Teavana -- If you don't want to buy something, too bad.

566 Replies
slygirl said

My experiences are hit or miss. We have three Teavana stores in my region and I still wander in from time to time, but only to see what’s new. I’ve worked retail so I can understand high sales goals, but some of the selling points they illustrate to make a sale border on ridiculousness. The one in Fair Oaks seems to have the friendliest staff, while the one in Tysons is located in a popular wing so gets deluged with guests, that the employee to staff ratio was like 1:5. I used to work in that mall and I would occasionally go in for tea, but it took so long to get an employee’s attention that eventually I moved to the Nordstrom E-Bar for my tea fix.

The location I thought had the hardest sale was in Columbia Mall. In fact, I bought so much tea when I was there, that I haven’t found a reason to go back to Teavana. Need to destash!

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I always end up over-buying at teavana when I go, so I only make the trip about once a year because until I finish them I tell myself I cannot go back.

I do like teavana’s teas for the most part, some are hit and miss though.

I’ve only had the experience of going to two different stores, and the one that is located upstate new york is a lot friendlier and the people there and i usually have nice chats since they’re college students just like myself. When i go to the one in my mall on long island they are really just unresponsive and just there to take orders, and don’t talk at all to anyone.

I think they definitely have a strong market strategy though, when the upstate ny store just opened the guy was really strong in trying to sell me this $18 honey and even opened a new bottle just to give me some to try even though the whole time i was pretty much like “no thanks, im good”

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Cofftea said

Is it possible to get tea samples at Teavana unsweetened? I’m really excited about ours opening… but not if the cup of matcha I’d get would be sweetened. I’d like to know what to expect before actually going… because if I can’t get unsweetened matcha or other teas, I won’t be going.

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Teavana doesn’t usually put out samples of matcha. I don’t know if they put sweetener in all of their other teas. At the Teavana near me, the samples that are put out generally include a Tie Guan Yin, a flowering tea (that is sweetened) and a blend of mate and rooibos.

Cofftea said

I guess “sample” is the wrong word. I’ve seen tasting notes where people have purchased (or so I assume) a cup of matcha in store. I’m totally ok w/ paying for it- I just want my unsweetened matcha at the mall. :)

VegTea said

I think you can order any of the teas they have available, prepared any way you want. I haven’t been to a Teavana in a while, but I wouldn’t think unsweetened matcha would be a problem.

Cofftea said

Thanks for the input VegTea. I sure hope you’re right- I’ll find out in a couple weeks!

Cofftea: If you can still order a drink there you can order it how you’d like it. I am not sure if they are still serving drinks or not. I went there around Christmas to get a cup of tea and an employee said we don’t do that and pointed at a sign, I was to mad to read the sign so I’m not sure if it was temporary or not. The last time I went a few months ago I just wanted to purchase some tea and leave so I didn’t inquire about them serving drinks or not.

It is true that for about a month during the holiday season they stop making drinks for purchase. They do start up once the holidays have passed.

Cofftea said

That’s weird. You’d think they’d, especially with their alleged hard core upselling, sell those at a high selling time like holidays.

You would think. Although it is not th case. I learned this a few years back and has continued every year since. Of course I asked about it as well. They just said they are too busy to make drinks so they stop during the holidays.

Funny because when I had my experience at Christmas the employees were literally leaning on the counter gossiping.

I understand when they are busy during the holidays. But it does irk me when no one is in the store and they still can’t. Granted if they do it for one they have to do it for all. But I wish there was still an exception to the holiday rule! :)

Cofftea said

Or just no holiday rule. I’d think they’d love any chance to nickle and dime and upsell customers.

That’s what I’m thinking. I think they should just have someone in the shop just to make the to go tea….think of all the sales they are missing out on! Or maybe they could do it just for their valued customers….something.

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xhado123 said

I work at teavana, been so for about a year. If your teavana salesperson is nice (and it’s a slow day) sometimes, we can give samples of whatever tea we feel like making for you… just be polite, show a genuine interest, and let us take you through the journey. I love making maccha (direct romaji spelling) samples, as long as you’ve eaten beforehand. No, we do not get commission. Yes, our sales are tracked and promotions/etc. are based on those, and we get a small bonus if our sales exceed a certain value.

