Tuesday, 23 March 2010

A Forgiving Lot - Almost

The poll on bad pub experiences has closed. A reasonable 65 people voted and here are the results:

Shrug and put it down to experience - 7 (10%)

Complain politely and if not satisfied walk out vowing never to return - 14 (21%)

Walk out without complaint and vow never to return - 9 (13%)

Slag the place off to everyone you know afterwards no matter the outcome - 1 (1%)

Report them to Trading Standards - 0 (0%)

Give them a second chance then do one of the above - 34 (52%)

Unsurprisingly, given that most if not all voters were presumably British, our reluctance to complain, our stoicism in the face of adversity and our sheer good nature, gave a majority to the "second chance". A surprisingly healthy 33% were of a less forgiving ilk, with vows of "never to return". That is surely enough to give at least pause for thought to publicans. Bad experiences will lose you customers.

Thanks to everyone that took part.


Cooking Lager said...

I only voted "Walk out without complaint and vow never to return", in the absence of a "Dirty protest in the gents" option on the poll.

Neville Grundy said...

Complaining about beer is still regarded by some drinkers and some pub staff as being pernickety. No one would buy a loaf with a few slices missing, but I've had the mick taken by other drinkers for asking for a top up. I also recently had an angry reaction from a barman in Liverpool, who topped up my pint so aggressively that the beer settled where it had been before. Even I gave up then. And as for complaining about a pint that's off, still some pubs are defensive or even downright hostile. Fewer than in the past, but it shouldn't happen at all.

Until complaining in pubs is accepted as normal both by drinkers and by all of the pub trade, some people will remain wary.

Meer For Beer said...

I have complained when pints are off and usually get a different pint free of charge.

Sometimes the way people complain can be the problem too, if you are stroppy then they will be too from experience of watching people in pubs. I'm not saying the above poster is stroppy but others often are. If service is really bad then write to the brewery I have just posted off one such letter myself.

Neville Grundy said...

Meer, you're right that the attitude of some customers dictates the response they receive. I'm old fashioned enough to take the view that good manners cost nothing and, to be fair, I rarely have problems. However, although I was polite to that Liverpool barman, he was very obviously annoyed with me, as though I were criticising his bar skills. That kind of response does discourage less assertive drinkers from complaining.

Southern Sam said...

For me it depends on the pub. If the pub is in an area I seldom visit, then chances are i'd cut my losses and move on, probably never to return - at least not for a while.

If it's a pub I visit reguarly then i'd be more likely to have a word.

Depends on how bad the pint is too. A pint that's a bit cloudy or 'on the edge' might not lead me to complain, but a rancid pint usually would.

jefffrane said...

You had at least one Yank voting. Sorry. Didn't intend to screw up the curve.

Tandleman said...

Don't worry. You are near enough in ancestry to have a decent crack at it.