Little Diner, Don’t Mess with my Mama or her Friend!

Little Diner, Don’t Mess with my Mama or her friend!

This week, I was hot over tamales sent from the west Texas town of El Paso.

My mom sent me one dozen Christmas tamales from The Little Diner in El Paso, Texas. I love tamales. They were good, but they were not $88.50 good. This week, my mother received her credit card bill for the gift. The tamales cost $14.50 and the shipping cost $74.00. Holy Tamale! My mother’s friend sent 16 dozen tamales to three different states, and her shipping bill was $389.00. Holy Moly Tamale!

The Little Diner employee promised my mother and her friend that he would call with the total shipping charges before sending the tamales, and because my mother and friend were long-time customers of The Little Diner, they trusted the employee to call. He didn’t.

When my mother told me about the shipping bill, I was sure it was a mistake. I told her to dispute her credit card bill and I would call the diner owner. Mistakes happen.

It took three calls to reach Lourdes, the owner of The Little Diner. It seems she does not return calls. You have to be lucky enough to catch her answering the phone. I finally got lucky. Lourdes answered the phone and I explained the situation.

“Lourdes, my mom asked your diner to ship one dozen tamales to Chicago, and it seems the shipping bill was $74.00. The employee who took the order promised to call my mom for shipping authorization and didn’t.”  Lourdes’ basic responses were, “So?” and “It’s not my problem.”

It got worse. Lourdes agreed that both my mother and her friend’s phone numbers were on the order, but told me she was not responsible for her employee’s promises. Really?  Lourdes explained that she did not ask my mother to ship me the tamales, so it was not her problem.

“Lourdes,” I explained, “My mom and her friend are long-time customers of your restaurant. My mom’s friend was invited to your wedding. They liked your Facebook page. They trusted your employee.”

“Not my problemo.”

“Lourdes, how would you feel if someone treated your mama this way?”  I asked.

“The tamales were a gift, right? So why do you care about the shipping?” I was stunned!  Lourdes was worse than the worst of the Dunkin Donut employees I had dealt with over the years, including the one who re-made a drink for me, tasted it, handed it to me, and told me it was just fine.  Lourdes had the empathy of Attila the Hun, and we know he had a rough childhood.

I should have taken the John Wayne approach and shot first and offered to bury bodies later, but I tried one more time to be nice. “Lourdes, I know you don’t make any money on shipping, so why don’t we split the shipping charges?” to which she replied, “Absolutely not.”

Taking a deep breath I replied, “I am about to become your worst nightmare.” (I think John Wayne would have been proud)

My mother and her friend disputed the credit card charges as unauthorized.  This was hard for both my mother and her friend since they have never, ever disputed a credit card bill.

This week, I have shared our story with most of the people that have “Liked” The Little Diner Facebook page.  Friends that have eaten at the diner in the past have posted negative reviews on Facebook, Yelp, and Craigslist. I was interviewed by ABC TV and the story, “Pricey Tamales” aired. The news story could have emphasized the fact that The Little Diner did not get shipping approval as promised, but Lourdes did say for the television viewers, “I did not ask her mom to ship her tamales,” and we did have the opportunity to share our story on television.

I wrote a guest column and letter to the editor of the El Paso Times. Not just because The Little Diner in El Paso, Texas took advantage of my mom and her friend, but because they hurt the El Paso small business community.

While my mother and Norma are saddened and disappointed by their experience with The Little Diner, there is something much more at stake. In this day of Walmart, Sam’s Club and Amazon, there is a lot less room in our community for the family-owned diner, book store, or gift shop. Customers must be given a reason to pay a little more and go out of their way a little more. Family-run businesses that are friendly and honest and offer a little something special keep small and family-run businesses thriving. When these businesses betray their customers’ trust, all family-run and small businesses suffer, and the chains with established policies and hierarchies edge out them out just a little bit more.

When The Little Dinner refused to accept responsibility for the mistake of their employee, refused to right a wrong, it was bad business for all small and family-run businesses in the El Paso community.

In other words, “If Mama ain’t happy…nobody is happy,” Most especially ME. I am really not happy, Little Diner.