I’m new to this particular tea forum, if anyone has any questions about the sales tactics, or has been alienated by the company policy, or wants to vent about a bad experience or ask me where we source our tea from, please, send me a message! It is really easy for an employee to misunderstand their customer, the customer to misunderstand the employee’s intentions, and for an employee to misunderstand company policy.

LefTea said

Let me first say, Welcome to Steepster!
Teavana introduced me to real tea, so, for that, I’m thankful. I think what a lot of people experience at Teavana is the hard upsell which can be intimidating to someone new to tea. My first Teavana purchase was about $40, an amount I don’t fork over easily. Sad thing was that most of it was those stupid tins. The salesperson made it seem like I had to purchase the tins because she didn’t offer any other sort of container to transport the tea home. I even bought the bigger ones and then saw how small 2 oz looks in them. Once those teas were gone I got rid of the tins in favor of more reasonable (not to mention cuter) ones from world market (both in size and in price).

It also would be nice if Teavana was upfront about the fact that their samples have sugar in them. I got hooked with the chai/chai sample and was especially impressed because I thought it didn’t have any sugar in it and was, therefore, calorie free (or nearly). They didn’t even tell me the full cup I paid for once had sugar so I figured that was how the tea tasted. Imagine my dissapointment when I made my first cup at home. I’ve since learned my own levels of sweetness preference, but just be honest so customers know what they’re getting.

That said, I now know how to handle Teavana when I go in there. It took a few visits, including my second one where I marched in there, didn’t look at anything else, only made eye contact with the employee waiting on me, and ordered my predetermined teas and missed out on the joy of smelling new teas. I don’t get the pressure anymore so I don’t mind shopping there but I’m still a little ticked about the almost $20 I spent on tins that have since been donated to the thrift store or tossed (one got mold under the inner lip after washing!) and I don’t really appreciate the health claims (and make sure to set people straight on Teavana’s facebook page – sorry the weight-to-go will not magically cause you to lose a zillion lbs).

Hope this helps you understand it from a consumer’s point of view. The world of loose leaf tea can be overwhelming enough to a newbie without being pressured into buying things that may not be right for them.

Cofftea said

xhado123, what do you mean “as long as you’ve eaten before hand”… that’s absolutely ridiculous.

Cofftea said

LefTea, I’m not sure I understand what you mean by “real tea”… yes they do sell loose leaf, but when a majority of their offerings and sales tactics are “a million and one combinations in which to buy our products” (yes, I know- REALLY exaggerated lol) AND then serve all their samples sweetened, that’s not “real” tea to me. I think a person should try a certain tea w/ no additives first before adding other flavors or sweeteners. But that’s just one opinion. I applied for our new store and the application even made me feel like I would be expected to have a hard sell. How much experience did you have with “real tea” before going to Teavana? I just have a hard time fathoming a person not being able to taste sweetener in a beverage. But that also could just be because I’m extremely sensitive to sweetener. The health claims also tick me off! Granted one of the reasons I drink (unsweetened) tea is in place of less healthy alternatives, but I do not drink it as a tonic or miracle cure.

xhado123 said

The tins have an excellent seal on them, I recommend testing this for yourself. store other things in them, like potato chips or something that usually goes stale rather quickly. You’ll definitely notice a difference. Yeah, they do cost a little bit, but I’ve tried other tea tins I can find at my local shops. The metal on metal seal in most other tins are not going to keep tea fresh for more than two months, and because I do shop at other places, I have over 200 different types of tea at home. It’ll take me almost a year to drink through all of it at my current rate. (side note, I’m really quite a fan of a vithanakande FOP I found at a local shop, it’s such a smooth tea, without additive it still tastes like someone added creamer to it!)

