Customer service resolution, what does it look like to you? What do you expect after you have been wronged?

This lake side bar use to be a must stop for us every time we visited the Okanagan. A tradition, something we looked forward to and enjoyed. However this post shows how one night, one bad service experience can change it all. I will not be returning and have been holding my breath waiting for a reply from the either hotel, bar, or security manager.

What happens when you get bad service and ask to speak to the manager and nothing comes of it? You make an attempt to address their supervisor. This is not the first time I have had to do this, but this was definitely been the worst out of all the time.

Instead of spending anymore time to review this restaurant I will simply post the very letter of complaint I sent to the hotel manager, that was later sent to the restaurant and security manager with no reply. I am very disappointed and will definitely not be returning. It is sad that they couldn’t even take the time to address me, instead I was ignored completely.

Note, a few names and specifics have been removed to protect privacy and anonymity.


Hello xxxxxx

My name is Maggi, my partner and I are visiting from out of town. We traveled from Vancouver to enjoy the city of Penticton. Your hotel is one we visit every time we are here, it has been 5 years running and we still look forward to enjoying the space, the casino, and all the amenities. However today we were given poor customer service and I wanted to direct it to your attention.

I work in the service industry and know the importance of customer service and treating guests who choose to spent money with us with respect. We got neither of the two at the “Barking Parrot” tonight. I understand you are not immediately not responsible for them, however them being in your hotel reflects poorly on the hotel’s brand and the resort itself. I am not only seeking compensation for my hard earned money spent, but reassurance that no one is subjected to same ill treatment that we were. We are good people, a polite, quite couple. Tonight we were treated like criminals, like low lives, all because we wanted my scarf back.

We were here for the weekend in celebration of a milestone birthday for myself. My partner had just gifted me the scarf I was forced to leave behind. Obviously I had sentimental value towards it, and am very upset that I was unable to retrieve it.

The gentleman, xxx who was running your front desk tonight, gave me your card and suggested that I call you after 9am regarding my concerns. He reassured me that you are “fantastic” and would address my situation accordingly. As I am very upset by the experience I endured, I wanted to email you right away to ask that you help rectify the situation as soon as possible.

We visited your hotel on Saturday August 8th and decided to get some drinks at the “Barking Parrot”. Given that it is Peachfest we saw the need for security, a stanchion-ed line, and a $9 cover. We waited in line, had our IDs scanned, our photos taken, and paid the $9 fee as listed by the sign posted at the entry way. And on our way in we got stamped with a red smiley face stamper. It is the general understanding that such a stamp allows you re-entry. So if you choose to leave, you can come back in. This was especially our interpretation because we had witnessed first hand, many female customers bypass the line to re-enter with ease. At this point I wonder, we were too old, we were not attractive enough to allow re-entry?

My reason for leaving the “Barking Parrot” is as follows. Instead of forcing myself to use the urine drenched, unkept women’s washroom in the “Barking Parrot” I thought it clever to use the hotel’s women’s washroom right outside the bar instead. It was clean, there was toilet paper, I was happy. (Because it was clearly too busy to ask an employee to restock the washrooms in the “Barking Parrot”.) After using the well kept facilities of your hotel, I attempted to head back inside to the “Barking Parrot”. To rejoin my partner who was waiting for me. He had two fresh cocktails and a paid for game of air hockey. I was denied entry and told to wait in line. I showed the bouncer my stamp, reassured him I had paid, and was just in there so wanted to get back in. I was directed to the back of the line, behind a long row of customers waiting to pay and come in for the first time. I didn’t understand this.

I managed to attract my partner’s attention from the bar’s window. He walked out of the bar to retrieve me, only to have to succumb to the same treatment as I was in minutes before. Ours stamps mean nothing if we have to wait in line to enter an event we already paid to enter. My partner would have never left my scarf and our drinks unattended if he knew we would not be allowed back in quick.

In the end my partner decided that we would just claim my scarf and leave, to not have to wait another 30 minutes in line for drinks that were left unattended and a game of air hockey that had probably already been claimed. However we were not allowed back in just to get what was ours. We offered to have just one of us enter to quickly retrieve our property so we can head home. We were denied. The security men stated that it was because they are over capacity as it is, so we had to wait for a few people to leave before we can head back in. (I am sure that is illegal, though they followed this statement up by stating that the police were in earlier and had okayed the situation.) So we then suggested that one of the security members assist us in reclaiming our property as we were not allowed back in. We were denied. They said very condescendingly that they would not help us grab my scarf, as if they were above it all.

At this point we asked to speak to the manager so that maybe he could help us get our belongings. We were denied. The security team members refused to even request the general manger’s presence to speak to us. Instead of attempting to seek out the general manager the security staff attempted to prove it would be no point to talk to him. They said the manger would laugh at us. (I find that hard to believe and deplorable if that was indeed the case.) They stated that the guy at the door was one of their bosses, and yes he is “mean”, but their boss was worse, “he is a dick”. (This was the actual adjective used to describe their boss). On top of their rude treatment they chose to use curse words when addressing us and the situation. I did not find this very professional. Nor do I want to be sworn at by employees of an establishment I am paying to visit. And when we decided to not waste our time speaking with them and instead address you and your hotel, they laughed at us. We walked away hearing them mock us to other customers waiting in line. I found that very insulting.

I assure you I am not intoxicated in any way. I am very aware of the events that transpired. After all, we paid a cover fee only to have our evening punctuated only 30 minutes in. Here, I would also like to point out that I did not appreciate xxx’s (at the hotel’s front desk) accusatory attitude when he asked if I was the one to “cause trouble”. And his reply that “it’s a bar”, as if I should know better to expect to be treated well at a bar. I had one drink, I was perfectly coherent and spoke to him clearly and eloquently. Not every one who visits a bar plans to get inebriated to the point of not understanding or remembering.

Needless to say my experience was a less than pleasant one. At work I am held accountable to great customer service, I train employees on it, I hold staff accountable to it, I practice it myself. In my personal life I blog about experiences and review services within them. I would like to think I know what is expected. My expectations are not high, my self worth is, and I was definitely not given the respect I deserved tonight. Not as anyone important, but as a person.

I thank you for taking the time to read my detailed grievance. We are in Penticton until Monday, August 10th. I do not expect an apology, but do expect some compensation, some satisfaction, an acknowledgement of what we were forced to face. And of course I would like my scarf back. It is a grey fleece scarf with tassels and a white, grey, and blue stripped pattern. As I had mention it has a lot of sentimental value for me.

Once again, thank you for your time Xxxxxxx. I look forward to discussing this situation with you in further detail.

– Maggi


Would I come back? – No.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – No.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
I work in customer service. I know what good service looks like. I am not shy to call out what is beyond acceptable. However, I guess the security men who dealt with us were right to laugh at us. To laugh at our naivety and belief that we would should be treated with dignity and have some resemblance of good customer service. They were right, that their businesses would not care, and that there was no point in writing the letter above. There was no outcome, nothing happened, their inaction shows they do not care for me or my patronage. Very disappointing for a business in the service industry and a city dependant on tourists in summer.

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