Just so you know, I’m not the kind of person who usually calls or deals with customer service. I don’t usually return things, or complain – I’m just too busy and there is a part of me that believes in ‘let the buyer beware’. Every once in a while, though, something happens that makes me stand up and speak. This happened to me twice this week – one with really great results and one not so much………
First of all, when I was in the city a couple of weeks ago, I took my friend to Eataly. If you’ve read the blog before, you know I love Eataly! I’ve had such great meals there and service and I’m trying to eat my way through all the restaurants. I’ve been to La Piazza twice, had one of the greatest nights ever at Birreria, but the place I’ve always wanted to go to was Le Verdure – their vegetable place. I’m not a vegetarian by any means, but I sure do love vegetables – especially in season cooked in new and interesting ways! Le Verdure, though, is just a small counter and it’s really hard to get a seat. This last time, though, there were two open seats just as my friend and I were walking by. Destiny, I thought as we pushed our way through to the counter………..
Just for a little background, it had been a really hot day and we had been walking and walking. By this point, since I had started the day at the book expo, my backpack must have weighed about 40 pounds at least. We were tired and hot and I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to order. The first thing that looked really good was the Fritto Misto – veggies breaded and fried in olive oil:
And it was good. Lot’s of interesting things in there, fiddle head ferns and purple cauliflower and those little baby carrots I don’t usually like in Chinese food but served this way were the best thing on the plate! I really think it could have used some sort of sauce to dip them in, as even the freshest and most interesting veggies start to taste the same once you’ve deep fried them. Nevertheless, a good dish. I knew we wanted to get something else but I really didn’t know what, so I asked the waiter for a recommendation. He suggested the Farrotto con Piselli e Asparag – Farro cooked like risotto with asparagus and peas and Parmesan cheese. I like risotto, I like farro, I like spring veggies and I love cheese – what could be wrong?:
To be clear – it wasn’t awful. It was just really, really bland. And it was a really big plate that had basically the same consistency throughout. My friend described it as hot breakfast cereal with peas and asparagus. Eh…….
After a couple of bites each, we gave up on it. It just didn’t seem right to force this stuff down when there was so much other great stuff to eat. So we pushed it aside and when the waiter came back I told him we weren’t so crazy about it. He took it away and we finished the other dish as well as our wine. When the check came, I was really surprised to see that we were still charged for it. I should have said something then, but I was hot, tired, a bit drunk at that point and my friend and I were having such a great day, I didn’t want to make a fuss. But it ate at me…………..
A couple of days ago I told this story on the Eataly website. I’m really pleased to say that within a few hours the manager called me at home. He was super nice and told me that he was really sorry it wasn’t taken off – he made it clear that was not their policy and next time I came into the city I should email him and he’d set me up with a nice table there. As far as I am concerned, this is another great example of the greatness that is Eataly!
Now a story that didn’t end so well. As I wrote in my holiday gift guide, there are tons of really great subscription boxes out there! I subscribe to a couple of them – Love with Food and the Goodies box – and I love them! I also get a ton of emails every day from discount websites offering different sales every day. One I’ve used a couple of times is Plum District and this time they were offering a significant discount on a subscription service called KLUTCHclub. They have monthly boxes for men, women and moms and the stuff sounds pretty good. I bought the voucher and was really shocked to find that what it did not include was $24 in shipping costs – $8 a month! That’s a really high shipping cost and I was really upset that the cost of it was not mentioned either on the Plum District site or the KLUTCHclub site until the very last step before ordering. To be clear – I knew there would be shipping, but $24? Without any previous notification? Oh – and did I mention that they were also signing me up for automatic renewal without any mention as well? My attempts at resolution with both sites were met with misinformation and a bit of snobbery, and Plum District will not give any refunds under any circumstances. So unlike the Eataly situation, I really can’t recommend either of these sites and feel you should stay really clear of them. There are so many great other shopping sites – my personal favorite at the moment is Fab.com who’s customer service really rocks and has done great by me several times in the past!
Now back to shopping…………..