Thursday, September 18, 2008

Dodge City dispute: more lives than a cat!

I should have known it was too good to be true. When Mr. DC emailed me the other night saying “Please do not communicate with me on this matter any longer,” maybe I should have smelled a rat. Well, truthfully, I guess I did smell a rat because I closed with “Dare I hope this is finished? I guess if I haven’t heard anything more in the next week or so (I thought it was over after three days of silence but it turns out I was wrong) I’ll believe it is done.” I should have listened to my gut and instead written “Dare I hope this is finished? Now, that would just be foolish, wouldn’t it?”

His one sentence missive seemed a bit sudden and out of character, based on previous correspondence. But frankly, after the flurry of threats and nonsense he had been bombarding me with all day, it was a relief and I happily acquiesced. I should have known it wouldn’t be that easy.

A couple of times a month I Google my screen name (sweetvioletsa) to see what comes up. I did that yesterday and guess what I found as the last entry on Google’s first page? http://wordpress.com/tag/dodge-city-diner-cape-town/. Seems my erstwhile correspondent has launched himself a blog! And it couldn’t be a coincidence that this launch just happened to occur on the exact same day he requested that I no longer communicate with him, now could it?

I read his entry…which he posted twice, on separate sub-pages…and sent a brief comment. I didn’t expect he would publish the comment—he has comment moderation turned on—but I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and wait a day before publishing it myself. Interestingly, he has had full voice on my blog…his one blog comment has been published and once he became contentious, I published his emails in full (rather than excerpts)…but apparently he has no intention of allowing me the same voice I have given him. Well, I suppose that is in keeping with his apparent “no criticism allowed” philosophy…it wouldn’t do for his blog to reveal an inconvenient truth or two, now would it?

Here is what he published on his blog:
Dodge City Diner - Customer Service Response
D.C.D. would like to clarify a few issues regarding a recent customer (ie sweetvioletsa) service complaint noted on the web. In line with standard procedure, the customer’s version of events was accepted without question at the outset and a complimentary gift voucher was offered as a token of appreciation for having reported the matter to us.

When video footage of the incident was later reviewed, it it became apparent that the client’s version of events materially misrepresented the actual sequence of events. The customer was simply asked to please amend her blog accordingly. She refused - despite our pointing out that the Dodge City brand would suffer unfair damage as a result of her inaccurate account of events. This blog is being published as a last resort and in order to meet our legal obligation to mitigate the potential for unfair damage to the reputation of our brand.

Dodge City Diner is, and always will be, deeply committed to providing the highest standard of service to its patrons. The free voucher offered to the client was 3 times the value of her purchase

And this is what I wrote in a comment and, to date, he has not published it (he has comment moderation turned on):
You know this is not true. You refused to tell me what you thought needed amending and I asked you repeatedly to do so. And I have the emails (already published on my blog at http://sweetvioletsa.blogspot.com/ ) that prove this.

Please stop making a fool of yourself...and giving your establishment a black eye...and let this matter drop. I have tried to lay it to rest four times already and you just don't seem to want to let it go.

The service sucked, you admitted the service sucked, you apologized for the sucky service...and I corrected the ONE error you pointed out. That should have been the end of it. And it was until you turned up two days later demanding I amend the blog WITHOUT SPECIFYING what you thought needed amendment, and then threatening me.

Again, I have the emails to prove it, as you well know. So, why not quit while you are ahead, let it die and fade from memory? You are keeping it alive and in doing so, keeping it in front of the public, allowing them to go back to my blog and read the whole story, including your emails to me, in which you cast you in a very bad light. Let it go, man! Let time bury it and find some thing else...where you won't continue to shoot yourself in the foot...to obsess about.

Since I doubt you'll publish this, I'll keep a copy to publish myself, just in case.

And here’s what I didn’t say but decided to omit in the interest of brevity:

the customer’s version of events was accepted without question at the outset
Not true: in an email he specifically stated that his video footage confirmed my complaint and pointed out what he claimed to be a service time error which I amended in my next entry

When video footage of the incident was later reviewed, it it became apparent that the client’s version of events materially misrepresented the actual sequence of events
Not true: the video footage had already been reviewed, according to his previous email, and he agreed the service was slow and the staff was unable to find a standard condiment item, even though it was in stock. He further agreed that a member of the staff actually left the restaurant to obtain that item. All of this took a LOT of time…and that was the crux of my complaint…inexcusably slow service.

The customer was simply asked to please amend her blog accordingly.
True. What is omitted here, however, is that no specific divergence between the video footage and my account was offered, making it rather difficult for me to make amendment. How do you change something if you don’t know what is in dispute?

She refused - despite our pointing out that the Dodge City brand would suffer unfair damage as a result of her inaccurate account of events.
Not true. At no time did I refuse. I asked him to give me the specifics and said I would take it under consideration. If he had given me legitimate differences between the video and my account, I would have very likely have amended since the video is much more accurate than a human memory can be. Unfortunately, he evaded, ignored, or flat out refused to inform me of specific places where our accounts diverge. No amendment, therefore, was possible.

This blog is being published as a last resort and in order to meet our legal obligation to mitigate the potential for unfair damage to the reputation of our brand
Well, if that is the case, why isn’t he publishing my comment? And how does publishing the blog…with or without my comment…how does this libel against me (I can prove he is lying, after all) mitigate anything? Seems to me that he is going to do himself more harm than good…anybody with half a brain can Google Dodge City Diner and find my blog. Does he really mean to drive traffic to my blog and give his readers a peek at the awful things he has said?

The free voucher offered to the client was 3 times the value of her purchase
Not true: it was roughly double (R50). And what he fails to point out is that there is a reason we only purchased about R24 worth of product (a cappuccino and a Coke Lite) : the service was so abysmal we weren’t even able to place a food order in a timely manner! The waitress neglected to bring sweetener with my husband’s coffee, even though he has specifically asked for it (he’s diabetic…it’s a habit). When she brought the drinks Hubby gave his food order and, at the end of it, asked about the sweetener. Without taking my order and submitting it to the kitchen, the waitress left…and I mean that literally. After futilely searching for the sweetener, she left the restaurant! Now, Mr. DC’s account and mine diverge here…he says a manager left to get the sweetener, but I disagree: Hubby saw her leave, and I was at the register asking the manager what was going on with the sweetener when I saw her come back in. I will have to actually see that video footage before I’ll consider amending that. The fact remains, however, that during her long absence we decided to go elsewhere for breakfast.

So, the voucher was for roughly double a small purchase that was so small because the crappy service drove us away.

So, sadly, the dispute continues, just in another venue. Please feel free to visit his blog (http://wordpress.com/tag/dodge-city-diner-cape-town/) and see for yourself. But don’t count on any unflattering comments being published there…they might damage his Brand and we can’t have that, even when it’s the truth!

1 comment:

  1. too com[plicated to understand. petty

    ReplyDelete

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