Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Time to scratch Hoppy Brewing Company off your list

It kills me to write this post, as I have enjoyed some good meals and PLENTY of good drink at local hangout Hoppy Brewing Company, but a business is not just based on the quality of the product - there is also the manner in which a business treats its customers.  In this area, Hoppy might as well be urinating in the beer.

The following is an account of a less-than-pleasant encounter with the Hoppy Brewing Company owner/CEO that was posted on Facebook by some friends of my wife and mine.  We attend the same church; see each other often at our local athletic club; and we meet for dinner when we are able to secure a babysitter.  I have received permission from these friends to post their Facebook narrative, and I have deleted the names for privacy purposes.

First, here is the Facebook post our friends sent out, and then I will post the Hoppy response:
Unfortunately, we've had a bad customer service experience with Hoppy Brewing Company. [Our son] left his DSi case at Hoppy on a Sunday, and we didn't realize it until Monday. When I phoned, there was some "hinkiness" on the phone regarding whether it was found or not, so [my husband] pursued it. He discovered that the manager picked up the case (with games and powercord) and put it in their "lost and found." Then it went missing AFTER they found it. We pursued, because obviously, ONE OF THE EMPLOYEES is a THIEF. If they had not revealed that it had been found and then lost again, this would simply be a hard lesson for [our son] (as it still is) since we aren't replacing it, but we felt there should be some recompense (at least, a formal apology, at most some comps to ensure our business) and instead we received the following note. They have lost our business permanently (the sad part being that we enjoy going there.) They willingly employ and protect a thief. They are willing to alienate us as customers and risk those connected to us. A formal apology and some evidence of discipline was what we were after. Instead we were insulted for making the mistake of trusting the employees of the establishment. Please remember that the case was FOUND and put in the lost and Found and we called 24 hours later to claim it. It was not taken by a patron from the restaurant area. If that were the case, this would not be an issue. Please consider taking them off your list of places to go. Thank you!
Just to add a couple details to this story, my friends were not just another family sitting at one table in the restaurant; they were part of a large dinner party that had essentially rented out the entire restaurant.  The owner had noticed that the DS was left behind immediately after my friends had gone out to the parking lot.  The owner himself (or his hostess) ran out to the parking lot to try to catch my friends before they left.  This means there was no question as to whom the DS belonged.  The entire dinner party had been paid for with my friends' brother's American Express card, so a contact number could have easily been ascertained by the Hoppy staff.  After inquiring with Hoppy Brewing Company about what they were going to do about this situation, here is the email my friends received from the Hoppy Brewing Company owner/CEO,whose name is Troy Paski:
Hi [W.R. Chandler's friend]! :)
Sorry I haven't gotten back to you sooner, but I've been tied up with some personal matters these last few days.
1) I felt like we had a good conversation the last time we talked.
2) As a retail establishment, we are not responsible for lost and/or stolen property from guests.
3) I didn't like the tone of your first message, which is partly why I called you to nip something in the bud, and from the tone of this message I like it even less.
4) I apologize for it being missing, and I apologize for being too honest with you.
5) We do tend to over-care for our guests from time-to-time, which makes them feel a bit like family, so if that line was blurred for a moment I again apologize.
6) You were a guest in our establishment, and you lost a childs toy. Shame on us for not picking up after you and catching you before you left without your toys that were left behind.
7) Hopefully this taught you a lesson on better parenting skills.
8) I wish a had something more positive say.
Have a nice day. :-)
Actually, once that lost item was put into Hoppy's Lost-and-Found, they can't come back and say too bad, so sad.  I direct you to California Penal Code, Section 485:
One who finds lost property under circumstances which give him
knowledge of or means of inquiry as to the true owner, and who
appropriates such property to his own use, or to the use of another
person not entitled thereto, without first making reasonable and just
efforts to find the owner and to restore the property to him, is
guilty of theft.

You know what is funny is that just three-or-so days ago, I was telling my wife that I needed to meet up with a friend of mine who I haven't had the chance to visit in a while, and since he and I have met at Hoppy Brewing Company in the past, I was going to suggest that location when we met up again. Uh, cancel that idea!

I urge all of you readers out there to do likewise. Companies who not only hire, but protect employees who steal and have the owner of said company insult loyal customers don't deserve our hard earned $$$. There are plenty of other brewing companies/restaurants in the Sacramento area who would be glad to step up and fill the void.  This would include:

Rubicon Brewing Company
River City Brewing Company
Pyramid Alehouse
Hogshead Brew Pub
B.J.'s Restaurant and Brewery
Pete's Restaurant and Brewhouse 
Sacramento Brewing Company Oasis
Sudwerk (Davis, CA)
Yager's Tap House and Grill (Folsom, CA)

Google or Bing any one of these fine establishments to find their location and amenities, and when you sidle up to the bar or take your seat at a table, tell them Hoppy sent you!

 "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson


Tracie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DonJuan said...

Don't forget Bonn Lair!

DonJuan said...

Don't forget Bonn Lair!

W.R. Chandler said...

I do love the Bonn Lair, and if you are in the mood to go to a bar and drink, it's a great place to go. However, I don't exactly think of it as a cavernous brewery/restaurant like the others.

Miller said...

W.R. Chandler..well written article! You should offer your services to the zip that wrote the response to this issue before they go out of business which may be very soon if these types of issues continue.Like where he states,"we were too honest with you", what does that they instruct the employees there to ignore possible health issues if that will lead to consequences for the facility? Loved "Tell them Hoppy sent ya"!!

Anonymous said...

I have worked in restaurants for many years and I agree the response from Hoppy management was HIGHLY inappropriate and unprofessional. However, people are always leaving things behind and then blaming the restaurant when their items are lost of not located. Usually its sunglasses, purses, children's toys, etc... It's not the restaurant's fault they left their toy behind. They should take better care of their things and stop blaming others for their mistakes!

Anonymous said...

p.s. meant to type "or," not "of"

Anonymous said...

Anonymous....the blame came when the owner said they had it and then it disappeared. It then became a stolen item not lost.

W.R. Chandler said...

Try to keep up, First Anonymous. Even my friend conceded in her FB statement:

"If they had not revealed that it had been found and then lost again, this would simply be a hard lesson for [our son] (as it still is) since we aren't replacing it..."

Now, you need to take to heart what Second Anonymous just said.

Anonymous said...

Anon so by your rationale, when the restaurant finds patrons lost items, the restaurant is within their rights to keep them? I completely agree that lost items are not the responsibility of the restaurant. But, when items are FOUND by the restaurant, they are obligated, by law, to attempt to return them to the rightful owner. If you saw a bag of money fall out of an armored truck. You are perfectly justified in driving past it. Not your problem. But, if you stop and pick the bag up, then you HAVE TO give it back. Otherwise you are a thief.

Darren said...

Nicely written.