Now here is what I am dying to know: Both the Postal Annex who shipped the tamales and Lourdes told me, “Lots and lots of people will pay $74.00 to ship a non-essential $14.50 item overnight. Is this true? Are you one of these “Lots of people?” Because even in my most extravagant let-Neiman Marcus-gift-wrap-everything days, I never agreed to this kind of screw-you shipping.  Would you? Let me know in the comment section of Odd and I will share the comments with the Postal Annex and the Little Diner.

As always, thank you for dropping by Odd!


Hot Tamale thank you’s !

♥ Thank you Stevie for all your help with the El Paso review links and contacts.

♥Thank you Sue for so quickly posting the ABC link to the “Pricey Tamale” story.

♥  Thank you Carolee  for giving us additional background information on the Little Diner and telling me I was famous.

♥  Thank you Nancy  for the John Wayne quote!

♥  Thank you Facebook friends for  all your support and gnashing of teeth.

60 thoughts on “Little Diner, Don’t Mess with my Mama or her Friend!

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  2. Holy Tamales is right!! Talk about customer no-service. Yikes!!

    If the shipping charges are more than the non-essential item I’m purchasing I have to hit the “clear shopping cart” button no matter how badly I want the item:(

    Glad you took a stand against this Tamale Shipping Shakedown! You go, girl.

    Hugs, Diane

  3. Absolutely not! I’ve sent gifts to my brother in Hawaii and cringed at the shipping charges, but they were nowhere near the inflated amount the Little Diner charged your mom. The only people that would agree to pay those amounts (I believe) are those with endless disposable income. Responsible, budget minded people would consider this a slap in the face. Hell no.

    • “Hell no”–we won’t pay screw you unauthorized shipping rates! I like it.

      We just shipped a box of antlers to Hawaii for $25.00 using Fed Ex–and they didn’t go ground!

      • $25 to Hawaii? I didn’t think even the post office could do it that cheaply much less FedEx. What’s the rest of the story? Was the shipping label provided to you? If so, it’s likely the real shipping cost was buried in the cost of the product.

        • Hi Manny,
          Our business is deer antlers. My dad ships them-and he is honest to a fault. You can find our shipping prices listed here
          We did not ship the antlers overnight. We did use FedEx. My dad researched the shipping, found the best price for our customer, had it approved and shipped it. Our prices for deer antlers are the most competitive on the market. I would be happy to provide you with a bill of sale as proof if you provide me with an accurate e-mail address. BTW-Manny if we had a customer that was unhappy–even if they were wrong, we would find a way to make them happy. We don’t have unhappy customers.
          Thanks for dropping by Odd. Please let me know if I can answer any other questions, for you.

  4. Absolutely NOT!! I’m with Diane, if the shipping charges are more than the cost of the item or a ridiculous price, then I’ll happily clear the order. I don’t want anything that badly.
    Btw, Brava for taking a stand! People like her shouldn’t be allowed to run a business.

  5. This Diner debacle has deeply stirred my emotions because of the basic incivility of the owner. I sat back and read the remarks and I’ve come to the conclusion we are all sick and tired of being ripped off! The absurd comment by the postal annex claiming that people mailing gifts should not blink an eye to the cost. What planet is this person living on? In this economy who among us walk to a toilet and flush money down it as a daily ritual?

    I stand in unity with you and the injured customers. I am appalled by the boldness of the Diners owner Lourdes. How dare she take advantage of anyone let alone a loyal customers of many years. You Katybeth have been an amazing person taking on this social bully. I am furious with her myself and for the record I have shipped things to my daughter while she attended boarding school in highschool, college and now law school and each and every time I consider a gift or shipment I weigh the cost of the shipment carefully. I believe in being a good steward with the funds God has provided my family and I never ever waste!

    It is wrong to waste money and it has nothing to do with gift giving. We give gifts from our heart out of love but we also use our common sense and then make the final decision whether to give it or not. Your mother and friend were denied that last moment to weigh their gift decision because the employee failed to make the phone call informing them of the charges. No rational person would waste money like that in my opinion. I wish you the very best of luck in rectifying this abuse and I pray the credit card company doesn’t allow this owner to get away with gauging another consumer. This is theft plain and simple. Stealing from retirees is ” beyond the beyond” and civilized people should not allow it to happen.

