re·fined

Ranting customer blames Kilroy’s for letting a heart attack victim ruin her New Year’s Eve

angry womanHolly in Indianapolis would like to reset the clock after leaving nasty feedback about her New Year’s Eve pub experience. She went to Kilroy’s Bar and Grill to welcome 2016 with friends, food and plenty of drinks. Sadly, the party was interrupted by paramedics who had to perform CPR on a patron on the floor of the crowded bar.

In the middle of the hubbub, Holly decided it would be a good time to dispute some of the charges on her $700 tab. The manager told her that “someone dying was more important” than her being there which made her feel like her “business didn’t matter”. Imagine! The nerve of the manager to put human life in front of customer service!

Kilroys rant

The next day, Holly left a long, angry rant on Kilroy’s Facebook page which was quickly followed up by an equally ranty – though much more understandable – reply from the bar’s manager.

“We love feedback, whether it be positive or negative. I especially like feedback like this so others can see the disgusting people that we have to deal with sometimes.”

He goes on to explain that the “overdosing junkie” in Holly’s complaint was a 70 year-old woman having a heart attack.

“I personally had to leave a show to take a phone call from an emotional manager telling me someone died at Kilory’s and that the other employees were not doing so well dealing with this. (edit) So I understand how inconvenient this was to your night. But honestly, I’m glad to hear you won’t be coming back to Kilroy’s because we wouldn’t want anyone as cold hearted and nasty as you returning.”

Then, as these things do, it went viral.

Conventional wisdom says it’s never smart for a business to publicly attack a customer but in this case it worked in Kilroy’s favor. People all over the world rallied behind the bar and its crew who – let’s face it – all had a pretty lousy New Year’s Eve.

But you know what happens when you rile up the social media watchdogs; they attack. So in addition to kind words for Kilroy’s, it’s been two days of bullying and threats for Holly and not just in cyberspace. The salon where Holly works has been getting bombarded with callers pushing to get her fired. Even women with the same name who live in the area have been feeling the heat.

Now that it’s over and done, it’s time for some Monday morning quarterbacking. It’s hard to say what any of us would do in the heat of the moment. This is business but we’re all human and this is the way humans respond when we’re the subject of an unjustified attack. But in most cases, these things are better dealt with in private or not at all. Or perhaps a simple, clear-headed response stating the facts and nothing more?

This time, it was a win for the establishment. Kilroy’s gained some reputation points and they’ll probably see an increase in business throughout the month. But right now, I think everyone involved is ready to have this over and done with.

The one spec of goodness to come out of this whole affair is the outpouring of good wishes and financial support for the real victim here; the woman who had a heart attack in a busy pub on New Year’s Eve.