Does craft beer have room for this type of customer service?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by PorterPatron, Jan 31, 2015.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. 1eyed_jack

    1eyed_jack Initiate (115) Dec 19, 2012 Illinois

    Honestly, there shouldn't be room for this in any business let alone craft beer business.

    I once had to email Deschutes for something and they could not have been friendlier and more helpful. It made me feel that much better about buying their product.

    There's so much good beer out there, if a brewery is run by an asshole like that, you can stop buying their beer without missing a beat.

    I'm sure plenty of bosses are assholes, but when you're responding to customer inquiries and you don't even attempt to hide that side of yourself, that's an issue.

    Surprised to see he was a firefighter captain. I'm guessing he wasn't the type to visit it schools and get out in the community.
    BoneyardBrewer likes this.
  2. Corbet

    Corbet Initiate (172) Nov 7, 2010 Michigan

    Quality of beer trumps customer service & customer experience, I doubt anything will come of this. Pat sounds like a huge asshole, but it won't stop people from wanting to track down his world class beers.

    Your best bet is a charge back on the card and spreading the info online - maybe send the screenshots to a dozen beer blogs and hope they write an article on it.
  3. Beer21

    Beer21 Champion (835) Oct 17, 2010 Florida

    As Herm Edwards would say, "DON'T PRESS SEND!"
    Zaphog, Papaloth, Donkster46 and 5 others like this.
  4. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poo-Bah (2,553) Jun 18, 2002 Arizona

    The customer is always wrong.
  5. breadwinner

    breadwinner Meyvn (1,217) Mar 6, 2014 California

    Douche reply, to be sure, but I think it's pretty well established that douchey proprietors haven't stopped people from frequenting their establishments for ages, be they food, drink, or otherwise. Whether it's the, er, courteous folks @ FFF, or the disgruntled brushings off of Shaun Hill, folks will continue to drink good beer, no matter how poorly they're treated. But I do think it's totally valid to vote with your wallet and not purchase Alpine stuff. It doesn't bother me enough to stop, but I think that's a reasonable position to take.

    By the way, @PorterPatron, didn't you happen to post a false rating of Kiwi Herman hours after it was released? If so, have you had a bad run-in with these dudes or something?
    EDubLovesBeer likes this.
  6. pagriley

    pagriley Meyvn (1,027) Oct 27, 2014 Illinois

    You paid by credit card? Dispute the charge - whenever I have disputed a charge for non-delivered goods the card company always takes my side. With a dick response email chain like this, I imagine it is a lock... Still a dick move, but at least they don't get your money.
  7. Hrodebert

    Hrodebert Aspirant (278) Sep 2, 2013 Michigan

    When I run across a business that treats it's customers like this, I absolutely refuse to do business with them again, period.
    Unfortunately, most people will accept it as a necessary evil, and continue to do business with the offender, resulting in an acceptance of said behavior, that does nothing to deter it in the future.
    There are way too many beers in the world to put up with this kind of service.
  8. kerry4porters

    kerry4porters Zealot (541) Dec 31, 2012 Arizona

    Nicely put
  9. RblWthACoz

    RblWthACoz Initiate (0) Aug 19, 2006 Pennsylvania

    Fuck 'em. And all of their beer.
  10. bluehende

    bluehende Poo-Bah (2,160) Dec 10, 2010 Delaware

    As more and more breweries open up the customer experience will become more and more important to stay in business. Every episode of bad customer service will eventually come back to haunt them when they are not the only game in town. As a consumer I will take my dollar elsewhere.
    jrnyc, RblWthACoz, JLaw55 and 2 others like this.
  11. Redneckwine

    Redneckwine Disciple (304) Dec 3, 2013 Washington

    Shitty customer service there, period. Even if the answer was, "Sorry, you're out of luck, bud, those are the rules." That would still be vastly more professional than what you got; there's just no excuse for injecting that kind of adolescent douchebaggery into a customer service situation.

    Luckily for consumers, being an asshole to your customers isn't all that good for business. Just this one incident may not seem like a huge deal right now, but things like this DO have a cumulative effect over time, and sure as shit not a positive one. Just look at the general feedback on this thread so far...
    MiScusi, jrnyc and TongoRad like this.
  12. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poo-Bah (2,553) Jun 18, 2002 Arizona

    Something tells me this saga isn't over, especially once the Alpine people see the thread. The next response could be even more entertaining.
  13. 1eyed_jack

    1eyed_jack Initiate (115) Dec 19, 2012 Illinois

    I hope they do respond. I'd be interested in seeing how they try to spin the fact that the owner comes across that way.
  14. Oktoberfiesta

    Oktoberfiesta Aspirant (281) Nov 16, 2013 New Mexico

    What were the original terms? Were you paying for the placement or "hold" for the item? And then an additional amount when you got there? I'm confused by what you paid for and then DIDN'T get. It sounds like they robbed you, and are laughing all the way to the bank
    BoneyardBrewer likes this.
  15. jdaddy

    jdaddy Initiate (0) Nov 19, 2010 Pennsylvania

    Hmmmmm. I think it goes like this . . . .

