Not Too Chicken To Confront Them

, , , , , | Working | April 3, 2018

(I find a Chinese takeout place very near to me that is inexpensive and can deliver very quickly. The second time I order, they give me deep-fried chicken balls that are slightly undercooked. I don’t think they are dangerous, and they taste fine, but they are definitely more pink in the middle than normal. I call them to report it and they give me some free soup. Pretty normal interaction. A couple weeks later, though, there is a repeat incident.)

Me: “Hi, I’m calling about the order you just delivered to [address]. The chicken balls were very undercooked; one was actually raw in the middle.”

Employee: *a very young-sounding girl* “Yes? Hello?”

Me: “This is [Chinese Takeaway], yes? I’m calling about the order to [address]. The chicken balls were undercooked.”

Employee: “You want an order?”

Me: “You just sent an order to [address], correct?”

Employee: “Oh. Yes? Problem? No arrive?”

Me: “It arrived, but the chicken balls were very undercooked.”

Employee: “Uh…”

Me:Undercooked. Raw. The chicken! The chicken was not properly cooked!”

Employee: “Wait. [Indistinct], get boss!”

(Almost a minute of silence passes.)

Employee: “Yes, hello? You cannot make problem. We [indistinct] cook the same and you always have problem.”

Me: “I’m sorry? I’m not trying to make a problem; I’m telling you that you can’t sell raw food, especially chicken!”

Employee: “Our food is fine! You always call with problem!”

(Keep in mind I have only called once before and I didn’t even ask for free food; they just offered it.)

Employee: “We are not giving you anything!”

Me: “I’m not asking for anything! I can put these in my oven to finish cooking! But you cannot give people raw food!”

Employee: *click*

(I call back.)

Employee: *the same girl* “Hello?”

Me: “Yes, it’s me again. I’m not trying to get free food. But I need you to acknowledge that your chicken was raw. You could kill someone.”

Employee: “Stop making problem! If you don’t like how we make, don’t order!”

Me: “You know it’s illegal to sell undercooked chicken, don’t you?”

Employee: “Don’t order here again!” *click*

(I report them to the Food Standards Agency. The best part? Not three days later, I get a phone call.)

Government Worker: “Hello, is this [My Name]?”

Me: “Yes, that’s me.”

Government Worker: “This is [My Name] with the FSA. I’m just calling about your report about [Chinese Takeaway]. Could I ask you a few things?”

Me: “Oh! Of course.”

(She confirms that what I wrote is about the correct place, and asks for the whole story, which I give her.)

Government Worker: “You should know that you’re not the only person to report this place. We’ve already given them a warning in the past, so now we’re probably going to have to inspect them in person. That usually scares them into doing things properly, but I wouldn’t order from them again, in any case, if I were you. I could give you a call to let you know if and when we take action, and the outcome?”

(I assured her that wasn’t necessary. It was just nice to know that when you report bad businesses, sometimes the authorities actually take notice.)

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