SERVICE WARS: We rate YOUR Competition!
See which one of your FAV'S pass the test! We are a group of 5 student set out to see how tough your competition really is? Who really has the TOTAL package, delivering the goods and/or services with overall excellent customer service! We see the ad's claiming to be better than their competitor, but are they?

*Each day a new set of competitors put to the test.
*CREATE AN ALMOST UNBELIEVABLE SITUATION: whether it be the frustrating customer who asks too many questions to the customer who just doesn't get it. See who handles it BEST!

Do you have a set of Competitors you want us to test? Do you have a unique idea for a situation you would like us to use or create? No matter how bizarre odd annoying it may seem let us know, those are the exact unique situations we want to create...TEST THE LIMITS!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I walked into Sephora and was immediately greeted by a very pleasant and pretty young woman. She welcomed me to the store and asked how I’m doing. I responded and proceeded to walk towards the nail polish section, specifically OPI. As I walked I noticed that part of the floor looked like it was under construction, it was all wood. I accidently walked right past the nail polish, as I past the cashier desk, two women were talking, one of them greeted me so I took the chance to ask where the OPI was. She then walked me to the section and left me. I had a tough time getting my stroller through the aisle, not because the aisle was too small but because there were some bags on the floor that I had to run over to get to my destination. I selected a color and made my purchase. The cashier wasn’t overly nice, but she was hardly rude. She smiled at appropriate times and sent me on my way.

Appearance… B Dope!

Cleanliness… D Step yo’ game up! Stepping over bags and walking on a wooden floor is not an ideal shopping experience

Friendly…B Dope!

Smiled/ Contact… B Dope! The women made their contact when necessary, I like that they let me make my choice and didn’t try to help me

Timeliness…A Tight! They were available to answer my question

Knowledgeable/ Solved my problem… A Tight! The employee walked me directly to where I needed to go

Value… C Ight! They could have done more to make me feel like they appreciated that I shopped in their store

Overall Satisfaction… B- Sephora lost a couple of points on appearance and doing a little more to thank me for going to the store

I walked into Ulta, no one said hi or acknowledged me when I walked in. I immediately was drawn to the display they had in the front for the OPI on sale. I spent about five minutes trying to decide on a color and still no one has spoken to me. I made a selection and began to wander the store, through all of the departments, not until we got to the salon area did anyone speak, she was busy with a client but made a point to compliment my daughter. So I made my way to the other side of the store and browsed through the other OPI options, waiting for someone to speak to me but no one ever did. So I decided to make my purchase. The cashier was not very friendly, she did say hi but they next time she spoke was to tell me my total. So I paid and left

Appearance… B Dope!

Cleanliness… A Off the hook!

Friendly… D Step yo’ game up!

Smiled/ Contact… F Unacceptable

Timeliness… C Ight!

Knowledgeable… N/A I didn’t get a real opportunity to ask any questions

Valued… F Unacceptable No one made a real effort to acknowledge me

Overall Satisfaction… D Step yo’ game up!

If we were rating appearance Ulta would win, but since we aren’t Sephora is the winner here.

Safeway vs Safeway

Safeway (Jackson St, Hayward CA)
I came in looking for a list of items that aren't easily found in a grocery store, and not a lot of people look for these items either. I asked for some assistance, but it took about 10 minutes before I could find someone to help me out. The guy helped me find a couple items, and then left me alone... I had to find the Liquid smoke and Agave Nectar on my own. The cashier was pretty grim looking and didn't say much... had to bag everything my self too.

Appearance= C iight... the store wasn't hella nasty, but it looked kinda shady.

Cleanliness= B- Dope there wasn't anything really out of place is which is to be expected in a grocery store. keeping stocked is one of their top priorities.

Friendly= D Step Yo Game Up, Everyone was pretty dead here... the guy who helped me wasn't too friendly either

Smiled/Contact=D Step Yo Game Up, Got very little eye contact from either of the people who helped me, and the closest thing to a smile I got was a quick grin when I looked at the cashier.

