Business Owner Expresses Shock At Poor Service

Clifford Freeman, owner of St Mary's Hall Hotel

The owner of several Scilly tourism businesses says he was so fed up at the way visitors were being treated in Hugh Town over the weekend, he just wanted to go back home to the mainland.

Clifford Freeman, who owns St Mary’s Hall Hotel and Scilly Self Catering, says he and his guests experienced a poor attitude to visitors over the Easter break.

He says one shop practically accused kids of stealing when they had just removed stock from the display to try on items.

In another, an assistant didn’t break off a conversation or offer acknowledgement when it was Clifford’s turn at the till, but simply stretched out their hand to take payment.

Clifford believes some don’t want to deal with visitors but just want their cash.

He finds it incredible that they can’t see that the visitor is the reason they can live their lifestyle, and thinks customer service is worse than on the mainland.

Clifford, who is a board member of the new Tourism Partnership, says he understands why some people won’t appreciate him speaking out as it could generate  bad publicity.

But he won’t bury his head in the sand.

He feels that until the culture on Scilly changes then tourist numbers will continue to drop and that will affect his businesses too.

When asked what gives him, a mainland resident, the right to speak out, he says he comes here as a tourist regularly and sees Scilly in a way locals may not.

He wants people to treat visitors well so that they have “the whole experience” and enjoy  a product that is “consistently right.”

Some islanders, like Lyndsey Sawyer, don’t feel Clifford should have spoken out in a public forum but guesthouse owner Sam Mallon adds that she’s not sure whether the place for sharing such an opinion was appropriate or not, but his comments are accurate.


9 Responses to Business Owner Expresses Shock At Poor Service

  1. Ted Steffans April 16, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Listen People! this is madness! you are literally biting the hand that feeds!!! You couldn’t make this up!

    Bring back That’s Life I say, see what Esther, Doc Cox et al would make of it. This country, Tut-choh!

  2. Bav April 16, 2012 at 9:16 am

    I agree, the staff in the co-op are amongst the excellent ones on Scilly. My comment was that when you receive poor service, it seems to leave a longer impression than good service which is the norm. And yes, when I receive poor service for my hard earned cash, I do comment to the business concerned.

  3. linda April 15, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    For goodness sake, get a life you folk who would have PEOPLE serving you and doffing there forelock at the same time. The service in Scilly is exceptional and at times when standing in a queue the bad manners proferred by customers is appalling, two sides to a coin, see both and it is not as bad as commented on.
    I personally give praise to our coop staff who work well and are pleasant at all times even when hard pressed.

  4. Tony Morris April 14, 2012 at 8:35 am

    As another visitor to the Islands over the Bank Holiday weekend I’m pleased to say that I received good service at all the businesses I visited. In one the staff were busily unpacking boxes of stock in the middle of the day, which seems an odd time to do this but this was the only negative point from the places we visited.

  5. Peter April 13, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    I hope you voiced your opinion and mentioned how fed up you are to the people you are talking about,or is that asking to much. Be direct.

    Seen as you have a problem with the service think of the old addage: “Feedback is the breakfast of champions”
    No feedback,no action. No change.

  6. Todd Stevens April 12, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    You tar everyone here with the same brush. Thats like saying I had a bad meal in London so all the restaurants there are c**p. Write to the shop involved- dont make us all look bad with sweeping statements!!

  7. olive April 12, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    Always a smile from the young lady in the Grapevine.

  8. Bav April 12, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Sadly, this is very true of some of the businesses on Scilly, restaurants included. There are many places that do give you excellent, friendly service, but the poor ones seem to leave a longer lasting impression.

  9. Steve April 12, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    It’s not just holiday makers they treat some locals the same, if they were more polite and not stuck in there own world we’d shop more over here instead of using the Internet. It’s sad but some shop workers and owners think that just because they live here there better then you, but if they were they wouldn’t be working in a shop and have a proper job! People of scilly need to smile we live in the best place in the world !