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Old(ish) and Grumpy.

Username: GBN

Age: 52

Sex: male

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The Dukes Head, Wallington

An update.

As a bit of background, it may be beneficial to state that I have been using this pub for over 20 years and regularly for the last 10 years. The Duke’s Head enjoys a hardcore of regulars and all of us have noticed that in the last 3 months or so, standards have slipped way below that expected of a premium priced pub. Below – in no particular order - are the areas causing consternation to the patrons.

1. It’s cold in the Public Bar. The pub has a history of problems with the central heating and these problems obviously manifest themselves when the outside temperature drops, as it has done over the last week or so. I do not expect to sit in a pub barely able to feel my fingers or toes. And to be told to “wear a thicker jumper” really highlights the woeful standards of customer care that have become all too common recently.
2. The gents toilets in the public bar regularly leak to the extent that the floor is awash with a liquid of dubious origin. They problem is usually fixed but invariably returns within a few weeks. Rather than patching the problem up, money needs to be spent to fix it once and for all.
3. Varying quality of the draught bitters and lagers. I drink Young’s bitter and every day it is a lottery whether the beer will be good, indifferent or distinctly unpleasant. This was not the case a year ago – we are certainly aware that Young’s bitter by its very nature means that pints towards the end of the barrel lose some of their freshness, but should this really happen nearly every day? Lager drinkers also regularly receive pints that have fewer bubble than tap water. When one of my friends complained about it, stating he wasn’t prepared to pay £3.53 for a pint of flat Carling, he was told “Go to the Whispering Moon then”. Nice.
4. The “50p for a dash of cordial” farce. From last Sunday, the barstaff were told to charge an extra 50p to add a dash of blackcurrant or lime to a pint of draught lager or Guinness, thus taking the price over the £4 mark. The reason for this, I was told, was to help recoup a big shortage found in the last stock take. Forgetting – for a minute – that 50p is a scandalous amount in itself, why are customers being forced to make amends for something that is clearly down to the staff/management? As of yesterday, this 50p rule was abandoned and thus all they have achieved is annoying customers to gain possibly £20. What a spectacular own goal.
5. Staff in general. There are too few and it’s not unusual to wait an inordinate amount of time to be served and if you do voice your concerns you are sometimes to either abject indifference or, sometimes, surliness. Customer care appears to be an alien concept on all too many occasions.

The foregoing is not aimed at anyone in particular, but I hope it illustrates the declining standards that the pub is currently suffering from and I further hope that the right steps will be taken to bring it back up to the standard that we have enjoyed for so long.

16 Oct 2009 11:59

The Dukes Head, Wallington

Very occasionally, you come across a comic genius. I found it last night and have only now managed to pick myself off the floor to post a response to his inane ramblings.

Anonymous of 17/04/2006 scales new heights in idoicy. This pub is a proper local community pub and probably not to the liking of some of the retards that make passing visits. The "back bar/room area", to coin his wording, is also where the large Plasma TV is - passing customers will always get a slight ribbing for passing the field of vision, but is is always good humoured when said by a local. Inevitably, however, local mindless dregs will be there and their comments are less than polite. I can only presume that their loyalty to the nearby Wetherspoon is over-ridden when it comes to watching their heroes kicking an inflated sheeps Pancreas around a pitch.

I'm under 40 and I am happy. The "ginger weirdo" may well be one of the bar staff (and she certainly isn't under 40) but she too seems to have a permanent smile.

The prices are on the steep side, but this is in no doubt to deter the sort of oik that "anonymous" is more familiar with in the pus-pit pubs in the area.

Extremely busy on a Friday night.

Going uphill rapidly, the only decent pub, for decent people, for miles around.

18 Apr 2006 21:46

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GBN has been registered on this site since 18th April 2006