I have been made aware of a spike in customer service issues at a minute few cigar lounges in the NYC and Northern NJ area. I have heard that certain lounges refuse to stay open past the posted hours even though the crowd demands more time, the cigars are lit, and the single malt is still flowing. I have also heard that there are a few lounges that have an insular or shall I say "click-ish" vibe where outsiders (new customers) are treated like second class citizens in terms of seating and the extent to which the proprietor will go to ensure a pleasurable experience. Lastly, I have been told that a few places are just plain old rude to customers. For example, a gentleman was smoking a cigar that was burning horribly with a wrapper that was unraveling to the point of being unsmokable. The gentleman pointed out the issue in hopes of receiving a replacement but the tobacconist insisted that he should buy another. I immediately wanted to know the name and location so as to avoid this place like the plague.
It forces me to ask. why treat people like this when the prices for cigars over the internet are so much more affordable. In the NYC and Northern NJ area cigar prices are so inflated that we have become numb to 20 bucks when we know we can pay much less on the web but this is the core of the issue. We do not patronize cigar lounges for the cigars, we do not leave our homes to smoke for the decor of a cigar lounge, and we certainly do not want to feel unappreciated. We do it for the comradery of other smokers and excellent customer service. Poor service will certainly erode the former which sinks the ship altogether so my message is this. Stop being an ass and treat the people like the lifeblood of your business which is what they really are.
A cigar is a one hour vacation and the last thing anyone wants is an asshole ruining their brief but sweet respite from the daily stress.