We’re actually supposed to mention that all samples, save our cast iron sample, have sugar in them. It’s part of the recipe that makes them taste great. I always let people know what they’re getting, but this is a control issue the company is having, when they’re doubling their store numbers, it is difficult to control employee quality.

Do not wash the tins, that’s a terrible idea for any tea tin. All tins have creases where moisture can get trapped, use a dry cloth. I’m really sorry a teavana employee didn’t mention this to you, usually it’s part of my explanation. As for the health benefits, I’m straight with the customers – I don’t drink the fruity infusions if I want the effects. The health benefits are in the tea, and I always always always show a teaspooon of straight tea vs. a teaspoon of a flavoured tea, to show how much healthier the straight tea is.

Cofftea, what I mean as ‘so long as you’ve eaten beforehand’ is that maccha has a huge B12 and B6 amount in it, a metabolism boost like nobody’s business. It also does a number on blood sugar and pressure. I’ve had coworkers going into diabetic shock, drinking maccha on an empty stomach. Their blood sugar drops, they get irritable really quick, and we send them to the back to grab a cookie. It’s a serious concern, and I usually offer a customer a teaspoon of sugar or a cookie to munch on for safety concerns. I personally had almost too low of a blood pressure count one day after two 16 oz cups of it, and came near to passing out right on the floor where I stood. I do not take it lightly anymore.

The health reasons are great reasons to start drinking tea, if you drink a specific tea regularly, there are some pretty interesting clinical studies shown that the health benefits we mention are there. In a double blind study, after two months of drinking Jasmine Dragon phoenix pearls (no sugar), the antiangiogenetic (not sure I spelled it right – the rate at which capillaries are regulated to a normal length) process increased by almost 60% (UofM research).

Cofftea said

Well for one thing, the statement " It’s part of the recipe that makes them taste great." is completely opinion and not fact at all. If I were to speak of that recipe I’d probably state it “It’s part of the recipe that would make me do a spit take right there on the floor.” As for your info on matcha, I find that really interesting as I consume about 50g of matcha a week, mostly on an empty stomach and have never had that reaction. The only adverse reaction I’ve gotten is if I drink too large of volume or prepare it too thick, my stomach can churn a bit. Not even 3 cups of coffee a day bothers me… the only time caffeine bothers me is in the summer when I occasionally drink 8 or more “first steeps” of black tea several days in a row.

Welcome to the board xhado123

LefTea said

Cofftea, by real tea, I meant non-bagged. Since all I had ever had were lipton or celestial seaons bags (and it’s not like I drank tea much because I found it flavorless even with lots of sugar), I just thought the sweetness of the samples was due to the difference between bagged and loose. Since no one told me (and I had several samples over the course of a few days as I happened to be at that mall frequently that week) that there was sugar in the samples, why would I assume that there was anything other than tea? I appreciate that you drink tea unsweetened, but I prefer mine sweetened (although the samples at teavana are even getting a little too sweet for me as my palate adjusts).

Xhado123, you sound like a great employee, both for the company and the customer. You just have to realize that you seem to be the exception rather than the rule there. I’ve been to my local Teavana many times since that first sample and never once has anyone mentioned sugar in the samples, or the full cup they brewed for me, nor was I told about proper cleaning of tins (theirs or otherwise). I agree that the seal on those tins is great, but I’m guessing unless you have an extraordinary palate you’re not going to notice a difference in taste between tea stored in those tins or tea stored in other airtight tins and the ones I have from World market were much cheaper, are much cuter, and suit my size needs much better.

I also appreciate your care with the matcha samples. I had my first matcha latte last week on vacation and had to drink it in shifts due to the caffiene. I can sometimes be sensitive to caffiene so I think it’s great that you’re careful to ensure that the customer is safe.

Xhado, when you talk about people going into “diabetic shock” and experiencing low blood sugar as a result of matcha consumption, I wonder three things:
1. Did you test these people’s blood sugar with a glucometer to confirm that they were experiencing hypoglycemia (a blood sugar level of 70 or lower) or did you simply assume this was happening because the person suddenly felt shaky or their heart was pounding?
2. Was the matcha sweetened with sugar as most of your samples are? (if so, VERY unlikely anybody drinking it could have a hypo).
3. Are you aware that caffeine tends to increase a person’s blood sugar level, not lower it?

