Trip Advisor can make or break a business if you have too many bad reviews people aren’t going to be interested in attending your establishment. But when that review is unwarranted or false workers in the building can often feel inclined to bite back.
That’s what happened back in September when Great John Street Hotel received a pretty harsh review from a woman called Karen, it read:
“Just been here asked at front if non residents could use rooftop bar and was told yes just order at bar. We asked for drinks and were asked if we were residents when we said no she went away then came back and said OK but didn’t take our order just went away. She came back went past us and into an empty room then past us again. Then came back asked the other bar staff if they needed help when told no went to go away again. We then stopped her and asked for service. She took our order and said she would be back after she had finished what she was doing!! As far as we could see it was just walking to and fro. Then decided to leave but spoke to a manager and explained what had happened. Now if they had any customer service would have expected them to apologise send us to the terrace and arrange for drinks to be brought up but no was just told it would be taken forward. We’re made to feel they didn’t want our business as we weren’t residents.”
Does it sound reasonable? Being made to wait a long time for drinks while bar staff wonder around may make you feel forgotten about and undervalued as a customer. If you’ve been waiting ages and all you want is a drink you’d definitely be inclined to take it up with the manager.
But according to the Hotel General Manager that’s not the full story…
“For the avoidance of doubt and the benefit of future readers.
3 minutes 35 seconds……That is the total time you spent in our Hotel on Saturday Sept 2nd.
Below is the time line from our CCTV coverage of you in the building.
Time 15.11 You entered our hotel reception on Saturday Sept 2nd at 15.11 and 55 seconds and none of you approached our Front Desk
Time 15.12 You entered our Oyster Bar and Lounge at 15.12 and 14 seconds (19 seconds later) which was full with many of the 94 afternoon teas bookings we had on that Saturday afternoon. There were no tables available to sit at as it was full. The 3 of you approached the bar.
Time 15.14 Our staff were very busy serving, with a full Afternoon Tea schedule, all of which were non residents, at that moment but they did acknowledge your presence at the bar and your drinks order was taken at 15.14 and 45 seconds (2 minutes and 31 seconds after arrival there). The CCTV also shows the lounge was also fully booked and not empty as described by you.
Time 15.15 Some 45 seconds later at 15.15 and 30 seconds your party left the Oyster Bar.
It is correct that the Manager did speak to you on the way out but your suggestion to her and also on your review re Customer Service, that we should prioritise you and your friends ahead of the other afternoon tea guests at that moment in time is not something we agree with you on.
Regretfully you did not wish to tolerate or accept a few minutes wait in our service once you reached the bar.
Thank you for you comments
Describing the three-minute encounter in perfect detail general manager Claire McGinnis writes how the group in question actually approached a full bar, waited two minutes and left without speaking to the manager as described in the review.
Waitressing and the hospitality services can be incredibly strenuous and tiring jobs, defending staff members is a show of good faith is definitely a positive in any business.