Timeliness- C = 10 minutes is a long time when you have a list of things u need, but definitely could have been worst, and the line was pretty short to pay.

Knowledgeable/ Solved my problem- C = iight could be more knowledgable about certain items, though I understand they aren't commonly seen.

Value- C = iight... the Safeway down on Foothill is much nicer.

Overall Satisfaction- C- = iight, They need to step up just a little more.

Safeway (La Playa St., San Francisco CA)

Everyone usually comes here for two reasons... Bonfire stuff, or use the bathroom. Coming from a bonfire, I've been a few times and I tell you, that line is ridiculous. The actual store isn't too bad... a little grimy if you ask me. But the people are really friendly and helpful. I'm sure they deal with a ridiculous amount of people too, so I'm sure they get annoyed of the constant complaints about the restrooms or stupid questions people ask. I managed to gather all the things I needed and they even gave me some good advice on cooking food over a bonfire.

Appearance- C = iight, grimy lookin, but not horrible.

Cleanliness- D= Step Yo Game Up, Seriously... that bathroom can be compared to one from a gas station.

Friendly- A = Awesome, I was very impressed with how they communicate with their customers.

Smiled/Contact -A-= Awesome, They were really on their shit.

Timeliness -B-= Dope, had to wait in line for a couple of min, but that was for the bathroom. The actual cashiers were pretty quick, but still friendly.

Knowledgeable/ Solved my problem - B= Dope, they really knew what I needed.

Value-B= Dope, it was worth it.

Overall Satisfaction- B = Dope, Better than it looks.

Overall, I guess Frendliness wins out again cause The Safeway on La Playa St. in San Francisco wins this round.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Macys VS Nordstrom

Macys (Dublin)
As I walked into the store I realized how many people they had working on the floor on a Saturday. There was no sale and it wasn't a particular "hot" shopping day. I picked a few items and immediately went up to talk to a representative. I asked many questions about the products I had. "Does this come in another color? What about another size? And could I try on these items?" The lady that helped was very nice and helpful giving me all the information I needed. As I went to purchase on the items, there are many places that you could find a register. I thought this was very nice to have because if you had another customer in front of you taking a long time you could easily go to another register. When I made it up to the register, the man that helped me wasn't very nice or friendly. He didn't ask me how I was doing or any friendly customer service questions that a customer would expect.


Appearance= B+ Dope, the store looked very nice but I did notice a good amount of clothes scattered every where.

Cleanliness= B- Dope, as I said before there were a lot of clothes that weren't hung up.

Friendly= C+ Ight, the first lady that helped me was great but the guy at the cash register not so much.

Smiled/Contact=C Ight, one representative was very friendly but the other one I dealt with was not.

Timeliness-B= Dope, a small wait.

Knowledgeable/ Solved my problem- B= Dope, helpful

Value-B= Dope, it was ok.

Overall Satisfaction- B = Dope, Macys had a decent customer experience.

Nordstrom (Dublin)

I had a really good experience with this store. I spoke with three customer respresentives and they all were very friendly. It just seemed that they wanted to be there, as opposed to Macys. They had very good eye contact with me which I think is key when communicating with a customer in person. If a worker is looking off into space or looking at the ground, it can make people feel not welcome. Also I found that they have a very rare return policy that I thought was great for customers. A customer can return an item they have bought at any time, condition, or time. I really don't know how they can afford to do this but that appealed to me. I think this would attract many more customers because a friendly return policy can do wonders for the company. Nordstorm was also very clean and had a welcoming environment.

Appearance- A-= Awesome, the place was well put together.

Cleanliness-A-= Awesome, very clean.

Friendly- A-= Awesome, I was very impressed with how they communicate with their customers.

Smiled/Contact -A-= Awesome, constant attention to the customer.

Timeliness -B-= Dope, had to wait in line for a couple of min.

Knowledgeable/ Solved my problem -C+= Ight, couldn't answer some of my questions.

Value-B= Dope, it was worth it.

