More examples of great vs non existent customer services reported today. Both customers were in for a nasty shock but received different treatment.
Waitrose paid for a family with a one year old toddler to stay in a hotel for two days after they thought that their home was infested with deadly Columbian spiders from a bag of bananas bought from the supermarket.
Waitrose put the family up in the four star, £180-a-night Roslin Beach Hotel in Southend for two nights, while their home was fumigated.
The Customer said: ‘I bought them last Thursday and didn’t open them until Saturday only to find the nest. I didn’t know if any of them had already hatched.
‘Waitrose were brilliant about it. They said we could go to a hotel – we didn’t want to be in the property if there was a possibility it had hatched.
‘I don’t blame Waitrose as it could happen at any store but people do need to be vigilant.’
Waitrose commented that ‘The safety of our customers is our absolute priority.
‘Whilst none of the investigations have shown a spider, as a precaution, we have done everything we can to look after the family during what must have been a distressing incident and we’ve apologised personally.
‘Although it is highly unusual, we’re taking it very seriously and will be working with our supplier to minimise the risk of this happening again.’
It turned out that the spider’s nest was that of a huntsman spider, which was not dangerous.
On the other hand a diner who posted a bad review of a restaurant after booking a table only to find it shut received a nasty surprise after a member of staff told her to ‘f*** off’.
Jennifer Bennett purchased a £12 voucher through discount website Groupon for a meal at Lusitano in Chorlton but was annoyed to find it was closed when she and her husband arrived for their meal.
Mrs Bennett said: ‘I’d booked our table earlier in the week and they didn’t mention anything on the phone about it closing imminently.’
She wrote: ‘Had a table booked for Friday at 7:30, turned up and you were closed?!
‘I’ve emailed you about it and still awaiting a response and there’s no answer when I call!
‘After spending £6.50 on a taxi to Chorlton we ended up having to eat elsewhere so it was not the cheap night out we had hoped for!’
In a response worthy of Fawlty Towers, member of staff simply replied: ‘Just f*** off lady.’ Apparently Groupon are yet to respond to the subsequent complaint.
Both these stories demonstrate the power of social and mainstream media to potentially damage a business’ reputation. From October 2015, all businesses in the UK, from Waitrose to Groupon, to your local restaurant and corner shop, solicitors’ firm or any other business have to inform their customers about a certified ADR provider who can deal with unresolved disputes.
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