Daily Archives: July 20, 2008

Value Added Trouble

Blackheath Village Deli and Starbucks

I might have to reappraise what I wrote about the Village Deli back in May… After today, I’m not sure I’ll be heading back. It all started well enough, with the idea of getting something to eat there before catching a train. When we’d bought our food to take-away, I realised that we still had 15 minutes before the train was due.

So I asked one of the staff there if we could sit down with our food. He said of course, so we did. Then a very grumpy lady came over and loudly told us that she was very sorry, but we couldn’t possibly sit there, as we had paid to take away. Which was kind of embarrassing, and made me feel like some sort of furtive vagrant sneaking into their shop to sit down…

I completely understand that by law the place has to add VAT on to our order if we choose to eat in, so I offered to pay the difference. Mrs Bugle was busy fuming by this point. So we finished our (rather dry) spinach and ricotta thingy, and got up to leave. I asked how much we owed her, and she announced £2! Two pounds in VAT?! I’m sure our two spinach things didn’t cost more than £6, and by my reckoning, two pounds means that our food must have cost £11! I questioned it (hell, I’d already lost any chance at getting out of there without embarrassment), and was told that it was “because we sat at the table”, whatever that means.

It’s not so much the money, as the way it was handled… Maybe she was having a bad day, but as Michael P pointed out in the comments in the previous post about the Deli:

Every time I leave the Deli, I swear that I will never return. Although the service is just about passable during the week, I am almost always left to hang for a sapping period of time at the weekend. And there’s about as much chance of getting a smile as there is getting change from a tenner.

True indeed…  If I’m turning this blog into one long whinge-fest please tell me.  I do like Blackheath really!

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