    "I sold company. Tired of whiny people. Drank a bunch of my beer that everyone on BA says is the best in the world. No vested interest. My reply shall be . . .."
  16. CassinoNorth

    CassinoNorth Disciple (314) Apr 5, 2013 New Jersey

    Please don't lump Shaun Hill in with this type of exchange. He's an introverted dude that just wants to brew his beer and not be woken up at 5 in the morning by crazed neck beards. By all accounts, he's a rather nice guy.
    Lupin, jvodom, yarnbomb and 17 others like this.
  17. AlienSwineFlu

    AlienSwineFlu Aspirant (293) Dec 14, 2012 Ohio

    He paid for 2x Kiwi Herman with a very specific window stated. He did not meet that window, so the beer was consumed on-location, as outlines in the terms of the sale. They will not refund his money or replace the beer. No one is really disputing that though. Just the response given.
  18. Brolo75

    Brolo75 Initiate (0) Aug 10, 2013 California

    I visited Alpine last year and everybody there was really polite, didn't have a problem, Nelson is one of my favorite IPAs, sad to see them treating a customer that way.
    FUNKPhD likes this.
  19. dutesanch

    dutesanch Disciple (352) Apr 22, 2014 California

    Wow, kinda reminds me of an old Seinfeld episode where he makes a rental car reservation and when he shows up they have no cars. " the reservation keeps the car here". The OP paid up front, he's either entitled to bottles or a full refund. Don't worry Op. There are many, many other quality breweries to support. No need for this one.
    Donkster46, FUNKPhD, Hatzilla and 6 others like this.
  20. Uniobrew31

    Uniobrew31 Zealot (525) Jan 16, 2012 Pennsylvania

    i heard it was way over priced and under good this year anyway. That prick should have offered you up something else. What a dick. Good lord he will crash and burn...and you my friend will smile when it happens!
    Donkster46 likes this.
  21. _-_-Jason-_-_

    _-_-Jason-_-_ Initiate (0) Dec 18, 2014 New York

    It's quite amazing, and sad, how arrogant the peddlers of a legal drug can be. It's just frickin' beer....
  22. Denver_Beer_Guy

    Denver_Beer_Guy Initiate (0) Jun 4, 2013 Colorado

    Definitely troubling for sure, and this definitely trumps your average "poor customer service". As for the face of a business like this, I'm sure there's a handful of people he could have forwarded this email on to in order to not deal with it himself and have a better response. The fact that he responded twice, plus the end jab clearly shows that his head has gotten a bit over-inflated.

    I've had a couple of bad customer service experiences with beer places in town - one a bottle shop who told me they didn't know of a rarer beer in stock and then refused to sell it to me when I pointed it out because I could see behind the counter and told me it was "his" - and another a "world famous" taproom that had 3 straight horrible bartender experiences. Both of which I haven't been back to in over a year. Most disregard poor customer service because of the beer, but there's enough good beer in the world to not deal with assholes.
    LeRose, Mtj28, TongoRad and 1 other person like this.
  23. Briesch

    Briesch Initiate (0) Mar 17, 2014 California

    Went to Alpine once. Don't think I ran into the owner but nearly all the employees were either rude or flippant. I enjoyed my beer and left quickly after.

    Not sure if it was the particular day I went but the vibe was very unwelcoming. I'm not too keen on being made to feel like I'm not wanted just so I can enjoy a good beer. I'd much rather drive down to SD and drink at Alesmith or Port/ Lost Abbey in order to have an equally good beer in addition to a pleasant experience.
  24. TrojanRB

    TrojanRB Meyvn (1,498) Jul 27, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    I'm blown away by this.

    I have been to Alpine and always had a wonderful experience. The beer is (was?) phenomenal....but I can't stand Green Flash, and I expect the quality to erode.

    But to treat a customer like this? Ridiculous, unprofessional, and totally uncalled for.
  25. evilcatfish

    evilcatfish Defender (610) May 11, 2012 Missouri

    Rude employees happen, but an owner being rude is absolutely out of line. All he had to say was "I'm sorry but you missed the time frame for pickup and your bottles are no longer available."

    Couple thoughts on avoiding these situations:
    1. If customers pre-pay, offer a longer pickup window (like CCB's el Cat) Yes, I know they can't hold these beers forever though
    2. Don't make customers pay until time of pickup
  26. RBassSFHOPit2ME

    RBassSFHOPit2ME Meyvn (1,056) Mar 1, 2009 California

  27. TheeWalrusHunter

    TheeWalrusHunter Initiate (0) Aug 23, 2013 Oregon

    Honestly, it sounds like Patrick was a bit inebriated.

