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Ivan, the landlord of The Claycutters Arms in Chudleigh Knighton, Devon, described a guest’s feedback as “a complete waste of time” in a lengthy response to a guest’s critique. The three-star review, left by a couple called Lizzie and James, who had a roast dinner at the restaurant, praised elements of the meal but slated the service.
It read: “Went here for a roast, the meat & Yorkshire pudding were lovely, but the rest was disappointing and the service wasn’t the best.”
Ivan replied: “We need feedback, but this really is a complete waste of everybody’s time.
“So hopefully you won’t be coming back but if you do or for anyone else reading grab Ivan, Jane, Emily or Tom and talk to us……..but ask if I’m in a good mood first! Xx. We will never get it perfect probably like your sex life.”
And he also added: “What do you expect??? I have no idea what needs fixing but just to be clear reviews like this are so upsetting to our team that give up their Sunday’s to serve you……But tell us why – the same for the food!”
The response shocked Jamie, 26, and Lizzie, 31, who are both train drivers from Exeter, Devon.
Speaking to Devon Live, Jamie said: “It’s not acceptable to leave private comments like that – it’s outrageous. My partner gave it a three star review. We weren’t expecting a lot for £9.95 but the vegetables were definitely not very good.
“Also what did he mean about his staff giving up their Sundays – don’t they get paid? We work long hours and do shifts too – I started at 4am today.”
TripAdvisor outline how each review is processed
The train driver added: “The main problem was that we had booked but after they showed us to our table I think they just forgot we were there.
“The young lad who served us was lovely and they seemed to have plenty of people milling around but nobody came to serve us.
“My partner tries to leave feedback after we’ve eaten out but this reply from the landlord was just dire.”
The Claycutters Arms has been a fixture in Chudleigh Knighton, a rural village just outside Dartmoor National Park, since 1760.
Ivan has been landlord for several years, it is believed.
His full response read: “I’m sometimes completely at a loss to what some folks expect as service? We get so many saying it’s great then a few….actually very few saying it’s not…… so Lizzie help us by telling us why? What do you expect??? I have no idea what needs fixing but just to be clear reviews like this are so upsetting to our team that give up their Sunday’s to serve you……But tell us why – the same for the food! We have to make this place work for us and all those that depend on the pub. we need feedback, but this really is a complete waste of everybody’s time. So hopefully you won’t be coming back but if you do or for anyone else reading grab Ivan, Jane, Emily or Tom and talk to us……..but ask if I’m in a good mood first! Xx. We will never get it perfect probably like your sex life.”
But the pub landlord has history for leaving blunt replies on TripAdvisor. In recent weeks, he called a customer who left a bad review “another plonker Rodney” and told another “you talking up a crock of ole nonsense”.
The quips have left some users “in stitches”.
The latest Claycutters review from a Wolverhampton holidaymaker said: “Oh I so wanted to leave a bad review purely to recieve [sic] a fabulous response like those below which have had me in stitches! Sadly we had no reason to, so its positivity all the way.”
On Tripadvisor The Claycutters gets an average rating of four (very good) from 457 reviews – including 240 Excellent five stars.
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