    • WOW–Nancy! Thank YOU. I love this, “It is wrong to waste money and it has nothing to do with gift giving. We give gifts from our heart out of love but we also use our common sense and then make the final decision whether to give it or not.”
      I think your comment hits the nail on the head–my mother and her friend are very generous but also smart with their money-they plan and budget and would never have agreed to ship tamales at this rates if the diner had called (as they agreed) with a shipping total.
      I’m glad we are being civilized together!

  6. Thank you all for your support. Great article Katybeth. Did anyone notice how Lourdes’s nose was growing during the interview? First she says she did not take the order, then she says she told us about the shipping costs. The shipping cost was NEVER menrioned. That’s why we left our phone numbers, so they could cal lus about the shipping. For sure I’ll never go in to that place again.

  7. Nope. would never agree to that kind of charge. never. would always expect that part of good business is to check with the customer. And when the shipping exceeds the value of the item (let alone by 6X) it always seems wise to just run that by your customer. I, for one, if presented with that option, would forgo the shipping of those particular tamales.

    • Linda we use to “Love them” and now we “Loathe them!” (small-inside joke)As I mentioned–Cole found Atilla the Hun to be more empathetic and caring than I found the owner of the Little Diner to be. . .and it is a shame!

  8. Unbelievable! As American’s we wonder why this country’s businesses are struggling. This is a perfect example of not understanding the concept!!!! How could a business plan on staying in business with this attitude! Do not worry though, they are not the only one’s with this attitude – yet, we keep shopping with the people who are the rudest to us. Maybe it is time for all of us to stand up and make that very famous statement – “I’m so mad and I’m not going to take it any more!”

    • It does hurt small businesses when they treat customers like this. You can not complain how tough it is out their and not take care of the people who helping to support you.

  9. WOW! Not only would I not pay those ridiculous
    shipping charges, I have NEVER seen charges that
    high, even for overnight delivery. Clearly, the diner
    owner should have immediately acknowledged the
    mistatke and sent both ladies a complete refund
    to remedy the error and reward their long patronage.

    Katybeth you have done a remarkable job making sure
    it will never happen again. Good for you!!

    • Thank you Barbara–this just really ticked me off. The owner has no concept how to take care of customers or how to take responsibility for a mistake. Its really is a shame.

  10. Absolutely not, Katybeth, and the long and the short of it is, the diner should have notified your mother and her friend. Period. The fact that they didn’t and then refused to accept responsibility for their mistake, with a vindictive tone no less, is not only bad business but also deeply disrespectful on a fundamental human level to the customers who make their livelihoods possible. Even my children understand the importance of accepting responsibility for their mistakes.

    • Thanks Cassy–you really see to the ♥ of the matter so well! ” also deeply disrespectful on a fundamental human level to the customers who make their livelihoods possible…”

  11. Katybeth! This entire situation is disgusting. Given how tough things are today with so many unemployed people, businesses large and small struggling to stay afloat, here you have this Lourdes acting like a snake in the desert, worse than Scrooge when he is being stingy, worse than anything the Grinch ever did to the people of Whoville.
    I know your mom was trying to give you something special from home, but I do not know ONE SINGLE PERSON that would EVER agree to such outlandish shipping charges as this women erroneously feels is OK. I cringed at the postal service charging us $65.00 to send a 24×24 box weighing 50 lbs filled with Christmas gifts from all of us here to California for my daughter, son-in-law, and grand daughter!!!!
    She most certainly IS responsible for anything her employee states, offers, gives, serves, as well as the way they treat the customer in person or on the phone. She is the business owner and SHE must make things right if she wants to continue to be a business owner. She hasn’t just made a bad impression for El Paso, she has dissed all small business owners in this country. There are businesses out there that are proud to have such loyal customers as your mom and her friend. They would be doing everything in their power to be sure that this order was handled expeditiously, and that a phone call WOULD be made when it was confirned that the charges to ship were so out of line.
    Tell you what, next time mom wants you to have delicious tamales, tell her to call me. I have a dear friend whose aunt makes THEE most incredible tamales I have ever tasted!! Yes, she is Mexican, she even comes from Texas! Mom can send me a check for the dozen tamales that will cost her $7.00. I will pick them up and drop them at your house when I go to visit my mom. For the price that Lourdes and the postal annex seem to think is just fine and dandy, mom could send you what? 11 – 12 dozen….
    and I can guarantee you they will be just as good if not better than anything Lourdes turns out.
    I truly hope that this Lourdes sees what she is doing. The purchasing public today pays close attention to where there money is going. It is NOT OK to charge these prices, and no one would agree to them if they were notified.
    Good Luck Katybeth. Keep after this and get the word out. Lourdes needs to come to her senses and make things right. The people of El Paso need to take a close look at one of their own and rethink spending their hard earned cash there. If she finds it OK to rip people off this way, what else does she do to the customers?????

