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JD Wetherspoon(The John Wallace Linton) - An open to Tim Martin head of JD Wetherspoon.

Dear Tim,

Some 3 months ago I and a friend had an unpleasant incident occur at the above named pub in Newport Gwent, so as to avoid confusion I shall summarize below:

On the 19th November 2008, both myself and a friend were verbally abused by an OAP who we assumed from conversation to be the grandfather of the Deputy Manager. Despite my and my friend complaining several times to the Duty Manager, the OAP being escorted away each time by members of staff and many an excuse for his behaviour being issued by the Duty Manager; the bad behaviour on his part continued throughout the evening.

Towards the end of that somewhat unpleasant evening I recorded several clips which I placed on Youtube - links etc at bottom of this post - and despite our even being given a gratis pint each by the Duty Manager earlier as a peace offering - when I explained that due to threats of relatives being called made by the OAP, I was recording events it was us who were asked to leave the pub.

I will also point out that the Duty Manager attempted to grab/knock the phone I was recording on out of my hand at one point. Can I ask is that part of the Wetherspoon training manual for licensees Tim?

Now wind the clock forward till January 6th, at which point I received at apology letter from one Amanda Frayne(Compliance & Regulatory Solicitor) employed by your good self.

Now I shall again summarise the letter(and I have made a few points that I shall also be adding detail to) she sent me but the highlights of which were:
1. "We would not expect any members of our staff to behave in the manner which you allege and as such this member of staff has been spoken to at length and had refresher training as to how JD Wetherspoon would expect her to deal with such situations." - Sounds nice however her and other staff comments to all and sundry as to how she/they have been wronged, how it all our fault, we are complete bastards etc etc etc(you get the picture) have got back to myself and people that I know. Indeed the tales of woe reached my ears the very day after the events took place. Still I shall refrain from sexist comments about women and gossip.

2. "...the gentleman you referred to as Grandad has been made aware that the alleged behaviour is not appropriate and will not be tolerated in any of our premises and has subsequently been barred from the premises." - Again sounds nice, but and this is the point I have seen him and heard of him drinking back in that very public house.

3. "I would also like to take the opportunity to apologise that your experience on this occasion did not meet the standards you have grown to expect from JD Wetherspoon and apologise for this." - Well, thanks and at the time(6th Jan) I accepted that apology. However my friend being told when we went in that he was not welcome and having to produce said apology letter was not a nice start to be fair.

Later the bar manager that night asked if he could get a copy of the letter. I saw no problem with that and assumed that it would be there to clarify and remove any future problems with regards service in your chain.

Imagine my surprise when after sending an apology letter on the 6th Jan, another part of your chain sends me a letter dated 13th Jan(Ref: 0000392377/191)
Now there it becomes both surreal and amusing.

You see after the events of the 19th Nov, we had chosen to leave the JD Wetherspoon chain until such point as an apology was issued on the part of Wetherspoons and to receive a letter stating that we are barred defeats the point of the first apology.

I quote from your letter (Ref:0000392377/191 same as above):
"We are writing further to our previous correspondence, and your more recent visit to the John Wallce Linton Pub."

"This matter has been discussed at length and the Manager of the John Wallace Linton. We have been advised that as present, they do not wish you to return to the pub. They are the licensee of the premises and therefore may refuse service to an individual whom they do not wish to be on the premises."
Few points here Tim old chum, first up it was us who were the ones abused. Maybe the manager should watch the clips and rather than listening to the whine of the Duty Manager that night, maybe she should be the one on a re-training course in customer care? Just a pointer old chap.

Second and I refer to point 1 above, I am not overly impressed with after avoiding this company for nearly three months have had to endure staff bitching to friends who still drink there.

Re point 2 above, although the old chap may not be a relative if bans are to be issued could one ensure that they actually enforce them with regards the person who caused the trouble in the first place.

Lastly and getting back to the surreal point, quite what is the point of banning us when
a/ you as a company have already apologised to us and
b/ we had chosen not to drink in your chain until such an apology had been issued.
A case of shooting one self in the foot is it not?

I do have a feeling that a large part of this banning letter being sent is due to the manageress in the John Wallace losing face over her staff being pulled up (point 1), indeed such a loss of face has not been seen since Abd al-Latif al-Baghdadi visited Egypt about 1196AD and reported on the quarrying of the smaller pyramids at Giza, of their casing for building stone.

Were I bitchy Tim, I could comment that on occasions the licensees makeup does somewhat resemble the clad casing than still can be seen on the upper part of Khafre's Pyramid at Giza. Fortunately no loss of this facial licensee casing has occurred, other than my postings on You Tube and the setting up of the Avoid JD Wetherspoon page on Facebook; should that happen I would imagine multiple casualties!

But joking aside, I and my friend are fighting a principle here. Should Wetherspoons care about their reputation - rapidly going down in my view - they might look at this situation again. After all fair play over staff bias is something that will and does gets up ones nose.

Should the ban stand that is as may be, yes I understand fully that a licensee can bar anyone they choose for no reason other than they do not want them there; moreover should that be the case then to be brutally honest I no longer care to drink in the more down market chav orientated establishments of Newport.

Getting back to the 2 letters: To first apologise and then in a roundabout way go back on that does show some rather cowboyish behaviour. Now I do understand that the JD in the corporate name comes from Jessie Duke in the 80's show "Dukes of Hazzard" - according to your Wikipedia page - although until now I did not realise that the cowboy theme went through to management behaviour.

Still regards and should an appropriate apology - ie one that won't be overturned by a manageress whos nose and makeup is out of joint - then I shall consider the matter closed once and for all.

Regards and all that.


Links etc:http://uk.youtube.com/user/fidothedogster
Plus http://www.facebook.com/pages/Avoid-JD-Wetherspoon/44864167834

5 people have spoken:

Damon Lord said...

This is unbelievable. In a nutshell you complain because a local is getting rowdy with you and the staff side with him. You receive an apology and assurances that the said local is banned. You find out that the local is not banned, then find out that you have been banned in his place, presumably for complaining in the first place?

Un-fucking-believable. I'm not going to be visiting a Wetherspoons again either, and the same for a Lloyds No.1 bar either.

As an aside, even the word verification agrees that Wetherspoons must be crazy: the word verification on screen right now is "gaga"!

The Screech said...

Seems worthy of an episode of Rogue Traders....it's time these fuckees were brought down a peg or ten, i've got a big family and we meet once a month in their Godfrey Morgan zone in Maindee, Newport. If i were to put my family onto this situation, and to be fair, something which could have been resolved so easily has gone on for far too long now, then they woud most certainly agree with me on this, and they come from all areas of South East Wales/West of England to meet up(calculate a rough guess of probably about 3-4 JD pubs to a town/city and multiply that by say 4). So let's for arguments' sake say 16 JD pubs, plus a lot of family who can put the word around, i think it's time the ball started rolling.

David said...

It's hard to think of a decent pub in the 'port anymore.

The Murrenger I guess....and that's a stretch considering some of the 'regulars'.

The Screech said...

Only decent pub in the 'port lately is behind my front fucking door.

Fidothedog said...

David - Rob the landlord is okay, newports version of Al Murry.

Damon - Yep thats it.