All was going well with our festive afternoon tea experience on 9th December 2012: The sandwiches, pastries and choice of teas were splendid, accompanied by a couple of glasses of fizz, with my daughter and friend who was to celebrate her birthday the following day. The problems started when I tried to pay the bill...apparently there was a problem with my card although I was completely confident about the account etc so agreed to have them try again with this card, but this was also unsuccessful. Imagine my horror when another card I supplied was 'declined'!!!! By now, the other diners were starting to pay attention, turning around and I was mortified!
The staff took my details and promised to contact me the next day, regarding the outcome, after contacting the accounts dept. I was very uncomfortable: 2 credit cards had failed; I looked like I was trying to fraudulently use false credit cards or had no credit to support the payment; I was very scared to buy anything else for the rest of the day, even though we had travelled from Wigan in the north west of England for Christmas shopping and the Browns afternoon tea experience. I had also to try to explain all of this to my husband with whom I share these accounts, who was at home with my son.
There was no call from the staff by 5pm the next day, despite their promises. I contacted my credit card companies and was outraged to hear that the total bill of £201 had been debited from BOTH accounts the previous day! When I contacted Browns and was put through to the person with whom I had been dealing the previous day, she advised me that she had checked with accounts, the payments hadn't gone through and asked if she could put the payment through again?!!!
I obviously refused and explained that I had paid twice and wouldn't sanction a further payment and again said she would have to check with accounts. This time I insisted that she did it while I stayed on the line. I was in tears and my husband was horrified that we were being asked to pay £600 for afternoon tea for 3!!!!
Eventually accounts sorted out the problem and explained that there had been issues with the payment device and refunded the payment but the fact remains that this was meant to be a very special treat at a 5 star hotel and not only was the experience spoiled but so was the weekend and my husband and I had to spend several hours trying to sort it out!!! Errors can happen anywhere, of course, but when spending over £200 on afternoon tea for 3, it is a terrible disappointment to be left in tears, with several hours of follow up!!
The afternoon tea was very nice but not that nice that it was worth all of the hassle!!!!!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.