    • Thanks for the shipping comparison Dona. We ship a lot back and forth between Chicago and Abq and like you we cringe but its never been anywhere close to the rip-off shipping charges my mom and her her friend were charged. We ship deer antler and are super careful to make sure our customers are not overcharged on the shipping–we find the best and least expensive option available.
      Thank you for re-empahsising out main point-“It is NOT OK to charge these prices, and no one would agree to them if they were notified.”
      We appreciate your support!

  12. Good for you Katy Beth. I have been going to El Paso to visit my Sister Norma Rust and have never missed a time in 20 years when we visit, to go to The Little Diner numerous times, but that will cease now. I would like to hope that she could at least apologize and be decent. Wonder what her reaction would be if the tables were turned? She never was told not to bite thte hand that feeds you.
    Georgena Harsanje-Ohio

    • Odd is blessed by the finest Pecan roll maker ever–I do believe! We are are honored! 😀
      No, I don’t think the owner of the Little Diner ever was “taught not to bite the hand that feeds you,” or to take care of your customers.
      Didn’t you think it was just awful when Lourdes said, “well I did not ask her to send the tamales?” or when she said to me, “the tamales were a gift-why are YOU worried about the shipping charge?”
      Thanks for stopping by Odd! Would have preferred to meet you over a pecan roll and coffee–maybe next time!

  13. I am glad to see so many comments on here…obviously it is an outrage to do this. My only example is that every now and then I will send tropical flowers from Hawaii to my mother for mother’s day/birthday and I am charged $25. The tropical flowers are beautiful and last much longer than what I can send her from here. Hawaii is at least a 10 to 12 hr flt to my mother’s house and the shipment is larger than the tamales…so you can do that math! Good for you Katybeth….I hope this gets enough attention that the ladies get their monies back…xo

    • That is an amazing comparison Fran! Flowers can not be tossed in an overnight box, but need some special care. The tamales were place in freezer bag, put in an overnight box with some packing paper and labeled with $74.00 in shipping–the distance and the care would make you think it would cost more to ship flowers than tamales!

      Thank you!

  14. Situations like this that make my blood boil! Never in a million years would I approve a $75 shipping charge for $15 worth of anything! Little Diner is a pox on all locally owned businesses and the Postal Annex is an inflated service disguised as convenience.

    • Thanks Cynthia for reminding us all about the inflated costs of the Postal Annex. There were several less expensive ways to ship the tamales–the postal annex chose the most expensive. I checked other sites shipping tamales and none were charging near what the postal annex charged AND they shipped using coolers and dry ice. The postal annex shipped the tamales in a freezer bag, put them in an overnight box with some packing paper and slapped $74.00 worth of postage on them.
      A POX the perfect word!

  15. Ok, Katybeth, this got me out of lurkdom to post. I’m glad you’re outraged and I’m outraged for you, your mom and her friend who experienced the same thing.

    How dare the Little Diner do this? It would be horrible indeed to do this to anyone, but what makes it particularly horrific is to do this to people who have patronized and recommended your business for years. Personally, I can’t think of a bigger slap in the face to folks who have spent their hard earned money, over and over again, to keep the place in business!

    I whole-heartedly agree with the other posters, and I’d like to address these comments directly to Lourdes (since you’ll be sharing):

    Yes, Lourdes, YOU are responsible for your employees – both their actions and inactions. To even attempt to wash your hands and absolve yourself of any responsibility, exemplifies your dismal lack of leadership and business acumen.

    I would think that your goal should be to cultivate a repeat customer base by offering not only an outstanding product, but by keeping your customers happy. Had you/your employees done only what they said they would do (call with the shipping charges for approval) or had you, as the owner rectified the situation once it was brought to your attention, you would be in a far better place than looking like a inept, narrow minded or too stubborn to do the right thing, fool.

