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How a Pumpkin Spice Latte Experience at Tim Horton’s Provoked Facebook Fighting

Oct 28, 2017


“Shut the hell up”

“Are you seriously bitching about something so trivial…?”

“Omg… the world is coming to an end”

These are the comments evoked by my pumpkin spice latte experience. The nerve that I would dare speak of such an experience. How dare I.  

It began back at the Tim Horton’s drive thru speaker where I ordered a medium pumpkin spice latte; decaf, please.

“We don’t have decaf,” the speaker squawked back.

Odd. It’s a coffee place. Their big thing is coffee, and they don’t have decaf kicking around anywhere that they could make a latte with? Starbucks knew how to do that…

“Uh, okay…” I said, “Hmm. Okay, let’s try to minimize the effects the caffeine while still getting my wife her latte. Let’s try a small. That should pack less punch, right?” I smiled at the speaker.

“We don’t have smalls,” she said robotically, “just mediums.”

Was she serious? No smalls, no decaf, and no helping me problem solve? And this was supposed to pass for customer service?

“Really?” I asked, “Wow. Okay, thanks anyway. I’m going to head to Starbucks instead. I know they have decaf over there. And smalls, too.”

If you’ve read my blog for a while, you already know I’m a zealous advocate for excellent customer service in every industry, including my own. When excellence is demonstrated, I am profusely grateful, tip well, and shout it from the roof tops. When service is subpar, offensive, or ends up risking my life, I shout that from the roof tops, too.

So I later posted the disappointing Tim Horton’s experience to Facebook.

The response was surprising.

“Shut up”

“Are you seriously bitching about something so trivial…?”

“Wow. First world problems…!”


How did wanting excellent customer service and a small size of decaf become an issue of First World guilt or unabashed entitlement?

As a consumer rights advocate, I was shocked by the loud and abraisive push to maintain the status quo of poor service.

Shut up and take it! Crappy service is normal, so just deal with it!”

“Everyone’s service sucks. Why should Tim Horton’s be any different?”

At least, that’s what I heard.

Here’s what you need to know: you don’t owe your dollar to anyone.

Your hard earned, highly taxed dollar is actually a vote that you cast with each purchase you make.

If you like to have unbending staff refuse to help you, it seems Tim Hortons is the place to go. Give them your money and show support for poor service. Vote with your dollars what kind of products and service you want.

If you believe you are powerless against big stores who want to take your money and give little service, you’re wrong. You are not a slave to whatever service is available. You get to choose.

There’s no reason to feel guilty about living in a First World country and having options.

There’s no reason to “shut up” and “deal with it” when ANY company in a service industry gives you crappy service.  … they’re in the SERVICE industry. They’re SUPPOSED to SERVE. And when they don’t, as the consumer, be empowered by knowing that


your money.


Your dollar is your vote.

Luckily, there are LOTS of candidates to choose from.

I took my vote elsewhere that day, but also challenge others to thoughtfully spend their votes.

Expect more, not less.


What kind of products and customer service will you vote for?



Category: Customer Service