KFC Malaysia delivered my order after 5 hours and then took it back for refund
This may seem like a mild case compared to their infamous food-tampering and customer-hitting scandals that happened in the last 5 years, but it’s still one that customers need to be aware of. It was a simple problem, really, but somehow Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), one of the world’s biggest and most established fast food restaurant chains, didn’t seem to have a protocol or solution to handle such situations in a fair manner.
Here’s basically what happened — on 12 July 2016, more than 24 hours since the whole thing occurred but I’m still very angry about it;
1.00pm — Hungry for the first meal of the day (breakfast skipped), my dad and I decided to order from KFC Delivery Malaysia for the first time. I tried to make the order online via their website and already, it was off to a bad start. After filling up my particulars, the online registration failed due to server problem according to the pop-up error message. So I made my order via the hotline (1300-222-888) for 4 pieces of chicken a la carte. 2 for me, 2 for my dad.
2.00pm — After a full hour, the delivery finally arrived. My dad paid a total of RM21 and something cents by cash. But when we opened up the box, there were only 2 pieces of fried chickens. I still wasn’t angry yet at this point, thinking that I, too, made a mistake of not double checking before the delivery man rode off. I rang up the call centre again to tell them about the shortage. They said they’ll inform the assigned branch immediately and would deliver the remaining 2 pieces as soon as possible. So I told my dad not to wait and eat both of delivered ones first.
2.45pm — It still hasn’t arrived, it started raining, I had to leave to a meeting soon and I still haven’t eaten anything the whole day. I called up the hotline again to complain and they said they’re not sure why it hasn’t arrived but they’ll get the branch’s manager to give me a call within an hour. At this point, I was having a dilemma on whether to wait a little while more or to dress up and prepare for my meeting.
4.00pm — I was at my meeting with an empty stomach. Nobody from KFC called.
5.50pm — Meeting’s over, the 2 fully paid fried chickens were not delivered and nobody from KFC followed up my complaint. Were they ignoring in hopes that I’d just give up? Well, sorry but it wouldn’t work on all customers. I rang them up again, this time utterly frustrated, angry and of course, super hungry. And once again, I was promised that the manager of the delivery branch in charge would call me in 15 minutes. While waiting, I went to a nearby restaurant and bought dinner.
6.20pm — Nobody called. Instead, they delivered the chickens (my dad called to inform me, I wasn’t home yet). Outrageous. I ordered for lunch, and it came for dinner. Were they dictating my meal plans? So I called them up yet again to reason with them. This time they got an apparent supervising officer to speak to me. She explained that it’s her fault as she wasn’t aware that she had to notify the branch about my complaint. She apologised and assured that the branch’s manager will call me in 15 minutes to explain. I specifically told her that I would need more than just excuses. She said she understood. Hah. Some might still think, “Maybe this whiner’s just unlucky. Maybe it’s just this one time.” Well, read on.
6.40pm — A staff from the branch called, but he’s not the manager. He couldn’t speak any English so I tried my best to converse in my rusty BM. He pushed the blame on the rain and also the delivery call centre for failing to notify them about my order’s shortage. Made no sense. How could it be the rain’s fault when they weren’t even intending to deliver before the rain? He also seemed to have forgotten whose fault it was in the first place delivering the shortage. He tried to offer wedges as compensation AFTER I asked him how now, brown cow. Seriously? That’s all my time and the inconveniences caused are worth to KFC? He also didn’t seem to understand that it’s more than not okay to simply still deliver a person’s meal 5 hours late without asking. So I suggested them to refund instead. It’s funny how I actually had to suggest it to them as though it’s not already a typical, standard customer service practice for well established brands. He asked me to hold the line as he needed to ask his boss first. It sounded like he’s just beside him. In the end, a reluctant refund was offered for the 2 pieces of chickens (not all 4) excluding delivery charges. And so I agreed and assumed that the chickens were compensation. I begun eating them and gave the dinner meal I bought to my dad. I actually thought this was the end of it. Fat hopes! Or rather; no hope of getting fat on this day! Haha… Sorry, just trying to laugh the anger off.
