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Wednesday April 14, 2004
We wanted to have a dinner before we went to see the show and so I picked a restaurant and went to their web site. "Nice", a form to make a reservation. For me, who isn't crazy about calling this is a nice alternative. Filled in the information and the reservation was made. At 5 I got a phone call asking me to call them back to confirm the reservation. This annoyed me since why I have to fill the form when I have to make a phone call after all. It defeats the purpose of the on-line form. Still called. This was all yesterday.

This morning another message on my machine. Asking me to call them to confirm AGAIN!!! Okay, I had to respond and went to the web site and used the questionnaire in which you rate the service and told them that it was a little bit crazy that I have to call twice after making a reservation on-line. Less than an hour later I get a e-mail from the 'Executive Vice President", a title that doesn't really mean much. In the e-mail he explains why they do it. All well and good but then he writes:

"This keeps our guests very happy; The Royal Bank (he saw my e-mail address and noticed that I work for the Royal Bank, RB) very happy (since we have most of our account there); my friend Peter Currie (Royal Bank Board member; RB) very happy and me very happy...I hope through my explanation there is a better understanding of why we call, thus making you very happy."

Obviously not a very smart reply when I, a customer of their business, was just trying to point out that I had a negative customer experience with their web site. And that's what I wrote. Together with a suggestion of how to improve the process. I was tempted to write a nasty message but decided to keep my dignity. He replied with a short and polite e-mail, telling me that if he would be at the restaurant, he would drop to say hello.

I have to admit that we did enjoy the food and no, the Executive Vice President was not at the restaurant.

So we went to see a show. It was 'The Producers' and it was quite entertaining. We enjoyed it.

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