A Melbourne burger joint has been removed from online ordering platform Menulog after a customer shared images of text messages she received from the business harassing her when she checked in on the progress of a refund.
The Daily Mail reports young mother Bethany Kazi cancelled an order with Stack’d Burger Bar in Berwick after discovering it would take two-and-a-half hours for her food to arrive. The cancellation went through via text message, but when she went to check on the progress of the refund the next week, she received a text back that said: “Please be advised u r permanently banned from Stack’d”. She was then told the business would be pursuing legal action over an online review she posted of the business.
When Kazi complained about the “bullying behaviour”, she was told her refund had been cancelled.
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The text messages, which the customer shared online, have been widely circulated on social media platforms this morning. SmartCompany understands that after an investigation by Menulog, the platform through which the order was placed, the business will be removed from the site today.
“We have a very stringent agreement with all the restaurant partners, texting is for delivery only,” Menulog operations director Arlene Reynolds told SmartCompany.
“Outside of that, we do not encourage restaurants to make contact at all. We are investigating the restaurant in question. From our position, it’s about making sure we’re doing the best for all our customers.”
Brand adviser Michel Hogan says in this case, the lesson is simple – businesses have to treat people “like people” and be nice.
While it’s impossible to know from the outside the full details what happened in this case, the reality is that “there’s no need for this to have had to escalate”, Hogan says.
“Let’s step back – you’re dealing with a person, and a person who is upset. You’re a customer of somewhere too – so ask, how would you like to be treated?”
Crisis communications expert Nicole Matejic agrees, observing that in these cases, a text message is likely the worst way to respond to a customer.
“It’s probably inappropriate – it’s really easy to be mean behind the screen,” Matejic says.
“Especially when the stakes are high and people are emotionally charged, speaking in person is a much better option.”
It’s also a reminder that when things are online, the brand impression is a lasting one, says Matejic.
“That’s the great thing about Google,” Matejic says. “It never goes away”.
SmartCompany contacted Stack’d for comment on the issue but did not receive a response prior to publication.