What would you do if you were served with an ICED coffee with dead cockroaches inside? What if you realize this after drinking more than half the drink? Well that’s exactly what happened to me at Mad Over Donuts R-City outlet on March 22, 2013.
Very soon I realized that as a consumer, this MNC didn’t have much regard for one customer nor was it interested in compensating me (I at least deserved a refund for coffee or a replacement, though I would have preferred the refund and an apology). All that Mad Over Donuts was interested in was to hush up the matter and bury it under the carpet. And no, I am not talking about dealing with some low ranking employee. I escalated the matter all the way to COO (Mr. Tarak Bhattacharya) of the company (thanks to Twitter) but end result was nothing.
Disclaimer: Some of the photographs are disgusting. Please view them with discretion.
It all started with me visiting RCity mall in Mumbai’s central suburb of Ghatkopar on March 22, 2013. After a good meal, I was looking to have a donut and I walked to Mad Over Donuts outlet in RCity and ordered a Donut. They had some promotion going on and for a small fee I could get an “Iced Coffee”. So I went for it! (My bad luck). I took my order and looked for a place to sit and enjoy my meal. Unfortunately after drinking more than half the coffee I noticed there was something floating in my coffee. On removing the transparent cap and inspecting it further, I realized it was a cockroach. On some further inspection I found another cockroach inside the coffee.
I felt very disgusted and pukish. I went to the outlet and was really upset that they had such poor hygiene in their kitchen. All that the outlet guy could tell me is to fill up the feedback form. Shocked, I asked for the outlet manager be called who was not present. I waited for the manager for over 45 minutes. In the meantime I too some picture of the coffee glass and posted them on twitter.
This caught the attention of the marketing team who immediately forwarded my details to the Marketing Head at Mad Over Donuts. While waiting for the outlet manager to arrive, I got a call from the Marketing Head who was “sorry” for what had happened. I asked her to send me an apology in writing (letter) which she agreed. Minutes later I got a call from the Operations Head who was also “sorry” and wanted to hush up the matter. The Operations & Marketing Heads told me that apology in writing (on letter head) is against Mad Over Donuts policy and hence they cannot issue one. On being asked to escalate the matter to their supervisor, I was informed that the matter had to be resolved at their level. I was very angry at this stage and kept the phone down, waiting for the outlet manager to arrived.
Soon the outlet manager arrived and immediately went into the kitchen. He ordered the staff to “clean up” the place. Suspecting something is wrong, I immediately took out my phone and captured few shots of MOD employees busy in “Operation coverup”.
He then came out and started speaking over phone (probably to the Operations Head reporting the coverup operation). Once finished with his call, he came to me and said “sorry” and that this won’t happen again. I asked that he send me an apology in writing. On which he directed me to Operations Head. This time, I had another call with Marketing and Operations Head which was similar to the earlier conversation. Apology was against company policy and similar crap. The only thing they agreed to was an email stating they are sorry for what happened. And that it won’t happen again.
I tweeted about the incidence again and added the company COO in my tweet. Next day, I received a call from none other than Mr. Tarak Bhattacharya. I narrated the whole incidence. He was very upset with the way his staff handled the matter. He told me that all the persons responsible including the one I was interacting with have been fired. He also promised to meet me personally next week when he is back in Mumbai. He also promised that if I decided to pursue the matter legally, he would offer all the help. He was also fed up with the R-City MOD outlet and had made up his mind to shut it down.
Little did I know at that time that his offer to meet me and resolve the matter or about his decision to shut down R-City outlet were all false promises. He never called back, neither anyone from his office. They didn’t have the courtesy to even refund the money I paid for the coffee. I couldn’t independently verify what action was taken against the staff members involved so I can’t say whether Mr. Tarak Bhattacharya lied about the staff being fired.
This post is a reminder to MOD that you cannot take consumers for granted. I don’t have much hope of a resolution from this company since its COO has gone back on his promises. What quality would you expect from this company and the staff if the top guy makes false promises? Recently I read an article in Forbes where Mr. Tarak Bhattacharya mentions that his best outlet is at R-City Mall in Ghatkopar West, Mumbai. What an irony!