Which & Gaucho Take The Bad Taste From My Mouth

About a month ago I wrote about a rather disappointing experience I had with Gaucho, the chain of Argentinian steak restaurants. To summarise what happened, I had a lovely meal there but when my jacket was brought back from the cloak-room, my iPod was missing and despite repeated telephone discussions with the manager of the Picadilly branch, they refused to take responsibility.

Well, I’m glad to say that at this point teh interwebz stepped in.

As happens with all my posts, a link to it was posted to my Twitter profile courtesy of twitterfeed. This was then retweeted a few times, and also prompted some people to suggest I check out Gaucho’s competition. This led to quite a few people seeing the original tweet, and the post. And one of those was the person managing the Twitter profile of consumer magazine Which. Which then got in touch and, having passed my blog post to their in-house lawyers, got back to me with some advice on possible avenues I might have for going back to Gaucho and pushing my case that they were responsible for the loss of my iPod.

Which, as anyone who knows me won’t be surprised to hear, I did. I emailed their Chief Executive & their Head of Operations, laying out my case: for those who are interested, putting up a sign saying we take no responsibility for items left in our possession doesn’t mean that they don’t have any responsibility – it’s called bailment; and not making it clear that they don’t intend to take responsibility, for example by putting the T&Cs on the back of a card, risks breaking the Unfair Contract Terms Act of 1977. That was on a Friday. On the Monday I had a call from a very friendly lady called Tracey asking where I wanted my new iPod sent (it arrived a few days later, along with a lovely bottle of Argentinian wine).

Tracey also apologised for the way my complaint had been handled, although to be fair everyone had always been very polite – they just hadn’t told me what I’d wanted to hear: it had been like a well mannered version of ‘Computer Says No’. She also explained that they would be changing their policies regarding making things clear about the cloak-room and hoped that I would give them another chance.

And, by chance, it turned out that my Dad had booked a family lunch at Gaucho’s Charlotte Street branch for that weekend, which I wouldn’t have been able to go to had Tracey not called (I’d have insisted we ate somewhere else instead). And, I’m glad to say, the food & service were as good as they had been when I visited Gaucho Piccadilly. And no, I didn’t hand in my jacket.

Thank you to @WhichCampaigner and everyone else who helped me get an iPod back.

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