This is additional feedback requested to the call I received about the compliant I made to your online portal as directed in both case by your social media team.
The original complaint centres around a visit to Cooper Dean Toby Carvery on the 8th of December with my partner and our four children ages 5,6,8 and 13 to celebrate Christmas. This was the last weekend we were all be together as one family. We chose Toby as we noticed the large hoarding announcing Christmas Fayre and rather than waste precious time with us stuck in the kitchen we thought we would go out then open all the presents, some of the presents we brought with us.
We thought the Christmas Fayre applied to Sunday, we were told it didn’t when we requested crackers and details. Upon the explanation, I offered to pay the difference to have the crackers. I was told that this was not possible. The kids were upset, we all had Christmas jumpers and not having crackers the younger ones were upset as they wanted party hats etc. I complained online that evening.
I strongly believe it’s really goes against the spirit of Christmas, Kids and the kind of meanness and pettiness that big brands like you would not want to be associated with, particularly one that associates itself strongly with family meals.
14th Saturday I received call, to give an explanation of why we did not receive crackers, I already knew the reason I was told on the day that the Christmas Fayre does not apply to Sundays. It was peppered with phrases like my darling and my love, I found it extremely patronising both to be spoken to in this manner and to be told something I already had a very firm grasp on. I questioned why, if it was simply a question of money, had my offer to pay the difference been refused, I was told that the offer did not apply on Sunday. Then again told my darling, my love, that they had to order the crackers in boxes of 5000 and if they gave them to me they have to give them to everyone or worse still over order crackers. I asked about the signage in front of the restaurant, to which she replied she was unaware of the signage, it clearly stated Christmas Fayre but did not state anything about Sunday not being applicable. It was clear that she had no intention of apologising for anything, the call was judged to be an explanation exercise and I thank her several times for her explanation until finally at the end of the call, she stated I’m sorry about that, but it was unclear what that was.
Here is some pretty basic specific advice for calling customers to handle complaints;
1) Ask them if it’s a convenient time to talk – you didn’t
2) Ask them to explain the specifics of the complaint first to ensure you understand it correctly – you didn’t
3) Avoid phrase like “my darling” or “my love” as they are patronising – you didn’t
4) Have something more tangible to say rather than over ordering crackers, its embarrassing – you didn’t
5) Actually express the words “WE ARE SORRY” rather than having to let the customer drag the words out of you, if you want a debate about if I’m right or not do it after you put the phone down, it costs NOTHING to apologise!