It's shocking how bad customer service can be at restaurants. These people have some of the most insane stories about dealing with terrible service
Standing Up For Himself
“About 20 years ago, I met some friends at Kings Cross train station (London, UK) after they had journeyed down the country from the cold, dark reaches of the North of England.
They were hungry, so we decided to hit the nearest restaurant we could find. We weren’t expecting great things; the area was crappy at the time, but food was required, and fast food like McDonald’s and Burger King had already been ruled out.
The nearest place we found from the station was an Indian curry house across the road from the station. It seemed pleasant enough; a little ratty but not too bad.
We were shown to our table and we ordered some cold brews (practically a legal requirement in the UK when sitting down to a curry) and a bunch of starters and main courses.
Then we waited…
After about 20 minutes I called the waiter over to ask where our brews were. Oops, he had forgotten our order. Meh, mistakes happen, not the end of the world.
Then we waited…
About 10 minutes later, I call the same guy over again, he promises to be right back with the suds and the starters. He claims to be swamped.
Five minutes later, he turns up with the cold ones. We ask how long for the starters. He goes off to check, comes back – 20 minutes. What?
Suffice it to say, the service was awful, and the food sub-par, the manager utterly disinterested in fixing the problems.
But this is not the end of the story. I paid with a credit card, and this was back in the days before chip and pin. The imprinter machine and the triplicates were dug out to make my payment.
My bill came through a week or two later, and they had added a tip to the bill.
Original Bill: £60.
My Tip: £0
Their Tip: £200.
Final Bill: £260
Now, I’m all for the comedy of opportunistic fraud, but really? £200? Is anyone that stupid, or that careless with money?
If they had stuck a ‘1’ instead of a ‘2’ in front of the total, well a bill for £160 would have been big, but there is a possibility a that a meal for four may have come to that. But, awful service and awful food, the two things the customer cares about in a restaurant, and they expect me to forget the whole episode, while they fraudulently tip themselves £200 for my bad experience with them?
The credit card company were not too enthralled with the tip either and reversed the whole transaction.
To this day I am no longer a quiet English man who does not complain at bad service. I stick up for myself, and if there is no improvement, well then I get up and walk out.”
Dealing With An Idiot On The Phone
“I called a local pizza joint to order two pepperoni pizzas for takeout. That’s all.
I spoke to the dumbest person I’ve ever encountered in my life. That order took me 10 minutes to convey, along with my phone number, which she could not for the LIFE of her understand. I said each number deliberately and slowly no fewer than three times. She repeated the wrong numbers back each time. Then she asked for my address. I said ‘Why do you need my address for takeout?’ She said ‘Oh this is takeout? I have to start over.’
I nearly screamed. We went over the phone number at least two more times.
Then I repeated my order over and over. ‘TWO MEDIUM PEPPERONI PIZZAS, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.’
It was painful. The most agonizing phone call ever. And this was to a pizza joint I call on almost a weekly basis, every time it’s a 30-second conversation. Too easy.
Whatever, I go to pick it up, visibly irritated, but that service was fine. I thought ‘I should check these pizzas, there is no way that rocket surgeon got this right.’ I didn’t, though I was irritated and hungry and not thinking straight.
I get home and open up one pepperoni, and one cheese. I lost it, called up the place demanding a manager and relayed to him about how has in his employ someone with a mental capacity smaller than the pizza she had messed up. He gave me two more pepperoni pizzas for free, in the end, and promised me that that employee would never answer a phone again.
She might not be overall an idiot, but holy smokes, I think I could train my 2-year-old to do a better job than that.”
Worst Birthday Ever
“A group of about 16 friends and I went to the Elephant Bar in Concord, California, for my 24th birthday. Obviously, being a party of 17, I expected long wait times and multiple servers trying to juggle everything.
They gave us one waitress. I was annoyed, but mostly I felt terrible for this girl having to deal with all of us. By the end of the night, I was seeking her blood.
We all ordered at the same time and were told the food wouldn’t be out all at the same time. That’s okay because we’re a big party. The food arrived over the course of 90 minutes.
I got my food last (seared ahi steak). It was cooked all the way through, burnt on the outside. It’s freaking ahi steak, that stuff needs to be basically raw in the middle. I (politely) asked for it to be sent back. Got another one, 30 minutes later that was cooked perfectly. She slammed it down on the table in front of me, and asked snottily, ‘That’s okay, RIGHT?’
My boyfriend at the time ordered food with the rest of us and never received his dinner in the three hours that we were there. We had to stop at Jack in the Box on the way home.
My friend, Brian, ordered a burger. She brought him a shrimp pasta dish. He gently slid it away from himself and told her what he had actually ordered. She stood there and tried telling Brian, over and over for five minutes, that THIS is what he ordered. Finally, Brian’s girlfriend stood up and told her to take it away before Brian went into anaphylactic shock; he’s deathly allergic to shellfish.
The waitress told her to stop being a drama queen.
I had one drink (a mai tai) upon arrival. I ordered a second one two hours later; the waitress told me I wasn’t allowed to have any more, I’d wasted enough. Uh, what?
They’re supposed to bring you a free piece of cake or a dessert for your birthday if you have your ID as proof. I had just moved to California and still had my South Carolina driver’s license, so I gave the waitress that. She said they don’t accept ‘out of country IDs.’
I ordered dessert anyway. Lavender crème brulee with ice cream ($6.99 a serving). On the receipt, she manually changed the price to $12.99 for some unknown reason.
Every single entree that came out of the kitchen was stone cold.
After dealing with the nonsense for two hours, we were ready to just leave. It took another hour to get our check.
We left her a $10 tip on a $400 ticket. She came over to me, the only person at the table not paying and said that I needed to change the tip amount to something more appropriate. This was minutes after I told her that my boyfriend never got his dinner. Yes, we were charged for it on the receipt.
We left after three hours, and on our way out the door, the hostess asked us if we’d had a good time. Every single person in my party said in unison, ‘No.’
I called the manager the next day and explained all the problems we had. He was nice and took my name and address. He was going to send me $100 worth of gift cards so I could come back and have a much better experience. He was sincere.
I never heard anything from Elephant Bar, and never got anything in the mail.
Seriously, forget that place.”
Taking A Bite Out
“I was 11 or 12 eating lunch at a place called the Egg Platter with my grandpa. Our waitress was old, but seemed friendly and was quick about getting us refills and putting in our order. I ordered a double-decker club sandwich and we had our food within 15 minutes of walking in. So far, so good. Until she brought my sandwich out at least. I could see her carrying it over from across the room and my chubby little eyes lit up. When she got to our table though she did the unthinkable.