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Woman dissatisfied with how complaint was handled by restaurant

Woman dissatisfied with how complaint was handled by restaurant


Shanette Morris-Edwards learned the hard way last week that not all business places believe that the customer is always right.

According to Morris-Edwards, who is a worker on the SET programme attached to the Traffic Department of the Police, she went to the Rainbow Palace restaurant on Grenville Street on Thursday, December 31, sometime after 12 noon and bought a roti, after which she returned to work.{{more}}

On opening the roti, Morris-Edwards said, in her opinion, it did not smell right, so she asked a co-worker what she thought and the person agreed that the curry potato product had a strange smell.

“…It smelled sour, so I broke the roti and put it to my mouth and nose and it smelled sour. I wrapped it back up and took it to Rainbow Palace and I gave the cashier the roti,” recalls Morris-Edwards, who said that what happened next surprised and shocked her.

“The cashier took it and said it wasn’t sour, when she didn’t even smell it. I told her yes and I asked for a refund and she called the manager.”

Morris-Edwards said that when the manager came, she took her aside and agreed with the cashier that the roti was not sour and refused to give her a refund.

“…the lady, a Miss Browne, said they don’t give refunds and that I was insulting her workers by saying the roti is sour. I told her that I would not just make up a lie and that somebody else said the same thing and she said that nobody has ever complained about a roti being sour before.”

Morris-Edwards said that she explained to the manager that she purchases food at the restaurant almost daily and that as a regular customer, she did not deserve that kind of treatment.

“I said this is not proper customer service, but she refused to give me back my money and I asked back for the roti, but she said she can’t give me back, because she throw it in the garbage, so it was like, I can’t get back the money and I can’t get back the roti either. So I said is either you give me back the roti or the money.”

Morris-Edwards said that after 20 minutes of a back and forth conversation with the manager, she left and reported the incident to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and an officer went to the restaurant, but was unable to get back her money.

“She didn’t even give me the option of choosing something else until I mentioned that option; then she asked if I need something else, but I said no,” explained Morris-Edwards, who added, “she said I am embarrassing her workers and the customer isn’t always right. I told her I was going to take it to the public and she said go ahead.”

Morris-Edwards said that apart from reporting the matter to the CID, she also went to the Consumer Affairs Department and a worker from that division of the Ministry of Trade went to Rainbow Palace and managed to retrieve her money.

“I think that it is an injustice to a customer, seeing that I am paying my money and I can’t get what I paid for. The very fact that she did not apologize to me that isn’t saying good for business. I think that she should have apologized to me, at least say sorry, even though she want to back her workers; just apologize and ask me if I want something else in return.

“I have been eating there for a very long time. I always buy lunch there and I won’t go back there now,” stressed Morris-Edwards.

She added, “I am working hard for money, the same like how they are working hard for theirs and I think if I ask back for my money because I wasn’t satisfied with the product, the product was sour, the roti was sour, I think that should not be a big problem with them giving me back my money or she asking me if I want something else in return.”

When contacted on Monday, the restaurant manager said that the issue had been dealt with and anyone seeking to publicize the incident will have to speak to her lawyer. She made no comment, but hinted at legal action for defamation.

Consumer Affairs Officer Phillon Douglas, who dealt with the incident, said on Wednesday that when he approached the manager, she was tolerant and gave back the EC$8 that Morris-Edwards had paid for the roti. He said that this is the first time that he, as an officer, has ever dealt with a food complaint, but consumers usually make complaints on issues ranging from purchases of clothing to problems with electronic devices.

Another employer of the Consumer Affairs Department, who did not give his name, noted that once complaints are made, they try their best to resolve them.

“Once we have the complaint, we get the problem solved however we can. We do investigations and we try to solve the problem,” said the senior employee.

He added that he has received complaints about other restaurants in the past and if at times these complaints go beyond what they are legally able to handle at the Department, they team up with the Public Health Department or the Bureau of Standards.(LC)