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Customer Service - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.


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#1 dippyhippy

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Posted 27 July 2017

Ok.

So this evening I received an email from a very good friend of mine - I've known her for years. They are the sort of person that would do anything for anybody, and is always relentlessly cheerful! (Unlike myself!)

Today she took her daughter in law for a birthday lunch at Thai Gallery. ( I've been on a number of occasions myself - the food is great.)

They went in, and although it was very quiet, were shoe horned onto a tiny table. They ordered. My friend deliberately chose a dish containing no mushrooms, with noodles and a few other bits and bobs. When the food arrived, my friend could see mushrooms...and also bits of egg. A waitress was called over, and my friend explained very politely, that this was not the dish ordered. The waitress insisted it was. My friend pointed out the mushrooms, the eggs and the ribbon like noodles ( not the rice ones expected.) The waitress was having none of it.
Her daughter in law then asked to see the menu again. One was duly produced, and the meal description was read out. At this, the waitress did concede - rather reluctantly - that the mushrooms should not have been there. She said the plate could be returned to the kitchen, the mushrooms removed, and the meal reheated.
"And the egg?" My friend asked. Only to be told that there were 'no rice noodles.' My friend asked for the plate to be taken away. This was not a meal that could be eaten.

Her daughter in law ate hers at my friends insistence. Just then, another dish was bought out from the kitchen to go to another table.......containing rice noodles! The waitress was called over again.

"We thought you said there was no rice noodles?"

The reply was beyond belief. "There are no rice noodles in the dish you ordered." My friend pointed out that had they produced the actual dish that was ordered in the first place, the situation would not have arisen. This logic fell on deaf ears.

So.......a dish is ordered, it's not what was on the menu, no real attempt is made to rectify the situation, and the waitress was unbelievably rude!

My friend went to pay, (Still £25. for one dish, a glass of wine, a glass of water and a pot of rice - uneaten - it's rather bland by itself.) and had one final go at getting through to the waitress just how bad the service had been. By now, the waitress looked bored. She did respond - however, the first word she uttered was 'But...'

My friend was in no mood to listen to excuses and left.

This got me thinking.....

Has customer service got better, worse or has it become indifferent?

Any members have any examples of good, bad or downright ugly?

Edited by dippyhippy, 27 July 2017 .

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#2 dippyhippy

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Posted 27 July 2017

I'm lucky enough to eat out quite regularly....I rave about Nutters, and Little Black Dog. King Street Kitchen never disappoints, and The Rocket Cafe is fab.

The one thing all these places have in common, is the lovely warm welcome you're given. Friendly, helpful staff. After hearing about today's events, I shall appreciate the wonderful customer service in my eateries of choice even more!

We've just had a 'Scores on the Doors' thread, about hygiene ratings.....perhaps this thread could rate on customer service?

Edited by dippyhippy, 27 July 2017 .

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#3 Colin James

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Posted 28 July 2017

Cafe Bodega

 

I was in town early one morning with my brother a few weeks ago, we usually go to Ascaris for just the best breakfast (although not the cheapest) however, we had parked in King Street and I said come on lets try this Bodega Cafe. We could see a few people inside behind the counter, it was 0850 we tried the door but it was locked, I could see that they were due to open at 0900, it was raining lightly and I could see a chap coming across, I assumed to let us in, he opened the door and just said we are not open yet and then closed it again. My brother and I just looked at each other in disbelief, surely the polite thing would have been to let us in out of the rain and ask us to take a seat explaining that we may have to wait for 10 mins while they get ready, although he didn't appear to be doing a lot. 

 

This was the second attempt at using this cafe, the first time I was in town with my gf and we decided that we would treat ourselves to a cooked breakfast, cafe was open, we went in sat down and asked for the menu as we wanted breakfast to be told that breakfast finished at 10.30am, this was at 11.10am, most cafes offer all day breakfast but even those that don't you would think offered breakfast in the morning until 12 noon. 

 

So far this has been our experience or lack of experience at Bodega. So we mainly use Ascaris now for light bites.

 

Miller and Carter

 

We were given a gift voucher to use in Miller and Carter and decided one Saturday afternoon to have a meal while at the Old Market.

 

We ordered our food, starters and mains, starters were perfect and everything was great, nice atmosphere and we were just people watching while waiting for our mains. 

