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THE WINE SCHOOL of Phila - could use lessons in customer service

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THE WINE SCHOOL of Phila - could use lessons in customer service

FayeD | Jan 7, 2010 06:37 AM

While I am not a frequent poster to this board, I am not posting something as a competitor but rather someone who attended an event where I had a less than perfect experience and my questions to the owner were received not with a thank you but rather a haughty type response.

As a birthday present my daughters bought my husband and I two tickets to a Wine School event at Alison 2. This event was called a Sommelier Smackdown and involved the pairing of food with cocktails and wine tasting and the goal was to see which beverage complemented the food better. It was sponsored by the Wine School with Alison 2 participating in terms of providing the setting, the food, and the cocktails. The tickets were at least $60 each, and while participants were told not to expect a complete dinner, I assumed a reasonable amount of food would be provided and it was.

What was unexpected was that only 4 bottles of wine were available for a total of 24 people or basically 1 ounce per person of each of the 4 wines. This assumed no spillage. I have been to a number of wine and food events at the Dilworthtown Inn as well as a place on the Outer Banks and I don't recall the tastings ever being just 1 ounce each. There have always been the opportunity for second tastes and in addition I believe the tastes were closer to 2 ounces. Compounding this was that 1 of the 4 bottles was corked and thus no good. Therefore our tasting consisted of a net of 3 ounces.

Admittedly, there were cocktails and they were generous as well as usually coming back for seconds. Therefore, I have nothing but nice things to say about the restaurant. The food and beverages were very good.

When I commented to the person from the Wine School about why they didn't have a back-up for the spoiled bottle of wine or why they couldn't have purchased a bottle from the restaurant, I was told this was a learning experience and the restaurant didn't have any similar wines.

So I sent an email to the head of the school, and was told in so many words that it was our privilege to have such well known people be at the event and that in itself was worth the $60 per person. Would you pay $60 just to hear George Perrier (he wasn't there but someone like him) talk? I also asked the head of the school several times about whether he brings an extra bottle of wine to a BYOB in case one is spoiled but I never had that question answered.

Maybe I initially was looking for some type of partial credit to a future course or something at least an apology but I never received one My daughter posted a review to Yelp (I don't belong to that) and basically was asked to remove it since she didn't have first hand experience. I am not that familiar with Yelp so I don't want my first review to be super negative, but at the same time, wanted to post my experience somewhere. So here it is. Be aware. Not what I call good customer serviice.

If you are interested in wine and food events, I suggest those held at the Chef's Kitchen at the Dilworthtown Inn. They have always been excellent.

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