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So annoyed at this hotel(668 Posts)
Name changed for this as RL people will know it’s me and the staff involved will definitely know it’s me. Sorry this will be long but I don’t want to drip feed.
We are staying at a Budget hotel at the moment. We stayed at one last year and it was fine so we knew what to expect. We only booked it as it is around the corner from our relatives house.
We are here for a family birthday. There are 7 of us in 2 families (4 adults and 3 DC in total).
We arrived on Friday night and after having a bit of an eventful flight (we won’t be using Ryanair again but that is for another thread) we were tired, hungry and exhausted. We had been travelling for 8 hours.
We had 2 drinks at the bar. We found the member of staff (I’m trying to be diplomatic) to be not exactly well trained. For example DH asked for a particular beer and was told “yes we have it” so he asked for a pint and was told that he can’t have it as the tap didn’t work!?
We booked a table at the restaurant for 9.30pm as we arrived there quite late. We had no reason to book to be honest as it was empty. We just didn’t want the hassle of finding somewhere to eat when it was so late.
Staff member 1 (sm1) asked us to go to the restaurant as it was 9.32 and they were closing soon. We got up and then went straight to the restaurant (it was only 20 steps away).
The table was not ready, despite being asked to go to the restaurant straight away. That’s fine. We waited while the tables were put together.
We had looked at the menu in the bar so we knew what we wanted. We waited for 10 minutes as we couldn’t see any staff members at all during this time. The order was taken at 9.45pm.
DH ordered a starter and there were 7 main courses ordered. At 10.10pm the starter plus 6 of the main courses were served.
We were a bit surprised by this. Staff member 2 (sm2) asked where should they put the starter (as the table was full). DH said he wouldn’t eat both the starter and main course together so could they take the starter away. They looked a bit miffed and said “I’ll just put it here” (on the edge of the table). DH asked for it to be taken away as he didn’t want both and also asked for a main course that was missing.
Sm2 started arguing with DH saying something along the lines of what’s wrong with having your starter and main together in a non professional way. DH was very put out by this (we both worked in hotels for years -30 between us before I went back to uni. I now work for myself). We were annoyed by the fact that they argued at all to start with as a simple apology would have been acceptable and we were annoyed at the fact that DH was ravenous and he now could not eat both the starter and main. Sm2 went on to say that they have their starter and main together all the time when they eat out!?
They just wouldn’t stop arguing. We have eaten in restaurants from cafes to Michelin starred restaurants and have stayed in hotels all over the world from budget inns to 5 stars. We have very rarely had to complain (and would only complain if we really really had to as we do not like confrontation) and we have never received a starter and main course together before. Sm2 said “well I’m not serving you anymore” and walked out.
The manager passed so we asked to speak to him. He apologised and said he would speak to sm2. We were all very upset and annoyed at this stage and most of us could not eat despite being hungry. DD2 (10) was so upset she wouldn’t eat and then cried when we went upstairs to the room. She had never seen DH argue with anyone before. We informed the manager that we would not be paying in full for the meal. I took photos of the food that was left and it was about 70/75%.
Some more of our relatives were arriving (from later flights) so we went downstairs to meet them and some relatives that live nearby in London at 11pm. We decided to wait outside the door for them as sm2 was walking around the reception/ bar and it was very uncomfortable.
Sm1 then came out and shouted at me “who is paying for your meal”. This was in front of the building and in front of other people. I was furious. I asked them very calmly and quietly to go inside and I would speak to them there. They then said “well you ate it so you have to pay for it”. I said actually we didn’t eat most of it. We were too upset. Sm1 then said (this was in reception so in front of other guests) “Why did you order food if you weren’t going to eat it?” I told her that we had spoken to the manager about this and I asked to speak to them again as I did not want to be speaking to sm1 in reception as they were practically shouting. I was mortified.
The manager, again, apologised and said we would need to speak to his manager the following day. I felt sorry for him to be honest as he was quite young. He obviously didn't mention the bill to the staff though.
We went to bed upset and none of us could sleep. DC didn’t go to sleep til 2am and I was still awake fuming and upset at 3am!!
We would have packed our bags and left if we could have found somewhere else. We wouldn't have even cared about losing the money spent.
It felt like the whole weekend was ruined. We are here for an elder relatives birthday and it was like a family reunion. We hadn’t seen some relatives in 20 plus years.
We went to a relatives house for breakfast early the following morning and then decided to have a wander around the local town. We had a lovely day so tried to forget how annoyed we were. When we got back to the hotel the manager from the night before was there but his manager (GM?) was gone.
So here I am on Sunday morning still upset and annoyed. I may wait until tomorrow to complain as I’m a wuss and I hate confrontation.
Thanks so much if you have read all of this.
Has anyone had any similar experiences and how were they handled by the hotel? Any thoughts on how I would word my complaint?
The main issues here are that the starters and mains were brought out together, with one item missing, and that the staff members argued with you about all this, including in public areas.
The other issues (barman being a bit clueless etc.) aren't marvellous, but I don't think you should muddle your main complaint by listing these.
It's not unreasonable to expect starters and main courses to arrive separately - your main courses would be cold by the time you finished your starters.
I'm not sure whether this enough to justify leaving them both, and not paying for any of the meal. I think I would have pointed out that eating the starters would mean the main dishes would get cold, and have asked them to take away and refund the starters.
