Zizzi’s – it pays to Feedback! Absurd Wait and Apology

@WeAreZizzi how long should I expect to wait for my pizza? Been 45min now, run out of wine 😦 here


Christmas Narrowboat Experience, or Equivalent *3x REPLIES in kind!

Dear Santa,

we were sorry to miss you on the canal this Christmas time but we found your flyer too late (24th Dec) on a pub table. Can we instead book for 2016, to avoid similar disappointment this year?

We noted that on the flyer it says adults get a ‘hot drink and mince pie or equivalent’ and we need to know what could possibly be equivalent to a mince pie for such a festive excursion?

Possibly the only equivalent could be a portion of Christmas pudding, and that has to be served warm (flaming preferably) and with brandy butter so is rather unpractical, for a barge so maybe your equivalent is Christmas cake? Again slightly awkward in the need for it to be cut up, and also not having dedicated unique casings to crumb-catch such as the mince pie (usually) does.

If you were thinking of serving individual apple pies, even if they be of the famous Mr Kipling variety, simply will not do. Apple pies, even Mr Kipling’s, are in no way festive. And I’m sure I do not even need to mention that mere biscuits -even chocolate covered- again are not festive and so would be out of the question.

We are aware that some shops now sell Germanic and Italian traditional Christmas sweet goods but we feel you must surely not employ these as this ride will surely be a very traditionally English ‘Do’? So no gingerbread or raisin or hard bland cakes please.

Yule log! Yes this could potentially be an equivalent -but again unless with individual cases could be too messy, and I’d hate to think of Santa having to sweep up after everyone.

On another point – is the equivalent only actually available if you run out of mince pies? Have you ever run out of them before?

If on the day we attend you’ve run out may we bring our own? Or would you suggest we get Kitty to make a batch we can bring along, and sell to yourselves as a stop gap perhaps? If we do the latter could we get a discount on our ride? If Kitty for some reason (she may not see the year out you know) cannot do the pies could we fetch Supermarkets Own Brand? And again sell them on to yourselves or even direct to fellow trippers?

Or is the equivalent available on every trip, and not just when (and if) mince pies run out?

If so the details of the equivalent could/should perhaps be denoted on the flyer, unless the equivalent differs every trip of course.

Do excuse us if we are barking up the wrong tree here, and the mince pie equivalent is not actually equivalent in terms of it’s festive nature but rather in size or volume or monetary or calorific value?

Or indeed a savoury equivalent, e.g. pork pie (not especially festive).

Would you consider an After Eight mint an equivalent? Weight-wise it obviously isn’t but depending on special offers, or lack thereof, at the shop it might have a monetary equivalence. And on another note an After Eight Mint is eaten rather faster and so people might feel slightly disappointed as the pie-eaters have a longer snack.

For booking purposes there are four of us who would like to attend, including the afore mentioned Kitty but due to her condition we wouldn’t be able to confirm her definite attendance. Beside myself and my husband our Joycie would like to come but she has mobility issues (bunions) so we would like to know about your provisions for the infirm please. Joycie also has a mince intolerance (veganism), so you can see our imperative for the “equivalent” details!

We wanted to send you this enquiry by letter but my grand neice said to save our stamps and she is emailing this instead.

We hope this finds you having a well earnt rest Santa and look forward to hearing from you (or your elves).

Season’s Greetings

Mrs & Mrs Armitage-Senior


santa canal

A Brilliant REPLY (Just over an hour later):

Dear Mr & Mrs Armitage (Senior),

Relax and enjoy your journey. It’s as easy as that !??

Dear Cross Country Trains,

I am a frequent customer of your services between various cities.  I am usually satisfied with my trips with you, even though I find the latest price hike not entirely value.

I’m typing today as forced to by a rather upsetting journey yesterday.  I booked a seat in 1st class as a treat to myself after a hard weekend, I travelled this way before and it was most relaxing and thoroughly enjoyable (I like the single seats especially, free WiFi and friendly service).  However yesterday was severely distressing.

As I boarded the train I did so at a further carriage and thought I would make my way up to A internally.  Well, that was the worst thinking I could have had.

