Service – confusing at times

I like this pic, I thought it would be a good start to this post. I don’t want to write about the usual crappy service in restaurants. I just want to share with you 3 experiences I had while doing some shopping in Canal Walk, I couldn’t believe the shocking service.

We were browsing the shoes on sale at Edgars, and asked the 2 assitants who were standing in the corner having a fat chat, a couple of questions. The response to both queries was “what you see is what you get”. No effort to assist in any way, perhaps direct us toward similar non-sale items which we might be interested in, nothing.

Then we go buy some tickets for the movies. My friends put their cash down, I take it and offer my credit card as payment for all the tickets. The woman gives me a look of total annoyance and basically snatches the card out of my hand. I understand that a credit card payment might be more hassle than a cash payment, but it’s a valid form of payment. The ‘ticketlady’ has no place getting annoyed with a customer because they choose to pay by credit card.

Then after the movie we go to Primi Piatti for some coffee. We walk in and the waiter asks “table for 3?”, to which we respond “yes please, we’d like some coffees”. He then proceeds to tell us that they are closed. Am I to understand, they have a table for 3 to offer, but not if we are just having coffee? If they think I am going to go back and eat there, they are mistaken.

Life would be easier if everything was just self-service


7 responses to “Service – confusing at times”

  1. Hi Dax,
    Have you considered logging it in HelloPeter?
    It seems that PrimiPiatti CanalWalk features quite regularly there.

  2. I suppose I should, but if I made an issue of every incident of bad service, there woiuldn’t be any time left in the day to eat or sleep (as you can tell from this article). I have to choose my battles. It’s easier to just not go back.

  3. Hi Dax, I’m actually doing a small project on customer satisfaction and used your bits (thanks!) and e-mailed all three companies, asking them how they would respond to service like that. If they come back to me I’ll let you know. (I didn’t say where it was from, just that it’s from a monthly electronic newsletter.)

  4. I’d be interested to hear their comments, so do let me know. Thanks.

  5. Hi Dax, I know all about how appalling the service in Edgars CW can be as I’ve had quite a few incidents myself. In one, I also broke up a animated chat between two assistants to ask where exactly I could find a certain brand item as I could not see the brand logo anywhere on the walls. The response was a hand wave in a vague direction and instructions to “look over there somewhere”. One other was having to overhear some very coarse language between three assistants as they were chatting away very loudly, but the redemption of that situation was another junior supervisor who overheard them and just came down on their heads like a ton of bricks, emphasizing to them that “ladies do not use such language!” – Way to go!

  6. Hi Dax, just some feedback from 2 companies. The first company that came back to me was Nu Metro. I received a phone call from Eugene Bezuidenhout the Manager from Nu Metro Canal Walk. Firstly he apologised and said that he felt really embarrassed. In the e-mail ot him I asked how they would handle situations like this? Eugene said that it there are two things that are very important here. He said that both a training and management would influence a situation like this. Training, as the staff members should get efficient training as to know that a credit card payment is a legit method of payment and that they have no right to get annoyed. Management, because staff that have wrong attitudes, should be managed correctly. Eugene further said that if you complained, the problem would’ve been brought to the management’s attention and although they could only apologise to you they would’ve been able to deal with the problem (staff member) at that time to prevent a similar un-pleasantry in the future.

    The second call I received was from Otto van Graan, the Manager from Edgars Canal Walk. I received this phone call about a week after I sent the e-mail informing them of the bad service experienced. Firstly Otto apologised and said that it’s a pity I didn’t have the names of the staff that was on duty that night. The floor manager would’ve addressed the issue with the particular staff. All their employees undergo client services training courses and if that is not enough, disciplinary steps would be taken against the staff.

    I haven’t received any feedback from Primi Piatti.

  7. Thanks for that Linda, it seems to me that a lot of emphasis is on the customer. Considering how competitive the retail and restaurant industry is, it seems quite risky to assume the customer will complain rather than go somewhere else.

    I think the companies should implement procedures to test the service themselves. Perhaps employ under cover ‘service testers’. I know that some hotels do this and I know Kauai has a ‘secret guest’ programme as well.

    I don’t think it’s my responsibility as the customer to take on the burden of helping companies keep their service up to standard.