What is it that Café Rouge does not understand about service?
Last Friday I visited their Manchester branch (next to the National Football Museum) for breakfast with my family. They had all travelled up from Hampshire to support Team GB in their first Olympic football game – me and my wife had come all the way from São Paulo in Brazil for this game.
We entered the restaurant and waited, and waited, and waited. I eventually went to fetch menus, but found they were the wrong menus – only featuring lunch items. Us having the menus finally meant the staff gave us a correct menu, and the waitress apologised and said she was running the entire café this morning all alone.
We finally placed our order and waited. And waited. And waited. Our coffee and juice had been served, but was all finished because we had been still waiting half an hour when I decided to ask where our food is.
I asked the waitress, who just brushed me off with a ‘it’s on the way’ – I said in the mildest possible way (given that I was now fed up with this café) that if they do not serve us in the next few minutes I’m leaving and I don’t expect a bill for the coffee.
Soon the food was being served and all was well. I asked for the bill and paid in cash immediately. It came to £48.10 and I left £48.20 – really not interested in giving a tip for such poor waiting service, then the change came back all in coppers.
So the manager decided that because I was a difficult customer, she would be difficult when giving change.
Well I can see that Dana was my server. Now let’s see if Café Rouge has anything to say about the way their manager behaved? I’m hoping they can tell me how this reflects great British customer service and what visitors to the country should expect.
Then again, whatever they say I know I’m never going back. Or my family, or my friends, or anyone else who reads this.
The other day, I bought a box-set of 30 DVDs from eBay. The seller arranged to send me the package using a courier service, City Link.
I sat and waited for them to arrive. Eventually the seller sent me an email with the tracking code, so I could check on the delivery. When I went to the City Link website I found that they had already delivered the package. It had even been signed for. And yet, at the time that the parcel had supposedly been delivered I was at home working. Nobody had bothered knocking on my door.
After I double-checked the address with the guy who mailed the parcel, I called up City Link today to find out what was going on.
They said “it may be with a neighbour”… and paused, as if the onus would then be on me to go and check with all my neighbours. I asked them to check what the driver had actually done.
So, they called the driver directly. He had “forgotten” where he has delivered my package to “but it is fairly close” came the reassurance.
So now, I do have to go up and down my road dropping leaflets in the doors (because I am hardly likely to find everyone is at home when I knock) just to find my own package – when the seller had used a courier company specifically to ensure it got to me safely.
What I’d really like to understand is:
- Why did City Link not try delivering to the correct address in the first place? They had the correct address and anyone with a GPS can find me. I am in London, not some remote corner of the Amazon.
- Why they seem to have a policy of dropping parcels with neighbours, rather than retaining and arranging another delivery time (saving money by not bothering to try again?)
- Why the driver never kept any record of who he left my parcel with or even where he delivered it?
- Why City Link is not doing anything to help me locate this parcel, beyond telling me to go and talk to my neighbours
I’ve never heard of such a shoddy muppet-like courier service. I know I won’t ever be using them. And that’s a shame as I grew up in the town where they are headquartered – Blackwater, in Hampshire.