We take any complaint very seriously 5th April 2018 – Posted in: News and Events, Uncategorised – Tags: , , , , , , ,

Customer complaint

Original complaint

I felt it best to respond to the complaint here, via a link on our Facebook page, as it will be far too long to put in a normal post.

Last Saturday evening my phone suddenly started making noises alerting me to several notifications on our Facebook page. That, along with a call from a friend, advising us of a very serious complaint that had been posted on a local community Facebook page: Rayleigh Community Group. We are not a member of this group so would not have seen the complaint had it not been for these messages so are very grateful to all those who contacted us. ( So bizarre after my previous blog about community spirit in Rayleigh!!!)

As you can see from the accompanying photo it was very serious and one that we were quite shocked to read. To rack up 95 comments also shows what a hot topic it was and as such one that I would not address until I had spoken to everyone who worked that day. I messaged the group’s admin to try and join but it would not accept Squires as business member for a techy reason so we posted an interim message on our Facebook which was kindly shared on to that group.

The following is our response:
Dear Tara and Bernie, who I think was your guest that day,
As promised here is the response to your complaint. There are always two points of view to every situation and we have now spoken to all on duty that day, plus had several customers make a point of speaking to us as well. You will see from our Facebook reviews and Trip Advisor account that we take any complaint very seriously and always respond and try to resolve any issues. I will say at this point that we could have replied sooner had you messaged us directly as several people did comment to you. Regardless of the rights and wrongs it has been very unpleasant to have this unresolved for so long.

You wrote, ‘I do not like to say anything bad about our local businesses and love to support them where I can,’ but you did not give us the opportunity to
do that early on. You visited Thursday 30th, posted on the community page Saturday 31st mid evening and the other pages Monday 2nd April.
The person that served you that day was not, as you stated, the owner but a long standing and very experienced member of staff. She had suffered a sudden bereavement and had only just returned to work that day after the funeral the day before. Whilst this does not in any way excuse unprofessional service it may go some way to explain things. She had actually brought what happened to Carl’s attention shortly afterwards but of course we had no way to contact you.

Incorrect information

Incorrect information

She accepts that she was abrupt that day however she was correct in the information that she gave you. You and your guests had sat across two smaller tables which have a total of four seats but you were 4 adults a child and a pram. The pram was blocking access to our stairway, which is in constant use, and it was also difficult for customers to pass you to access the toilet. You were asked to move to a larger table in a corner where you could safely park the pram out of the walkway. Our understanding from several people, is that you were unhappy to be moved and tutting was heard. That alone is unfortunate but you were asked to move for genuine reasons. The pram was then placed not where you were advised but blocking the main access between two tables. I think after what was already a somewhat negative experience you were then advised that along with many other food outlets, we only serve food and not just drinks between 12 and 2pm. It does state this on our menu but yes I agree it is not stated elsewhere. However the waitress then explained our policy for future visits and said that as it was not too busy she would serve just drinks on this occasion. I must clarify that you were not refused drinks nor were you advised that you would be refused entry if you came again.

Refused entry!!!

Refused entry!!!

I think perhaps this information was not delivered well and as a result you misunderstood and that is when this all escalated. After you left which, was pretty much at this point, a customer checked with the waitress as she could see how shocked and affected she was at the situation.

Our facebook interim response

Our Facebook interim response

Once again we wholeheartedly apologise for events that day. What was in reality a simple annoyance to you rapidly escalated into a huge situation.
In truth, however, had you been served by one of the other staff members that day you would have been given the exact same information. However we accept that it would have been presented in a far more professional manner and would possibly have resulted in a less unpleasant experience for all involved.
We have spoken at length with the staff member and she is very sorry that she let both herself and our business down that day.
However I hope that on reflection you may accept that she did everything correctly and that perhaps your annoyance at the situation added to the severity of how it all played out.I appreciate that you had bought guests in and had high expectations.

I feel that all we can say at this point is that we are sorry that you found our service to be below our usual high standards that day. I hope you can see from the amount of time spent responding to all comments on public pages that we really do want to resolve this.

Yes we are a small business and our building due to its shape does not accommodate prams and wheelchairs well. But as many comments mentioned we always do our best to fit people in. There are many small businesses in the town and there will always be people who have had either positive or negative experiences in ‘all of them.’ Like the other small coffee shops and restaurants in particular, we are here for the long haul and it is not in our interests to be rude or intimidate customers. Sometimes we do get it wrong but I think it is how we respond and what we do to make it right that is important.

It is the mix of smaller traders that help to give Rayleigh it’s character and our local inhabitants a choice. Local and national High Streets are all struggling and we really do value all of our customers.

I would ask anyone reading any reviews on any forums to not be too swayed by one or two negative comments, whether in this case or any other that you see regarding other businesses. When an issue occurs, of course it is only fair that customers have a right to complain but it would be unjust for a business to suffer before all the facts are known and always best to contact that business first.

Thank you all for reading this far and Tara and Bernie I will await your response but hope that this will help to bring this to a conclusion.
I will also ask the admin of Rayleigh Community Group to share this to their page and ask that our response be shared by anyone who is happy to do so.