Awful experience at De Boerderij last night.
Two nights ago I had purchased a bottle of curry sauce. Noticing that the label was a bit faded and stained, I requested for a different bottle to be brought to me. The girl behind the bar then brusquely replied that it was in fact a new bottle. Tired and previous from duty, I was not in a mood to argue and said no more on the subject.
Upon reaching home, I examined the bottle further and noted the expiry date of 30-12-2011. Twelve days ago. Again, being tired and previous, I decided to go to bed and ask for a new bottle the next day.
Last night, I brought the EXPIRED BOTTLE OF CURRY SAUCE to De Boerderij in order to have it replaced. There was a new girl behind the bar and she was much more polite than the one who was there the previous night. I then explained the situation to her, that I had bought this bottle of curry sauce here last night. I had actually asked for a new bottle because that bottle seemed old but the girl who I spoke with assured me it was a new bottle. However, upon reaching home I noticed that the expiry date was last year. With that, I would just like to request for a new bottle in exchange for the old one.
The girl then spoke to the Dutchman/manager/man-behind-the-bar/bartender/whatever-his-designated-position-may-be and relayed to him what I just said. He took the bottle, walked up to me, looked me up and down and said it was still good!
I was stunned. This was not the reaction I was expecting. As I stood there gobsmacked, he continued on to say you can still eat a product for two weeks after it expires! Well. Given that line of reasoning, since said product expired TWELVE DAYS AGO, I guess that leaves me with TWO WHOLE days to chug down about 750ml of curry sauce. Hooray for gastroenteritis.
But wait, there’s MORE!
He even added that you can still eat something six months after it expires!
Holy crap. I couldn’t believe my ears. Was this guy for real? From what medical school did you get your degree from, genius?
Not wanting to make a scene, I merely reiterated that it wasn’t the point. The point was they had sold me an expired product even after I asked for a new bottle last night. All I wanted from them was a new bottle of curry sauce.
He sneered at me, looked me up and down once more and said to a couple of foreigners at the bar that you can eat a product for six months but that people around these parts get so crazy about things like these. While saying this, he was making the universal sign for crazy (You know, the one where you swirl your index finger in a circular manner around your ear). The men at the bar nodded their heads in agreement.
I nearly blew my top. This kind of behaviour was completely unprofessional and his remarks were totally uncalled for. However, all I did was firmly say, that they had sold me an expired bottle even after I asked for a new one. Their salesgirl assured me I had a new bottle which now turns out to be expired. I just wanted a new bottle of curry sauce or my money back.
Having finally realized I was serious, he then replied in a condescending manner that they would replace it. He turned his back towards me and went to the kitchens. Exiting a few minutes later, he told me, shrugging, that the girl who had sold me the bottle wasn’t there. Shrug. Shrug. The kind of shrug that says, ‘Oh well, la-di-da. Que sera sera. Suck it up.’
I’d had about enough at that point. The polite new girl returned with my new bottle of curry sauce and I was out of there.
Which expires on 27-01-2012. PHAIL.
So boys and girls, what have we learned from this exercise in customer relations?
You do NOT HAVE THE RIGHT to sell an expired food product to the unsuspecting masses. I’m pretty sure the Department of Trade and Industry will have something to say about this.
Implying people around these parts are crazy? Mister, you LIVE and WORK in these parts. You aren’t even from these parts. So implying Filipinos are crazy? That’s just asking for a lynching.
Telling people you can still eat something even if it’s expired? That’s not really helping your case. There’s a reason why it’s called expired. In medical parlance, expired means DEAD. Dead, dead, DEAD. Cannot be brought back to life. About to decay. Selling people something that is expired is unacceptable.
I am aware there is a certain allowance for some products to be safely consumed past their declared shelf life(two months in the Philippines, Dr. Passion assures me. Perhaps a little bit longer in cooler climates), but again, THAT’S NOT THE POINT. EXPIRED means EXPIRED.
There is a difference between EXPIRED and BEST BEFORE. Again, EXPIRED means EXPIRED.
Just because you eat expired food doesn’t mean everybody else does.
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