I don’t mean to pick on you, Xhado, but there’s a lot of misinformation out there about diabetes, “diabetic shock,” “diabetic coma,” blood sugar levels and what raises and lowers them. And as a person who is living with type 1 diabetes, it bothers me to see misinformation like this spread, as though it is proven medical advice. Nobody should assume they hare having a low (hypoglycemia) simply because they feel shaky. The symptoms of low blood sugar and high blood sugar are actually quite similar — and the symptoms of a caffeine “rush” are similar to the heart-pounding sensation of a low blood sugar. The only way to know if you are having a low is to test yourself. Also, if someone is in “diabetic shock” or a “diabetic coma” they are passed out cold and can only be revived by a shot of glucagon or medical personnel putting them on a glucose drip. A person who is still able to walk and talk is not in “diabetic shock.” Additionally, someone who does not have type 1 or type 2 diabetes does not go into “diabetic shock.” That term is reserved for people who actually have diabetes. A non-diabetic person can experience hypoglycemia, but it does not happen often because a person who does not have diabetes or pre-diabetes has a normally functioning metabolism (including functioning islet cells in the pancreas, which is something someone with type 1 diabetes does not have) that adjusts blood sugar levels for the intake of food and caffeine.

For what it’s worth, I own a tin of Teavana’s matcha and regularly brew myself strong matcha lattes — sweetened with Splenda and stevia. Matcha never makes my blood sugar drop, although I do sometimes feel mildly energized from the caffeine.

Cofftea said

My own freakishly massive consumption of matcha and the fact that diabetes runs in my family made me wonder the same things Infusin_Susan, I just had no clue how to phrase my thoughts. Thank you.

Jessie said

I didn’t realize there was another Steepsterite with type 1! It’s pretty exciting to see someone else correcting these things as there is such a mass of misinformation about blood sugar-related issues. I’ve been living with type 1 for 15 years and still get other sensations confused with lows, and lows confused with other things, so that feeling certainly isn’t exclusive. Though I’ve never seen such effects, I’ve been told several times to watch for caffeine raising my blood glucose so I also doubt it’s possible for it to cause hypoglycemia. I appreciate that you want to ensure the customer is careful as I know matcha can upset some people’s stomachs, but hypoglycemia probably has nothing to do with it.

xhado123 said

I never sweeten maccha, so I’m curious now as to what it is I’m actually feeling. Maccha on an empty stomach leaves me dizzy, slightly nauseous, and according to people who see me like this, ‘very pale and sickly looking’. I feel weak, unable to lift a glass teapot without shaking terribly. I’ve had customers call in after leaving the shop within my first few months complaining of similar symptoms after drinking maccha, and my coworkers have experienced the same thing. Any thoughts, then, as to what it is?

I prepare my maccha with one chusaku of maccha for about an 8 oz serving. My water is 140 degrees, strained into the chawan and then wisked with the chasen. Consumed within 30 seconds of preparation, as the green tea is continuing to brew within, and can get pretty bitter.

It might have more to do with the metabolism boosting an empty stomach. I’m going to do some research now, and see what I can find in terms of previous studies. Thanks for correcting me, Infusion Susan, I now have new things to learn!

LefTea said

xhado123, you might just be sensitive to the caffiene. I too get shaky if I have too much caffiene with too little food.

I don’t think xhado123 meant to offend anyone with the diabetic shock comments. Like you said, the feelings of low or high blood sugar can be similar to those felt by someone sensitive to caffiene.

I know around tea forums it’s hip to hate on Teavana, but xhado123 seems like one of the employees we’d all love to find there instead of what we often find (although I do agree with whoever said some of xhado123’s responses are a bit on the pushy side).

In other words, can’t we all just get along?

