Ok, this post is pretty limited in scope. I just want to know if anyone here in InternetLand agrees with me or if you think I'm totally nuts.

I was at the Subway on 14th and I. Not the McPhereson Square stop. The sandwich place. It's my favorite since, insanely, a bunch of restaurants in this neighborhood don't take credit cards. Seriously. In 2007.

In a Sisyphean attempt to eat healthier, I got a turkey breast sub, no cheese, on wheat. I also ordered that healthy meal option where for $1.80 they throw in a 21oz soda (Diet Coke) and a healthy side. I had the choice of baked potato chips, raisins, or apples. (If you're hesitant to try Subway's apples, I understand. But know this: they're delicious. I have no idea how they keep them so "fresh." I probably don't want to know.) So I choose apples.

The apples are stored behind me in the bottled soda fridge. I pay my $8.13 and grab a bag of apples. The cashier/manager stops me.

Manager: "Apples are another 11 cents."

Rusty: "You're kidding, right?"

Manager: "No, I need another 11 cents. Apples are extra."

Rusty: "Um, the sign says they aren't extra. And I already paid."

Manager: "The sign is wrong, I need another 11 cents."

Rusty: "Well, I already paid."

Manager: "Well, then you can't have the apples. Have the raisins instead."

Rusty (lying): "I don't have the eleven cents."

Manager: "Then pay me next time."

Rusty: "There are at least three Subways within a few blocks from here. There won't be a next time."

And then I storm out with my apples.

Yeah, I got him good.

So, am I crazy to never go into that Subway ever again? That's crazy right? I mean, on one hand, there really are a ton of Subways in the area. I just did a quick search and found five in the 20005 zip code. On the other hand, it's 11 fucking cents.

No, I did the right thing. Principle! To demand my money after the transaction has been completed is nutty. And if you're willing to give him the extra 11 cents, where does it stop? A quarter? A dollar? No. That is madness.

I stand by my decision. Also, it's probably best not to be seen in public with me.


  1. i think you're crazy to go into subway at all. seriously, how can you stand that?

    There's a nice natural food place on vermont, right by franklin square. Healthy and NOT gross.

  2. i'm with you rusty. reminds me of what happened to me not long ago at Au Bon Pan.

    I got a half sandwich and a cup of soup. When I got to the register, I placed the soup down right next to the guy and held the sandwich in my hand. He rung me up for $4.50, which I thought was pretty cheap, but oh well. He swipes my card and hand me my receipt, at which point he goes, "Oh, you got soup, too. Let me see your card again." I scoffed. What? "I need your card again, I didn't charge you for the soup." I was furious. But I was also in a hurry and ultimately, I'm only paying for what I owed anyway. So I give it back to him. He swipes it again and quickly hands it back to me. Right about the time i'm putting my wallet away, he says, "It didn't go through. I need to swipe it again." I almost punched him in the face. Once again, I relented, just to get out of there.

    But was I wrong? In my book, you get one chance to get the transaction right. Especially when you're dealing with credit cards. To ask for the card two more times is just rude and bad customer service.

  3. As a former customer serviceperson, hear you me, that job suuuuuuuucks.

    It sucks worse when we make a mistake.

    It sucks even worse when the customer, instead of considering that humans (especially ones that are on their feet all day dealing with cheap weirdos) sometimes make mistakes, is a jerk.

    In Rusty's story, yeah, the price they were asking conflicted with the price they had posted. Ultimately, Rusty was right.

    Robert -- I think you were just being a pushy jerk. The dude made a mistake, you were obviously mad, he rushed to fix it since you clearly had a fire to go put out somewhere, and the machine didn't work. Then you were madder. Pay the posted price for your food, and give people a break.

  4. There are Subways all over this city and the surrounding area, it's ridiculous.

    Anyway, go to the one on 15th st near K st, up a couple doors from the Starbucks at 15th & K. It's pretty clean and stuff.

  5. That extra 11 cents line was bull - even if it was the "truth" (that the sign was wrong). Screw 'em I say!

    But, in any event, Subway as a healthy choice? Whoa.

  6. Apples are nothing but trouble - Toby's episode with Marvelous Market was funny, too. However, he did teach me about apples and peanut butter and I'll be forever grateful to him.

    You should go back after the lunch rush and meet with the manager. Offer him the 11 cents as a peace offering. But also make him see how ridiculous the confrontation was. And make him change the sign.

  7. whoa...hold the phone. Where did you get the impression that he "rushed to fix it..."?

