Thursday, January 1, 2009

Posted to Yelp: Review of Teavana

800 Bolyston
Shops at Prudential
Boston, MA 02199
(617) 262-1888
"If I could give this place negative stars I certainly would.

This afternoon I headed into Teavana with fiancée the purpose of buying my mom a gift. She's obsessed with the mint tea from Oleana and I've been on a search to find something as aromatic.

The store was busy and very chaotic. People tended to crowd around the free vats of tea. My fiancée and I scooted to the front to try and get help. It looked, at first, as though there were only two people working the counter and they were helping others already. So I went ahead and stood close to the counter and thought I'd wait for assistance.

My fiancée spotted an employee who was walking thru the crowd. His idea of "help" was to inform us that there were two lines in order to be served. I did get a chance to ask him if they had mint tea and if I'd be able to try a sample of either of them. No, he said but I could smell the tea. But I needed to wait here for help from the people behind the counter. "Okay," I thought, " No problem! I don't mind waiting for help".

But what happened next made me so angry that I actually just walked out the door and didn't make my purchase.

The same young man who informed me of the "line" for which I was next up took it upon himself to help a guy who wasn't even in line. He even had the gall to start putting together tea samples for him to try and pulling loose tea for this man. This was after I was tersely informed I couldn't sample the mint tea I wanted to buy and told to stand in line (even though I was first in line for help).

Now, I'm queer and I take a huge amount of offense at homophobia of any kind, but this Teavanna employee is the kind of person who gives queers every place a bad name. I basically was ignored because I didn't have a penis.

Another employee even asked, "Are you waiting to buy loose tea?" Yes, you motherf_cker! I'm trying to buy a gift for my Mom. And yet again I was informed that i needed to wait in one of the two lines forming. This was my cue to leave.

First of all, never have I been treated in such a rude manner at any store. If I could have avoided interacting with anyone there, I would have just grabbed the tea and left but the way the store is set up, you must interact with the employees. And that would be just fine if I had gotten some customer service instead of being informed over and over again about their made up bureaucracy of two lines, which I was standing in.

Secondly, being that I own stores, I'd think I would know a thing or two about about helping customers. And never would I ever skip someone tho the front of the line for being gay, a lesbian or proud owner of a penis. I was so completely ignored (except to be told about the stupid damn lines) that it made me feel that being nice and patient at Teavana doesn't work in one's favor.

Third, if you know I'm there buying a gift and I'm not a browser, it would be common sense that you'd want to help me make my purchase and be on my way. But it felt like not a single employee was interested in doing their job.

Lastly, this place sucks for hiring people who clearly discriminate based on sexual orientation. Trust me. And I'm usually the last person to use Yelp to write something bad about another place but my experience was so horrifying bad that I really had no choice."


Anonymous said...


Wanted to give a different take on the situation, since I've worked at a Teavana. It's all about sales a Teavana, and the sales associates need to push big sales to stay. The two mint teas Teavana has, Moroccan Mint and Peppermint, are both "low end" teas, basically meaning cheaper.

Since they both have a low price point, they aren't supposed to be sold (you get graded via what % your "rare" teas are to your "low grade" teas) so associates avoid them, and when asked always bring out the all purpose high end mixer tea, Silver Needle. I know from working there that if someone asked for mint, I'd sigh inside and worry that my sale wouldn't be big enough.

Which is also very wrong of the company, of course. Next time, assuming there ever is, try asking to look at the "Silver Needle" or the "Monkey Picked Oolong" or whatever else you see that is expensive. You'll get their attention, and once they are waiting on you, then you can look at what you want. ;)

Leah said...

I went there with the purpose of spending about $100 so I don't care if mint tea is freakin' low end or not, BUT you NEVER judge someone based on a one time sale anyway. That is unbelievably stupid if you want to survive in retail (someone who comes back and buys several times, even small things is great to have as a customer). The fact that I was trumped in the line by a gay man flirting with another gay man is unacceptable behavior and clearly the employee didn't care about getting his sales points b/c the guy only wanted to look at things under $20.00

I'm never going back to the store because anything that needs that sort of "strategy" when shopping is really kinda awful and I don't plan on growing a penis anytime soon.

Anonymous said...

By all means, don't shop there, it's a pretty horrible company. Check out adagio or specialteas, they have decent websites and good quality stuff. Teavana actually gets a lot of their tea from specialteas.

teabone said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

their products sucks too. i bought a cast iron teapot, only for a week it starts rusting,the so called "enamel coating" on the inside are suppose to prevent rusting and oxidation fall off . im so disappointed , damn i want my 75 bucks back