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Dilemma Over Coffee | Payal Gandhi Hoon

Cup of CoffeeHave you ever pondered about the services you really rely on in a day – from a petrol pump, to the service at a store, cab, airline, restaurant, movie theatre, after sales service, car service and so on?

Any time in our busy lives, if we do have a good service experience; either we don’t have the time to notice or we take it for granted as we probably paid a premium for them. So really when it is out of sorts and comes ringing in your face and too hard to miss – is when you are abruptly jolted in your sort of automated routine.

You pause and realise the two choices you have– to deal with it or let go. Mostly the easy one is to let go – saves you time, energy and anyway not much would happen. The other is to take time to play the concerned advisor to them and operate with endless patience, follow ups, repeat your story mechanically from one to the other and ride on the ray of hope!

Can you recall when there are times we buy a packet of chips to realise when we have driven half the way home that they are stale? Or when you picked a designer dress and when you open it to wear it a week later for a special occasion that the cloth used to layer is not pure cotton? What do you do? Do you drive back all the way for that one packet of chips and do you just wear the outfit anyway for the occasion matters a fair bit and it would be a long drive just to exchange – that too if they do!

Recently I was at a coffee outlet to relax and savour a coffee with my sister. We ordered what I do accept was not a frequently ordered drink. It was presented with half the contents and even half the cup, which after many excuses was made again. Now I could leave it or pursue the matter. I went for the latter for 3 reasons:

  1. The coffee house was a brand name and promises a certain product (thankfully I knew what to expect) which it wasn’t delivering for a price it was charging.
  2. The server was casual and didn’t care much
  3. Maybe my feedback would help them.


The next level of registering feedback faired badly enough as no one seemed to revert. Somehow I kept going and finally saw the light when post one month someone responded and queried the exact time, place, coffee.  At that point I was welcomed to come to any of their outlets and have one coffee complimentary (Mind you there were 2 that we had ordered) with no update on what went wrong.

We decided to give a second shot at a premium outlet of theirs and avail of the coffee. It was yet another experience of the person not being able to comprehend the order and I got a flavoured one instead, and a shoddy one at that! Finally I gave in and requested a basic cappuccino and lo and behold the cup was dirty!

I really wondered whether it all really worth it? What was supposed to be a service recovery ended up even worse and no one obviously bothered to follow it up. Is it paucity of time, less patience and more choices that we are now apathetic not just as a customer but also as a service provider?

What would you do?

All I ask is for the magic of coffee and solace of the company to share it with!

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