    I haven't had good experiences at Alpine - so this isn't all too surprising.
    RockAZ likes this.
  28. hopnado

    hopnado Initiate (0) Aug 13, 2014 Michigan

    3. Don't be a belligerent cock and politely refund the dudes money
    SkyyNapalm, JohnnyMc, kmbeer and 6 others like this.
  29. GetMeAnIPA

    GetMeAnIPA Defender (617) Mar 28, 2009 California

    The guy even rubs it in at the end. "Oh and they were delicious". What and Dbag.
  30. jdaddy

    jdaddy Initiate (0) Nov 19, 2010 Pennsylvania

    On the Green Flash Acquisition of Alpine . . .. .

    From cramped quarters in its East County namesake, Alpine was never able to satisfy the demands of would-be customers. “The biggest thing I was facing was that question,” McIlhenney said. “‘How come I can’t get your beer?’ ‘What about me?’ ‘I want more!’ That’s constantly wearing on you.

    As previously stated, tired of hearing whining thus the (really fucking shitty) response. How many times have many of you have had that "take this job and shove it" attitude. Well I guess this guy is kind of living your dream.
    Malt_Man likes this.
  31. hopnado

    hopnado Initiate (0) Aug 13, 2014 Michigan

    I was thinking this would be his only hope at saving any bit of respect..."hey i'm sorry, I drunk texted the shit out of my customer"
  32. hopnado

    hopnado Initiate (0) Aug 13, 2014 Michigan

    sounds like someone's been drinkin with McIlhenney
    ChicagoGuy and Givemebeer like this.
  33. Tripel_Threat

    Tripel_Threat Poo-Bah (2,583) Jun 29, 2014 Michigan
    Society Trader

    Well, I now know of one more shithead who was told he was "special" one too many times. "Quirky asshole" is fine on TV. In real life, it's annoying.
    Duff27, fredmugs and DarkerTheBetter like this.
  34. _-_-Jason-_-_

    _-_-Jason-_-_ Initiate (0) Dec 18, 2014 New York

    I've had that attitude in the service industry, but I've always directed it towards my employer, not the customers. Owning / running a business isn't just a job to be taken and shoved.
    evilcatfish likes this.
  35. Benish

    Benish Meyvn (1,104) Mar 13, 2013 Wisconsin

    For spring break, my wife and I are taking a trip to San Diego. There's a handful of breweries I plan to visit - Stone, Modern Times, Pizza Port, Belching Beaver etc.. Alpine is not one of them. There's too many places to visit over there so its no loss. Their beer may be good but that attitude is plain terrible. If only the story OP presented is not true...but it looks like it is.
    jrnyc and parrotsnest like this.
  36. SoleBriety

    SoleBriety Zealot (563) Oct 10, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    I was up there this past Wednesday and picked up a few bottles and a growler and they were cool to me. Maybe it was because I'm a talkative person and like to shoot the shit. But I would have to agree with the customer service aspect. Word gets spread around very quickly, especially in a city like SD. They make excellent beer, but it can ruin their rep as a small town brewery since a lot of people I know especially in the east coast would love to get their hands on some of their beers.

    Hope your situations works out for you, OP.

    Sidenote: I would also dispute the charge if you paid by credit card.
  37. Benish

    Benish Meyvn (1,104) Mar 13, 2013 Wisconsin

    And I have to add, New Glarus has the BEST customer service. I'm not going to go into the story, but they really value their customers.
    Duff27, aubzachsyd, RobinLee and 2 others like this.
  38. jdaddy

    jdaddy Initiate (0) Nov 19, 2010 Pennsylvania

    Would like to clarify that I own my own very successful business not even remotely related to the beer industry. Employee "take this job and shove it" is quite different than owner "take this job and shove it". I am simply saying that the comments that I quoted showed that Alpine was quite tired of hearing "why beer not in my mouth, I deserve it!". When it comes to the "take this job and shove it" yes it is likely empowering to employees who want to jam their boss up. But remember, as we frequently rant, the customer is the boss. Thus if you own the company and your customer base is driving you nuts, well this is what happens.

    Not saying it is right or wrong. As someone else notes (and I stated in my snarky response) it appears Alpine may may have been a few beers involved in the response. I am on the east coast and happened to visit Alpine in September of 2014 and found no more dickish behaviour that I find anywhere else. In fact, rather pleasant people.
  39. kerry4porters

    kerry4porters Zealot (541) Dec 31, 2012 Arizona

    i detect no whining in the original message sent but whatever. It is fucked up to treat someone that way in general is called basic manners.
    russpowell and PA-Michigander like this.
  40. Tripel_Threat

    Tripel_Threat Poo-Bah (2,583) Jun 29, 2014 Michigan
    Society Trader

    I get the same feeling. Is there a popcorn beer to munch on that would be appropriate?

    EDIT: Well, ask and receive. There IS a popcorn beer:
    #80 Tripel_Threat, Jan 31, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2015
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.