The staff members shouldn't have argued this point - I imagine they wanted to finish their shifts so were saving time by bringing everything out at once - but that's not your problem. They clearly shouldn't have started shouting at you or challenging you in public.
Given the bad way this was handled, it would be reasonable to ask for a refund of the meal costs.
I can see why you are annoyed at the anti-professionalism of it all but the not sleeping and not being able to eat and feeling like everything is ruined is really quite an extreme reaction to the events you describe. That said, I'd still complain - not least because of the argument/shouting in the street and so forth.
It is not unreasonable for starters to come before mains, but if the restaurant was closing and you were the only ones there, i'd have chilled the fuck out and just let them put the starter on the table and if anyone wanted it, they could have it.
We were upset by the way the staff members argued. It put us off the food. We've never had to argue in public with anyone before. We are not used to it.
I don't think IABU expecting a starter before the main course. The staff members were not finished til 11 or 12. They were not in a rush anywhere. They were around for hours afterwards.
I think it’s bizarre that your kids are so upset they can’t eat. I can only explain that as due to the atmosphere you and your husband created.
Terrible service, really bad, definitely complain about that.
However crying, not being able to eat or sleep? Come on! That’s ridiculous.
So, ONE starter arrived with the mains and you all refused to eat and pay? Sounds a huge overreaction to me.
I think you all sound like a family who gets very easily upset.
The problem I can see here is that the starter came at the same time as the main course.
Other than that, I think they did quite well to accommodate you all.
Did you specifically ask for the tables to be pushed together? If so, they should have done that before calling you in.
If not then it's a bit unreasonable to expect them to know that's what you wanted.
Your reaction is over the top to say the least.
The staff do sound poorly trained but having worked in the industry for so many years then surely you should be better at conflict resolution.
When the waitress insisted on leaving the starter you should have just accepted it. Chasing up the additional main course is fair enough.
However, if you didn’t want to ‘cause a fuss’ rather than standing outside one of you should have asked to speak to the manager quietly. Explained your issues and explained you are happy to pay for the main courses but you won’t be paying for the starter and would like a round of drinks on the house to compensate for the mess.
If this is a budget hotel then I believe it could be a question of ‘you get what you pay for’.
DD2 (10) was so upset she wouldn’t eat and then cried when we went upstairs to the room. She had never seen DH argue with anyone before.
Well then maybe he shouldn't have kept arguing in front of her?
She's his responsibility, not the people he kept arguing with.
So your dh wanted to eat his starter while everyone just watched? At 10.10 at night?
Yes I think you overreacted too op, the events you describe don't warrant children being upset, not being able to eat or sleep etc.
While the service doesn't sound great it seems as though you escalated the situation unnecessarily.
I'd agree that service was poor and yes, unacceptable for staff to be arguing with you so yes, would expect a (partial) refund of the meal but all the rest - not being able to sleep, children not eating is very much over the top and I think if you refer to that in a complaint it will undermine your position as the hotel will think you're just being dramatic. Stick to the facts, the poor service.
They shouldn't have argued
That late at night I'd have thought your dh would have had his starter with the main, your poor kids waiting for him to eat it at 10 at night
They were probably hungry and exhausted and played up at that rather than the arguing hence not sleeping
And WTF was this all about?
We informed the manager that we would not be paying in full for the meal. I took photos of the food that was left and it was about 70/75%
If you chose not to eat the food that's your problem.
They fulfilled their duties in cooking it and serving it to you.
This reminds me somewhat of people that tend to lose all sense of their sensibilities in airports. Everything seems very heightened and intense.
Perhaps it's all the stress of being not in your natural environment that's cause all the aggro. If you are going to write a letter of complaint don't include all the stuff about you all not being able to sleep and so forth. Keep it on their lack of professionalism and lack of internal communication; you say the general manager hadn't informed the wait staff about bills etc so him/her shouting at you in the street was not on.
The people saying this is all fine and what do you expect are the reason we have such poor standards of customer service in this country.
If a customer says no take it away then unless you are thick as pig shit you take it away. You don't argue with the customer.
It sounds ridiculously unprofessional. I can't abide staff who speak to you like they are the Oracle on all matters...we went out to eat recently, and there was an issue with the food. One member of our party made a very polite complaint (she is v softly spoken and not one to make a fuss) and the member of staff mansplained to her like she was a child, basically telling her she didn't understand how food was cooked! And therefore she was in the wrong for asking for it to be served in the way she did. Twat. We got a full refund and an apology but it soured the evening.
I can completely see at the end of a long day of travelling and excitement how something like OP describes could be quite upsetting especially for kids.
Ok it's not great that the starter came with the main and there was a main missing (did it arrive at all?) but only one person eating a starter out of a large group is a bit weird anyway, and it is probably better to bring it as a side to all the mains, because what's the alternative? Everyone sitting there watching the one person eat their starter while they wait with no food?
I understand that you were all tired but sounds like a total over reaction on your party's part that escalated out of control somewhat but I can't see why you wouldn't pay for the food because you chose not to eat it.
So your dh wanted to eat his starter while everyone just watched? At 10.10 at night?
This was my first thought too! I can see how it was irritating if it wasn’t how you wanted, but hugely unnecessary reaction.
This is one of those threads where I would LOVE to hear the other sides version of events!!!
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