Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Things Go Poorly With Coca-Cola

Today, Coke managed to garner three strikes in a single delivery. Last Thursday, I placed an order for Dr. No's, which Coke was to deliver today. I asked that they not deliver before noon, so that I could be there. I asked them to confirm price, so that I could write the check in advance. I asked them to verify the contents of the order--and in particular, to confirm that one of their new products (Slammers, a milk-based product designed to steal Yoo-Hoo's thunder) came in 24-bottle cases and not twelve.

I got to the store this morning at 11:30 and discovered that Coke was just leaving--strike one. I discovered that the price of the order was wrong--strike two. And I discovered that not only did they not deliver two cases of Fresca that I had ordered, but the Slammers came in twelve-pack cases, not 24 as the sales person had verified three times when we were on the phone--strike three.

Since we have a diverse group of customers and game players at the store, we try to maintain a balanced mix of diet and non-diet drinks. It would seem simple enough for Coke to deliver the right products (after all, they make the stuff...), but according to Matthew, the sales manager I spoke to this afternoon, that's absolutely beyond this mega-corporation's capabilities--and he seemed surprised that I would expect such accuracy. And finally, Coke takes no responsibility for inaccurate information given by its sales people while soliciting orders.

We had been in the process of pulling out a Pepsi cooler from our store in order to to exclusive with Coke, largely because of Pepsi's ineptitude. Since Coke seems no better, however, I'm beginning to think we should attempt to keep both, simply in hopes that two inept sweetened-water-vendors might add up to one ept sweetened-water-vendor.

Late note: Got an afternoon call from a sales manager: surely I could understand, she insisted, that with all the product Coke makes, they can't be expected to be able to fill all the orders at any given time, right? *sigh*

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