I squeezed past about 2 carriages of people stood should to shoulder, most of whom were understanding and kind enough to allow me past, though others stood blank faced and rigid despite my polite yet assertive requests for movement.  But I digress, on reaching the join between the last coach and coach A I reached a stand still. The euro backpackers were friendly enough and tried to move aside but apart from these, and other people whom I can only imagine had not booked any seats –unlike myself who so carefully had and does – there was the catering trolley –wedged between carriages.  It was actually the catering rather than non reserved passengers who created the blockage and forbade my first class seat, well in fact the having of any seat!

After this long haul with my heavy baggage (almost wrenching my wrists from their sockets when hoisting it above heads to get past people) I had to give up.  Perspiring and frustrated I was left standing the whole way from one city to another, almost falling over as I was stood central carriage with nothing to hold onto.  I have never had such a terrible journey.

Finally I was left with the only option to jump out at a stop and run (with said very heavy baggage) up the platform into Coach A.  Imagine if I had not run and missed getting on? Or had put my wrists or shoulders out,  and not been able to lift my bag or get help?

I spent the last about 10 minutes in my correct seat (whom a gentleman had sat himself in, understandably as he thought the rightful person was clearly not getting on!).

In standard class I have noticed many non- reserved passengers having to stand but as a permanently reserved person I always book a seat, and successfully get to that seat.

As a 1st class passenger this was a total let down, and feel deterred from trying to book 1st again.  What was supposed to be a real treat and relaxed journey turned into a nightmare.

I hope you can see that your tag line of “Relax and Enjoy your journey.  It’s as easy as that” is totally untrue and unfitting, in this case at least!

Sad Salutations,

Miss S

Subject: Case Reference: XC141013BBH9

Ref: XC141013BBH9
Dear Ms S

Thank you for your email, received here on 13th October 2014.
I am sorry to hear about your experience on board on 12th October 2014.

It’s fair to say that we expected a more even spread of customers using trains throughout the day. We even planned our trains and carriages to accommodate this spread of customers. However, on this occasion we got it wrong and I am sorry that your train was so busy and uncomfortable.
I understand that this caused you to be unable to take your seat in the First Class Carriage. I know how important it is when you reserve a seat and it must have been particularly frustrating as you had planned ahead when you booked the treat for yourself.
As you were unable to sit in First Class for the majority of your journey I would like to offer you some compensation in rail travel vouchers for the difference in cost between a First Class and Standard Class ticket. Please can I request that you send me your postal address in reply to this email and I will get these vouchers to you.

Please be assured that I have recorded the details about your journey and will ensure they are passed to our train planning department. They will do all they can to make sure we get it right next time to prevent issues like this happening again.
Once again please do accept our sincerest apologies for this disappointing experience and I will await your contact details.

Yours sincerely
Rahimah Ali
Customer Relations Consultant
Phone: 03447 369 123
Fax: 0121 200 6004
Email: customer.relations@crosscountrytrains.co.uk
Rate my response at http://www.crosscountrytrains.co.uk/crsurvey

My Reply:
Hello there Rahimah,

thank you for the gesture of the price between standard and first class, although its true to say I didn’t have even a standard seat, rather only standing on my feet for that journey. Thanks none the less!

and I’ll be travelling this same way again on Sunday so I pray for smooth passage!
best wishes,
Ms S

Antiquated Tesco Clubcard System Causes Relationship Bust Up

Antiquated Tesco Clubcard System Causes Relationship Bust Up


Saturday 9th May 2014

Dear CEO, Philip Clarke

I have just spoken to your lovely customer service representative Clare regarding my Clubcard points disappointment today.

For the last 3 months my partner and I have been dreaming of going out to a “proper restaurant” for our anniversary this weekend. We have been excitedly watching our Clubcard points mount up as we have been spending as much money as we could (often more than we could afford) on groceries at Tesco in the hope that we could have “dough balls as well as pizza”.
This was to fulfil our dream of being able to experience an evening at Pizza Express on our Anniversary.

From my till receipts I knew that I knew that I had at least a thousand points which I could convert into £40 worth of fine dining this weekend. I went online yesterday and was horrified to discover a massive discrepancy between the points total on my latest till receipt and alleged points total online. I couldn’t face telling my partner about this until this morning. My mind was racing and I couldn’t sleep all night.