 

The waitress brought us our food, mine was fine but the mrs had ordered Chicken Schnitzel Served with seasoned fries, mozzarella tomato & basil salad and a garlic mayonnaise mozzarella cheese salad, however, there was no mozzarella anywhere? She called the waitress back to our table and asked where is the mozzarella cheese, the waitress just said you didn't order mozzarella cheese, my mrs explained that it was part of the salad that she had ordered, the waitress still argued that no, we don't offer a dish with mozzarella cheese, its just plain salad, my mrs asked if she could see the menu again, and yes, there it was Chicken Schnitzel with mozzarella cheese salad, the waitress just said, oh okay, I will take it back to the kitchen, she came back a few mins later with almost burned chicken and mozzarella cheese just scattered across the top of the salad. No apology for the error, nothing, that said we have been back since and the food was very good.

 

As a Herefordian, I am disappointed that they do not offer our famous Hereford Beef on their menu's and I have also expressed my disappointment to the management, so lets see if it appears at some point. Strangely enough, I was delighted to see Hereford Beef on the menu when we were in Poland a few weeks ago, so much so, I took this photo.

Hereford Beef.jpg


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#4 Slim

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Posted 28 July 2017

What's the old adage?  Say somethings good to one person, if it's bad tell ten!  After owning four pubs that concentrated on food and real ale, I can positively tell you that all training starts with the management. Any failures then blame the idiot in charge. There is no excuse for the chefs/cooks or waiting staff not to understand the menu and what ingredients are in them. Not happy? Don't pay. Leave your contact details and argue with the Head Office, if it's a chain, or post it on Hereford Voice and let others decide if they want to frequent the premises.


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#5 dippyhippy

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Posted 28 July 2017

Hi Slim, you're post is really interesting!

I can only speak for myself - and I have never been in a situation where food/service has been truly awful - but I don't think I'd have the nerve to leave without paying!

Morning Colin, thanks for sharing. It sounds as if the Miller & Carter menu debacle is similar to Thai Gallery. I'm sure we can all understand errors or mishaps....to me, it's the complete lack of customer service that is the real issue.

Good to see you have found Hereford Beef on the menu....and that's from a vegetarian! (Albeit too far to be a quick lunch destinations!)

Edited by dippyhippy, 28 July 2017 .

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Proud to be a tolerant and compassionate tree hugger. Blessed with common decency and humanity. Willing to speak up for those in need. Prepared to challenge the bigoted views which seem to be aired so freely.... 

 

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#6 Colin James

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Posted 28 July 2017

Hi Slim, you're post is really interesting!

I can only speak for myself - and I have never been in a situation where food/service has been truly awful - but I don't think I'd have the nerve to leave without paying!

Morning Colin, thanks for sharing. It sounds as if the Miller & Carter menu debacle is similar to Thai Gallery. I'm sure we can all understand errors or mishaps....to me, it's the complete lack of customer service that is the real issue.

Good to see you have found Hereford Beef on the menu....and that's from a vegetarian! (Albeit too far to be a quick lunch destinations!)

 

Good morning dippy,

 

I must agree with Slim and I have done this in the past and just refused to pay, what can they do, you could stand there are argue for all the customers to witness or just say I am not happy and I am not paying, I am sure they would just prefer you left the restaurant/cafe, but I must add this is only in extreme cases.


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#7 Ubique

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Posted 28 July 2017

Last November Mrs U and I went to the Monument ,Whitecross Rd for lunch , we both ordered steak which arrived tough as old boots - we complained to the Manager , his reply " I know what's wrong with that ! " he then removed the plates and two new steaks etc appeared .
Going on from that , our 54 Wedding anniversary in in the first two weeks of December , our Son and D in L who is Serving in RAF paid one of their rare visits to us and took us to the same pub . We all chose different main meal , Mrs U in her wisdom chose steak ,by 4pm that day she became very poorly - without going into detail her problems lasted until the first week in January - may well have been a coincidence but ............ Have we been there since ? No , would we go again - No.
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#8 dippyhippy

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Posted 28 July 2017

Trip Advisor Reviews....

1. Bad food, Bad service, Avoid!
Shockingly bad! , Starter, I ordered marinated prawns wrapped in noodles and was given prawns wrapped in filo pastry! Im no master chef but really! They could have been from any supermarket, upon eating the third filo wrapped prawn I had to spit if out, 100% raw, blue, i was nearly sick. The most inexperienced waiter ive come across serving food did not have a clue what he was doing, he took my plate away and came back offering more prawns, no apology what so ever from the chef or the Manager.
After eating the rest of the meal with caution the bill arrived and the prawns were still on the bill. This restaurant needs to take a good look at there customer service skills, pricing and invest in a good chef, I would NEVER go back to this place and would not recommend this to anyone. Disgusting.

