My partner and I had a voucher for "tea and champagne" bought as a present. She duly booked the date, I took a day's leave, we travelled up to London (British rail - no small cost), arrived at the appointed time, hungry and thirsty. Surprise! No tea and champagne, the kitchen was being deep cleaned (wonder why?). Presumably at short notice.
They said they had tried to ring us a number of times they day before. My partner had actually received 2 calls in a minute, from an unknown number, with no message left. I can't think why they didn't have the imagination to send a text message. Their efforts and competence at avoiding the situation that arose were poor. And they had no plan for what to do with us when we arrived.
As we;d been travelling for 2 hours on a hot day, they offered us a cup of tea, which we had in the checkmate bar, which frankly was playing music far too loud for the number of people in there - namely, us 2.
Cost to us in fares £50, plus annual leave 1 day, plus the cost of the present itself. Result - a cup of tea each. And the chance to come back for tea in September (we had to negotiate to get the eligible period extended and to get this confirmed in writing.)
Rather than resort to Trip Advisor public rebuke, I thought it would be best to lodge my views on their "contact us" web page. This brought another phone call the following day. Lots of apologies, plus we could get a refund - BUT Not from them - we could try getting a refund from Amazon Local. Like, as if this was Amazon's fault??
In simple terms, the waiter who dealt with us was apologetic, but the tea experience wasn't nice, and the attitude of the company appears to be "if it goes wrong, we can offer lots of aplogies at least we've got their money."
I don't doubt they were sorry at the junior level, As far as I'm concerned they've now had their chance to put it right as an organisation and decided that they won't or can't, so maybe if their senior management sees this for the first time on Trip Advisor it might make them think a bit more about their company culture. Not that I guess they care very much as long as they've got the cash.
My advice to others - if you are walking past, look in, but definitely don't go out of your way.
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