Dear Golden Lanes

I realize you’re busy on a Friday night.  That’s why I called two months ago and asked to reserve ten lanes for Friday, May 14th.  I told the woman that we were inviting more than 50 people, and when she asked me to call a week before the party to give her a final head count, I congenially agreed — because I understand that you’re trying to efficiently run a business.

But then I called back on the 7th — one week before the party as agreed two months prior — and the same woman told me that ten lanes could be a problem because there were two leagues scheduled to start the same night, and she had me down as having only twelve people.

Can someone at your facility tell me how you get “I’m expecting 12 people” from “I want to reserve 10 lanes”?  The math of one person per lane doesn’t even spread out correctly.  Do your employees take the reservations over the phone while sitting under the lanes where the pins are struck?  Are they sniffing too much of that disinfectant you spray to sanitize those hideous shoes (with HORRIBLE support, by the way)?

But the woman taking the reservation appeared as if she were trying to work with me.  “What time are you going to be here?” she asked, even though I told her on the first phone call two months ago that we’d be there at 7:00.  I told her (again) 7:00.

“Well, we’ll have eight lanes open at that time, and two more should open pretty soon after 7:00,” she told me.

That worked for me because I know that not everyone would be there right at 7:00.  So with that oversight forgiven, my husband and I showed up to the bowling alley at 6:45 on the 14th, but we walk up to the counter, and the guy tells us that you had us down for eight lanes at 8:00!

One mistake is okay — not great, but understandable — but to get the number of lanes wrong (AGAIN!) PLUS get the wrong time (AGAIN!) after I told your people TWICE that it was 7:00 is inconceivable! (And trust me, I know what that word means!)

Then, when I paused for a split second to take in yet another screw-up, some woman butts in with a half-hearted apology for interrupting with an excuse of “I’m just trying to get my league started,” (I’ll address you in another letter, Ms. McNomanners!) and the desk guy stops our conversation to help her!  Does no one there understand the concept of a line?

So when your desk guy decides to come back to us, he tells us that he can put four lanes together and add the other four as they open up, but your policy is to keep a two-lane buffer between league lanes.  Why? Cooties?

He tries to smooth things over by giving us a $10 rate for2 hours plus rental of the lovely shoes, so some of us go to the counter to pay, but guess what?  You STILL don’t take debit/credit cards, AND your ATM is out of order.  So some of our guests have to go get cash, and it is at this point we learn that EVERYONE must be here and be ready to bowl before the two hours start.  But wait, can’t some of us do the two-hour rate and some pay by game?  “Nope,” says your desk guy, “it has to be everyone or no one.”

Well, thanks, Golden Lanes, your employees are a HUGE help!

We all decide that we’d rather play by game because not all of our guests have shown up, so we start bowling on our four lanes at around 7:30.  As expected, some people show up late, as in after 8:00, but some lanes next to ours have opened up.  Our newly arrived guests go up to the counter to be added onto those open lanes only to be told that the lanes HAVE BEEN GIVEN AWAY.

Really. Really?  Are you freakin’ kidding me?

I have never seen such an incredible clusterfuck of customer service in my life!  What was the use in my calling for a reservation if all your people were just going to completely screw it up or completely ignore it?

And there was no talking to the manager about it because he was stuck up Ms. McNomanners ass with her stupid league the whole evening, catering to their every need.  Were we going to spend as much money as they were? No, I know we weren’t.

But I tell you what I decided to do.  Since there was no contact e-mail available on your Website? I decided to write this lovely letter and post it on MY Website — where it will show up in Google searches when people look up Golden Lanes in Simpsonville, SC.  They will see the story of this lousy experience, and they will read my recommendation that your staff’s organization and customer service skills suck harder than heavy duty shop vac and that I will NEVER. EVER. Step foot in your business again.

And, hopefully, they’ll avoid you like the freakin’ plague.


A Chick Who Understands Social Media and Therefore Should Never Be Pissed Off


Thoughts, anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

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