Last Sunday evening, while returning to Durban North from Hillcrest where we’d been to church, my girlfriend and I stopped at the Steers in the Shell UltraCity off Nandi Drive. Several things were very wrong with that experience, and I submitted the complaint using Steers’ poorly-constructed website, after hunting for the feedback form. (Why one can’t simply be given an email address I don’t know, but that’s a different rant. For that matter why I should be told I must supply a phone number and various other details when I’m merely trying to tell them how not to lose me as a customer is also a rant in itself).
This was my complaint:
My girlfriend and I visited the River Horse valley Steers outlet, located inside the Shell UltraCity complex on the N2 slightly north of Durban, on Sunday evening (13 Jan 2008),and have two complaints to make about the experience.
In a less important issue, I asked the cashier for two Mayo and Burger Relish Chicken burgers, and she immediately told me “we don’t offer them like that”. When we pointed it out to her on the menu behind her, she hunted her keyboard and found the right button. She apologised to us by saying that she had “never served that before”. This indicates to me that the training is insufficient, at the least. Her name was X [name changed since this is public], according to the till slip.
X then went off to do something else, and when we noticed two burger boxes and a packet of chips placed in the waiting tray, we expected her to arrive to bag them up. She didn’t, and several minutes later someone else came around from the kitchen to do so. I gave him the slip, he looked at it and confirmed they were the right items and handed them to us.
Unfortunately he kept the slip, because my other complaint is far more serious: when we got home we found that both burgers were beef burgers, not chicken as we had ordered. I’m not particularly fond of beef burgers, but I ate it anyhow, as there was nothing else. My girlfriend can’t stomach them at all, and was unable to eat hers, leaving her with no supper. In addition to that, the chips we were served were very oily and decidedly underdone, leading to a very disappointing experience.
In general we’ve always been very happy with Steers in general and the River Horse Valley outlet in particular, but this incident has changed that somewhat. Perhaps some attention should be paid to that outlet to get things back on track.
Kim van Wyk
With that submitted, I expected some form of email feedback sometime (although I wasn’t holding my breath for a speedy response). I received an automated reply almost immediately, saying my feedback would be responded to ASAP. I then got this message this morning:
date Jan 16, 2008 7:48 AM
subject 26202 Your Steers Call has been Logged.
Your Call Ref is: 26202
We will be giving your call our full attention and will be responding to you shortly in this regard
I found it odd that they regarded my complaint as a call and I resigned myself to being called rather than emailed, which I would prefer. What topped it all off for me though was that I was called not that long ago. When I confirmed that I had sent a complaint in, I was then asked when it happened, on what day and then to explain exactly what had happened. Why on earth did I write a long detailed email if no one is going to bother to read the damn thing?!?
I have now been told that the supervisor at the same Steers outlet has been told to provide me with two chicken burgers of my choice when I ask for them – but I had to give them a day I’d be going in on so that the supervisor could be so informed. By the time we got to this point I was so frustrated I’d given up caring, so when I asked if I could maybe go to a different, closer Steers and the person I was talking to didn’t seem think that would be possible I didn’t push it.
Whether I’ll go to collect them or not, I don’t know, but how hard would it be to send me some coupons or vouchers to redeemed on the day and location of my choice for whatever Steers product I felt would best make up for the original problem? Sadly, Steers customer service has left as bad a taste in my mouth as the original meal that caused the complaint.