BA is emailing Cigar City

Reads 60856 • Replies 239 • Started Monday, February 1, 2010 7:41:07 PM CT

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beers 355 º places 72 º 20:33 Mon 2/1/2010

Originally posted by mtoast
Someone screen cap it before it get’s deleted, it’s all white screen of death for me.

Some dude emailed CC and said his buddy was going to be there in 10 days and wanted to know what was going to be on tap. Joey responded 6 days later and said "Sorry, can’t project that far."

The dude wrote back, "Since it took you 6 days to respond, you only need to look 4 days ahead, oh, and by the way, you need some work on your customer service."

Joey wrote back an epic response that just needs to be read.

Then the rest is people taking sides. Pretty good stuff.

beers 434 º 20:36 Mon 2/1/2010

Originally posted by FlssmrBrewAlum
I especially enjoyed the couple BAers that said they were rethinking their stance on going to the Rattle n Hum event.. As if it would be empty and the beers wouldn’t sell out all that night without them..

Where are you getting this sense of entitlement from the original e-mail? I’ll take your word for it that their tap list is on their blog, but then wouldn’t it have been 10x easier and much better customer service to just tell him to check the blog for the most updated list? I realize Joey has been ill and the work load tremendous, but how anyone could think his responses were appropriate shows extreme bias. I’ve traded with Joey, I like Joey, but I think he could have gone about this much better.

beers 7203 º places 442 º 20:37 Mon 2/1/2010

Originally posted by illinismitty
Sorry guys. I think Joey was unprofessional. The original post was polite and he was trying to acquire beer. If that were you trying to get growlers and a brewer treated you like that, you would all be bashing the brewery.

Look at the abuse Tomme took for not responding over flat beer. Everyone demanded more professionalism from him. Imagine if he had responded to you in the same tone and told you all that he did not want your business.

BA hate aside, I am rather surprised Joey took that kind of tone being that he is now the president of a professional brewery.

The original reply was professional, just not good enough

beers 7203 º places 442 º 20:39 Mon 2/1/2010

Also, anyone who takes the time to email a new brewery should be aware of what a small operation it is, and be mindful of the demands on the time of the owner. And if a guy is too inexperienced to know these things, he ought to assume he doesn’t know and all the relevant facts.

I have had several cigar city beers i didn’t like, but Joe did nothing wrong here.

beers 2271 º places 279 º 20:41 Mon 2/1/2010

Originally posted by ajm
Originally posted by kryptic
I’m busy and don’t have time for customer service. Since I’m so busy, let me sit down and write you a 20 paragraph essay about how busy I am.


I’ve never managed a brewery, is it common to get email questions asking you over and over what’s on tap next? Is it difficult because you don’t know what’s ready next? Or because you don’t know what will run out when?

Or is it just annoying when you put it all online and nobody reads it?

how hard would it be for Joey to send him a polite email with a link to the blog? The guy was wanting to purchase beer. Maybe something like "thank you for contacting us. Please visit our blog to find out about our tap selection."

That guy was right. Customer service was shitty. Customer service is never about who is right or wrong. It’s about making things right with the customer.

beers 612 º places 4 º 20:41 Mon 2/1/2010

Here’s the whole original post (just copied and pasted)

---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ----
(Posted by "Koopa")

Ok I need a sanity check here. Take a peek at this email chain btw myself and the owner of Cigar City Brewing in lovely Tampa Florida. It’s always nice to know how much they DON’T care about the customers who have helped support them along the way...

On Jan 24, 2010 12:33 PM, <Dennis> wrote:

Greetings CCB Team,

I have a friend who will be visiting Tampa next week and has been kind enough to offer to bring me back a few Cigar City offerings. I’ve visited the website and have taken note of what is currently on tap. Could you let me know what is expected to be or what possibly will be available for the next 10 days? I’d be interested in knowing about on tap selections for growler fill (mainly special treatments of core brands, seasonal growler fills, limited release growler fills) and about any bottle releases that will be available at the tasting room. Keep up the great work and I’ll keep buying, drinking, and praising you for it!

--- Forwarded Message ----
From: Joseph J M Redner <XXX>
To: _ Dennis
Sent: Sat, January 30, 2010 8:58:52 PM
Subject: Re: Offerings for the next 10 days

Unfortunately we Can’t project that far out.

--- Forwarded Message ----
From: Dennis
To: Joseph J M Redner <XXX>
Sent: Sun, January 31, 2010 6:30:26 PM
Subject: Re: Offerings for the next 10 days

Considering it took you 6 days to reply to my email, you would have only needed to project what would have been offered for 4 days time to help me here. So all you had to tell me was what is available on tap now and what kegs were "on deck" for the next round of tappings but oh well, never mind.