Overall Satisfaction- B+ = Dope, way better than Macys

Even though I graded these two stores very closely, I enjoyed Nordstrom way more compared to Macys. They just had a better customer experience and very friendly representives.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

KFC vs Church's Chicken


In case you hadn't heard, the new Double Down sandwich has just come out at KFC. This abomination would surely kill me with its bacon and cheese, and two chicken patties, this breadless sandwich would surely be on everyone's "must try at least once in my life" list. I figured this would be a great chance to test out just how good they are at handling a large group of people. I gathered 7 of my close friends all eager to try the new sandwich at the KFC in Hayward off of Tennyson. We all came in and ordered the exact same thing, and waited for our 9 orders of Double Downs, I ordered an extra for my other friend. I ordered first, and received my order within 15 min... a little long in my opinion. unfortunately for my friends, I had gotten the last 2 double downs, and they weren't prepared for a large volume of orders... tsk tsk. They were relatively nice though, just very inattentive, although I admit, the drive through line was enormous. I tried to order some mashed potatoes on the side while I waited for the other orders, but it took about 5 minutes to get their attention even though there wasn't a line.

Appearance……..B Dope

Cleanliness …….A Tight

Friendly………… C+ Ight

Smiled/contact ……... C Ight

Timeliness....... D Step Yo Game Up

Knowledgeable…… C Ight

Value………………..F Whack!

Overall Satisfaction ………….. C Ight

KFC gets a C+. I thought the branch was really well put together but the employees were rather unprepared and inattentive.

Church's Chicken:

One of my favorite fast food Chicken joints, I decided to head on over and pick up some Chicken for a picnic with my friends. This time, we decided to go ahead and use the drive through at the Churches on Tennyson in Hayward. My friends wanted to get something two, but they only had card so we had to separate the orders. I ordered a family deal, and my friends go 2 large orders of biscuits. Unfortunately, they ran out of biscuits, and we were stuck waiting for a good 10 minutes in the car just for the biscuits. The guy was relatively monotone, and didn't really bring much in terms of personality. Although he wasn't rude, he wasn't exactly welcoming either.

Appearance…….. A- Tight

Cleanliness …….A- Tight

Friendly………… D Step Yo Game Up

Smiled/contact ……... D Step Yo Game Up

Timeliness………… D Step Yo Game Up

Knowledgeable…… C Ight

Value………………..B Dope

Overall Satisfaction ………….. C Ight

Church's Chicken gets a C-. They weren't very well stocked up on biscuits, but I'm sure they go fast, Church's biscuits are hella good. The attitude of the employee definitely needed work.

WINNER= KFC, although both had similar experiences, it was KFC's friendliness and attitude which made the difference, so Church's chicken... you gotta step yo game up.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Wells Fargo VS Chase Bank

Wells Fargo:

I walked into the Castro Valley branch of Wells Fargo and was immediately greeted by an employee at the door. This branch felt very comfortable and friendly. As I was standing in line to do some bank, a manager walked right up to me and asked to help with me my deposit. The manager, Sammy, took great care of me and seemed very professional. But little did i know what I was getting myself into. Once I sat down at his desk, he immediately started offering me to open new accounts and credit cards. It was getting to the point where it was getting frustrating and I just wanted to make my deposit and leave but Sammy keep prying. I understand that many of these large retail banks are required to meet quotas for the month but it almost made me want to close my account with them. I felt like I was in a used car dealership and this man was not caring really about me, the customer, but about meeting his sales quota. As I looked around the branch I did realize that is was very clean and friendly. It has a good vibe to it but Sammy was taking away from this experience. So when I eventually got done with my deposit I went to leave and i was again greeted at he door with a simple, "Have a nice day!"

Appearance……..B+ Dope

Cleanliness …….A Tight

Friendly………… C+ Ight

Smiled/contact ……... D Step Yo Game Up!

Timeliness....... B Dope

Knowledgeable…… B Dope

Value………………..F Whack!

