Let me just start this post by saying that in general, I am really hard to piss off when it comes to experiencing poor customer service. If I’m met with a server in a restaurant who forgets my drink and brings out the wrong meal, I still wouldn’t be the one to complain or raise hell, simply because I realize that no one is perfect and we all make mistakes. Sure, it frustrates me when having to deal with someone who isn’t performing the role of their job to the best of their abilities therefore resulting in a negative experience for others, but I definitely understand that we all have our days and no system is completely perfect at any business or corporation. Having worked in customer service before, I feel for those who are on the receiving end of a consumer’s wrath, especially if it is due to something that they didn’t even have control over. This being said, I experienced a situation with a dispensary here in Colorado that I do want to share with others– not to bash any employees or poor customer service, but mainly to shed light on my ordeal, and to show how marijuana dispensaries don’t quite have it all figured out yet.
I never win anything, so when I received an email from a reputable dispensary in Denver a few weeks ago congratulating me for winning a prize pack valued at over $100 and filled with tons of amazing goodies, I couldn’t help but to be pretty excited. Living very far north in Fort Collins, I don’t go to Denver too often, but I decided to make the trip one afternoon to go pick up my prize pack, as the email had stated I only had a few weeks to come and get it and was so excited to see what all was inside. After dealing with almost two hours of heavy traffic and a thunderstorm so severe I couldn’t even see the road in front of me at one point, I finally got to the dispensary. The doorman however, said that I wasn’t allowed to pick up my winnings because my form of identification on this day was my hole-punched ID and my government issued paper identification that they give you while you wait for my real ID to come in the mail. Mind you, I am 26 years old, not freshly turned 21. He let me explain to the manager that I had driven over two hours and that I was just a winner, even though I had wanted to purchase something else, I would be alright with just taking what I had received. Despite one of the other employees saying that it would be okay to hand out the pack, the manager proceeded to tell me that apparently a lot of people try to forge those government issued papers and that technically they are still selling me cannabis even though I wouldn’t be purchasing it myself. It is definitely understandable that they were just following the rules, but I find it unfair that the government gave me that paper as my only form of valid identification and being that the paper is what would be accepted in bars where I would be served alcohol, the same should carry over for marijuana at dispensaries. I also just want to add that it would take a lot of work and would be a little ridiculous to forge one of those papers, rather than just acquiring a fake ID and I still don’t agree with him saying that a bunch of people fake these regularly. Trip one consisted of wasted time, wasted gas and a slight annoyance towards this dispensaries regulations, but I got over it.
Trip two. Being that I was waiting to get a new O-Pen cartridge until the tax break day, knowing that my purchase would be cheaper, I bundled this stop with attempting to pick up my prize pack again in Denver. The entrance went better in the fact that I could actually get in this time, and had a great experience while inside the store, but what followed is what really upset me. My budtender was extremely knowledgeable and went above and beyond with helping me make the selection of cartridge that I wanted, comparing prices and potency. She first rang up the 500mg cartridge to see how much it would be compared to the 250mg cartridge. I opted for the 250mg and went with some real bud as well. When she told me the grand total, it did seem a bit high, and I do fault myself for not catching this earlier as I definitely should have and this whole situation could have never happened. However, I have never been great at math and knew there were still other taxes so in my head I was thinking that it somehow just added up to that total. She put the receipt of my purchase in the white sack, which was locked with an orange device that I have never dealt with or even seen at other dispensaries before, so I waited to even try to open it until I had gotten back to my home in Fort Collins. Upon checking my receipt, I noticed that the budtender had left the 500mg cartridge on my order despite me only selecting the 250mg, so I had paid for both. I totally blame myself for not noticing when still in Denver, but technically it was their mistake for not taking something I wasn’t buying off of my order, not asking if I wanted my receipt in hand or in the bag, and not going over my order with my before completely checking out.
I called the store and explained what had happened, even mentioning how helpful the budtender was and that I didn’t want to get her in trouble, I just wanted the $68 that wasn’t spent on anything back. The girl that I was talking to felt really bad and told me she was asking her manager what to do and that they would have to check the tapes, based on the time I was in there, and be sure that they had made a mistake. She called me back a little later admitting to their error and said that the manager has no problem refunding my cash to me if I wanted to come back in that afternoon. Being that it was after 4 p.m. at this point and there would be no way I could get back to Denver in rush hour traffic before they closed, I said that this wasn’t possible and that I would be able to come back over the weekend. She said they were open Saturday and Sunday and when I asked back “Oh you are open Sundays, good!” not knowing this before as I don’t usually buy my herb from dispensaries, she snottily responded back “Yes, we are recreational so we’re open all days,” as if I should obviously know this fact. Despite my building annoyance, I thanked her for allowing me to come at a later date and genuinely appreciated her willingness to refund my money.
About twenty minutes later, the same employee called me back to tell me that unless I came back that night, they would only be able to give me store credit for their mistake and their overcharge. I had already got what I had went there for, and honestly, the $68 would be a lot more helpful to me in cash form than in credit at a dispensary that I have to drive two hours to get to anyways. During this call, the employee put the phone down more than once to help other customers and I could hear her laughing to the side when she was supposedly talking to her manager. In my opinion, if you are dealing with an unhappy customer that is dealing with a negative situation because of your mistake, they should be the one to receive your utmost attention and respect, but that is just my opinion. Still, I said that this was alright and that I would still make it down over the weekend as they offered.
Not ten minute later I got ANOTHER call, this time from the manager who said that he had a problem with what his budtender old me and that they couldn’t give me store credit or my cash back, but instead would give me the 500mg cartridge if I came in over the weekend. At this point, I began to get very frustrated. The girl I was talking to before had said she had asked her manager what to do to begin with, so it seemed odd that he now had a problem. It also made me mad because I already purchased the cartridge I needed and wanted, so I don’t need another one and would not have chosen to spend my hard earned money on that, which they are now forcing me to do. I told him that I might not be able to make it down this weekend after all, and he gave me a hard time about that. He explained that their registers wouldn’t match up. I simply don’t understand why they couldn’t have just set my money aside in an envelope, as their registers would have been over anyways being that the 500mg cartridge would still be in stock despite being paid for. I also don’t understand what the difference of me coming to get it two days from then as opposed to seven days from then would be? The registers/inventory will still be altered if I go in to pick up the 500mg cartridge. I got to thinking about how this would effect someone who lives even further than me or if more money were to be involved. It just doesn’t seem ethical or fair that a dispensary, who only accepts cash, couldn’t just fix their mistake and refund me my exact amount of cash that was paid but not spent on any product in their store.
I did not mention the name of this dispensary, as I don’t want to call them out just yet, being that they are still willing to somewhat make good on their error. However, I am extremely unhappy with their service thus far. I haven’t decided if I want to spend the time and gas to go back again, most likely spending more on gas on these trips than on the cartridge itself. I do want others to be aware of things like this happening, and show how some altering still has to be done with how dispensaries are run and regulated. It’s a new industry that is far from perfect, but sharing experiences such as this might help to iron out the current flaws. Rant over, time to smoke a bowl.