Friday, September 3, 2010

Worst customer service ever!

I had the worst customer service ever at Sri Lukshmi Naarasimhan Restaurant, 438 Serangoon Road, Singapore 218133.

My wife and I visited this restaurant for an evening dinner. We had visited this restaurant once before, but we simply had something and left. However, today is the second time, and probably the last time I will ever set foot into this restaurant.

We went there because my wife had tried the Hot & Spicy Andhra Cheese Dosai, a special item which is not available in any other restaurant (that I had visited so far). She recommended that I should try it too. Hence we ordered a plate of the Andhra Cheese Dosai and another plate of Andhra Masala Dosai. It wasn't very spectacular, but something new and likable, but the overly inflated price of $5.90 makes it too expensive for a budget-conscious customer.

We also ordered a cup of Bournvita and a cup of Tea. This is where things get ugly. As we were finishing our Dosai's, the drinks were served. The Bournvita didn't taste like Bournvita, but tasted something like Horlicks concoction mixed with Milo. Still it was bearable.

But the Tea was actually a "Masala Tea." At first I thought it was "Elaichi Tea" due to the cardamom taste in it. Whether it is Masala Tea or Elaichi Tea, this is not what I expected when I ordered Tea. The menu card clearly states the name of the item as "TEA". That's right: "TEA". It doesn't state anything beyond that. What would a new customer walking in, conclude from this? That the tea would be normal.

So I called the waiter and asked him why I'm served with this kind of weird tea, when I ordered Tea. He went to the kitchen, came back and told me "This is the only tea here." So I asked him, "You go to a restaurant outside and order tea, do you want them to serve you masala tea or normal tea?" He didn't even apologize or say anything but simply removed the tea from the table and struck the order off the order slip (as I later discovered).

Later, when paying for everything except the tea, I discussed with the cashier (a man, who seemed to be the boss or manager), showing him the menu card and asking him "How is the customer supposed to know whether this is normal tea or some masala tea?" Instead of apologizing, he shows me a different lunch menu, which has an item called Special Tea and claims that it is a printing mistake in the evening menu.

He was trying to hint that the customer is supposed to know, without being told, that Tea means Special Tea. In response I told him that if there is such a printing mistake, then it is the waiter's responsibility to inform the customer of such error, and make it known to the customer what exactly he will be served when he orders such and such items in the menu. Again, he refused to apologize and even simply ignored my conversation, proudly quoting the bill price instead. (An expensive $13.80!)

At this point, I was already getting very angry at this unworthy attitude of the staff in this restaurant. Even the old lady clad in saree did not care to apologize for the mistake, but simply stood behind silently, backing the cashier/manager. I simply paid getting ready to leave. I left the restaurant with my wife, but not before telling him a final word: "You have to ensure that you're providing quality service and inform the customers of mistakes and changes. How is the customer supposed to know what is what without proper menus? If you are not going to provide quality service, customers will not want to come back to your restaurant (implying that I don't wish to come back)."

With this, we just left the restaurant. I vowed to never step into this restaurant again due to such irresponsible customer service and uncaring and prideful attitude of the staff. They never seem to respect the golden rule of business: "Customer is always right."

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