Jessie said

Xhado123, that indeed does sound like caffeine jitters that can happen with an empty stomach and sensitivity to caffeine, but I don’t have any biological perspective on why. Maybe drinking it more slowly would help? Matcha has never upset me but I drink it a fair bit slower than that as I don’t think I could stomach it going down that quickly. I’ve never found that it goes bitter, though.

Cofftea said

I agree with Jessie. Definitely sounds like caffeine jitters. I prepare mine much thicker- 1tsp/8oz and also drink it much slower than any other matcha drinker I know and have never found it to be bitter. Chunky? If you don’t re-whisk, possibly. You may also be having a reaction to the tannin level or it may be affecting nutrient levels like iron or vitamin B.

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I had a whole incident with Teavana last week when trying to place an order online – something I’ve done tons and tons of times before. I don’t want to go into all the specifics here, but a little bit of customer service goes a long way. I’ve never been treated poorly by any other tea company, let alone a grocery store selling Bigelow boxes, than I have at Teavana. For newbies, it’s a nice place to stop in and look around, but hold tight to your wallets. At my store, the prices listed are NEVER what the bill comes to, and overly pushy sales people who don’t really know what they are talking about makes it extra irritating. I chalk it up to my location; I live in the DC Metro area and the Teavana is located in the Bethesda Mall, where everybody thinks they are more important than everybody else.
Bottomline: it’s great if you have a nice customer service base at your local Teavana, but even the online shopping experience is poor. I’ll take Adagio, Harney & Sons, 52teas, Chi of Tea, basically any other tea company over Teavana.

Cofftea said

I agree. I’m going to go in there with an open mind and positive attitude and give them a fair shot, but I’m really only expecting Teavana to give me my cuppa matcha when I go to the mall (which is really only once or twice a year anyway lol) and possibly some teaware.

xhado123 said

I’m going to break form a bit and let you know what we’re supposed to say, directly from the training manual. “Tell the customer the exact price of the tea on the scale. Be sure to let them know of our 10, 15, and 20 percent discounts, and how that applies to the price of their teas.” The price you are told should always be the one that comes up at the register. We are trained to verify the weight and price, this is actually by law, by asking if the price is OK. They do it at the deli, or anywhere else but the gas station, that sells anything by weight and measure. Why this irritates tea customers I have no idea, maybe it’s the tone of voice or something an overzealous salesperson said earlier that made them feel uncomfortable.

I have heard really mixed reviews on the online system, I always tell customers that they’re better off to come in and talk to me, because a) I know them already, I know what health benefits they need, I know they’ve already heard our tin demo and b) I don’t exactly trust other salespeople in our company to treat everyone right.

Our tea knowledge is not supposed to be grand. We aren’t trained, for example, that our Keemun is a Hao Ya ‘A’ grade. In our training on cast iron, we aren’t told that each individual mold makes twenty teapots, and has to be remade by hand. Our training does not include the Zisha/Yixing gongfu tea ceremony. Unfortunately, it’s an extremely sales-oriented training experience. however, a good salesperson knows better than to just ‘get the add-on’. I always make recommendations based on what I’ve been told you need as a customer, and based on my personal experiences and tastes. And that includes discounts and free drinks, with a manager’s permission.

And yes, even by being nice and fair to all of my customers, I am one of the better performing salespeople in my store. I have more repeat customers who get what they need. Having worked there for a year, I’m starting to see people from last year who bought five pounds of their favourite tea (the fifth one is free, with the discounts), wanting a refill and recommendations on similar teas. I always make sure that what a customer walks out of the store with, it’s something they want, it’s something they need, and it’s something they’ll be really happy with for a long time.

