Porn, Trolls and Grossness: Our Year in Review

At the end of every year, companies tend to publish reports. Sometimes they are obtuse financial reports, other times fun infographics or top ten lists and summary stats. But the common thread is that they are usually interesting to no one outside of the company and a few bored reporters stuck on desk duty on the last week of the year.

The purpose of these is typically to show how the company’s “numbers” grew. Well, we could do that too: the response rate by businesses to customer messages has more than doubled in the past year; the total number of conversations has grown by 50%; and the number of claimed business has nearly doubled since 2014 – Are you bored yet?

Wouldn’t it be more fun to explore a different take on numbers? Here are our most exciting numbers of 2015, as they relate to actual messages delivered to businesses by OwnerListens:

 

The 1 that grossed us out the most

I ate tomorrow nights leftovers that I had previously taken home from your restaurant. in the process of re-warming, a green liquid poured out of the cells in the patty. What do you make your burgers with?

There’s a lesson here boys and girls: never, ever, eat tomorrow night’s leftovers…

GreenSlimeBowl

Green slime for dinner, anyone?

 

2 cents, or the one that grossed us out the second most

Did your mother teach you to not pick up food with your hands? Evidently that lesson hasn’t reached everyone yet.

Today when I was paying for my yogurt at the cash register and the cashier handed me back my change, two pennies dropped on my yogurt. Me and the cashier were both kind of shocked for a second, then he took the two coins out of my yogurt with his finger, put them back and gave me two new pennies and said something like “hehe I’ll give you two new ones”. I don’t mind what he said, but I’m pretty upset that he didn’t offer to change my food or at least, use a spoon to scoop off the dirty part that the coins touched. I guess his fingers didn’t touch the yogurt, but I still feel uncomfortable with that.

Yuck!

coins

You’ll never really know what these coins have been through

 

12 Dollars, or the takeout disasters that make us sad

Takeout is awesome because it’s convenient, offers variety, and is much easier than cooking. Plus, it satisfies our need for speedy satisfaction. On your way home with the carefully wrapped dish in tow, the aroma fills the air in your car or the bus/train (making fellow passengers hungry too). You can almost taste it already. By the time you open the door to your place, you can barely contain yourself. You rip open the package, shuffle through the bag for a fork, maybe you use a plate, maybe not (we don’t judge), and dig in! Finally. Culinary bliss.

Then, disaster strikes. They messed up your order! You told them over the phone no mayo, or extra sauce but there it is. Something you didn’t order or something missing or worse, done wrong.

You’re not alone! Errors in takeout and delivery are the most common issue plaguing food and beverage businesses. While none of them are true disasters in the grand scheme of things, they do cause countless frustrations and annoyance that drive customers away.

“Wow. I am so sad. I used to order take out from y’all all the time after work. Now, after working 13 hours in the ICU I call my order in. And as always ask for extra sauce. When I pick up my $12 pasta dish they have forgotten my side of sauce, so I remind them. The bar then brings me out a tiny 1 oz side of sauce, and assures me they put extra sauce on my dish. Great. I come home to this…. I am too tired to drive back; and for $12, this is ridiculous. The service has only gotten worse over the past six months; and now I’m out a dinner and $12. I normally don’t write but it’s only gotten worse and worse the past 6 months.”

“This was the worst service I’ve  had in a long time. Nothing was correct. All three hamburgers were made incorrect. I purposely went inside rather than going thru the drive thru. The cost was $15.16 which is not a cheap meal. Got home which is a long way from the restaurant, then discovered all sandwiches were made incorrect. Not even close to how I ordered them.”

“Twice in two weeks I have ordered chili 5 way with extra onions on the side, and twice I got home to find a bunch of chopped onion on my meal instead of on the side!!”

“You forgot pita bread. Again!”

These kind of messages break our heart because these situations are so easily avoided. If only these restaurants moved to ordering via text messages. They’ll have clear written instructions about every order, they could hold employees who make mistakes accountable, and they could communicate with customers to resolve errors quickly.

