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Which Eatery Has The Worst Customer Service In Melbourne?

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by Vanessa de Largie (subscribe)
Published June 6th 2012

I am a polite person even when I'm riled. Whatever is happening in my life, I always manage to treat people nicely, respectfully, as I wish to be treated. I have my parents to thank for this trait.

I have worked in customer service with blisters on my feet, period pains, during relationship breakdowns and when my parents had terminal illnesses. I still managed a smile. I still managed decent customer service.

It is not the customers fault for what is going on in my life. There is no excuse for bad customer service. If you don't want to deal with the public (which I sure don't!) leave your job. But don't take your issues and rudeness out on customers.

I have been met with some shockingly rude customer service of late and I'm here to talk about it. Let's name these places and take our business somewhere else - a positive environment. Where we can enjoy our food and our dosh is well spent.

Below are two places that I know of that have appalling customer service.

Lambs in Lygon Street, Carlton.
I lived in Carlton for 5 years and the customer service at Lambs, on the corner of Queensbury & Lygon, is the worst I have ever experienced. Now it has changed owners and the new owner and staff are just as dreadful. It's as if they are doing us a service, serving us at all. I will never venture in here again. I suggest you do the same.

Noodle Kingdom in High Street, Preston.
Firstly their dumplings are doughy and disappointing. If you want the best Asian dumplings, Shanghai Village in Chinatown is the place to go. Check out my review of Shanghai Village here

But the service at Noodle Kingdom leaves much to be desired. The staff here have no customer service skills at all. Need I say more.

Please share with us your worst customer service experience by leaving a comment below.
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Madelines at Jells Park. They are woeful, and while they have a monopoly there is not much incentive to improve.You can arrive before the breakfast menu goes off and wait so long to order that it's one minute past cut off time when you do. Then they refuse to cook eggs! And bad luck if you have one person more in your group than chairs at a table. No chair moving for Madeline- their idea of service is to have the odd person out sitting 2 metres away at the next table yelling across the room to talk with their friends.

In essence, their prices are steep, their food is average, the staff culture is one of 'the customer is a damn nuisance', and flexibility is definitely not on their vocab list.
We've thought of setting up shop at one of the BBQs in the park! I'm sure we'd do a roaring trade!!
by cooki12 (score: 0|8) 3895 days ago
The Carron at 398 Spencer St, West Melbourne.

Visiting this pub was the worst customer experience I've ever had in my life, even factoring in fast food chains and 24/7 eateries, any and all Asian restaurants (I'm Malaysian and frequent Springvale, Glen Waverley and Box Hill), kebab vans open at 4.30am in Mitcham, drunken men trying to give me their half-eaten pizza late on a Friday night..

My colleagues and I made the mistake of attending The Carron on our lunch break one Thursday afternoon. Despite my not even seeking to complain, the manager came from the kitchen and actually shouted at me when I asked for an estimate on how long the food would be. Though shocked, I've worked in hospitality for many years and understand that occasionally people can have a bad moment and didn't want to make things more difficult for someone else, so quietly went to settle our bill so as to expedite our exit in the next 10mins as he had insisted the food would be ready by then. However, this manager was not done and after sarcastically and deliberately giving his business card to everyone present except myself and declaring that they were "NOT A MCDONALDS!" and that next time we were to ring and place an order first, he returned from the kitchen to the counter at which I was standing and angrily shook the docket at me while shouting. "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! DO YOU WANT TAKEAWAY OR DO YOU WANT TO CANCEL?! DO YOU UNDERSTAND THAT BECAUSE WE'VE ALREADY MADE THE FOOD, WHEN YOU CANCEL YOU'RE COSTING ME MONEY?!?!??!?? THIS IS NOT A MCDONALDS!!!"

