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Tale of Delivery from Yamato in Park Slope

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Tale of Delivery from Yamato in Park Slope

George Lynch | May 22, 2002 03:58 AM

OK, so I call Yamato in the Slope last night around 6:45 PM to order in some rolls and sashimi. My wife and I have been ordering in a lot lately because she broke her wrist and it's often just the easiest thing to do. We have decided after a lot of hits and misses that Yamato consistently offers the best (and, sadly, the most expensive) sushi/sashimi in the Slope.

Anyway, I order a couple of appetizers, a couple of rolls and a few pieces of sashimi (which we prefer to sushi). I ask the lady on the phone if they have Blue Fin Toro (never have had it in the past - I ask every time), she says yes, so I order two pieces. Finally, I tell her we want to charge the entire order (have done so in the past); she says OK, no problem.

At about 7:15 she calls back to say, nope, no Blue Fin tuna, so I say, OK, forget that item and deliver the rest. She says OK.

Now it's about 8:10 and we're watching the Yanks beat up on the Blue Jays and wondering where the hell the food is, so I call and the same lady says, hang in there, it's on the way. Sure enough, about five minutes later the doorbell rings.

The delivery guy, who knows us by now and is very friendly, gives me the order and the bill and sticks his hand out. I indicate I want to sign the charge slip and he sighs and indicates he's gotta go back because they didn't give him the charge slip. I sigh too and say OK and take the order.

When I open the order I find: (a) no extra wasabe as requested, (b) apps (Gyoza & Shumai) are as cold as if they came out of the fridge, (c) they didn't send the salmon sashimi, instead sent tuna (and not the Blue Fin, either).

So I call Yamato (third time tonight), get the same lady, who now becomes defensive and gets excited when I say that I am unhappy with this whole experience thus far (the hour and a half wait for the food, the missing and wrong items, the stuff that should be hot being cold). She says she can't talk right now, will call me back.

She calls back in about 10 minutes, has a story prepared for each issue, the main excuse being that they're very busy. Said I should just have signed receipt since they have us on file. I tell her that she should tell her delivery guy that because he certainly didn't know it, and I tell her that if it's going to be over an hour they should call, especially if hot foods are involved, and that she got the order wrong anyway and that there's really no excuse for that. As I go on, I find I'm talking to dead air and I hang up, more than a little annoyed.

A few minutes later the phone rings again and it's, yes, the same lady, who apologizes for leaving me on hold. I tell her she didn't just leave me on hold, that she just put me on hold without saying a word and left me talking away without realizing there was no one on the other end. She says No, I told you I was going to put you on hold, I say, lady, I was the other guy on the phone and I'm telling you that you did not say a word, you just left me talking to dead air. All this is being filtered through a mild language barrier.

But now she becomes more apologetic and friendly (I'm figuring she checked and found we have ordered several times in the past few weeks, as they can identify customers from their phone numbers.) Finally she apologizes and says she is going to send the delivery guy back with the charge slip and the missing salmon. I say OK, feeling a little better.

Delivery guy returns a little later (it's now around 9:00 PM) with charge slip and salmon and extra wasabe. He gives me the charge slip to sign and then asks for $9 cash for the salmon. I gape at him in wonderment, then give him the $9 as I'm a little slow by now on the uptake. Also, he doesn't do much English and I figure it's easier just to pay up.

When it finally fully registers I call Yamato back get, yes, the same lady (this is now my seventh phone conversation with her), and ask her why she charged me for the salmon. She said you order salmon so you should pay for it. I say well, I didn't order tuna so why did I pay for that? Long pause. She finally says, well, did you pay the delivery guy yet? I say Yes, he's already gone. She finally apologizes and says she must have misunderstood. Finally! We agree fully on something!

She gives me her name and takes mine and says to ask for her the next time I call and she will straighten all this out. I tell her I am definitely going to ask for her by name next time and that I know she's going to straighten all this out. After all, we've become good friends and we call each other six, seven times a night. We part on a relatively cordial note.

The food, by the way, was just as good as usual, which means quite good indeed. Their sushi/sashimi is always, in our experience, VERY fresh.

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