Down with my Baskin-Robbins

I love ice cream. I mean, I really love ice cream. I prefer it slightly melted and soft on the inside, almost like a really hard milk shake. I should have a sort serve machine in my kitchen. My birthday is around the corner. I'm putting a soft serve ice cream machine on my list.

Today I was helping out a flu inflicted neighbor. I figured that with the two extra boys, and my niece, a visit to Baskin-Robbins for a "Dollar a Scoop Tuesday" was in order. I had 5 children at the time, and a ten dollar bill - perfect.

We drove to the nearest Baskin-Robbins and I immediately noticed the "One Dollar Tuesday" sign hanging in front of the store. I also noticed that someone had taken a piece of paper, written $1.99 in Sharpie pen, and taped it over the $1.00 amount which was originally posted. In utter disbelief, I ran into the store to ask the cashier if the sign was correct and if they were charging $1.99 while every other store was charging $1.00. She nodded. I told her that I was sorely disappointed and was taking my business elsewhere.

She then informed me that each store is allowed to charge their own amount. So, how much was her store charging? Ten cents less than normal? I was not happy. I drove to the Rite Aid store and bought five single scoops of ice cream for $5.35. Perfect.

I called Baskin-Robbins' corporate office to report my outrage and, just like the cashier, they told me that each store has a different owner and can charge any amount they want to. Let me get this right. A nation-wide campaign called "One Dollar Tuesday" is limited only to those who choose to participate?

Down with my Baskin-Robbins. That is the bottom line. I must find a Baskins-Robbins who sticks to the rules, oh, and believes in customer service.


Anonymous said…
Hi! My name is Gary Pahl and I work for Baskin Robbins corp. I read your blog about the $1.00 scoop Tuesday incident. I apologize for the problem you had at this store. Our intention is to have a national event that everyone participates in with no surprises. I would like to look further into the matter and have the operations manager for the area visit the store. If you could give me the location, I can reach out to the right owner and OM. In the meantime, I'd like to persuade you to give us another chance by sending you some gift certificate redeemable at any Baskin Robbins Ice Cream Shop. Just give me your address to send to.
Once again, Linda, I am sorry you had this experience and hope you will try us again. (psst - keep an eye out for our brand new "soft serv" menu coming soon to your area!)
Gary Pahl
Baskin Robbins, Inc.
Sarah Markley said…
Wow. I have no words. I like B&R, but maybe I will stick to Coldstone from now on.
Erin said…
I was planning on leaving a comment to say that I was also going to boycott BR because things like that make me soooooooo mad, especially pregnant...don't mess with my snacks and my money at the same time when I'm pregnant! But if this Baskin Robbins representative is willing to persuade your blog readers with gift certificates as, that's a different story.

just kidding :)
Becoming Me said…
The store owners are making a mistake...certainly they would make more money if they follow the campaign. Being frugal is wise, being stingy is not.
Anonymous said…
Linda, I read your post with great interest. And although I received horrible treatment when I contacted B&R "customer care", my issue here is less about their product than their apparent company philosophy as reflected in their current television commercials; A grandfather changing the grade on a child's school paper, parents lying, a grandmother lying also...just so they can go to B&R. These are authority figures acting improperly, willing to say and do anything just to get what they want. That is not a proper lessons to be taught to our children. As a Christian, surely you agree that the reason this country is so morally bankrupt (and, by extension, why a B&R store can treat you so badly when you call them to task) because companies like B&R help perpetuate moral-less behavior.

I will not support this company as long as they make lying and cheating an honorable practice.
john said…
All of the complaints I read, pale in comparison to mine. How about the latest commercial, showing a grown man powerhosing a little boy. I've been in that little boy's shoes as a child and it is NOT funny. By the way; If they had used a little girl instead, they'd be kicked off the air!
john said…
Shame on BR for showing a little boy getting powerhosed by an adult. I've been there as a child and it is NOT funny. By the way; if they powerhosed a little girl, they'd get kicked off the airwaves. It's all wrong.
Anonymous said…
I was searching for Baskin’s corporate number (again) and found your post. I also had a bad experience with a local Baskins. I ordered an ice cream cake over the phone for a corporate birthday party. The person on the phone kept referring to the cake as a “1/2 sheet”. Now, I was a wedding cake baker/decorator for years, so I know that the industry standard for a ¼ sheet is roughly like the homemaker’s 9/13 sheet pan, so a ½ sheet would be twice that size.

To my shock, when I went in to pick the cake up, it was the smallest looking sheet cake I’ve ever seen!! When I questioned the sales person (she was only the cashier) she said that was “Baskin’s ½ sheet”, and suggested that I go to Walmarts and buy some cookies to supplement the cake! I had no choice but to pay for it (over $30.00!!!) and take it in to work since I ran the errand at the end of my lunch period and the event was about to start.

I called Baskin’s corporate office and was told exactly the same information you were told (about there being individual owners and there was nothing they could do), but she would expedite a message to the owner to call me on my cell phone before the party. I did not hear from the owner, and someone ran out to purchase an additional cake from the grocery store. Ten days later the employee who took the original order called me saying she had a memo that said I was accusing them of dishonest practices. She was very defensive and I told her I thought she was! I said that anyone who is not in the “Baskin culture” would not know that ¼ sheet does not mean about 9x13 because that is the industry standard for sheet cakes. I also made a point to tell her that everyone I worked with couldn’t believe that this happened and was saying that they would never go to Baskins but would go to Dairy Queen instead. Since this was very negative publicity, I thought they might like to know. She switched gears and started apologizing for any inconvenience, etc. etc. She said that she’d tell the owner this information and ask him to call me…I still have not heard from anyone.

Baskin’s corporate statement, which the customer service rep repeats when you call doesn’t hold water. They can make excuses and pass the buck, saying that the stores are “privately owned” and try to blame someone else, but as long as they have the Baskin’s name on the sign, that’s who’s going to get the bad publicity.
Anonymous said…
I dont like the operation manager who named JXXXX so fracking picky in the store.
Anonymous said…
Ice Cream cakes are 1/4 scale.. A baskin full sheet cake aka party size is a bakery 1/4 sheet. Phone orders lead to the confusion. Keep in mind the cakes are double height. A half sheet ice cream cake is built on a 1/8 cake. Avoid these terms and inquire how many servings you need. Use the lower number in the range the baskin store gives you.
Anonymous said…
Hi, my name is Jennifer and I have worked at Baskin Robbins for almost 5 years now. I can see that this post was a couple years ago so I'm not sure if it was still in the promotional period or not, but as I recall, the dollar scoop tuesday was only supposed to be temporary, as a promotion to celebrate one of Baskin Robbins' anniversaries. My store does not participate any more, but I know of a couple that still do. But either way, that store that changed the price to $1.99, that is just tacky. Either participate in the promotion 100% or not at all.

To the person who got angry about the 1/2 sheet cake. At Baskin Robbins it is called a 1/2 sheet. That is what we are taught as employees and that is how Baskin Robbins defines it. I have to deal with people who get angry because they ordered over the phone and expected something bigger, but I guess that is just a lesson to ask about serving sizes, how big the cake actually is, or just to come in to the store in person to see what you are paying for. It was not the employee's fault that the cake size did not meet your expectations. Not everyone knows the industry standard for cake sizes.
Calling the corporate office in that case does not seem to have a point because if you go into any Baskin Robbins, it is called a 1/2 sheet. The fact that each store is individually owned has nothing to do with that so I don't know why the office even brought that up (althought I agree it was probably just to end the topic)

All I am trying to say, from a Baskin Robbins employee's perspective, is that it is really frustrating when customers get angry with me because they did not look into what they were buying.