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WWYD/AIBU? Incredibly rude staff in a pub last night

(45 Posts)
Sapph1r3 Sun 22-May-16 19:04:39

This is a pub that I go to once/twice most weekends and I probably spend about £250/month there (serves really nice food!) It's my favourite pub and I would be absolutely gutted if I wasn't allowed back.

BUT, last night I was in there and drinking gin and tonics with a whole group of people. The rounds got confused and I ended up with two drinks in front of me, the tonic water was only poured in halfway. I finished the first and went to pick up the second and I noticed what looked like a piece of dirty string tied in a circle floating in the top of the drink. I fished it out and when the barmaid came over I explained what had happened and asked for a fresh drink. She rolled her eyes, got the drink and then asked me to pay (£5). I said - er, hang on a minute, I shouldn't have to pay for this. She then accused me of putting it in there myself/allowing somebody else to and insisted that I'd already drunk half of it. I explained politely exactly what had happened and she refused to back down and stomped off to her the owner. The owner came out and wasn't interested in anything I had to say, she just rather aggressively said if I didn't pay then I wouldn't be allowed to drink in there again. I was absolutely taken aback, she walked off and I thought to keep the peace, I would pay. It was 5 fucking pounds and I'd already paid a bill of £50 that night! Quite why they thought I was trying to get one free G&T is beyond me?! I was not rude or confrontational but I did stay firm.

I'm really shocked because previously I have got on really well with the barstaff there, I count some of them as among my friends. And there was an incident a few weeks ago where my friend and I had lunch there and when we left each thought the other had paid. I went back in a few days later and explained what happened and they had no knowledge of the bill but I told them what we'd eaten and drunk and they took the payment for it there and then. The staff were incredibly grateful that I'd come back and paid, even when they couldn't produce a bill for me.

This is literally the first time anything bad has happened in this pub but to have two members of staff being aggressive and rude isn't something I feel I can ignore. It's even more upsetting that the owner took this stance too. As I said before, I really don't want to never go back there but I am very cross that they didn't believe me, or apologise or offer me a replacement drink. I'm really at a loss over what to do! I thought of TripAdvisor but last night aside, I've always had a great time in there.

BillSykesDog Sun 22-May-16 19:10:34

If the drink was sitting on your table that long (enough to drink another drink) why would you think it came from when it was served at the bar? And why hadn't you noticed it before? TBH if I was working behind a bar and a customer asked for a refund on a drink bought quite a while beforehand I'd think they were trying it on too.

Shakirasma Sun 22-May-16 19:15:48

What Bill said ^

Sapph1r3 Sun 22-May-16 19:16:37

We weren't at a table, we were sitting at the bar. I saw the drink being put down in front of me but didn't touch it for ten minutes or so. There is no way anyone could have got the string in there after it was put down without me noticing. And common sense dictates that a customer who came back voluntarily to pay a non existent bill and spends as much I do in there, as regularly as I do, is not going to lie and cause an argument for the sake of a £5 drink!

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Sun 22-May-16 19:17:47

Time to go somewhere else I think!

PaulAnkaTheDog Sun 22-May-16 19:18:14

Yup, I'm with Bill.

Totally not the point but you spend £250 a month in just one pub?! That's mental! grin

Buckinbronco Sun 22-May-16 19:19:35

I have had this before and the staff were also very rude. It's no big deal to take a while to drink a drink, it's up to you how you do it. If it were food you wouldn't have this row- it's just because they think you are pissed and stupid. I would email a complaint today.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Sun 22-May-16 19:20:53

That's roughly 60 per weekend- easy done with food and drinks. Used to do it myself many moons ago in the good old days grin

AnchorDownDeepBreath Sun 22-May-16 19:22:26

Hmm.. I can see your point and theirs.

They served a drink to someone. It's easy to see a string in G&T. Nobody notices it when it's being poured or before they pay. Nobody questions the amount of drink either. It's all accepted and paid for. After ten minutes, you point out the string and want a free drink... It does look like you're after half a drink for free. Saturday nights tend to be stressful and busy and they probably aren't aware of how often you're in there or how much you've spent at that point. There's probably health and safety implications of them admitting the string came from them, too. It's quite dangerous!

It's bad, but I think it's probably just a side effect of a busy night and lots of people trying it on. You could try to speak to the manager again next time you're in, if it's a quieter night, but if you value the pub I'd probably let it go this time.

EvansAndThePrince Sun 22-May-16 19:23:13


DuckAndPancakes Sun 22-May-16 19:23:40

Paul - I used to have people spend at least £250 a week in my pub. They were my favourites, but I'd still have been dubious about this to be fair.

TheNotoriousPMT Sun 22-May-16 19:28:36

Were the particular staff who dealt with it staff who you know? As in, know by name and they know yours? If not, from their point of view you were a random trying it on.

ijustwannadance Sun 22-May-16 19:28:46

If it was me behind the bar I would've just given you a fresh drink and added it to the wastage.

Witchend Sun 22-May-16 19:28:46

If you refuse to go back, just think you'll be saving around £3k a year. They're doing you a favour.wink

NerrSnerr Sun 22-May-16 19:28:48

I can see it from both sides. The barmaid was rude but from her perspective it seems like you'd already had half of it.

zozzij Sun 22-May-16 19:30:46

It's a shitty thing to have happened, but if you like the place then I would let it go this time. It was a Saturday night; most bars/pubs/restaurants are at their busiest at the weekend and although it's no excuse, it's possible that the people who were serving you had had a really stressful day already and had had a gut full. We all make mistakes - you made a mistake when you left without paying a few weeks back, and you were forgiven on that occasion, so if it were me I would return the favour and let it go this time, but see how the service is over your next couple of visits and take it from there. You're obviously not a pisstaker but unfortunately a lot of people are and that affects the way everyone is treated sometimes.

And as a veteran of the service industry I would like to thank you for not taking to TripAdvisor immediately to leave a stinking review!

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Sun 22-May-16 19:30:46

I think your have to be pretty tight to quibble over this when a regular customer asked for a replacement. Especially if they'd already proved their honesty by bringing in forgotten bill money.

Their loss as I would vote with my feet personally.

Littleballerina Sun 22-May-16 19:37:39

They were hardly aggressive.
Maybe something fell in as you sa tthere. You don't know that it was them.

HermioneWeasley Sun 22-May-16 19:38:51

They are mad to treat a regular like this.

Honestly I would take my business elsewhere and put a review on trip adviser explaining why

Crinkle77 Sun 22-May-16 19:39:28

So the staff thought you were trying it on for the sake of half a drink? Why would anyone sabotage their drink just for the sake of getting half a free drink? I have to disagree with some of the other posters on here. I think it is a pretty awful way to treat a regular customer. I work in customer services and sometimes you think people are taking the piss but you grin and bear it.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Sun 22-May-16 19:40:44

Crinkle- totally agree!

HopefulHamster Sun 22-May-16 19:41:08

I think they were unreasonable on balance, to a known regular customer. Foolish of them to be rude.

UterusUterusGhali Sun 22-May-16 19:41:26

I'd have just hoiked it out and not given it another thought tbh. blush

I can see why you're annoyed, but if let it go. It's not worth losing your local over.

queenofthepirates Sun 22-May-16 19:42:24

I own a shop and I would be insane to treat my customers like that. Drink elsewhere and explain why on Tripadvisor.

IrishDad79 Sun 22-May-16 19:43:33

How long was the piece of string?

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