The Western Co Changes Hands after Customer Service Disaster

Posted on Dec 22 2016 - 9:18pm by Redwire Singapore

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The Western Co, which was embroiled in a huge PR disaster last month, has changed hands.

On its Facebook page, the new owners have declared that they will offer “good food” and “good customer service”.

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This comes after a complaint by a customer, Andy Wong, that went viral.

” Visited this place yesterday and it was one hell of a horrible experience. I will never return to this place again (not that they need my business anyway)

Made a reservation the day before via sms and received a text confirmation with stated “we only accept nets”. So I thought it was a typo and they accept both cash and nets hence the following day I went to the place with my friends without withdrawing cash.

When we reached, I took the orders from my friends (as I was supposed to treat them and I recommended this place to them as I wanted to try their cheese wheel pasta) and went over to the counter. As I was about to order, I did not notice the NETS POS machine so I asked if they accept nets. The lady over the counter said no as they only accept cash. I told her that I do not have enough cash with me as i was told via msg that they accept nets. She repeated again, “No, we only accept cash”. So I took out my phone and showed her the message. She read it and said the same thing. Ok maybe they typed wrongly but it seems like its my fault for not having the cash. I was abit upset at this point of time as I was misinformed and I cldnt place my order. So I asked so where’s the nearest ATM machine (from this point probably she cld tell from my face that im kinda upset). After she explained to me, I walked away and went back to my table.

I went back to my table told my friends that they do not accept nets. I showed them the msg which they said they do and asked who has cash to spare as they only accept cash. It was just another grumbling/complaining moment to my friends. No voice raised, no gestures or whatsoever. A friend of mine had the cash so he stood up and we were about to return to the counter to place our orders. What happened next was shocking. I turned around to see the lady from the counter (my friends said she had rushed over to our table) standing behind me. She said,

Lady : “Its just nets, why are you so unhappy about”
Me: “Do you mean as a customer, I cannot be unhappy about things?”
Lady: “If you are unhappy, you don’t have to eat here. You can leave. We are all educated people. We don’t owe you a living.” [She repeated that she doesnt owe us a living a couple of times throughout]
Me: “Ok fine, im not eating here”
Lady: “Ok thanks, please leave”.

Like seriously? What does being educated have to do here? I did not curse at her or anyone (people who knows me know that I have a very bad temper and was surprised that I didn’t flare up yesterday). I did not make a scene at the store. Maybe my tone wasn’t the friendliest over the counter earlier when I found out they do not accept nets but i was definitely not nasty, not crude, not sarcastic at all!! Neither did I raise my voice or make a scene of whatsoever at the counter. But I guess maybe she had a real bad day and maybe she’s the boss (the stress of being a boss??) and she doesn’t need to do my business because they only serve happy people? Like seriously??? I have never been chased out of a restaurant/stall/shop before by the F&B staff/boss. And what puzzled me was I did not even say or do anything nasty towards/at her. Cant I just complain to my friends? Really horrible, appalling and unclassy act from her. Honestly I was really taken aback by her response as she looks like a nice petite young lady and what exactly did I do or say to trigger that kind of response. If its my tone or the unhappiness shown in my face, I apologise. But for her to walk to our table from the counter to confront us, wow that’s beyond words man. If I scolded you and/or used profanities and triggered that kinda reaction, ok I understand and will apologise immediately on the spot yesterday. But none of that happened. Totally blown away.

As she was chasing us out, her male colleague (maybe is the co-owner or bf or what) came over and asked what happened. Cldnt make out what she said but she said something like no nets machine, no cash blablabla. So the guy asked us “do you have cash”, and we said yes. But the lady proceeded by saying, no we don’t have to serve them, they can leave. So I told him “yes I am unhappy, but I didn’t even say anything to her. Cant I complain to my friends?”. I cld tell he was in a difficult position in a sticky situation. Of cos he has to side his female counterpart who was still telling him they are not serving us we don’t have to eat here she doesn’t owe us a living. One of my friend told him that he already ordered and paid for some stuff and they haven’t served it. So the lady just said ‘get them the refund” and said something else which I cldnt remeber. Guy went to the cashier machine, took the money returned us and we left. Throughout, the lady keep saying, “yes you can leave, thanks, yes please leave, thanks”. The thanks was sarcastic throughout. What’s the point of saying it when you don’t mean it. It doesn’t make the sentence nicer, or more pleasant.

My friends throughout were puzzled by what had happened, they thought perhaps I said something nasty to her over the counter that triggered this reaction. When she was confronting us, 2 of them tried to calm the situation but all the lady wanted was to chase us out.

Really shocked at this kind of customer service, for this kind of service, no matter how good your food is, how special, how unique it is, it is difficult for you to go far. Whats with the “you don’t owe me a living, we are educated people”. Im still puzzled which part, what did I say that triggered this. Horrible and shocking experience. Never coming back. Not that they need my business anyway. They don’t owe me for a living.”

The Western Co initially accused Andy of lying:

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However, after facing much social media backlash, the company issued an apology:

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Still it was “sorry no cure” for many who continued their online attack on the business, saying it was “too late to apologise.”

Well, it looks like no more apologies are needed from the original owners.

 

 

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