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ashmanra said

The Teavana I visit has some really rabid employees. I was on the lookout for a traditional English kettle and said so, and the woman launched into a lecture on the difference between a kettle and a teapot! As if I had never made tea before in my life! Then she kept pushing me to buy the Zojirushi electric pot, which is fine and wonderful and my daughter wants one but I wanted a pretty English kettle – period! The end! At the other store I go to buy tea, I can hardly get waited on. All the employees are serving the coffee people. I guess they are jumpier. :)

xhado123 said

The kettle thing can get annoying. When we hear ‘traditional english kettle’, most customers think they’re asking for a bone china teapot. We mostly have chantal, glass, and stainless steel kettles. The zojirushi was one of my favourite purchases, and really makes tea brewing a cinch, but if you don’t want one, our training manual says we should move on to what you’re actually interested in… statistics show you’re more likely to buy something if you want it ;)

I love working for the company. Our teas are top notch, I’ve done my research on many of the grading scales, and the history of the cast iron forges who make our pots. The worst part about it is having people turned off on having easy access to things like a Bai Hao Yin Zhen, hold the twigs. I’ve ordered some great teas from adagio, and purchased a great deal of teas from local shops, but usually they do not have the highest quality. It’s a high quality, don’t get me wrong, but Teavana has a great relationship with our farmers, and so we usually are allowed a better access to higher quality tea. it pains me to see another ‘real’ tea drinker walk away from a Hao Ya ‘A’ Keemun because we also sell flavoured teas.

Cofftea said

The teas may- or may not be. Top notch. But blending several together does nothing to prove that. I have no problem w/ flavored teas or even a few blends, but they should accent the inventory, not dominate them, IMO.

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I’ve heard almost nothing but bad things about Teavana, to the point that I never really want to set foot in a store (which…doesn’t actually matter, as I live in Canada), nor do I plan to ever support them by purchasing from them online. But I do kind of have to say that your replies, xhado123, are the exact kind of hard upsell I’ve come to expect from Teavana. You believe in the company you work for, and that’s awesome! But some of your replies are coming across a bit pushy (in my opinion) and kind of proving the point of the people complaining about just that in Teavana stores.

As for the OP, reading the replies here has made me love my DavidsTea even more. I’ve never been pressured into buying something more than what I’ve wanted, the girls at my local shop know me by sight, have taken the time to get to know me, and are friendly to everyone that walks in. When you walk in, they always make sure you have a sample and when it’s your turn to be helped, they take their time, happily answering any questions you have. The first time I visited, I just stared at the wall for a few minutes. When I told the girl helping me I was new to looseleaf and didn’t know where to start, she pulled down so many teas for me to sniff. I left with only five bags of 26g of tea, on her recommendation. I try those teas now and I’m amused at how different my appreciation of them has become, due largely to the wonderful customer service I receive there. I’ve never been “upsold” a teapot there, but when I did ask about the ones they had, the girls were incredibly knowledgeable about their stock and when I decided not to buy (I collect teapots, but I’ve discovered I much prefer to find cute ones at thrift stores), it was no issue. I simply said “You know, thanks for the information, but I don’t think I’m going to buy,” and it was as simple as that. No guilt, no “are you sure?”, just “Okay! Can I get you any other teas?” That’s another thing, I have never gotten the feeling that it’s just a job for anyone who works there, they all seem to be really passionate about DavidsTea and tea in general.

So don’t judge all looseleaf stores by Teavana’s warped example. My recommendation to the person who posted this (a year ago lol), is to do some research in your area and see what little local tea companies they can find. I love DavidsTea, but I also proudly support Tealish, Pippins, and any number of other little tea shops in Toronto. You never know what you may find! In Kensington Market, which is basically a flea market on a much grader scale, there’s a little candy store my wife and I have been frequenting for years now. We were in a few months ago and discovered that the many, many jars on the wall were actually full of looseleaf tea! So, take a look around and keep an open mind.

Cofftea said

I don’t think anyone has said, implied, or does, judge all loose leaf stores by Teavana. If they do, that’s not fair.

From the original post:

“Is it just me, or does every Teavana do this? Furthermore, is it just this company alone or is it every other bulk tea store?”

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MaddHatter said

Wow, Nate it sounds like you had a terrible experience.

