It’s not often that I blog about bad experiences, but last night I was more than a little unhappy at how we were treated. We went to Cosmo in Wolverhampton. It was for my nephews’ tenth birthday and we arrived with balloons and a big number “10” cake.
Now, first of all, we’d never been to Cosmo before. It’s basically a buffet offering food from all around the world. It’s beautifully designed inside and I loved the food, however the customer service from management and some staff members was well below par.
It started when we arrived. We’d booked a table for 10, but we were sat down at a table with 8 chairs. When my brother-in-law enquired about this we suddenly had two extra chairs jammed in and were shuffled down. It made eating pretty combersume and we had to climb around the chairs to get in and out.
I knew it was busy, but not allocating enough seats or a big enough table is a basic error. Next, some of the staff on the buffet were rude. I ordered a steak but had forgotten to pick up a plate. The guy behind the hot plate simply barked, “Plate, plate, plate” at me and pointed to the place he’d like it positioned with his spatular.
Forgive me, I wasn’t aware that I worked for you.
Next, whilst eating the food we noticed that children aged 10 could actually eat free. It was all part of a promotion to celebrate 10 years of Cosmo being in operation. My brother-in-law enquired about this but were told that we needed to provide a form of ID – a birth certificate if we had one. Now, I’ll admit that the leaflet telling us of this offer had one of those little “*” things next to the deal and it advises you to go to their website for more info, which probably then shows this requirement somewhere. Since arriving home I’ve checked this out and no mention of the “10 Year Olds Eat Free” offer on the main page. You need to click “Offers” then find the appropriate one. For the offer it states..
– The ten year old must have valid proof of age, eg passport
– The child must be accompanied by 2 full paying adults
– Offer only valid with telephone booking at least 24 hours in advance
– You must quote “10 Year Olds Eat For Free”
So, if you do manage to find out about the offer, then call up in time and quote the magic phrase, and bring a passport, you should be in.
This was my nephew’s 10th birthday. We were surrounded by huge balloons with a number “10” on and birthday cards with “10” all over them. Plus there was loads of us there and, as it was a family meal, only a couple of children actually aged 10. I checked the menu and these kids meals are actually about £7.50.
On my journey to the food (I made a number of trips, I’ll confess that the food was delicious) I asked the girl at the “front of house” about this offer..
“Sorry, you need his birth certificate or similar”, she said.
“Well yes”, said I, “we’ve been told this but there’s no mention of that on the advertising and it’s quite obviously his birthday – you’ve actually got his big 10th birthday cake right there. That’s us sitting in all those number 10 balloons over there, next to all those birthday presents.”
“Sorry, it’s the rules”, she said.
Now this is something that really annoys me. In life there’s far too many people who just shrug their shoulders and stick to the rulebook, no matter how ridiculous those rules are. It doesn’t matter that there’s an obvious reason for questioning the rules, it’s the rules and that’s that.
Now yes, I’m not daft and I can see the issues that Cosmo would have if no ID was required, especially when everyone is skint and it’s the school holidays. I’m sure there’d be lots of people coming in saying they’re 10 when they’re not, but to insist on it when someone is having their tenth birthday there? I don’t agree.
So we continued with the meal and waited for the waiters and table staff (who were, up until this point, actually very quick and pleasant) to bring over the birthday cake we’d brought with us. We asked them to bring it over, but there was a delay. We waited a bit more and a bit more until, when our table had been emptied of almost everything, they brought it over. It came with a present – the bill. However, they also informed us that people were waiting for the table, so we needed to start packing up.
Now this, when you’ve just spent nearly £160 on food, was too much. More staff began to surround us and some of our party got up, at which point staff began spraying the table even though others were still sitting down. I’d had enough, and spotted a guy I’d not seen earlier. He was talking into his radio and was wearing a different T-shirt. He seemed to be the one responsible for all these staff suddenly appearing so I asked him, “Are you the manager?”
The conversation then went exactly like this…
“Yes, I’m the manager”
“Look I’m a little unhappy here, we’re being rushed out and we’ve had to wait for the cake to be brought out.”
“Yes, but there are lots of people waiting, can’t you see? Over there, I have lots of people waiting, we’re very busy.”
Now this was partially true, yes they were busy, but there were a lot of tables for 4 people empty at this point. I couldn’t understand why they couldn’t simply be pushed together to accomodate the party of people he was pointing at..
“I don’t care to be honest, I’m not happy at the way we’ve been treated here, we asked for a table to seat 10, you’ve given us a table for 8 then jammed a couple of chairs in, plus you’re demanding ID for that 10-year deal whilst your staff are carrying out his tenth birthday cake”
“We have to demand that. You can come back tomorrow and get it free.”
“You’re not listening. I’m leaving now, this really isn’t good enough.”
The rest of the staff were looking at me concerned, but the manager failed to apologise for virtually pushing us out the door or sticking us on a table with too few seats. He also ignored me when I was trying to explain why we were still there.
So, to Cosmo Wolverhampton and to the management, I’m giving this place a massive thumbs down for customer service.