Why I will never order from VeganBurg delivery ever again
If you’re here for information about my experience at the Eunos branch of VeganBurg, you will find it attached to the bottom of this review about the VeganBurg delivery service. However, if you’re interested in knowing why I will never order from VeganBurg delivery ever again, please read the following account of the appalling service standards of the Manager with whom I was unfortunate enough to cross paths with.
Earlier this evening, at 7:05 PM, I placed an order for the delivery of $40+ worth of food (with $4 delivery charge) to an address off Depot Road. I was informed that my delivery zone meant that the delivery would take 1.5 hours. This corresponded to the information on their leaftlet promoting their delivery service and their website – the expected delivery time is 60-90 minutes.
So for the next 1.5 hours, my friend and I eagerly awaited the delivery – we were starving and we definitely deserved a break from studying. But the delivery didn’t arrive. So at 8:37 PM, I called VeganBurg again to ask when my delivery was going to arrive. The person who spoke to me sounded like the Manager whom I spoke to later, but I might be wrong. I asked why the delivery had not arrived yet and whether the despatch rider was lost, hoping that I could give him some directions. He told me that the rider had already left for the destination, and he gave some excuse as to the fact that my place was “very far”. I didn’t see how that excuse made sense, since they had told me the expected delivery time was 90 minutes taking into account my delivery zone (for the other delivery zones, the expected delivery time is 45-60 minutes), and I told him that. He said he would call the despatch rider to check up on the situation and he would call me back.
He never did. 20 minutes later, at 8:57 PM, I called back. The same man picked up the phone. When I asked about the situation, he said he tried but couldn’t reach the despatch rider, so he did not call me back. Great job on not following up with your customer’s enquiries. He then asked me if I wanted to cancel the order, to which I replied, I’m not going to cancel the order after waiting for nearly 2 hours (DUH?). He said he would try to contact the despatch rider again.
6 minutes later, at 9:03 PM, he called back to tell me that I would receive my delivery soon because the despatch rider was at Telok Blangah. I was relieved to hear that the rider was only about 3 km away, since I have already waited for 2 hours. He told me that he would dispense with the delivery charge of $4.
9 minutes later, at 9:12 PM, the despatch rider called me to tell me he was at Queensway, and he was lost. So I gave him directions to my address, and told him it was only a couple of minutes away. After 14 minutes, at 9:26 PM, I called the despatch rider to ask him where he was and why he was taking so long when the distance was so short. He said he was lost and he was asking for directions. Then he hung up on me.
At 9.32 PM, fed up of having waited for 2.5 hours for my food – honestly, Singapore isn’t that big – I called the VeganBurg hotline again. This time round, I was put on hold. I waited until someone picked up the phone, and it was a girl this time. I thought it’s strange that the phone rang much longer (I was never put on hold the previous times) and a completely different person had picked up the phone as compared to the previous times – I’ll let you draw your own conclusions. I explained my situation and expressed my frustration, and she apologized and said she would check with the others. I heard her talking to somebody in the background, who presumably directed her to speak to me, because then I heard her saying in Mandarin that she didn’t want to because I was fierce (which I found slightly amusing). When she came back to me, I again expressed my frustration and also told her that I could hear the conversation in the background – honestly, what did they expect?
She said she’ll get the Manager, and after a while, the Manager came to the phone. I ran through the sequence of events and asked how long I was expected to wait for my food. Specifically, why did I have to wait half an hour more when he told me the rider was already at Telok Blangah at 9:03 PM? He said he would call the despatch rider to check if he had gotten into any problem/accident, and I said I just spoke to the rider recently and he was perfectly fine – he was just lost. Again. I told him he needed a better system for food delivery and that they should not send out their riders if they don’t know where they are going. He said, in a tone dripping with sarcasm, that obviously they would not send out their riders if they didn’t know where they were going. To which I said, obviously he didn’t know where he was going otherwise he would be here already. He then asked me again if I wanted to cancel the order, which completely baffled me. Obviously the only way he could think of to appease a customer who had waited 2.5 hours for her food delivery to no avail was to suggest cancelling the order. I asked him why I would want to cancel the order when I have already waited for so long – we would still want to eat the food even though the quality would be diminished after all this time, simply because we were fucking hungry. I then reiterated that he needed to develop a better system for food delivery and to handle his employees better. He asked me, “like what?” I couldn’t believe my ears – a Manager was asking his customer how to manage his people and operations better. Honestly, what do you even get paid for? I stated that, for example, he can ensure his riders have a carefully planned route prior to leaving for the destination, or he can make sure his riders have a GPS, etc. He said he had ensured that rider had a carefully planned route, but it was not his fault that “the rider was an idiot”. I was completely shocked by his readiness to insult his employees in order to absolve himself from responsibility. Why should someone like that be put in charge of people? Who in their right mind could enjoy working for someone like him? As the Manager, it was his job to take responsibility for the planning, organizing, staffing and handling of the operations. Yet when a problem arose, the first thing he did was to throw his employee under the bus.
