Thursday, December 27, 2012

How did leave a customer starve with her family?

It was like around 10:50 PM in the night on 3rd Dec 2012, I get a call from the Manager of Heaven Sampoorana restaurant. He calls me to tell that a customer called them telling that they haven't received their food till now despite placing the order with It was like OOPS!! First thing I did was quickly asked him back, "Can you get the food ready and delivery now?". He said "NO. All have left and we are closing the kitchen. We have few stuff left, but we cannot serve that to a customer.". I was like 'Oh My God.". 

I then logged-in to the system and checked to see if the order was placed. The order was showing as 'Payment Pending' and hence it did not reach the restaurant. I quickly logged-in to my PG console and saw that payment was successful. It was a technical issues where the PG response did not reach our servers. So, now the mistake is completely on We do have a monitoring team that sits till 10:30 PM in the night, but on that particular day they too missed this. Since it was a rainy day and we had orders moving fast, they missed to 'Refresh' the console and confirm. All of us saw the order and since it was 'Payment Pending' we all though someone tried and left. 

I quickly called up the customer and apologized. She was completely frustrated, but she was very polite. She just said, please refund the money sir and kept the phone. This like make me feel very very bad. Had she shouted, it would have been better! I quickly checked with Sangeetha Velachery to see if we could get them food, but it was 11:05 PM and they were also closed! So, I just sent an apology email and initiated the refund and went to bed. It was actually a sleepless night.

Next day (04 Dec 2012):
I called up Haven Sampoorna manager and checked if he could make that delivery today and would bear the bill. He was Okay. I called the customer, but she would not pick-up. I tried it the whole day and also sent few SMS, but no response. The finally she picked-up in the evening and said, 'We don't want the food. Thank you.". But then we requested her to accept our apology and this food as a token of apology. She said she had prepared food for diner already. So, I requested her that we will do it tomorrow and she said YES.

The Day After (05 Dec 2012):
We planned it very perfect and also send a confirmation to the customer. We delivered the food around 7:30 PM in the evening, with a piece of Sweet by the restaurant and a 'Sorry' card from That is when actually the customer spoke to the delivery guy and said that the whole family starved the whole night. We all felt very very bad.

07 Dec 2012: 
Surprise! We get an order from the same customer.

This was a new learning for us. We felt bad that we made a family starve despite paying for the food in advance. But honestly, this was our first customer, who taught us a lesson by not even uttering a single harsh or angry word. The two instances I spoke, she was very polite.

We are so humbled by your gesture madam! You understand is innovative and we will live up to your expectations.


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