The imperial right to gouge



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Have you ever been royally ripped off? It's an awful experience.

You feel cheated, upset and have no one to blame except yourself. And, worse in our country and what passes for the service experience you have no redressal.

Read the following.

1. You go to a magnificent five star hotel for lunch, an Italian specialty restaurant. The first thing you order is not available; the staff tells you smugly the menu is changing next week. Disconcerted you order food and a drink.

2. The beverage tastes like rasam and you really did not anticipate this kick in a martini. You tell them and ask for a cheap wine available everywhere but, of course they don't feature it.

3. Instead, the restaurant manager assures you he will give you a "sparkling wine". Apprehensively you ask "that would be quite expensive". "Not for you madam," he purrs.

4. Fool that you are, you fall for it thinking he is being so nice to make up for the terrible drink. And, after all they do charge more than a thousand bucks for the pizza. Probably for the privilege of eating there.

5. The food comes it is inedible. You again beckon the manager and rather sadly now bring it to his notice. To your astonishment and incredulity he agrees and says yes you right the food is awful but wait till Tuesday. You want to scream but I am here now you just spoiled my Sunday lunch.

6. At the end of this rock bottom experience they present you for a bill of Rs 8000 plus for two people. The gargantuan meal comprised one measly undercooked pizza, a pasta, a single beer and two glasses for a rather flat so called sparkling wine. Oh yes and some yucky dry shared desert.

After a ruined afternoon and the hotel's own rather incredible admission of terrible food you were praying that the bill would reflect it. No such luck. Nothing has been taken off. You have been gouged good and proper.

You squirm at the misery of the hard earned cash going down the drain, but pay.

This my dear readers is the Imperial Hotel, Delhi.

And, while warning all my faithful readers against the wallet massacre and the frightful food I just have a couple of questions for the management.

1. Is it the customers’ fault if you do not have what they want which is part of your menu?

2. Is it normal practice to call your own food terrible and charge the poor punters for it?

3. What do you really gain by ripping people off?

Famous last words. Never again.