 'no rest for the weary' or 'shut up and do it or else'. So yes, do have pity on the lowly waitress/hostess/cook/mouse-character. Much is expected, and tolerance for errors is only slightly lower than the pay, which is pretty low to begin with. Management, on the other hand, is fair game, that is, if they are being deliberately rude and nasty. But to be fair, they probably have someone over them who is making their lives miserable as well.

    Based on our friends' experiences, we will not take our kids to CEC unless it's for someone else's party. One friend ordered a party online but when they arrived on site, the manager said that they name and tracking number were not in the system. Since everyone was already there, they had to pay for a walk-in party and suffered the same indignities described by Dickson City. When asked for the manager's name, she tried to hide her name tag. Complaints were filed with HQ in Texas but nothing happened, except they lost both our friends and us as future customers.

    0 Votes
  • Di
    Disgusted parent Apr 09, 2011

    Ok I see the both sides! BUT... I have 3 children two of them are toddlers and if my children were treated like that The employees an management would have a BIG problem! You are getting paid to be in that suit, sing, dance, clean, ect... If your not happy there doing what your paid to do that is no reason to take it out on innocent children and there PAYING parents!! Bad day or not! No excuse for that kind of service(if you even want to call it that) I live in Dickson city and after reading how the employes commented on here is disgusting and should be fired and find a desk job somewhere where you have No interaction with the public because it's obvious that you can't handle it!! I will not be taking my children to any CEC after reading these comments! THE CUSTOMER IS ALLWAyS RIGHT!!! To all of the CEC employees that hate being there you should be a shamed of yourselves and find new employment!

    0 Votes
  • St
    standing up for chuck May 23, 2012
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I have always thrown parties at chuck e cheese and feel that if I am paying more than the other customers that are just walk ins my children and their guests better get time with chuck e cheese to sing and take pictures. Never has there been any problem with this. When we do walk ins it is not for parties so we already know we won't get any special time with chuck himself. I will keep supporting chuck e cheese Great parties and Thanks to Chuck e Cheese and all of their staff in WI who thrown parties for my children over the years. Keep up the excellent work. Those who want special time should have to pay.

    0 Votes

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