    You could have spent a little time researching or finding a cost effective shipper for your products that are apparently so good, people wanted to send them all over the country. You didn’t do that. Instead, you found, what I assume is a local place, that gouges customers on shipping charges. Instead of seeing a potential future business opportunity that would help you grow beyond your town, you chose to close your eyes and wash your hands. When asked if, under the circumstances, you would split the shipping charges, your unwillingness at finding a solution that would keep your customers happy, your “absolutely not” statement may have well had been “don’t patronize my business unless you clearly understand I don’t value the business of my customers, and by the way, I may add an obscene additional charge to your bill without your consent.”

    You may think that the resulting loss of the business of these two ladies who shipped your product, at astronomical unapproved rates, really won’t impact your bottom line, after all it’s only two people, right? How much financial harm could it possibly do? Well, if the comments already posted are any indication, I’d say it will cost you a lot more than the business of two. The more people hear about what happened and how you refused to do the right thing, I’m pretty sure you’ll start to see a decline in your business. At first you may blame it on the economy, and that very well may be. However, consider this: it may well also be that people will read or hear of how Marcie and her friend were treated by you and even though your tamales may be the best in town, they may decide that your lack of customer support on this issue may also impact other aspects of your business, such as health codes for example, and decide to go elsewhere. People by nature want to distance themselves from unpleasantness and the name “Little Diner” is going to conjure up unpleasantness.

    You see, there is a very simple concept in business and that’s that people want to patronize places that provide good experiences and make them feel good about spending their money there. They want to be treated fairly and reasonably. It’s called “goodwill.” A good business strives to create goodwill. Disney does it, so does Nordstrom’s, Amazon and LL Bean. Not to mention a whole host of small business owners nationwide who engage in it each and every day knowing that a good customer experience is much more personal and provides their bread and butter. Large or small, the commonality is they make their customers feel good about doing business with them. Yes, goodwill does go a long way. Unfortunately, it’s a concept that’s so far, elusive to you.

    It’s never to late to make amends. If I were you, I would give some serious thought as to how I want my business perceived by the community. Do I want to be known as the Little Diner that did or the Little Dinner that didn’t appreciate its customers? Then I would personally apologize to these customers and give them a full credit and vouchers for tamales the next time they stopped in.. After that, I’d have a long, long conversation with my employees on the importance of providing kick-ass customer service and following through on what they promised – after all, their actions are a reflection of both the owner and the business. Finally, I would take the shipping company to task for price gouging. Yep, that’s what I’d do.

    Katybeth, good for you for standing up to this kind of nonsense and not letting anyone mess with your momma and her friend!

    • Vickie–I would add something here–but I think you said it all most beautifully! This part of your comment is so perfect—-“Do I want to be known as the Little Diner that did or the Little Dinner that didn’t appreciate its customers?”
      Thank you for your support and eloquence!

  16. Katybeth, I cannot thank you enough for taking up this cause for our Mothers. I know that from the viewpoint of an outsider that it may appear that our Moms were naive to trust Loudres with their credit card number, and were somewhat at fault. In fact I know they would have never done that with any another business, but they trusted her after being loyal customers and friends for the past 30 years. I know for my family this is more about betrayed trust than about money. Loudres knows that my parents have also been small business owners and do not have bottomless pockets. I personally sad that it had to come to this.

  17. Well they are messing with our Mom’s! That is not OK.
    As you pointed out- our moms are far from naive-they thought they were doing business with friends. Outsiders who see this differently are missing the point.
    So true ….the worst part is the betrayed trust.
    The only wrong that has been done here was done by the Little Diner.
    The only mistake that was made–was made Lourdes.

  18. There’s no way ANYONE, let alone,”many” people would spend more than purchase price of an item for shipping costs, let alone 5 times the cost! Unreasonable at the very least. As a former small business owner, I am amazed and outraged at the lack of professionalism and customer focus of this business owner which gives the rest of us a bad rep! Shame!

    • Thanks Emily. I can be a spend thrift–going for convenient over frugal at times–but like you found it very hard to believe LOTS of people would approve a shipping charge that was 5 times the cost of the item. Especially when less expensive shipping is available.