Keep up the good brewing (and work on your customer service a bit eh)

beers 612 º places 4 º 20:42 Mon 2/1/2010

--- Forwarded Message ----
From: Joseph J M Redner <XXX>
To: Dennis
Sent: Sun, January 31, 2010 9:15:31 PM
Subject: Re: Offerings for the next 10 days

I will never get sick again. You have my guarantee of that. Now if you can convince all manner of bacteria, virus and other forms of contagion to cooperate then you’ll be assured of more timely email replies in the future. If you can’t then you’ll just have to accept the fact that you are dealing with a tiny 4 employee company that in our current stage of development is utterly incapable of providing the kind of immediate and professional customer service which you’ll find at large businesses, multi-nationals, faceless regional chains and just about any business that has more than a year of operating under their belt. It’s just who we are right now. Try to accept us, warts and all.

And if you enjoy our products you might consider that the uniqueness of their result is an extension of how we approach the world and brewing. We could brew our beer faster instead of taking nearly a month or more on some batches, which would make it much cheaper. We could make it more affordable still by lowering the quality of our sometimes absurdly expensive raw ingredients. And we could provide better more timely customer service by hiring a 5th employee to handle all customer related inquiries and outreach instead of leaving it to the owner who puts in 70 hour work weeks regularly and still does 40 hour work weeks even when ill. That would get your email answered faster, but raise the price of our already high priced beer.

Or the owner, who answers 95% of all comapny related emails, so his brewers can brew) could neglect the production side of the operation which pays 90% of the bills, he could put on hold expansion plans, accounting, payroll, all ordering ranging from grain, hops, glass, yeast, chemicals, growlers, new tanks and the never ending demand for spare parts to merchandise, marketing materials and the like and then our lazy, shiftless owener could place on the back burner gallonage reporting to state and federal agencies, label approval, new label design manufacture, the 50+ in-depth emails he must answer daily from 5 different distributors and their various employees and he could certainly stop replying to the various festival and event organizers that contact him nearly daily along with the multitude of media outlets offering free publicity to a company with a media marketing budget that amounts to trading gopher pelts and wampum! The owner could stop having employee meetings to discuss growth, sustainable production goals and stop constantly reviewing equipment and raw ingredients sourcing all in the hope of trying to knock a few bucks off the bottom line in an attempt to squeeze a few cents profit out of his fledgling company.

He could do that and if he doesn’t ever get sick to the point that the mere smell of sustenace giving things like bread make him hurl bloody vomit, your emails will get answered in a much more timely fashion. Or, if you have the time, you could just chill out a little and hope we get our act together one day and are able to to reply to every one of the 1000+ unique emails said owner receives on a weekly basis.

If you can’t continue to support us because your email got returned 6 days after you sent it, I certainly understand.

beers 612 º places 4 º 20:42 Mon 2/1/2010

--- Forwarded Message ----
From: Dennis
To: Joseph J M Redner <XXX>
Sent: Mon, February 1, 2010 7:39:33 AM
Subject: Re: Offerings for the next 10 days

Hi Joe,

Please keep in mind you failed to advise me that you were sick when you sent your original response of:

"Unfortunately we Can’t project that far out."

So I don’t think its proper to chastise me AFTER THE FACT with your defensive position the second go around. I was being sincere when I advised that you guys do a great job brewing and I was sincere when I pointed out that you have room to grow when it comes to customer service. Never did I even come close to mentioning that the sub-par customer service I had received would make me choose not to support your brewery.

Now you could have either been a responsible businessman and thanked me for the constructive criticism or you could have got defensive and turned this into an animosity based argument with a customer (never a savvy idea). Your latest response shows that you went with the latter. That means that either you are still sick and crabby (which I can completely understand now that you have advised me that you are sick...I am an empathetic person as I MANAGE a customer service team for two international luxury automotive brands) or that you can’t take 9 words of "critiquing" which you could stand to benefit from if you didn’t take it as criticism. So again work on the customer service a bit and keep up the excellent brewing.

I hope you feel better soon,

--- Forwarded Message ----
From: Joseph J M Redner <XXX>
To: Dennis
Sent: Mon, February 1, 2010 10:21:39 AM
Subject: Re: Offerings for the next 10 days

I think you’ll be happier buying your beer from Redhook or someone similar. Their customer service tastes so awesome! I am choosing to take the business path that is much less traveled and sincerely say, Dennis I do not want your business. And I encourage you not to do business with me.

beers 2175 º places 48 º 20:43 Mon 2/1/2010

I think we should all put down our Angry Guns of Hate and just project a feeling-wave of LOVE to our soul-hurting brothers at Beer Aristocrat.

beers 479 º places 13 º 20:44 Mon 2/1/2010

I have to say I think Joey was out of line. Poor customer service. He couldn’t take the time to respond to the guy’s original email in a friendly manner, he sent him a 7 word dismissive response. Then when the dude calls him on it, he takes the time to write a sarcastic novel to the guy about how busy he is and can’t answer emails. Then he tells him to kiss off and he doesn’t want his business.

Poorly played by Joey.