9 May 2011

Dealing with poor customer service

Look, whilst I’m very different there is one thing I think I have in common with most people – I do not relish poor value for money, especially goods and services.

SAMSUNG            Well this story involves the Jumbie and two of his family – one who is quite young (<13 yr old). The four of us had a nice 25 min walk down the canal on the afternoon of 6th May. The weather was fine. Just fine.

Boy as we got to The Malt House (look left), time fuh yuh pardners to quench he thirst eh. Well the three gents decided to guzzle some Fosters Superchilled. Man the first pint went dong real good.

Right, so Jumbie insist on traditional English meal fuh he breda (aka brother). Well dee breda doh look nutn like dee Jumbie eh. I’s a good t’ing oui. Winking smile  Anyways, he’s a cool fella.

We ordered two large mixed platters and a 7oz steak for me (mo’ dan nuff food for all ah we). We specify that the steaks that were to come with each meal was to be done ‘medium’ (rare that is). And one of the mixed platters was supposed to have salad instead of chips.

Right, so food arrive and the first thing we noticed was that they did not replace the chips with veg on one of the platters as requested. That took about 10 min to sort out. Mean time the Cap decide to start stuffing. I soon realised that the steak wasn’t rare as we requested. In fact all the steaks were well done, tough and sort of stale tasting. I deliberated what we should do. I was thinking of suffering it – but then my true nature wouldn’t allow me to sit still. I thought to myself and aloud WTTE, “..we paying we money.. we deserve to be served properly”. Right – so I go to the manager and raise a complaint as outlined above.

I was surprised that she didn’t come over and look at what we were served. About a minute later the waiter who served us came back and picked up two plates with food and left the third behind. I’m wondering at this stage if  he’s coming back, as there is some more delay before he returns. So, I pursue him and politely ask if he’s collecting the third plate. He looked displeased waved his arms and spoke in a gruff manner. He’s telling me that “There is an issue because you all ate half the meal and then complained..” and he has to speak with the manager. I said that I already did that. He muttered something and walked off. About two minutes later he turned up and took away the third plate.

BTW – am I allowed to decide which part of my plate of food I decide to eat fus (aka first)? I think that is my business – and I will do as I please.

About 20 minutes later he returned with two plates of food (one platter and one with the 7oz steak). He was about to put the platter before me and two of us told him that it was to go across from me. His body language didn’t look pleased at all. Then he hurriedly placed the steak in front of me. As he walked off the youngest member of our group heard him mouth the F-word.

The Cap wasn’t having dat shit. I immediately shot over to the manager and reported what happened. She like a dam fool, smirking at me and about to say some shit. I head her off immediately and said, “Regardless of what you think, I’m telling you what we heard and what was said. It’s for you to do something about it. I’m leaving it with you.”  - and I walk off. I wasn’t pleased. Would you?

Well what an outrage!! Nah I doh take dat kinda nonsense. I wouldn’t be going back to The Malt House. Yes – some will argue that it was bad service on one day. No – it’s not just that. I found it strange that the manager didn’t come over to see what was the matter. She didn’t have to engage in a debate at the table – simply to come over and see the problem would have been enough. My strong suspicion is that either the manager or her superior had directed that they try to push stale and overcooked steaks on us. We stood out as being people of colour in the Pub. I speculate (not on grounds of race) that someone perhaps thought that we might eat crap food, shut up and leave. Well if so dey made a serious underestimation based on our appearance.

In the end the new set of food was fresher and the steaks did not taste stale. They were medium rare as we requested. When you go for a meal out, it’s not just about the taste or the amount of food. It’s very much about the service. However, some people and some organisations here in the UK still have an idea that the customer is the person to be screwed.