Another example of good customer response v very average

We went to The Star in Kingsclere recently, one of the Vintage Inns and normally a great place to eat and take people to. It is a lovely place, lots of little corners and log fires and is pretty reliable as far as the food and staffing goes. I can normally rely on there being scallops there somewhere as well as a good selection of fish and steaks. One of those menus which changes regularly but always has a good choice of food there for me to choose from. I took some guests last week but it wasn’t as good as normal and there were a couple of slip ups, simple things but my heart sank. The manager and chef had changed and it showed and I really hoped that this was a one off mistake. The food wasn’t as good but not horrendous, possibly it was only me that noticed the change but I always get over sensitive when I know there are major staff changes. I contacted Vintage Inns to let them know, to be honest as much to let them know so that they could be aware if they wanted to make changes but not expecting much of a response, organisations can react so differently to complaints.

Within a couple of days I was called by the Assistant Manager of The Star who had a marvellous attitude. He thanked me for my complaint (!) and said that the complaints enabled them to improve. What a positive attitude. I have been invited to go back in a couple of weeks and do a review of the food and interview the chef or manager to see how the new staff and new menu are getting on, fingers crossed but well done to the management for calling me and making good.

Compare to this to Marks and Spencer. On the way back from hospital I opened one of their packet of dipping prawns and halfway through was confronted with two big black hairs. They weren’t mine (I wish I had thick hair and I pay good money to have it dyed red). However when I contacted M&S they asked me to send the packet back (like I would keep half eaten packets of prawns hanging round the house) and offered me another packet. Now I guess that is the minimum they can offer but I am an extremely devoted customer who spends a fortune in there and it would have cost me more in petrol to pick up one packet of prawns so really wasn’t worth it. I was so disappointed and this wasn’t the customer service I expected. See above. What a difference. Here are the pictures of the prawns and if you can zoom in on the middle prawn that looks like a C you will see two black hairs on it. Yuk. Particularly bad as I was on the way back from hospital as I am not able to eat enough and this really really didn’t help!

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Tomorrow I have been invited to the Bladebone so will take Rachel so that we can get two blogs out of it and I am pretty sure there will be no complaints regarding the cooking there. I am really looking forward to that meal.






Just an update re Marks and Spencers. They have now written to me again to ask me to send me the photos that I have already sent them etc. I suggested that they look at the blog and I haven’t heard anything since. M&S I am now DISAPPOINTED (powerful word). You are eating up my time with no recompense. Harrumph

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