Do you remember when we celebrated our Engagement Party late last year at The George?
Although everyone had a fabulous evening, our night was tainted by some terribly rude attitudes and comments coming from the bar staff upon our departure from the venue. To make matters worse, they then refused to call us any taxis and left us standing outside the hotel well into the wee hours of the morning.
In the course of the following few weeks I tried via various methods to speak with one of the managers in order to retrieve my iPod that I left at the venue. After weeks of her avoiding my contact (including refusing to meet me as I stood outside the venue) it was too late and the iPod was nowhere to be found. I wrote a formal letter of complaint to the Venue Manager detailing all my grievances. I thought some of you may be interested in reading their reply…..
I was extremely disappointed to receive your email late last week. We do value all of the feedback receive both the positive and the occasional feedback that gives the venue something to improve on or fix.
I can appreciate that this has been a frustrating experience for yourself and I would like to thank you for allowing me the time to investigate and ensure that I could get to the bottom of the issues you raised. I have spoken to all the staff members and managers working that night and Katie prior to her leaving on annual leave. I went through your email with them high raised the various matters and got their view as to what happened.
The staff members that were working that evening were spoken to about the profanities that your guests believed were directed at them. They all claim that they did not say anything inappropriate towards your guests, however I have reiterated to all staff members and the management team how unprofessional and inappropriate that kind of behaviour is and that it will not be tolerated here at The George.
In regards to your guests being asked to vacate the venue, Liquor licencing laws state we have to have all patrons off the premises within 15 minutes of our closing time, we have no control or any flexibility with this. Both the managers on duty and the venue are liable for fines if this does not occur, hence why at 1230 your guests who were still on the premise, in breach of our liquor licence, were asked to leave the premises immediately.
I spoken to the manager who was on duty that evening and he reassured me that he did in fact call for taxis for yourself and for your party. However, I do know from past experience that calling for a taxi to the premises often takes significantly longer than both hailing one from the street or walking across the road to the taxi rank. Whilst I can appreciate that two people from your party were unable to make their way down to the taxi rank, I can say that taxis were indeed called. When speaking to the manager on duty, I brought to his attention the importance of tone and delivery and how it can affect the impression left of people and that he needs to be aware of this.
The London Room is open to both tenants of the building and their guests when not booked by The George, and is left unlocked and fully accessible from the foyer of the building. In the three weeks between your function and your email advising of the lost iPod, the room was open and many functions were held in it, functions that were not just booked by The George but also by building tenants who have full access to the room and its facilities, including the Audio Visual system located in the cupboard where the iPod was left. Therefor I cannot say if the iPod was still there when you sent you email three weeks after the function, as we were unaware of its presence.
I have spoke to Katie and she said that she did make several unsuccessful attempts to contact you by phone after your initial email before contacting you via email. I will have a meeting with her when she returns and talk about the length of time it took you to get a response from her and highlight the need to respond promptly to enquiries, especially when it relates to missing property.
I have brought up all of your feedback at our regular management meeting and we have introduced steps to ensure that, in future there are no repeats of your negative experience at The George.
I hope that you will give the venue the opportunity to live up to the high standards for both the food and service they we are know for. With that in mind I would like to offer you a $200 voucher for dinner at The George. If you could please provide me with a suitable postal address I will arrange for the voucher to be sent to you.
If you could contact me directly when you would like to redeem the voucher I can ensure that you have the proper George Experience.
We look forward to seeing you soon.
Venue Manager” (name withheld)
Unbelievable. This is how the manager and his staff choose to resolve this issue: deny, deny deny. Since that night, nearly everyone of my friends have come up to me individually with their own story about something the staff said or did to them. But surely the more likely truthful story is that all 70 of my guests and I would make all these elaborate details up? How insulting. I am not perfect but I am in no way a liar!
And as for their offer of a dinner voucher? After making such a complaint the LAST thing I wanted to do was return to their restaurant to eat their food!!! Cripes. If they were quite happy to blatantly lie to their boss regarding the true events of the evening, I would hate to think was they might do to my food! Thanks but no thanks! Considering the very hefty bill we had at the end of the party an offer of some sort of partial refund would have been more appropriate. Especially when I emailed him to decline his voucher offer.
Since then, it has amused me to note the number of excessively positive reviews on Urbanspoon for both The George and their sister venue The Aviary. Most of these reviewers have never written anything else. With the collection of top-notch eateries opening up along the Terrace this year, I have a sneaking feeling that if The George don’t get their act together and actually start listening to their customers; they may be in for a nasty shock!
Read my original Post: The George and Our Engagement Party
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