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Financial Compensation For Unsatisfactory Service

There was a person ranting to me today about a restaurant that she went to. Apparently it had the worst food and service she has ever had. She made her complaints to the chef as well and evidently they didn’t do much initially. What she did discover is that they mailed her a gift certificate to go to the restaurant again.

This was interesting as she was ranting on how silly this was where if she was that dissatisfied about the service why would she ever want to return to even use it? That just resulted in her ranting bad things about the restaurant even more. She was expressing how she couldn’t believe that they just didn’t charge her at all for the initial bill.

When you think about it, value wise it works out to be the same thing as the card essentially gave her another free meal. In that case I would be inclined to say that it would make more business sense to just deduct the appropriate amount on the present bill. It shows the person that you are doing something immediately to try and rectify the problem where there are better odds that they will give you a second chance.

Nobody likes the thought of paying for something they disliked a lot. Giving the person a voucher in that type of instance just turns it into a “you bought two bad meals for the price of one” I’d say. I think vouchers or gift cards as a form of financial compensation only works best in a scenario where the person purchased something wrong either through their own fault or the business’s.

3 Comments to Financial Compensation For Unsatisfactory Service

  • I’m with the restaurant on this one. If they refund the money then the customer is lost forever. The unhappy customer did choose to go there in the first place. In the calm light of day maybe the customer would think “they just had a bad night.” I would think this especially if I had a free opportunity to go back. I believe that excellent customer service can come when something goes wrong. Maybe the restaurant will notice the certificate and make double the effort. Either way, why not give them the chance? From the restaurant’s point of view then even if the original customer doesn’t come back then maybe the voucher gets passed on to someoneelse who they have a chance to impress.

    Stewart 3/30/2010 6:34 am
  • Reminds me of an italian (as in resident and citizen of Italy) restaurant owner that was interviewed for a US TV show.

    He said “In america if you tell the restaurant you don’t like the food, they give you a coupon. More bad food. In Italy if you tell a restaurant owner you don’t like the food, he will pick you up and throw you out of the restaurant.”

    DDELJ 3/30/2010 1:09 pm
  • I love the Italian approach!

    Notwithstanding what I said above, my wife reminded me of our visit to a restaurant in Yaletown a couple of years ago. Service was poor and I emailed the owner subsequently. He replied offering a bottle of house wine next time we visited. We never went back.

    So I guess it all depends …

    Stewart 3/30/2010 7:58 pm

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