2. Dire Service.
We were visitibg for my wife's birthday with our 8 yr old daughter. Orders taken including discussing my daughters food but it didnt arrive. We had ordered plain fried squid and prawns. When it finally arrived it was covered in oyster sauce. Mangeress had to be asked for a discount!!!!We wont be going there again.

3. I have read the previous reviews and wonder whether the management read these web sites or simply don't care. The whole place smacked of being in a production line fast food establishmnet and the food lacked that TLC that I would have expected at the high prices.
Although I've given one star to each of the choices that was done purely to submit this review as I really wanted to give no stars to the food, and value,

4. What A Decline In Standards!
This place used to be loud but the food and service were good. Now, however, it is truly awful. The staff are surly, the service is appallingly bad, the woman front of house thinks its acceptable to ignore customers and then be rude to them,

I'm sure my friend wishes they had checked Trip Advisor.....several reviews mention the bad service.

Hi Ubique, I remember you telling me about this awful experience. Spoilt Christmas for you both.

Edited by dippyhippy, 28 July 2017 .

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Proud to be a tolerant and compassionate tree hugger. Blessed with common decency and humanity. Willing to speak up for those in need. Prepared to challenge the bigoted views which seem to be aired so freely.... 

 

Sending peace and love, to my fellow lefties.


#9 Ubique

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Posted 28 July 2017

Mrs U and I now use Burghill Golf Club to eat out at lunchtime - open to non members ,as we are . Good value , super Customer Services, super staff , meals very well cooked and presented plus excellent views from the resturant / bar. Two main meals for £10 ,sweets £3.50 each.

Going on from that Mrs U and I decided to try the Imperial for breakfast - excellent .arrived at 9.10am .the pub was as clean as a new pin . The lady that took our order and delivered it to the table had certainly been trained in Customer Service , meal excellent. Plus a man working behind the bar who may well have been the licensee stopped what he was going to pass the time of day with us. Go into some pubs X C they just keep their head down and ignore the customer . Very pleased with the pub , will certainly visit again for breakfast .

Re Ascari , another excellant breakfast and service , as Colin said , bit expensive .
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#10 secretsquirrel

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Posted 28 July 2017

I'm surprised about Miller and Carter. We go there quite a bit, and the service has always been excellent, sometimes a bit too attentive for me, and always an excellent meal, which it needs to be considering how much it costs.
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#11 dippyhippy

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Posted 28 July 2017

What's the old adage? Say somethings good to one person, if it's bad tell ten! After owning four pubs that concentrated on food and real ale, I can positively tell you that all training starts with the management. Any failures then blame the idiot in charge. There is no excuse for the chefs/cooks or waiting staff not to understand the menu and what ingredients are in them. Not happy? Don't pay. Leave your contact details and argue with the Head Office, if it's a chain, or post it on Hereford Voice and let others decide if they want to frequent the premises.


Quick update Slim...

The friend in question has called round in need of wine and a natter! (Obviously I was the best choice!) She rang the restaurant today and asked to speak to the manager.....it was the lady who had served her the day before. So...I guess when you say 'training starts with management' if that's an example of what the manager deems acceptable customer service, then there's little an unhappy diner can do.

Edited by dippyhippy, 28 July 2017 .

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Proud to be a tolerant and compassionate tree hugger. Blessed with common decency and humanity. Willing to speak up for those in need. Prepared to challenge the bigoted views which seem to be aired so freely.... 

 

Sending peace and love, to my fellow lefties.


#12 dippyhippy

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Posted 28 July 2017

Nice to hear from you secret squirrel!

Hopefully we'll get quite a few members views on here. I was thinking - I know, the second time in as many days - and service isn't just about restaurants is it? It covers shops as well.

I don't know if anybody has spotted it, but there's a rather fabulous new shop in Church Street - Timothy Hawkins Gallery.This gem of a place contains.....all manner of beautiful, locally made, totally gorgeous....things! From furniture to jewellery. Breathtakingly good.