I can’t comment on Teavana (at least not until they completely take over Speacial Teas here in Victoria) but I can agree that there is a marked difference between the Tea places I have been to here in Victoria BC. Murchie’s the sales people were great, my first time going in I must have looked confused the sales woman approached me and asked me if I needed any help and when I told her “I don’t know what I want, or where to start” she continued the conversation with: “Well what do you like? Chocolate, citrus? Sweet? Savoury?” and that launched us into a converstation of comfort foods and favourite foods which lead to what teas would best fit my palate and where to start with my exploration. She also let me know that not only did they sell whatever amount I wanted but she let me know how many grams would be a good start so that “the teas don’t go to waste in your cupboard, and you can take more home to test out”. Needless to say I know I will always go back.

DAVIDsTEA was a similar experience, but by this time I knew what my safety flavours were and it made the experience at this store exciting, but again I will always go back because although this company staffs based on previous months sales, they hire people who are not only excited to share tea, but relaxed enough to know how to provide and incredible customer experience.

Silk Roads, although self serve leaves little to be desired, but at least the staff is cheerful and stick with a bright cheery “Hello” and mind their own business while I browse.

Now Teaopia… Oh God, you can not get me in there again, not by a long shot! They have a lot of teas available that I would really and I mean REALLY would like to try, but the sales girl made the initial experience well, upsetting. That being said, I am not about to write off Teaopia, though I will not fequent them because of the manditory 50g minimum, but I also know that some people are meant to be in Retail and some… well just are not, and it is not fair to judge a company on the slim pickings of applicants.

That being said, I hope you don’t completely give up on Teavana, it’s not always the company that is the problem it is what they have to work with when hiring people.

Amariel said

MaddHatter, I have to agree with you there, the only difference is that I do visit Teaopia, mainly because it is in Mayfair where I work. I would much prefer it to be a DAVIDs. That said, the staff at Mayfair all know that I work there and they are all very pleasant and helpful to me. The 50g minimum bothers me, but I primarily go there to get tea to go. There are enough teas I have tried this way that I might get 50g one day, but I tend to get bulk from DAVIDs…I just like them better. I’ve softened my view on Teaopia a bit since they first opened…I think that the current batch of employees at Mayfair really try hard to be friendly and helpful.

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I tend to have a hit or miss experience when I visit my local Teavana. Sometimes I get the two ladies who know me and know what I like. They make a few suggestions about something I might like. But they never force me into buying any tea I don’t like. Sadly one of them is in China for school this year and the other must work random hours now that school is out. I must say when I went in earlier last week I had a great experience with a new person. She didn’t try to push teas on me and knew when to back down.

Flash forward to tonight. There was I tea from Teavana I’d been dying to try so my husband suggested we stop in. I don’t turn that down ever as he hates the mall and dreads Teavana due to the pushy sales folks. So he did his own thing while I went in search of tea. The young man I talked to was very nice and got me the tea I wanted right away. But then jumped right into ‘why not make this a pound?’, right I have never had it before – that sounds like a big reason not to try a pound.

I told him my husband would divorce me in a heartbeat. I also said I’d never tried the tea so really 2oz would do. He seemed ok with this and asked if I wanted anything else. I did want to try the Monkey-Picked Oolong iced to go. I really can’t justify spending $25 an ounce on tea. Plus there’s that whole my husband might flip on me spending that much. So he went ahead and prepped my tea, but then started heavily pushing the Oolong on me. I thanked him and said no, he didn’t seem happy. I really hate pushy sales folks.

Looks like I might have to call ahead to see if my awesome sales folks are in before stopping by from now on.

MaddHatter said

It is starting to sound like places are really taking their “up sales” tactics to horrific levels. Before I left Safeway everyone was getting trained to do that, it seems horrible to walk up to someone and say: “How are you today? are you finding everything you need? Oh I see you have chicken in your baskart, did you know we have a number of Safeway Select Marinades that would compliment your chicken.” I hated it! Though I was always lucky enough to find the people who had just chicken in their baskart and are wandering around aimlessly with a party of 20 people to find the next day … easy to help, and it was never what I would call an “up sale” more of a lets do this together and you will have the best dinner party ever.

I think when companies are pushing the “up sale” rule they are forgetting that key component of: “Anticipate the needs of the customer”

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