Author Topic: Takeaway lunch disaster.... urgent advice please!  (Read 4762 times)

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Ceallach

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Takeaway lunch disaster.... urgent advice please!
« on: October 18, 2012, 10:53:07 PM »
I just had the most awful lunch experience. I went to a cafe that I've been to several times before.   The staff seemed really disorganised and confused.  I waited in line, but when it was my turn the guy serving went off to do something else (take an order out I believe) even though I was standing right in front of the counter.  Then another customer came in and placed his order directly with the owner (who was over to the side making coffee) which annoyed me because I was there first (the guy was a regular, so he went straight up to the owner to ask for the "usual").   I waited a bit longer then the owner said "Are you right there luv?" and I replied "I would like to place an order".   I ordered a sandwich and an iced chocolate, to takeaway.  He said it wouldn't be too long and I sat at a nearby table to wait.   It took awhile. 

Eventually I overhear the confused staff having a big argument - apparently one of the girls had made the iced chocolate to eat in not takeaway so they were struggling with "fixing" the problem and whether they should just pour it into a takeaway cup.  Awhile later a different girl came over and gave me my sandwich.    A few minutes later the girl behind the counter started loudly yelling "Iced Chocolate Takeaway! Iced Chocolate Takeaway!" which irritated me again as I was RIGHT in front of her! I didn't think I should have to yell out "HERE!" to get my drink when I was now standing there holding out my hand.   She handed it to me and I noticed immediately that it was completely white and creamy, not chocolatey like it usually is.   Surprised, I commented "Oh it looks quite creamy! Oh well that's fine" and turned to walk away.  To my surprise she started saying very loudly and defensively "That's an iced chocolate, if you want a frappe order a frappe! Those don't have cream!"   I replied "I know, I get them all the time.  It's fine.  This is just on the creamy side don't worry about it", and headed out.  I realised that people at the nearby tables were staring because she had been really loud, and I felt angry about that.    All in all I was really dissatisfied by the experience and was thinking I'd write a strongly worded letter.  Or just never go there again.   The iced chocolate was truly awful -  I don't think that particular staff member had been trained properly - I was surprised because it was different to *their* usual iced chocolate that I've had several times.    If only that was the end of it all.   :'(

So I'm sitting at my desk eating my sandwich (which was also par-standard) and mulling angrily over the situation when I stop and think "Wait a second, did I get my change.... wait, did I PAY?!!"   I checked my wallet, and the $60 I withdrew from the ATM this morning is all still intact.   :-[ So not only did I get terrible service and bad food, I also stole it.    :-[   I guess I can blame pregnancy brain which I have very badly today due to lack of sleep.   Also in my defence, at this place they ALWAYS charge upfront, I've never had them not take my money at the start before.   I realise now that the owner guy just never asked for money at all, he skipped that part and put the order in and left instead.  All the other staff obviously assumed I'd paid seeing that their procedure is to take the money at the same time as the order.  I know it's ultimately my responsibility but truly, surely somebody should have asked for money at some point???

What should I do now?  I really don't want to go back and imply I was in the wrong because they did stuff up.  But obviously nor do I want to be a thief.   Would it be unfair to ask a coworker to go and drop off the money for me, along with a note perhaps?   
"Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something"


Sharnita

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Re: Takeaway lunch disaster.... urgent advice please!
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2012, 11:04:40 PM »
I don't know, at this point it sounds like it would be more confusing to them to try to explain what you had asked for, that you got it, that they didn't charge you, get them to ring it up...

buvezdevin

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Re: Takeaway lunch disaster.... urgent advice please!
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2012, 11:06:49 PM »
I would consider calling and asking to speak with the owner at a "non-rush" hour time, explain that you're an infrequent regular, and there were a couple of issues on your visit.  I'd start by mentioning that one was you neglected to pay, but that was likely due to some confusion which led to the other issue of your order being handled and prepared differently than usual.

See what he says, and certainly offer to pay on your next visit.

That said, in your shoes, unless it was a considerable charge that was unpaid, if I never planned to go to this place again to eat, I would not necessarily feel obliged to make a special trip to pay, given the circumstances of your last visit.
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bopper

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Re: Takeaway lunch disaster.... urgent advice please!
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2012, 11:07:00 PM »
Next time you go in just say "The order taker never took my money yesterday...seems like you all were having a bit on an off day!  Anyway, I wanted to pay for yesterday's order and todays."

Deetee

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Re: Takeaway lunch disaster.... urgent advice please!
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2012, 11:12:15 PM »
I have this rule of thumb whereby if I don't pay because of someone else's mistake I will not rectify this unless I am in there often or it is a young child. My time is more valuable than that.

This was their mistake. You didn't mean to not pay and the service was awful. Just call it Karma giving you a not very good free meal.

Or take the money and donate it to a good cause. Or put in the tip jar of the next place where you get an excellent iced chocolate!

Ceallach

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Re: Takeaway lunch disaster.... urgent advice please!
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2012, 11:13:32 PM »
Next time you go in just say "The order taker never took my money yesterday...seems like you all were having a bit on an off day!  Anyway, I wanted to pay for yesterday's order and todays."