7.30pm — Two men from KFC arrived on their delivery motorcycle, apparently sent by their boss, the mysterious KFC branch manager who couldn’t speak to this disappointed customer himself. They came to pass me the refund in cash (not vouchers)… and to TAKE BACK the chickens. So it’s either a literal refund where items have to be returned, or mere wedges as compensation for 5 hours+ of frustrations, inconveniences and hunger. I was so pissed off, I simply grabbed the money and gave them back whatever that’s left of the fried chickens dipped in ketchup. What were they going to do with them anyway? Reheat and reuse?
7.45pm — I called the delivery support again to give my final feedback without holding back. The officer in charge of this shift sounded far more insincere and clueless than the previous supervisor I spoke to. While I told her the whole story, it was mostly silence and heavy exhalation from her, giving me a sense of unwillingness to do her job and listen. She tried to get me to leave the feedback on their website instead. What’s the point of the feedback line of their call centre then? Nothing was offered to be done at all besides channeling this complaint to the branch manager, who was part of the problem. Her apologies were as seemingly empty as their customer service policy. It felt like my feedback was going to waste and so I went public by leaving some comments on their social media channel, but not a single reply was received. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s because they had worse complaints to worry about. I drove out to finally have a proper, full meal. Thank you for ruining my day, KFC.
One simple order faced problems with the delivery website (still couldn’t register today), support call centre, this particular branch and their core customer service policy. In my opinion, KFC should review their management, system, training and customer service policy or SOP. As a KFC customer since young, I hope the company would not leave these core issues unattended and only address other big PR crisis (after it happens).
Needless to say, this was the worst delivery service I’ve ever experienced. I’ve ordered for food delivery from other high-volume fast food chains countless times before and, although they weren’t perfect every time, they were NEVER as awful as this. If I made a similar complaint to these other chains, some would even call me back within 30 minutes to ensure that I’ve received my order. Also, some of these slightly late deliveries would come with unexpected compensations. Perhaps KFC should learn from their competitors for a change.
UPDATE (15 July 2016) — Yesterday, a few hours after this post was published and starting to get a bit viral, KFC Malaysia finally replied one of my comments on their Facebook Page requesting for my full name and contact number as they would like to speak to me directly. I told them if my feedback to the call centre was truly escalated, they would have had my name and number by now. Today, the KFC operations manager in charge of the branch gave me a call to hear me out, apologise and assure me that they would improve everything to hopefully prevent this from reoccurring again. He offered to compensate but I refused and said that it’s really not necessary anymore.
About a few hours later, KFC’s area manager came to my house along with the branch manager (it was actually a she, my mistake) and the delivery man to apologise in person and to give me a clearer picture of what went wrong that day. Apparently what they meant by the rain’s fault was that it affected their online communication system, which prevented the branch from getting the notification about my order’s shortage from the call centre. I guess the technology is similar to Astro’s satellite (ha-ha). But they did admit that they should’ve called before deciding to still deliver that 2 pieces of fried chickens, and that they shouldn’t have taken it back. They also said they are still investigating on this matter internally. As I have accepted their explanation and seemingly sincere apology, the area manager asked to take a photo with me and insisted that I accept their compensation of a big box of fried chickens along with the full refund (all 4 chickens + delivery charges)… and I got to keep the other RM9.10 they refunded that day.
And then about an hour later, the area manager called again to ask if I could remove this blog post. My response was of course not, I would not remove it but I would update it like what I’m doing now for readers to learn about the action that was taken by them. Judging by the other customers’ comments on KFC’s Facebook Page, it seems that I was not the first who’ve had such experience with their delivery services. I feel that a tell-all blog post like this is some times necessary to escalate such issues and to create urgency for big, busy businesses to improve on areas that they may have overlooked. Anyway, I look forward to experiencing the improvements in KFC Malaysia’s services.
FINAL UPDATE (15 April 2019) — A few months ago, the KFC branch nearby was closed down and that shop lot is now something else completely. If I were to guess, it might be due to the decline of business with food delivery companies now owning bigger piles of the market share and hence there’s no longer any use of a delivery branch. No idea what happened to it or if it would ever reopen in this area again in the future. I would certainly miss the times when it was a normal outlet and not a delivery branch. I had decades of fond memories there with friends and family =(