The response came AFTER my dear friend wrote to Boo-n-Bouquet where the latter contacted No Signboard's Director of Corporate Communications*.
The time line of event seems to suggest one of two possible scenarios (feel free to add in the comments if you can think of more).
- No Signboard's reply suggested that the delay in their response was a result of waiting for the errant staff to return from her annual leave, in order for the management to investigate the incident.
The fact that the response came after Boo-n-Bouquet contacted the Director of No Signboard was a coincidence.
- No one was manning the customer feedback email over at No Signboard's side. Had Boo-n-Bouquet not contacted No Signboard about this incident, we'd probably still be waiting for a reply till the cows come home.
In short, customer service feedback at No Signboard is not a priority.
Coming back, the fact of the matter is that No Signboard did reply and I have the email reproduced below.
In a way, discounting the circumstances affecting the timeliness of the response, I would honestly say that I am satisfied with the reply. The refund of the food bill was a nice gesture but not something that I would demand for.
Let's face it, you ate and so you should pay (maybe less the 10% service charge). It's only fair.
I am satisfied that No Signboard's management admitted their mistake, apologised, detailed what they have done to correct their mistake AND further elaborated what they intend to do to avert a repeat of such an unfortunate incident.
That to me, is good enough.
Some lamented about the poor grammar in the email which to me is a non-issue. Content is king. I rather have a badly written BUT sincere apology than one that is super polished perfunctory and patronising.
I won't go to the extreme of boycotting the establishment as I think that would be over-reacting. I'll leave that decision for each individual to make.
Date: Thu, May 13, 2010 at 4:01 PM
Subject: RE: Dining at No Signboard, Vivocity
Sorry for the late reply.
We will like to send our deepest sincere apologies to you and your husband for the incident at our vivo city branch.
When we received your email, we have arranged to investigate the case with the related staff, due she was on Annual Leave, we only manage to get her personal explanations today.
We are extremely upset with her irresponsible and careless attitude.
Our management has given her a serious warning and lectures her in regard to the matter.
All our staffs have been trained and taught to handle all customers’ cash and credit cards in a proper and careful way. Unfortunately this incident has happened and we will definitely bring it to a stop.
We definitely know the anger and anxious that you experience, and we know that hundreds of apologies cannot amend the mistake.
Our management will sincerely like to waive off your bill as a small gesture with regard to the matter.
We hope that we are able to forgive the staff for the mistake.
* Citation Source: http://www.plurk.com/p/56lh70