He Says She Says 22/07/10
This week: To complain - or not?
Now those that have listened to Heart Breakfast would quite possibly spit out their tea at the very mention of me saying, “I don’t like to complain”, but really I don’t.
I could have the worst service imaginable and yet remain tight-lipped. Some believe that the owner of, let’s say a restaurant, would rather you complained to them than to a friend and gave them the opportunity to put right anything you weren’t happy with.
Those that do complain in a restaurant will have little or no thought as to those they are dining with and just how uncomfortable they make fellow guests feel. I have often been left very embarrassed dining out with serial complainers, leaving me feeling that I want to apologise on their behalf to a waiter or waitress.
Recently whilst out with my in-laws, I was served a slightly burnt part of a pie. My father-in-law asked me how my dinner was (the dinner I hasten to add he was picking up the tab for) and I simply replied that it was lovely. Hence everyone around the table left satisfied that we had made a good decision and enjoyed chatting about things other than the quality of my food which at the establishment is normally perfect.
Now, had I complained, the conversation would have been dominated by my grumble and the atmosphere would have gone seriously downhill; so by keeping it buttoned I saved the day and all it took was a quick rub down with a toothbrush to get the burnt food taste out of my mouth!
So my point is that unless the service is dreadful to all concerned I don’t want to be the one to make a fuss. Sometimes it’s just better to grin and bear it.
We are definitely a nation that would prefer to keep quiet rather than complain. It seems that something has too be pretty bad for a person to step up and say that they are not happy. Nonetheless, when we don’t complain we still moan to everybody and anybody - how silly!
I believe that we should complain more and when it comes to eating out we should never settle for anything other than perfection. For many of us, a meal out is a real treat and can cost a lot of money. I don’t mind how much a meal costs as long as I get great food, great service and great atmosphere, but if I don’t, I will complain.
It doesn’t matter who I am with or how many people I’m with, if something isn’t right then I will attempt to sort it. I’ve even been known to complain on someone else’s behalf because they are too shy to do it. Why should a restaurant get away with serving up bad food and why should the person who has received the bad food be made to suffer a terrible meal?
Some people will sit in silence and not make a fuss rather than upset and embarrass the people they are with - but why should they? It wouldn’t worry me if someone on my table complained. In fact I would encourage my friends or family member to complain.
I wouldn’t want a member of my group to have a bad meal and it would make me feel very upset if they didn’t complain and I later found out that one of the party had had a bad experience.
Who cares if for a couple of minutes you have to deal with the manager whilst you make your complaint, nobody should ever accept bad food and the other people in your group should respect that.