More fruitless lines of conversation continued where I tried to explain the bases for my dissatisfaction and he simply stated it was not their fault, there was nothing they could have done, and it was the rider’s fault, etc. Then, he said he would give me a 40% discount and he would notify the rider. Just then, the rider pulled up and I passed the phone to him, and I paid him. When the phone was passed back to me, and the Manager had checked that I had gotten the food etc, I reiterated my point that they really should improve their system of food delivery so that other customers would not go through the same problems. To which he immediately and defensively countered – there was nothing wrong with their system. He said all their riders have iPhones and GPS, but this rider didn’t use it – he chose to use the Street Directory – so “what am I supposed to do, get him an iPhone?” At this point, the only other thing I wanted to tell him was that if he continued to take that kind of unhelpful and patronizing attitude towards justifiably disgruntled customers, he was going to lose all his customers eventually. But I didn’t get to finish my sentence – I merely got to, “If you want to continue like this…” He cut me off, saying, “No, I don’t want to continue. You just pay the $27. End of story.”
I hung up the phone – I had already exhausted all my patience with him – but guess what, that was not the end of the story. This blog post is. To be clear, I understand it sometimes happens that despatch riders get lost. Not every system is perfect and human errors would always occur despite your best intentions, but it is how you handle customers when they happen that make all the difference. This Manager did not know the first thing about customer service and how to handle dissatisfied customers. Not only did he never sound genuinely apologetic, he was sarcastic and snide and thoroughly offensive. VeganBurg really needs to look at how they employ people and how their managers are trained, because this man did not do anything right as a Manager – he did not conduct himself with decorum, he did not seem trained at handling conflict, he did not know how to protect and indeed showed no respect to his staff, and he showed no accountability for the problems that occurred. All he cared about was shirking responsibility for the situation and blaming somebody else for what happened. We don’t live in a perfect world but he could not be any less perfect as a Manager.
- VeganBurg has addressed this blog post, through a comment posted below and an identical email. They have offered to deliver a full refund to my place. Unfortunately, they still haven’t done so – I’m not sure what’s the hold-up. Chronic inefficiency, perhaps.
- The Hungry Ang Mo decided to “use [himself] as the living litmus test, to see if Vegan Burg have learned their lesson on poor customer communication, poor internal communication and poor time management”. Click here if you want to find out!
Review of VeganBurg (Eunos)
Type of Institution: Vegan
Address: 44 Jalan Eunos, Singapore 419502
Tel: +65 6844 6868
Opening Hours: Daily 11.30 am – 10 pm (last order 9.45 pm)
You’ve probably heard about VeganBurg before you’ve read this review, thanks to their clever marketing strategy that has married the VeganBurg brand name with the concept of healthy and ethical eating and introduced veganism to the consumer market in an accessible and trendy way. It’s difficult for me to dislike a vegan business, much less a vegan business that has captured the attention of many omnivores in a country that is still lacking behind in terms of mainstream awareness about the ethical, health and environmental issues surrounding meat. Keep a lookout for the large notice board that contains fliers with educational information and information about meat-less initiatives.
Cracked Pepper Mayo Burger
The cracked pepper mayo burger contains a very realistic chicken-like patty with a crispy outer layer, accompanied by a delicious pepper mayo sauce. While it tasted great, I wished the burger came with something else apart from bun, patty and lettuce. It wouldn’t be asking for too much to spice things up a little – at least spare us some tomato slices! And while the buns were advertised as being fluffy organic wholemeal goodness, I found them completely underwhelming and my fingers left sad depressions in them. Also, VeganBurg is proud of its use of “wholesome nutritious vegan ingredients” but note that their cooking methods and an immodest usage of oil may offset that to a certain extent. That being said, a VeganBurg is probably still much healthier than a regular (with meat) hamburger, since you’re foregoing the saturated animal fat and the increased risks of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, certain types of cancers, diabetes, etc. ($5.85 for the burger, $9.85 with drink and fries)
Smoky BBQ Burger
The Smoky BBQ Burger was slightly more exciting with some tomato slices and a couple of strands of healthy alfafa sprouts between the organic rye bread. The oven-baked patty is made of minced mushrooms and had a really interesting texture that reminded me of beef jerky. Personally, I preferred the Cracked Pepper Mayo sauce to the Smoky BBQ sauce, whereas my boyfriend preferred the Smoky BBQ sauce, but we did reach a point of agreement – both tasted great! ($6.85 for the burger, $10.85 with drink and fries)
Crispy Potato & Spinach Pops
Crispy, golden round bites that reward with a warm, gooey, and comforting potato and spinach centre. ($3.80)
Soft and tender mini tofu sausages that were enveloped in a delicious smoky marinade. ($3.80)
Most disappointing of all the sides. While they were advertised as having “100% organic seaweed flakes for that extra oomph!”, there were very little seaweed flakes added and they barely contributed any flavour. The only plus point was that they weren’t that oily. But all in all, nothing special. ($3.80)
Conclusion: I generally enjoyed everything I tried at VeganBurg, and I’ll certainly be back to try the other burger flavours. But portions could be bigger for the prices they charge.