I wanted to post this as it’s really been niggling me this past week….

This video is of a voicemail I received a few days after visiting Wahaca restaurant near Covent Garden. After the meal, I dropped my business card into one of those “Free meal for 2 prize draw” jars that restaurants have, and thought nothing of it. I got into work and checked my voicemail the next week, and when I heard this guy announce his name was Trudy and he was calling from Wahaca restaurant, I naturally thought he was going to inform me I had won….:

In a way, I would never expect these free draw things to be actually drawn out of a hat, it wouldn’t surprise me if they just sift through the cards looking for valuable contacts and then ask the most interesting one along for some free grub (up to the maximum value of £40 of course).

What I can’t understand is why they made the effort to actually phone me and admonish me for entering their draw. I’ve never actually won one of these things, but no restaurant has ever before bothered to call me on my work number and leave a voicemail to tell me I haven’t. To then say that he was “disgusted” I merely entered is utterly baffling to me. Isn’t that a wee bit over the top? Why such a reaction? If my employer was perhaps a different name in the restaurant business, would they have called me to rub it in my face? Ending with the whole “thanks again for coming” and “obviously we’d like you to pass word of mouth on to other customers” nonsense is truly bizarre. Fair enough, I will pass on my thoughts about your restaurant , but did you think I was going to say lovely things about you after this?

I really don’t know what to make of this. Am I over-reacting, or do you think that this is some pretty shoddy customer relations too? I think it’s pretty poor form and rather petty for a company to sound off on me like this. Suffice to say I won’t be visiting again, as obviously my money isn’t good enough for them. As for my “word of mouth” for other customers, go to Mucho Mas in Angel instead, it’s ace.

UPDATE (12.53, 01/09/08) : I’ve recieved a comment from a Mark Selby asking for my contact details to resolve this situation.

He says:

Dear Phil,

Im one of the owners of the Wahaca. I would like to first of all clarify that this message had nothing to do with us and secondly to apologise for the bad taste it has left. Someone came in on saturday and stole our business cards from the pot and has been menacing people ever since. Please could you email me your telephone number or email address as id love to chat further with you about this.

Once again many apologies

I’ve dropped him an email from my personal account to clarify. I’ll keep you posted!