Saturday, 17 October 2009

Complaining...there's a right way, and a wrong way to do it...

Last night an Anonymous person put a comment on my blog (under the Darjoh’s entry) to the effect that he had had bad food and service at Darjoh’s. Taking that comment on face value, which I had no reason not to, I replied, empathising with him, and apologizing for the fact that it had happened to him, and saying how annoying that situation is.

His comment read “just ordered takeaway and got home to find no rice - went back and was charged $4.50!! being somewhat annoyed I rang up annon and was told rice was included with t/away - meal was very ordinary - do your self a favour and go somewhere else”

On the face of it, that seems like it might have been a mistake, but I felt that Darjoh’s had a right of reply, so decided to get some takeaway from there tonight and at the same time ask owner Nelson to account for this anomaly, or at the very least alert him to the fact that someone had had a bad experience at his restaurant and commented on that fact on my blog. I consider that only fair in these situations.

Not only did Nelson know about this situation but he had a very different story to tell, and one that illustrated to me how very differently two people can see one situation.

There were three staff working at Darjoh’s last night, one of whom was under 18 thus quite young and reasonably inexperienced in the ways of the world generally. This (Anon) gentleman ordered his takeaway order, then the above as described in his blog comment happened but it wasn’t just a matter of him getting charged the $4.50 extra for the rice, as Nelson tells it.

Rice is an extra you have to order separately on that particular restaurant’s menu. As there generally seems to be no set rule on this anywhere, it is usually smart, wherever you are dining out for Indian or Asian, to check about whether or not your meal comes with rice or if you need to order it separately.

This guy apparently didn’t take this news lying down! He was pissed off; he was very angry; he told the staff off, leaving no one in the whole (full) restaurant in no doubt as to his feelings! He had the three staff too scared to go out into the restaurant, especially the younger one. He used extremely bad language. He upset all diners in the room. In essence he made an impression, and left an extremely bad taste in everyone’s mouth – so if that’s what he set out to do, he achieved it.

He threatened to tell everyone he could about it – hence, I presume, his comments on my blog.

The fact is that he probably would have got the rice for free if he had taken a different tack in approaching this issue. There are many ways to complain, but this is one way you definitely don’t do it.

There might have been a misunderstanding about his order, mixed communications, lack of prior information etc. There are many reasons why it happened in the first place, but customers who see fit to be so aggro in the first instance are SO hard to deal with, especially if you’re a younger person trying to deal with it.

Mr Anon – you may well have been right (from your perspective) but you made a very negative impact on quite a few people’s lives. Is that what you want to be remembered for?

Posted on by Rita


Anonymous said...

Spot on Rita, We need billboards1! I hate rudeness.

Stephen Estcourt said...

Rita in my experience there are three sides to every story, not just two. It would be interesting to have the view of the metaphorical fly on the wall.

Rita said...

I think in this particular instance Stephen there might well be even more sides to the story, as the waitstaff will also have a different tale to tell, and separate to Nelson's, the Anon angry customer's, and the restaurant patrons present on the night!
Thanks for your comment too btw - we are lucky to have a more legal perspective added to the mix here, particularly on this post.

Christina said...

Stephen,I totally agree with the 3 sides to every story. I tell my children this all the time.
There's your side, their side, and what really happened.
A wise person once told me too that "you catch more flies with honey, than with vinegar".
I adopt that approach if I have a complaint and most times all turns out well.
There is a certain way, I feel, that if we go about things, all parties come away happy.
I also try never to react in anger.
harder than it sounds sometimes, but a cooling off period is sometimes required.
Having said all that, I have been known to take back delivered pizzas and toss them on the counter, demand my money back, informing the staff how over it I was, however I did make sure this was done quietly and as calmly as possible so as not to alarm other patrons.As this was the fifth time they'd stuffed an order I felt totally justified. I think even the staff were sick of it as no attempt to rectify the situation was made at all.
I'd like to add that this wasn't one of the gaggle of pre fab pizza places, of which I refuse to frequent, but our local pizzeria, that once was so wonderful but died a sad, sad death.
So in conclusion, complain if you feel it's justified, there are just better ways than others of dealing with it.

Christina said...

Hey Rita, just wanted to let you know that Phil's mate went to the New Sydney on Friday night for dinner and can't stop raving about his meal.
Apparently he had the Pork Knuckle or some such and he adored it. Can't recommend it highly enough is the word.
Looks like we'll have to go and check it out.
Sounds like it's off to a good start at the New Sydney.
Please pass this on for us.
Sorry I know this is off topic.

Anonymous said...

That anon sounds like a bully. His comment on your blog to go somewhere else was irresponsible & mean spirited.

Joy said...

On the subject of Darjohs, but off the subject of agro, I discovered that they are starting to do yum cha, as from this Sunday 25th. Oct. I saw a notice on their window, and there was also a small notice in the Merc.
Whether or not they continue with this will depend on support from the public, so if you want more than one yum cha outlet in Hobart, support them!

Rita said...

You're totally correct Joy, and thanks for adding that comment. You should note that I too have that snippet of info in my Gossip/News sidebar on this blog, as I noticed last week the same sign in the window that you pointed out.