12 days after emailing Costa Coffee once again about being refused hot water to warm my baby milk and I finally received a response from them.
“I have raised this matter again with the Area Manager, she has confirmed she has spoken to the Manager Greenbridge store, she has also requested that they send another communication to all stores in this area via internal methods. She does have 230 team members in her region so we can only assume the team members had not seen the previous communication.
I can only apologise this happened again but please be assured we are working to ensure all team members are fully up to speed.”
No comment on the rude behavior of their staff, but more assurances that the problem has been resolved. I do fail to see how the fact that the area manager has 230 staff in her team is relevant, as surely the area manager should be able to cascade information to her branch managers and they should be the ones cascading to their staff.
I was curious to see whether Greenbridge was an isolated incident, so I decided to go to another store which had previously refused to give me hot water. I chose The Orbital Shopping Centre, Next branch for my experiment, as this was one of the stores which treated me rudely last time I was there.
When I entered the branch and requested the hot water, a friendly staff member asked me if I would like them to heat something behind the counter. I replied no, that I just wanted the water and she agreed, no problem.
By George, I think they’ve got it!!! Oh, wait… While I was waiting for my drinks another mother came to the counter and asked for some hot water to warm her baby’s bottle. Here is where everything went wrong. The member of staff who had previously served me asked again if they could heat something behind the counter for her and the customer said no, she wanted the water. The staff member was just about to get the water when another staff member intervened and informed her that they weren’t allowed to provide the hot water. This was very disappointing and I quickly intervened and informed the second staff member of the correspondence I had with their head office. We then had a short discussion regarding the issue, where they informed me that the communication from management in Costa branches is terrible! There is no formal format for cascading communication from head office and managers aren’t at all organized when it comes to passing on new rules or information to their customer facing staff. The staff member also told me that one or two of their co-workers had mentioned they thought the rule had been changed, but other co-workers had assured them it hadn’t and there was no clarification from management at all.
So Costa, it would seem that a good few of you customer facing staff have not seen the communication clarifying that they can provide hot water for the purpose of warming a baby’s bottle. Perhaps it’s time to look deeper into your cascade procedure as the current system is obviously flawed and despite your repeated attempts to get the message across, it just isn’t happening. I believe the old adage “If you always do what you’ve always done, then you’ll always get what you’ve always got” is appropriate here!
I sincerely hope that this is the last installment in this exhausting tale, however I have a strong suspicion that my baby will have been weaned before this issue is resolved.
Continue reading about my experiences with Costa Coffee by following the links below.