Perhaps my partner had used the points behind my back for nefarious purposes?
Perhaps had he used the points for fine dining himself, but with who?

Had Tesco removed my points due to some minor transgression of Clubcard conditions?

Had someone even hacked my account due to the Heartbleed bug/ worm thing, and used my precious points to fine dine themself?

I even wondered if HMRC had taken the points due to some tax mix up.

I had had enough and decided to confront my partner this morning. After several hours of interrogation and a considerable amount of tears I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and call Customer Services to see if they could shed light on the case.

I presented my concerns to Clare, do you know her? She explained that it is normal for one’s Clubcard points to vanish every three months when they are being converted into voucher codes. She told me that this was due to your antiquated processing system whereby thousands of Tesco employees work tirelessly day and night, in a crowded post room, converting millions of customers points into voucher codes. She said this system has been in place for decades, and that Tesco could not afford to purchase a computer to modernise and speed up the system. I expressed my shock and surprise at this revelation but Clare told me that I was the first person to EVER to think that your system was a bit slow. I gave her the opportunity to change her mind about this but she insisted that no one else had ever complained.

She did explain that although the printed vouchers may not arrive in the post until 24th May I could access the voucher codes online on 12th May. This does not save our anniversary treat this weekend and I now find myself without sufficient funds to buy food until Monday! My partner is so hungry that has gone to see if he can register at the local food bank today. We are obviously disappointed but also worried about your financial situation. If only you could afford to buy a computer for your Clubcard points administration none of this would have happened.

I am therefore moved to offer to donate 50 of my precious Clubcard points towards setting up a Tesco Clubcard Computer Fund, “Computers for Clubcard” in the hope that other people never have to suffer disappointment (and hunger) on a scale like this ever again.

On a positive note, while my partner was at the food bank I have managed to convert my Nectar points into Pizza Express voucher codes almost instantaneously so all is not lost. However because most of our spending was focused at Tesco rather than Sainsbury’s we will only be able to enjoy dough balls, and no main course, drinks, side dishes, desert or even coffee.

My partner pointed out that if we had bought our groceries at Lidl or Aldi we could have saved up enough money for the full fine dining experience without having to resort to the humiliation of using voucher! I explained that despite the current financial recession I would not stoop that low.

I hope your financial situation improves soon and you are able to fund a computer for your Clubcard administration.

Yours Sincerely,

(after finally them finding the phone call and also the right clubcard number)

Dear Ms S

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you and thank you for your patience.

I am sorry your Clubcard vouchers were not available in time
for you to use for your anniversary meal.

Please let me try to explain the way our Clubcard points system works. Whatever points are accrued on your account are converted into vouchers every four months, February, May, August and November. Until the points are converted they cannot be used. Our system selects a specific date, in this case it was the 12th of May, when vouchers will be available for all Clubcard holders to use online. Due to the sheer volume of customers and the postal system, the date customers actually receive their printed vouchers can vary by quite a bit. There is a cut off date that points are removed from Clubcard accounts in order to be converted and on that same date customers can start collecting for the next three month period.

I have listened to a recording of the conversation you had with Claire and I can see why you have imagined a crowded mail room with everything being done by hand. I think what she was trying to explain was, that like any other business, we are constantly looking at ways to improve our systems and our service for our customers. Our Clubcard system is computerised and I am sorry you were given the wrong impression.

I have arranged for 500 points to be added to your Clubcard account as a gesture of good will and for you to perhaps use towards a meal out for you and your partner in the future.

I hope I have been of some help to you

Kind regards

Julie Lee
Customer Service Executive

Subject: Re: Email to Chief Executive’s Office

And my reply:
Subject: A Thank-you Re: Email to Chief Executive’s Office

Hi Julie,

firstly thank-you for your diligence and time on this.

Your reply does elucidate how the system works, and we are gladdened to hear that it is computerised after all.

Thank-you for listening to your customers and the generous token. I can heartily say that we are both very much looking forward to celebrating our belated Anniversary.