So c’mon restaurants (and restaurateurs), stop making hungry customers sad. Stop making the OwnerListens team sad. Use texting to take orders and bring more joy to the world (and more $$$ to your business)

sandwich_no_meat

Pretty sure you forgot something in my order

 

160 messages, or the Chipotle obsession

Until its recent troubles, Chipotle enjoyed a largely positive reputation, particularly amongst millennials who appreciated the marriage of social responsibility with fast food. But one OwnerListens user definitely disagrees.

This user sent a whopping 160 spam messages to various Chipotle locations in California in the span of 8 weeks. These aren’t ordinary spam messages, these are messages with impressive, yet peculiar, regularity. Every Monday, 20 different Chipotle locations, receive a paragraph of useless text from this guy/gal/robot. Every week messages are sent to different locations, although always on the West Coast. Every week the message is different. There is no rhyme or reason to the actual message and the email/phone numbers included for questions is unresponsive. Every message comes from a different source account that is then never used again (and is blocked by our system automatically anyways).

Our spam filter catches these messages pretty easily. They are never delivered to unsuspecting Chipotle managers across the country (you’re welcome managers!), but every Monday we know they’re coming. Every Monday we look them over in case there’s a clue as to why they’re being sent, who is behind them, and what he/she wants. So far, no luck. Maybe next year…

Chipotle spammer – if you’re reading this:

Why Monday?

Why Chipotle?

Why West Coast?  

Why 20?

What the hell is your point?

Chipotle meals on us for a month if you reach out, identify yourself and answer those questions for us.

Troll

Chipotle troll – Show yourself!

 

27 applicants, or the one with the porn star

Safe Contact Form by OwnerListens is a secure and private contact form for Wix websites (similar to the OwnerListens app). Customers can submit a message and receive a reply without providing any personal information.

We built the Safe Contact Form so people would feel comfortable reaching out to a business without having to identify themselves, and still be able to get a reply. We had in mind sensitive services like counseling and therapy. We thought about customers looking for pricing info but dreading being harassed by salespeople later. We imagined sending anonymous feedback about the bartender’s hygiene to your favorite bar when you don’t want spit in your drink on your next visit. That’s all we had in mind, we swear.  

It turns out, anonymous messaging is also very useful if you happen to be a porn star and are running a competition titled “[rhymes with duck] a fan”. One fairly well known adult film actress used the Safe Contact Form by OwnerListens to collect entries from fans who want to star in an adult film with her. She got 27 submissions in the first day (from men AND women) and they all included photos.

We do not know who won, or if the film was ever shot, but what an eye opener for us! Maybe we should start advertising in the adult film community, we thought. Then came Lucas…  

cute-kitten-saying-hello

We know you wanted a pic of the porn star but we’re going to pass on that for obvious reasons. Here’s a cute kitten instead.

 

45 Dollars for 15 Minutes, or the one that made us go “euch” [Warning: NSFW or minors]

It turns out we didn’t need to advertise. Word got out. Forty five dollars is the price of a fifteen minute show by a business owner who uses our anonymous Safe Contact Form Wix app to take reservations for live cam performances. Yet another creative use case we never imagined ourselves. Lucas, if you’re reading this, kudos to you.

Abs

There are no photos on Lucas’s website. We assume this is what his abs look like.

 

6,085 words, or the one that went on and on. And on and on

The longest message OwnerListens delivered this year had 6,085 words. The message included a transcript of nearly two hours of a multi-participant chat session that took place on an idle Tuesday between 1:18-3:10 AM.

The business this was sent to is no longer around. Perhaps when your customers feel so strongly about your service that they spend time writing you over six thousand words, that’s a signal you’re in the wrong business.

blahblahblah

If you want a quick reply, get to the point already

 

9,150 businesses, or the one that makes us happiest

There are now 9,150 businesses using OwnerListens to message with their customers, up from 5,500 at the end of last year. Thank you all. We love you! Let’s have a great 2016!

OLThankyoudl

 

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