I received the email below, describing a very obvious example of terrible customer service:
I’d like to share a story that happened to me yesterday with you:
Yesterday, me and a few friends decided that we want to go out today & wanted to go to Sequoia .. My friend called to reserve a table for today & they told her it’s all booked out. My other friend decides to give it a shot, and they tell her it’s all booked out on Thursday AND on Friday. I thought something wasn’t right, so I called (I used to live in the USA), spoke using my fluent American English and asked to reserve .. to my shock, they gave me a reservation!! My friends who spoke Arabic were told that there are no tables, but when they thought I was a foreigner they gave me a reservation for 6 people!! Looks like they favor foreigners over Egyptians!! I’m infuriated!! Why does an EGYPTIAN restaurant decline reservations from Egyptians only to give the tables to foreigners?!?!? Are we THAT worthless in their eyes????
I will be boycotting this restaurant! I’m going there today to raise hell with the manager.
Note: My friend was with me in the car when they told her they are all booked out, and I called as soon as she hung up so I’m sure no one had cancelled their reservation!!
My contact details are as follows if anyone would like to contact me directly about this:
Omar M. Elkalla
Business Intelligence Developer
Tel: (+2) 011-555-5373
Personal email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The worst thing anyone can do is to apply discrimination among his customer base for any reason. If you do, it will easily spread in the market and you will lose more customers everyday. Sequoia might be surprised to lose even foreigner customers if they find out what they did, because once I as a customer know that you are capable of lying in one thing then you could lie in several other things. How do I know then that you have a clean kitchen, that you offer me trusted food and drinks and not cheap alternatives, and … and
It is a well known fact that bad words travel faster than good ones. One angry customer told all his friends and acquaintances about the Sequoia incident and definitely it will cost the restaurant.
Looking at it from a business point of view, you are a restaurant in Egypt where most of the inhabitants are Egyptians and you do not want Egyptians as your customers….Sounds odd? How many foreigners will visit you everyday compared to Egyptians? Their attitude seems like people who do not want to make money or reputation in the market.
They might defend themselves by saying “Egyptians reserve by phone and I keep the place reserved for them and then they do not show up”. Well, it is simple make the reservation and put a policy that if you do not show on the exact time of your reservation, it will be automatically cancelled. So simple and pleases everyone, instead of lying and favoritism.
Just another bad example of DON’TS in customer service. And I have to blame the restaurant manager. If he did a good job managing the place and setting policies straight, his employees would never have dared to do that. SO I could say it is an example of bad managerial skills as well.