Best Wishes

Ms S

Thank you for listening to your customers and your generous token. We are both looking forward to an evening of fine dining.

Hairy Chicken Mayo -Complaint to Barney’s Sarnis

Hairy Chicken Mayo!
Sent: 30 November 2012 13:46

Hello Barney,

I have just started to eat one of your sarnis. I buy them every day at work for my luncheon.

I almost chose the celery, apple and blue cheese as usual when it’s available (my favourite) but for diversity opted for the chicken mayo salad.

80% way through the first half of said sarni I felt something odd and lo’ and behold pulled a 5 inch hair out!!

My hair is very long and it’s definitely not mine.

Yours sickened,

Ms S


I took it back to the shop with said hair sellotaped to an A4 sheet and the shopkeep didn’t seem too surprised just appalled and instantly refunded me and explained she would pass the sandwich/hair to the ‘man’ along with my contact details wherefore he may or may not contact me.

Thank goodness I’d had a yoghurt prior to the sandwich so didn’t starve.

(Amusing) Complaint to Sainsbury’s Local, Derby +Reply

Sainsbury’s Local, Kedleston road, Derby

Tues 11.33 7th Feb nectar xxxxxxxxx

I work at the nearby University and have done for many years, I have used this shop on many occasions for lunches and small items. However I have recently moved into the neighbourhood with my 2 year old (I’m a single mum) and have used this shop a handful of times so far to do small but also decent sized shops.
I was appalled and upset this morning when trying to do our shop the staff were stocking the shelves but in doing so were clearly perturbed by our presence.
I needed a good sized shop this day, and needed to browse. I am aware the aisles are narrow and thus squeeze the buggy right up to the shelves to help everyone get past. Neither do I take any more time than necessary as I always am in a hurry. Why then should I endure scowls and frowns from the staff -who are only in employment as customers such as myself shop there?

The most upsetting part was when a mature woman member was at the bottom of the alcohol aisle with a large stock trolley, she saw me coming and I asked ‘Will we fit?’ regarding whether we could get past. Did she say yes or no? Or perhaps she had had customer service training and she made apologies and ensured we could get past? No – she tutted, scowled and moved the trolley about 1 inch!!
I could barely get past and was made to feel like a piece of crap. A piece of crap that was spending money there week to week from my hard earned wages.
The lady on the till did not smile or speak until at the very end of the transaction after several prompts of ‘thank you’ and small talk.

I have to say this is in incredible contrast to the young men that work there of an evening -particularly one young guy who is so keen and enthusiastic and makes chat. Saying this I am not bothered about the chat (as I say I am just about always in a hurry) as such only about manners and plain old decent customer service. I also must say I have never received any such treatment at the other Sainsbury’s Local down on Nun Street.
My job is in customer service at the University and this sort of carry on would not be tolerated. It is appalling and not only puts me off going back but I will be telling everyone at work (I work on both Kedleston Road and Markeaton Street sites) of this treatment.

In addition I don’t want my daughter to be exposed to this sort of example as once she starts school this shop will be on her way, but there are other newsagents she could use instead.

[generic info here as it was an online form]

from: customerservice@sainsburys.co.uk

Message starred Saturday, 11 February 2012, 11:03
Dear Miss Davies

Thanks for your email. I’m sorry you had a poor experience in our Kedleston Road store. I can understand your disappointment as you’re a loyal customer and expect better from us.

We want our customer’s to enjoy their shopping experience with us. Our colleagues are trained in all aspects of customer service and are naturally expected to be as helpful as possible. They’re regularly reminded of the importance of being professional and courteous at all times. It’s disappointing to hear that on this occasion this wasn’t the case.

With this in mind I’ve logged your concerns with the store manager. Please be assured that we’ll continue to monitor customer feedback about this store.

I’ve also sent you a £10 gift card. I hope you can use these to treat yourself to something nice the next time you shop with us. This should arrive within seven days.

We appreciate you taking the time to contact us and look forward to seeing you in store again soon.

Kind regards
Andrew Kellock | Customer Manager
Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd | 33 Holborn, London | EC1N 2HT
customer.service@sainsburys.co.uk | 0800 636 262