A restaurant boss said he needed a lie down after a customer’s complaint over a traffic fine. Sam Morgan, owner of Divide in Birmingham’s Brindley Place, received an email demanding repayment of a fine after the diner strayed into a bus lane en-route to the eatery.
Issuing the demand, the diner said the restaurant’s website directing customers to a nearby carpark meant they accidentally strayed into a bus lane. They then offered to ‘pop by’ the restaurant for bosses to repay the cost of the ticket.
About Dining, the restaurant group behind Divide, shared the complaint on Twitter on Thursday morning, March 16, saying: “Over the years we have seen a couple of complaints after all it’s hospitality and we serve around 600 people a week but this one is next level. TripAdvisor should be amusing tomorrow. “
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In the email, the disgruntled diner said: “I attended your restaurant on Saturday with my friends. I have today received a bus lane violation as I was driving to the car park landed on your website. In doing so I accidentally went into a bus lane and have now had a fine.
“Given you highlight this as a car park near you, the fee for this violation should be covered by you not me as it’s a (sic) extremely poor customer service that you have not advised me that the car park is positioned near bus lanes.
“All reasonable restaurants would take this type of care and attention to make sure it’s customers are aware of such matters !!! We had a lovely day and meal now completely ruined by this situation.”
After threatening to leave a poor review for the restaurant, the diner went on: “I assume you understand I can pop by tomorrow to collect the payment, or you can send it to my account or card.”
In response About Dining owner Sam Morgan said: “Firstly let me please apologise for the delay in replying, the truth of it is that I had to go for a lie down after reading our email. I am simply going to decline your offer to pay the bus lane fee however I am going to arrange an annual bus pass for you.
“I feel this has many benefits including environmental and the safety of the general public given your inability to drive correctly could have serious implications. Good day I am now going to catch the bus into work. “
In a further response, the disgruntled diner again threatened to post negative TripAdvisor and Google reviews for the popular eatery. They shot back: “I suppose you think the whole situation is funny, let’s see if you think it’s funny when I post a negative review on Google or TripAdvisor.
“Your reply is so poor on a customer service front an offer to pay half may have been acceptable. It will cost you more in negative press from the review so you may want to think again. “
Speaking to BirminghamLive Sam said: “We have become well versed in guests who complain, some are genuine, some are just darn right ridiculous, and this was the latter. I just think it’s hilarious.
“I am not the kind of person to easily accept that behavior and weaponizing review sites is pointless. My responsibility is great food, drink, and service it isn’t about holding people’s hands.
The About Dining restaurant group is a family owned and run collection of four different restaurants all based in Brindley Place in Birmingham. Divide boasts a five star rating on TripAdvisor and is rated the # 125 out of 1,720 restaurants in Birmingham.