And the lady in there was lovely. Genuinely warm and welcoming. She knew so much about the artists/craftsmen and women. Where they lived around the county, how long they had been producing their crafts....and encouraged me to pick up anything and everything! Which was actually very brave of her. I'm sure had she realised how clumsy I can be, she might have thought twice! I shall be visiting again soon!

Edited by dippyhippy, 28 July 2017 .

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Proud to be a tolerant and compassionate tree hugger. Blessed with common decency and humanity. Willing to speak up for those in need. Prepared to challenge the bigoted views which seem to be aired so freely.... 

 

Sending peace and love, to my fellow lefties.


#13 Paul Jones

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Posted 29 July 2017

I had food poisoning from the Chinese in Bridge St (opposite Jamal's) on Thursday night. I only ordered a chicken curry and chips this was not long after the opened and I hate being the first customer in any takeaway. I heard them cooking the chips but to be honest I never heard the loud fan that you hear when they fire up the wok and my food was brought to me within a few mins, I did think at the time, wow that was quick. I remember looking at some of the larger pieces of chicken and thinking this doesn't look the best and discarded a few, anyway within half an hour of eating the food I had stomach ache and after hours of feeling not quite right I eventually threw up at about 2am. I reckon the chicken is pre cooked and because it was so early they could of thought it was still warm and by adding the hot curry sauce to it would be good enough, I don't really know but that thought did cross my mind.

 

What would you do now? Would you pop in and explain that the food from the other night made me unwell or would you just avoid going there again? I have used this Chinese many times and never had a problem in the past but upon looking at the recent discussion on Hygiene today I notice that they are only rated as 2, which has really put my off.


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#14 dippyhippy

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Posted 29 July 2017

Hi Paul, oh you poor thing. That sounds awful.

If you were feeling brave - I'd go in and complain/explain....I'd be really interested to hear how your experience was dealt with. The more I talk to people, the more I'm coming to realise that we just don't seem to complain when we receive bad service. The modern way of complaining is to leave a review on Trip Advisor!

This is useful - but it doesn't reflect just what businesses would/wouldn't do, when faced with a dissatisfied customer!

Hope you're feeling better.
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#15 Ubique

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Posted 29 July 2017

Had an experience in Wetherspoons last November - I know it's a tip ,even after their £500,000 refurbishment and the drinks are cheap , it was convientant for us after Mrs U had finished her stint as a volunteer at the RSPCS shop opposite.

I complained to the Management bar staff who wished they were elsewhere and about the tables stacked high with places and leftover food not being cleared , his reply was , if you don't like it go somewhere else , I haven't got the staff to clear the tables ! Soooooo I wrote to Wetherspoons HO to complain , I then received a tele call from the Manager of the pub apologising for his comments , asked me to describe the staff member , that was very easy .......the Manager replied that he had had 3 other complaints about this staff member that week - my comment was why was he still,working for you ? Long story short , he sent me a letter which had my address on and the Sentance " further to your complaint regarding ( the above ) please present thus letter to receive two main course and two drinks on the house " to be honest my first though was that there was to much info on the letter and staff members could do all sorts of things to the meal so I didn't take up the offer however it wasn't wasted because a friend of Mrs U is very friendly with the Stsff and wad happy to take the risk . Would not enter that pub again.

Mrs U and I have used Hogarth's meeting up with a dear friend , between Wetherspoons and Yates since that experience - super pub at lunchtime , clean , tidy , good staff and manager . Do not do meals or allow children into the pub. I have nothing against children , in fact I was one many years ago ! but I am pleased that some pubs have this ban.
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#16 Slim

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Posted 29 July 2017

Got to say, the "Cock of Tupsley" has given myself and family some of the best food and drink we have had in Hereford.


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#17 H.Wilson

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Posted 29 July 2017

I know it is a chain but we have had several really nice meals at Wagamama and the service has always been first class, so credit where credit is due.


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#18 dippyhippy

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Posted 29 July 2017

That's good to hear, H.

I've heard similar reports.

Slim...been there many times. Even in a large group, service is friendly and accommodating of our various needs. Veggie/ Gluten free etc.

Ubique! Top man! A letter of complaint. Love it! Much better than just leaving a review on Trip Advisor.

Edited by dippyhippy, 29 July 2017 .

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Proud to be a tolerant and compassionate tree hugger. Blessed with common decency and humanity. Willing to speak up for those in need. Prepared to challenge the bigoted views which seem to be aired so freely.... 

 

Sending peace and love, to my fellow lefties.





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