That would work, except that as I was leaving the cafe my intention was certainly "I'm never setting foot in this place again".   (I didn't say it, but I thought it).   Honestly, the staff were just so disorganised and rude, I was disappointed enough that I don't want to ever go back.  There's another cafe in the opposite direction where the staff are so delightful to me, the only reason I didn't go there today is they don't serve that specific sandwich type.  (The good news is they do a fantastic iced chocolate - so good I think I'll pop out and grab one to help wipe this experience from my mind!).    But I really don't want to go back to the other cafe.   I had one prior experience of their disorganisation - they seem to have good days and bad days - and this was the final straw.

The total cost would be approx. $5.   But the fact is, they are entitled to that money. 
"Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something"


Bijou

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Re: Takeaway lunch disaster.... urgent advice please!
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2012, 11:14:17 PM »
It is your opportunity to call and say something like, 
"During your lunch time today there seemed to be mass confusion among the staff.  I don't know what the problem was, but it was confusing and disconcerting.  When I finally got my order, after placing it with the owner  and returned to work I realized that I had not been asked for my money.  In the confusion I didn't realize it.  My dissatisfaction over the poor service makes me feel that t least part of my lunch should be comped.  But, in any case, I need to know how much I owe so I can square with you." 
I've never knitted anything I could recognize when it was finished.  Actually, I've never finished anything, much to my family's relief.

Ceallach

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Re: Takeaway lunch disaster.... urgent advice please!
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2012, 11:19:18 PM »
I have this rule of thumb whereby if I don't pay because of someone else's mistake I will not rectify this unless I am in there often or it is a young child. My time is more valuable than that.

This was their mistake. You didn't mean to not pay and the service was awful. Just call it Karma giving you a not very good free meal.

Or take the money and donate it to a good cause. Or put in the tip jar of the next place where you get an excellent iced chocolate!

Lol, the final sentence made me laugh - see my last post re the good iced chocolate place!     Take from the rude and give to the polite, I like it!   (Although morally, I still believe I should get the money back to the first cafe seeing I did take their food and their bearly drinkable drink!)   

The other place I go the staff are so amazing, it's a chain and is more starbucks style where they put your drinks and food on the counter and call out your name/order, yet despite that, 90% of the time the staff actually bring it out to me.   I'm not expecting it, but they show up next to me with a smile and say "here you go!", which is so nice!   If they're really rushed off their feet they stick to procedure, but they always recognise me when I come in and are friendly and chatty, get my order right etc.   So I think despite their limited range (they don't make fresh food like this other place, it's all from the display cabinet) I should stick to them in future.   The bad service today left such a bad taste in my mouth, whereas I always feel happy after leaving the other place.
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Pippen

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Re: Takeaway lunch disaster.... urgent advice please!
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2012, 11:26:32 PM »
If you intend on never patronizing the place again due to the service and quality of food I would ask a co worker to drop the money in on their way past with the explanation "Oh someone asked me to drop this in as they were too busy/going in the other direction". You could grit your teeth and do it yourself but I doubt you want the hassle. You have then discharged your obligation to them and are free to take your business elsewhere.

CinnamonGirl

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Re: Takeaway lunch disaster.... urgent advice please!
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2012, 11:28:28 PM »
If you're not planning on going back, I'd let it go.

White Lotus

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Re: Takeaway lunch disaster.... urgent advice please!
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2012, 12:26:56 AM »
I am mostly with DeeTee -- forget it.  The amount is so small, and the place is so confused, it would probably take an hour to convince them to take your money, even if they would agree to take it at all.  Bookkeeping nightmare in the making.
I also possess a sensitive conscience, so I would probably give it a try, though, talking ONLY with the owner, mentioning the confusion and the less-than-usual quality of the food.  If I were the owner, I would thank you and comp the meal.  Something similar happened to me once with a case of wine -- I wrote the fairly large check, deducted it, and never tore it out of my checkbook.  I discovered this later and dropped it by.   They did not take it because they had given me a receipt (!) and said it would mess up their books.   

June24

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Re: Takeaway lunch disaster.... urgent advice please!
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2012, 12:29:09 AM »
I have this rule of thumb whereby if I don't pay because of someone else's mistake I will not rectify this unless I am in there often or it is a young child. My time is more valuable than that.

This was their mistake. You didn't mean to not pay and the service was awful. Just call it Karma giving you a not very good free meal.

Or take the money and donate it to a good cause. Or put in the tip jar of the next place where you get an excellent iced chocolate!

I completely agree. I wouldn't waste your time trying to explain even if you do go back. It will probably take too long and cause more frustration for you.

CakeEater

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Re: Takeaway lunch disaster.... urgent advice please!
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2012, 03:19:36 AM »
I'm normally in favour of pointing out mistakes like this and paying if possible, but in this instance, I'd say let it go, and consider your 'meal' comped.

Luci

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Re: Takeaway lunch disaster.... urgent advice please!
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2012, 05:39:38 AM »
If you do go back and pay, I would only pay the owner. He may have been there, but he needs it pointed out one more time how disorganized and incompetent his staff was.

Trying to explain it to a random cashier will only add to the confusion and frustration.

YummyMummy66

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Re: Takeaway lunch disaster.... urgent advice please!
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2012, 06:16:55 AM »
At this point, I would do nothing.

I would not pay for the meal because of the horrible service, lack of customer service and you really did not get what you ordered in the first place.

Second, I would probably never visit that establishment again.