      Appreciate you support!

  19. First let me say “no” I can’t imagine myself paying over five times the value of any item to be shipped.

    On a different note, I used to live off of Devon Ave. On Devon was several ma and pa stores. We would always shop there to insure their business and I guess hope that they would always take care of us. But, they didn’t. So gradually we got frustrated with their “attitude” and shopped elsewhere and sure enough they slowly went out. I’m sure they just blamed it on the big chain stores. No, it wasn’t the cost, it was the darn service or lack of it. I would have gladly paid a tad more if they backed it up with some service. Here is a small business that could have insured their customers loyalty by simply handling this better.

    I was curious about other places that ship food items. They will ship out anything that pertains to the taste of chicago. It ain’t cheap but, and I’m sure it’s weighs a lot more than those tamales and shipping is less. Even if these were “Costco” size tamales! I think she was charged not only an excessive amount but, it was wrong not to warn beforehand if this is something your mother wished to spend. I know when I walk into any place of business they will tell me what something may run and if it turns out different, to call me and ask if I wish to go ahead with the
    order. It’s just good business!!!!

    I feel bad that here your mother was trying to do something very sweet for you and that @&!* diner took advantage of her good nature.

    • Thanks Joann. Thanks for the link! I did a little of my own research and found several places that shipped tamales for a lot less and they used coolers and dry ice. Our tamales were over-nighted in a box with a little shipping paper around them. But the real point–is my mother was not given the option to say NO Thank you.

  20. People who are rich would have shipped and not asked. But most of us would have to know the exact cost. Why didnt they already know what the price to send would be? I believe they did and just wanted to make a sell and they took advantage of to sweet ladies. Did you get any restitution for your time or any comment from this shipping service? I have never heard of these shippers. I hated the prices to send things at Christmas so much that I asked my grandchildrens other grandmother to shop for my 2 little ones so I didnt have to spend more to send than I did to buy. You did good KB. Posted the story on my wall for all to see. I think you hurt them now more than they hurt you. Sorry for the trouble. And yes Mrs. Jenson I did see her nose get longer. 🙄

    • Ah you got the nose reference–my mother will be so pleased! 😀 Thank you for re-posting. The Postal annex certainly does not charge the best shipping fees but the Little Diner is their client and when the Little Diner signs off on charges, the Postal Annex sends the package. The Little Diner was responsible for getting back to my mother and friend with shipping charges and they didn’t….Well, of-course the owner did not think she was responsible because an employee took the order.
      Bad Business, and yes taking advantage of “sweet”, loyal customers who trusted them.

  21. I check shipping charges whenever I make a cyber-purchase, just for this reason. Never used to but I do now since some proprietors are truly taking advantage of their client’s trust – it’s a rip off, dishonorable, underhanded and just plain wrong. Taking advantage of consumers who obviously support your product, is awful. Karma is a bitch, and in this case, I hope karma charges shipping, handling, white glove service and restocking fees x $74.00. Shame on you.

  22. Smart to check shipping charges. My mom and her friend were at the diner when they made the purchase. . .asked to be called with the total shipping charges, and followed up but the packages were sent without authorization using the cc they had paid for the tamales with….they did trust the Little Diner, the employees and that trust was stomped on.
    Thanks Julie, you are so right–Karma is a powerful thing!

  23. In this day of “the customer is NEVER right” I don’t see how this so called “little diner” even has any business at all. There was a time when business owner’s went out of their way to make sure the customer was satisfied with the service. Now it seems they are only out for that almighty dollar and they don’t care about anything else. To do this dirty trick to a Senior of all people really pisses me off. I can only hope that they lose so many customers, that they fold up. Not being a very good Christian here, but what goes around comes around. Just remember that Lourdes. I really don’t know how you can sleep at night!

    • Thanks Carol. We would have loved to have worked it out with them, but as you pointed out in this instance, “the customer is never right.”
      They deserve to lose customers–there are restaurants in El Paso that deserve the business the Little Diner loses.

  24. Hi Katybeth:

    I’m sorry this happened to your mom and her friend…you are correct in saying that they should have been able to approve the shipping cost before the items were sent.