Overall Satisfaction ………….. C+ Ight

Wells Fargo gets a C-. I thought the branch was really well put together but the manager constantly trying to get my to open a new credit card left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

Chase Bank:

I actually do not have an account with Chase, also in Castro Valley, but i was interested to see what they had to offer. I walked directly up to the teller and asked to for information on opening a new account. She actually looked at me weird and repeated what I said. I then realized that she barely spoke English. I then thought to myself, wow thats great Chase has a teller, basically the face and first interaction with their customers, that cannot understand me. I figured that she was new to the company so I asked to speak with someone else. I took a seat and waited 25 minutes to speak with another representative. Again I starting to feel frustrated with the bank already. The banker took me to his desk and started going over all the options that Chase has to offer. It was actually nice because I didn't feel pressured into opening an account or a credit card. The banker, I believe his name was Henry, really took his time with me and treated me in a professional matter. I eventually decided that I didn't want to open a account at this time and Henry was very understanding. He actually told me when I had any more questions to call him directly and gave me his business card. Then he stood up and shook my hand and walked me out of the building. I was very impressed with the service I received. When I was looking around the bank was very clean and a welcoming environment. I think that is very important to a bank because many people feel intimated by banks.

Appearance…….. A- Tight

Cleanliness …….A- Tight

Friendly…………A Tight

Smiled/contact ……... C+ Ight

Timeliness………… F Whack

Knowledgeable…… D Step yo’ game up

Value………………..B Dope

Overall Satisfaction ………….. B Dope

Chase gets a B because after the hassle with dealing with a teller that barely spoke English and waiting for 25 minutes, I thought highly of this branch. The friendliness and appliance really added to my overall experience

WINNER= Chase, The overall experience I had with them really put them over the top and made Wells Fargo look horrible. I am even considering closing my account with Wells fargo and opening one with Chase!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

When I walked into Wal_Mart, I was greeted like normal, with the employee offering me a basket and of course I accepted. I only had a few things to get so I went to the department that I neede, and of course the brand of diapers that I use for my daughter were all out. So i bought a differnet brand to get me through the next couple of days. So next I needed a day planner so while in that section I was comparing the different planners and in the middle of my shopping an employee says "excuse me" I move out of the way and she puts something on the shelf, but then she continues on to start tidying the planner section while I am standing behind her trying to make my decision. My patience was gone and I say "excuse me. Do you not see me standing here shopping? I am looking through these planners and you are very being very rude. That's such horrible customer service." So she moved out of the way and asked me if I needed help finding something... are you serious? So I was fed up and headed to the check out counter, the cashier barely said "hi" before she continued with her conversation with a fellow employee and only spoke to tell me the total.

Appearance…….. C- “ight!”

Cleanliness …….D- Step yo’ game up

Friendly………… F- Whack!

Smiled/contact ……... F- Whack!

Timeliness………… C- ‘ight!

Knowledgeable…… D- Step yo’ game up

Value………………..F- Whack!

Overall Satisfaction ………….. D- Step yo’ game up

Wal-Mart gets a D- they definitely need to get it together…. Prices aren’t everything; I can take my business elsewhere.


I headed to Target with just a few items on my list: milk, razors, and a water bottle. When I walked in there was nothing special, the employees and customers were going about their business, and so I continued into the store. After I picked up everything on my list and headed to the check out line I realized that I had left my wallet at home. So I head to the customer service area and ask the employee working that area if I can leave my basket because I had left my wallet at home. She seemed a little irritated because she said she would have to throw the milk away because it would be sitting out to long. I told her that I would put the milk back (but I wish she would have offered to put it back for me). She agreed to watch my basket until I returned. I run home grab my wallet and get back to Target. At the check out the cashier was very nice, she complimented my small tattoo and talked about getting her first one not too long ago. She rang me up and my shopping was done for now.

Appearance…….. C- ight! Looks like all the other stores

Cleanliness …….B- Dope!

Friendly………… B – Dope!

Smiled/contact ……... A - Tight

Timeliness………… B - Dope

Knowledgeable…… B - Dope

Value………………..B - Dope

Overall Satisfaction ………….. B – Dope!

Target gets a B other than the woman getting a little irritated at me about the milk I would say that the cashier made up for that with her compliment. The store was very clean, and I didn’t mind paying a little more for my items.