Arby's / common sense
The following is a letter I wrote to the manager of this Arby's location in Calgary. I have heard absolutely nothing from anyone at this restaurant to rectify the situation, so am following through on my promise to let others know what they can expect from this restaurant on 16th Avenue NW Calgary:
"Arby's is grounded in the belief that every individual has the power to make a difference. As a corporate citizen we feel it is our responsibility to be an active participant in improving the quality of life of the people and communities we serve." This is a quote I found on the Arby's website. Arby's seems very proud to be able to make such a statement, and appears eager to stand by its principles and ensure that its restaurants represent these fully.
Having both family and friends nearby, I have been to your Arby's location on many occasions, and have always been happy with the service, product and experience received there. What happened to me the evening of May 6th, however, has left me with a different perception of your restaurant. That evening, immediately after learning I had a flat tire, I parked my vehicle in your parking lot. Despite being a patron of your restaurant on many occasions, a friend and I had planned to go to Earl's this time for dinner before attending a show at the Jubilee. The only available spot to park on the entire block was in your lot, so I had to park there to prevent further damage to my vehicle, for our own safety, and for the safety of the public. Because of the way the other vehicles in the lot were parked, I was only able to park over two spaces instead of just one. I immediately began working toward a solution for my flat tire, and in the end, registered for an AMA membership so that my problem could be resolved as soon as possible. I was advised by AMA to call them back after the performance to begin dealing with the tire, since I had already purchased tickets for this show.
I contacted AMA again right after the performance, once we walked back from the Jubilee. A tow truck was there and looking for my vehicle. When we led him to where I had parked it, you can imagine our shock when we saw that it was no longer there. The AMA driver, my friend and I considered what might have happened to my vehicle. The AMA driver told us that it would be very highly unlikely that it would have been impounded since it had only been in that location for a few hours by this time. He did say that this was an area where criminal activity can and often does occur, but not until late at night, and so having left my vehicle there in broad daylight and before dinner time would not justify suspicion of foul play of any type. He said there should be no reason for anyone to call to have it towed. Since he deals with similar situations every day, I trust he knows what he's talking about. Before reporting it stolen to the police, the driver offered to call and confirm with the impound lot that my vehicle was not there. My friend and I decided to go into Arby's to inquire if anyone there knew anything about what happened to my vehicle. When I asked the supervisor, he looked extremely uncomfortable and told us that it had been towed. There was ticketing done of vehicles in the lot, but mine was the only one towed since it "looked abandoned". We were in disbelief. How could my vehicle look abandoned? It was clean, in good shape, had a Bluetooth ear piece in the console, cased liquor to be returned in the back, and a child's booster seat and videos in the middle row, all in plain view. This does not constitute a vehicle that has been abandoned. Given the flat tire, the only reasonable assumption to be made would be that it had a flat, and that the driver needed to park it however possible to ensure the safety of the driver, the passenger (who might well have been a child as young as a toddler), other drivers, their passengers and passersby (who could have been you, your staff and/or your customers). My vehicle was towed exactly one hour after I parked it, hardly indicating that any action was warranted for its removal from your lot. The supervisor might have made more accurate observations, and then made a decision based on simple common sense and more probable assumptions.
No apology was offered to us for having misjudged the situation or for making the call to have my vehicle impounded. I informed this supervisor that I would be contacting you to follow up on this situation, and that if not satisfied, I would ensure that others knew of the type of treatment they can expect from this Arby's.
The AMA driver confirmed that my vehicle was at the impound lot, but only a limited amount of time was left to get there, have the tire changed, and complete the paper work to retrieve my vehicle. The sensible and kind driver gave us both a ride to this location since we had no other vehicle to use. He did not charge us for this ride, as to do so would not have been using common sense in this situation. Otherwise, we might have had to take a taxi to get to the impound lot, likely costing $50 or more. Had we not made it there in time, I might have had to spend an additional $100 or more to get home for the night, and then back to the impound lot in the morning to deal with this unfortunate event. Imagine if my passenger had been the child who regularly uses the car seat that was in my vehicle. Traffic closures prevented us from arriving as quickly as we had hoped, and so we had to detour, making it take longer to get there with very little time to begin with. Ultimately and luckily, all was complete before they closed for the night after we left.
I do appreciate that people make mistakes and that they are likely to learn from them. Be that as it may, I should not have had to endure what I did, nor the cost involved, as a result of a poor call by your staff member. In addition to my time, this poor decision cost me $159.23. Please advise me when I can collect my cheque for this amount, as I expect to be compensated for this expense. If this is not resolved in 7 days, I am fully prepared to contact local media, the Better Business Bureau, Arby's, etc. to share my experience with them. Thank you for taking the time to consider righting this wrong.
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