    We ship books all around the world. We do it at our cost, but many businesses do not (an average sized hardcover costs us a minimum of $11.00 to mail to the U.S. from Canada). It is very important to check the shipping costs, because a lot of companies jack up the rates to make a profit. We have had many, many customers overseas pay double or triple the value of the book for shipping because they wanted it quickly. There are lots of people out there with more money than brains.

    Don’t give anybody your credit card number without knowing the final tally for what you’re purchasing!


    • Thanks Wendy. We ship deer antlers and do our best to make sure we get the best deal for our customers–like you do with your books.
      The Little Diner used the credit card number that my mom and her friend paid for the tamales with–without authorization and as you so aptly pointed out, “they should have been able to approve the shipping cost before the items were sent.”

  25. The Little Diner has some BIG STINKERS in there! Your mom must have been sick when she got that bill! What a lovely idea she had… and to have it end so badly!

  26. That isn’t cool, especially with an elderly customer. It is one thing to tell them it is going to be costly, another to make them understand what costly really means in this case.

    Also, it might have been cheaper if they sent the tamales in a straight line instead of that big arc they showed on the news story map.

    Way to go KB!

    • Oh yeah, and ideally, I’d have put a little smiley face after the word map to indicate that I know they didn’t really ship according to the ABC map. Instead, I forgot and here I am trying to make up for that by replying to my own comment. ok, here is the smiley face, so I can end this 😉

      • Love the smiley face! This would have never been an issue if they had called to have the final cost approved as promised.
        My bigger problem now–is the reporter calling my mom “Elderly on TV.” I never said elderly-I might have said Senior Citizen or perhaps OH great wise one-but not elderly 😀

  27. Dear Katybeth,
    Mercy, i had not realized this drama with the little diner was even going on. I really like how you handled it and i find myself “stumped” at the way Lourdes handled it. As a small business owner, really there is nothing BUT my good name and the satisfaction of my customers.Lourdes basically created a lifelong, negative, walking and talking advertisement. With one quick, positive correction, she could have won you over for life. As our own bosses, these are the golden opportunities we can heartily welcome. The chance to go the extra mile!
    An object lesson, and a wonderful reminder of how I want to do business.

    Stay calm and carry on!!


    • So well said-Elaine!! Where were you when I was writing this dam post! Your right, this could have been worked out. I offered to split the charges with her! LOURDES WAS NOT NICE. Ok, I’m done.

      Doberman! 😀 (Elaine and I always end our messages to each other with a dog breed)

  28. Dear Katybeth,
    I just happened to be watching the late local news the night they told your story and included their taped talk with you. I was amazed by the story and that you and your mom were involved. I’ve never set a foot inside The Little Diner. I’ve always bought tamales at Lupitas when I wanted some. The line of customers at Lupitas was out the door to the highway on Christmas Eve in the middle of the day! I have no idea if they ship, but I think they do. I’ve heard stories over the years of families mailing tamales to family members in other states. I heard of one family sending tamales to Atlanta. I was amazed. 😀 Yes, the tamales are a treat, but I understand from my mom that she’s been buying them from Albertsons lately. All this aside, I’m tickled to find your web site and say Hi! It’s been a while, yes.

    I’m writing several genres of romance fiction, and my daughter whom you taught to ride horseback when she was about 6 or 7 years old, has a Phd in Socio Linquistics and a Masters in Library Science. I still have the letter your mom sent me after you gave her the sketch I made and sent you eventually of her Ms. Viva, a beautiful animal. You and your mom created definite highlights in our lives. By the way, we’ve both always had dogs as pets. Right now dh and I have a papillon mix that provides us with endless companionship and comedy. She’s a little smaller than a border collie, and also very much like a border collie as well as a papillon. I would love to have another one but dh says one papillon mix is enough.

    I’m not on facebook, takes too much time that I need for writing my stories. So wanted to say hi and it’s great to catch up with you. Say hi to your sweet mom for me! 😀

  29. Jeanmarie,
    Wow, so nice you hear from you. Glad you heard the newscast with the great shipping shakedown. 😀 Who would have thought!
    Sounds like you all are living very full lives. My mother still has the picture of Viva. She really was the best horse ever.
    Paps are nice little pups although your DH might be right about one being enough–they do have large dog attitudes.
    I will pass along the message to my mom! Happy New Year to you and your family.

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