At this stage, it had already been 20mins from when he had promised that our food was 10mins away. I had not complained about how long we'd been waiting, about the service nor how rude he'd already been. I told him that I wanted to pay for the entire bill, despite whether we would have time to wait for it to be ready. However, every time I opened my mouth to say that I simply wanted to settle the bill he yelled over the top of me, even making some personal comments about myself. After about 5mins of abuse, he then strode off the kitchen and we waited another 20mins for our takeaway order.
by jasmi (score: 0|8) 3887 days ago
Totally, totally agree Vanessa! As someone who paid their way through uni working in hospitality, it was my number one priority to provide the customer with a good experience no matter what! It's sad that these days I am shocked and impressed when I receive good customer service anywhere. As for Shanghai Dumpling, I think the bad service is part of the charm! It's the only place where I will put up with the bad service for the sake of the good cheap food!
by jolee (score: 1|12) 3893 days ago
Shanghai dumpling just off china town. They throw your food at you, forget to bring you drinks, they take your plate just as you pick up that last bit of food and start wiping down your table as your still chewing. Was there last week and my friend ordered wonton noodle soup, they brought out wontons on a plate, and when we explained the mix up they just brought back the same wontons on a bowl of water.. Really rude customer service. But their food is delicious and cheap, so they know they'll always have customers regardless of how they treat them.
by chook15 (score: 0|6) 3893 days ago
Meccabah at New Quay in Docklands - used to be my favourite restaurant, and the food is still great, but doesn't make up for the appalling, totally disinterested and haphazard service - we didn't get our drinks until midway through the main course, and only after requesting them (politely) 4 times. SO disapppointing.
by Julie Mundy (score: 3|1747) 3897 days ago
Coco Cubano in greville st prahran - the place itself is exactly the kind of place you want to make your local, but the service is just crap. The too cool for school was so disinterested in my needs he walked away in the other direction when he saw me coming toward him and at the end of what was the most boring salad OF MY LIFE, which I ate because it had taken 45 mins for that and my husbands fish and chips to arrive so I was starving, (this was at 2pm on a Tuesday arvo and there were 3 other people there), but then checked the menu and realised half of the ingredients, the good ones, had been left out of my meal. When I pointed this out to another waiter, he told me the ingredients were in there, that he knew that because he'd made it himself. He actually argued this with me for a few more minutes until I offered to show him the remains of my plate since I'd not finished it. He then offered to add it on then, as I stood there with my bag clearly ready to leave.
Also crap, the sandbar, in torquey , who took 50 mins to bring a BLT, which they forgot but blamed it on being busy, and when another customer accidentally knocked my water glass onto the ground shattering it as we were about to leave and I went to tell them as it was also on the footpath as well as inside the cafes boundary, they handed me a brush and pan, which my husband had to use while in thongs while I held my shoeless toddler who was desperate to be on the ground.
And I have to agree with lambs on Lygon too. Just disgraceful. I felt like I was severely interrupting their day by giving them my money. I've actually got one more, and I think it trumps the others but I've now forgotten what it was after writing the others so if I remember I'll be back. This is a great idea for a post too. When there are so many good places to go, great food with great service, why waste your time being treated like rubbish.
by Brooke (score: 0|3) 3656 days ago
Yep, Noodle Kingdom in High St Preston has hands down the WORST customer service I have ever experienced in my entire life. I will never go to any of their restaurants based on the customer service (or lack of) at the Preston store. If you're not Asian, then you don't qualify as a customer. They will either totally ignore you, or laugh in your face. Also, one of the city stores, only recently were forced to pay $70,000 in breaches in health and safety. I will have no sympathy when they are forced to close their doors, which I'm confident will one day happen.
by fonzy (score: 0|4) 3840 days ago
TGI Fridays at Westfield - Southland. Ocassionally my son and I go here as it is normally great service, kid friendly and a good menu for kids (plus Mon, Tues, Wed evenings - kids eat free).
We usually get good service, but last night it was terrible. We tried to get the waitresses attention and she came up to us and sad she though we were very rude. I politely asked her how else we could have got her attention and she was extremely rude and said we just had to wait because she had hundreds of people she had to serve.
I realised them she had to serve a lot of tables - but still, no need to be rude to customers. She could have just told us to please wait and she was sorry because she had a lot of customers and was understaffed. But she was a young and obviously inexperienced girl.
I spoke to the manager and he profusely apologised, moved us and we had excellent service after that.
by Judith (score: 0|3) 3878 days ago
Monsieur Truffe in Lygon St. The staff there treated us with utter disdain, took 10 minutes to take our order and when we enquired about macarons which we'd had there many times in the past, were met with " we've never had macarons". Their croque monsieur used to be divine but is now dry and horrid. Go there if you love to pay for being treated like dog shit under a shoe!
by Daywalker (score: 1|45) 3891 days ago
Lamb`s Northcote also terrible service/attitude...
by tskil (score: 0|5) 3894 days ago
Key on the wall on lygon street also has appalling customer service. I went there with my parents who were visiting from interstate and was so embarrassed at the attitude we received. At one point, I went up to the register to ask something while not just one but two staff members were standing there. They proceeded to continue their conversation and ignore me. I even got to the point where I was drumming my fingers on the counter and still was ignored. When they finally decided to acknowledge me, not a word of apology at all. And the food was also terrible. Save yourself the hassle and dont go there!
by debm0 (score: 0|4) 3894 days ago
Melba in Forest Hill.
Overpriced for soggy food, no customer service.
Order, eat and get out is there motto.
Never again.
by mcgin0 (score: 0|7) 3895 days ago
Four people fro lunch at the Noodle Kingdom one meal each time first to last one hour. not a Kingdom a Serfdom. Robin from Yarraville
by tamba (score: 0|4) 3894 days ago
Melba in Forest Hill.
Overpriced for soggy food, no customer service.
Order, eat and get out is there motto.
Never again.
by mcgin0 (score: 0|7) 3895 days ago
yep I agree that Noodle Kingdom is pretty bad in terms of their service and same as TGI Fridays.
What's also really bad is Groove train too. I have been to a couple of Joints and they were terrible. We pay top prices for no or wait, bad service. WHat a rip off
by newintstudents (score: 2|474) 3657 days ago
How about the worst service in Victoria? The Ivy in Olinda must be right up there. I experienced absolutely shocking, aggressive, rude service and will never darken their doors again. Afterwards I had a look at their reviews UrbanSpoon and Trip Advisor and wished I had done so before. So many dmaning reviews of their service and attitde .... and yet they continue to treat their customers with contempt. (There are a few positive reviews, but many of them seem to have been written by the same person - the owner perhaps?). It is the classic tourist trap. Avoid at all costs.
by jacqu (score: 0|2) 3658 days ago
Four people fro lunch at the Noodle Kingdom one meal each time first to last one hour. not a Kingdom a Serfdom. Robin from Yarraville
by tamba (score: 0|4) 3894 days ago
Eltham hotel, very patchy
by kurt. (score: 0|2) 3885 days ago
Thai Restaurant in St Georges Rd Thornbury! Nataraj Thai! Discusting service, ordered a banquet and got shoved out the door so to speak and rushed and ordered alchoholic drinks and got kicked out on a Wed night!
by Former Writer (score: 1|20) 3887 days ago
Common Galaxia in Seddon.
by mishe (score: 0|2) 2465 days ago

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