    I failed to mention this earlier...but the whole reason I was mad in the first place was that they guy wasn't the least bit apologetic. The word "sorry" did not escape his lips once. I don't really have a problem with paying what I owe. People make mistakes all the time. But looking back, I was pissed because of the way he handled it. He just said, "Hey, gimme your card." I said why. "Cuz I didn't ring up your soup. Gimme your card again." No 'please'...no "I'm sorry for the mixup." Just, "Gimme your card." It's just crappy customer service, that's all.

  8. You're right, Rusty, and it's illegal for him to try to charge you extra money because his "sign is wrong." The price on the sign is the price, whether it's a mistake or not. I'd never go there again, either. Of course, I'd never go to Subway in the first place.

  9. Raisins? That's offensive by itself

  10. uh, robert, if you almost punch someone in the face because they didn't say please or sorry, your emotional stability is a much bigger problem than poor customer service.

  11. Yes, you're within your rights. Prices posted are prices charged. Asking for extra money after the transaction is completed is unethical, in my opinion.

  12. I'm with Chris. All meals should be eaten at Juice Joint on Vermont. They take credit cards. Also, there is a new place on 14th between K and L called Brown Bag, that place is good so far and they take credit cards. I can't think of a place that doesn't take credit cards.

    Also, Rusty, you were right.

  13. The thing I'm most amazed about is that the employee actually gave a damn about 11 cents. I go to Subway all the time, and if I spent more than 5 seconds trying to fish out 11 cents out of my wallet, the cashier would probably say something to the effect of "okay, nevermind, you've paid most of the bill, thanks." I've had this happen to me a couple of times.

    I would totally not go back to that location. Customer service is everything to me.

  14. Aw, the Subway diet! That's a step in the right direction!

    Just kidding, haha. Good post. Way to stand up to bully trying to take your lunch money. My legal reasoning tells me you were in the right.

  15. Lots of places have figured out that by not taking credit cards you can cut down on the riff raff that puts a $4 sandwich on credit and save yourself a bundle on credit processing fees. Not taking credit cards also probably helps ward off the cheap asses that order the "water with lemon" as well.

  16. i think the real question here is :: What would Jared do?

    a little presumptuous, but i think the answer is :: jared would write to subway corporate and try to get free apples for a year and a written apology from the manager.


  17. ooops. the url jared would have looked up to complain at got cut off...here you go:


  18. I have the same thing with the Quizno's on Vermont & L. They pissed me off, and there's another one a block away, so why would I ever go back there?

  19. Rusty,

    That Subway was the FIRST subway in the entire DC area. I was getting sandwiches there back in '79 when I was a bike messenger(and believe it or not, they were GOOD back then -- now they all suck). This is the St. Peter's Basilica of Subways in the DC metro area. For that reason, and that reason alone, it deserves respect. Pay the 11 cents - for Chrissakes, it's a damn historical site. (Is the peepshow place next door still there)

  20. subway sucks and just never go to any subway again: problem solved.

  21. the apples in the package? they are delicious.

    i haven't been shaken down for 11 cents elsewhere.

    although some subway's demand more when i ask for baby spinach on my sandwiches.
    they're weird.

  22. you are crazy if you think soda, even 'diet' soda, is 'healthy'.... it's liquid satan!

  23. I also like subway. It's the only place around dc where you can get lunch for a normal price. 10 bucks at au bon pain is not a normal lunch price to me, it seems ridiculous.

    and those apples are good.

    and that turkey/wheat is healthy.

  24. Perhaps you should get in touch with Judge Pearson and see if there's a way under DC's consumer laws to turn that 11 cent incident into $65 million.

    You were perfectly justified in not paying the 11 cents. As for returning, being raised in North Jersey where there are real delis, I don't think anyone should eat at Subway to begin with, so make your own choice.

  25. Why do I continue to read this blog? I guess I find it interesting to hear directly from the pure platonic form of 'douchebag" himself.

  26. Rusty, it's heartening to know that you live and breathe on the streets of DC so close to my office. When I go into work tomorrow morning, it will be comforting to know that your hatred of DC will be emanating in my direction.

  27. You must be a white guy! God love'em! Hahahahaha! It's 11 CENTS, let it go. When you rule DC, you can come back and kill the SOB! hahahahaha!

  28. I eat at subway every day (getting married in a month and trying to look good) and the apples ARE included with the combo. You need to find a ghettoer subway. The one I go to is on North Capitol St. and they don't give a fuck about anything. You can take two things of apples or get extra meat and they don't charge you at all.