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Having just come back from visiting my brother in Wales I can testify to the fact that the old addage 'The customer is always right' is well and truly gone. Whilst good customer relations and service might be common in many establishments around Wales, there wasn't much evidence of it when we visited The Red Lion in Llanidloes, Powys last Sunday.
Once a year our family get together in Llanidloes for a weekend of camping, socialising and relaxing. This normally coincides with the fancy dress street party and it's usually a nice little break for us all which would normally end with lunch together at the pub. It has become more or less a tradition and it is part of the holiday that we would normally look forward to. This year, however, after a poor show of bar etiquette from the barmaid and a less than satisfactory outcome when this was brought to the attention of the manager, we certainly won't be returning there again!
We arrived at the Red Lion at about 1 o'clock and began ordering our meal tickets and drinks. They have a system there whereby you buy a ticket and take it through to the restaurant which is sort of self-service. The issue here was that whilst we were being served the barmaid switched from us and began serving some locals who had just walked in. At this point, some of us had purchased our meal tickets and drinks, but two of my sisters had yet to order. Anyway, the local woman got her lunch ticket and went off and the barmaid turned around and began serving my sisters again - which was fine until the local woman came back and decided to order some drinks. This meant that our barmaid yet again diverted her attention to serving the local woman whilst a number of our party were left waiting. In the end my sister decided she'd had enough of this treatment and decided not to bother ordering.
This was bad enough, but after our meal when my brother spoke to the manager about the incident, she sided with her member of staff and was totally uninterested in anything that we had to say to her. With comments like "I don't think she would done that" and "We're very busy at lunch time you know". She even said something along the lines of "She has had a lot of things going on..." (probably not the exact words, but along those lines). Basically, there were some feeble excuses, a lot of denial (almost to the point of hostility) and absolutely no attempt whatsoever made to apologise properly.
All that would have been necessary in this case was a proper apology. Oh and for the record, saying "sorry, but..." and then launching into a tirade defending the member of staff in question doesn't actually count as an apology!