Note: As anticipated, this article has gone viral. To rectify some misconceptions and dispel The Tayberry’s shifting story, see the FAQ in the conclusion.
The Tayberry is a chic restaurant in Broughty Ferry, Dundee that “showcases the best of Scotland’s natural larder”. It also dispenses daylight robbery deliveries, double charging its customers and then refusing to refund them. How did one of Dundee’s best restaurants degenerate into one of the worst?
In this restaurant review of The Tayberry, you’ll discover:
- How one bad manager can cripple a good business
- How one viral article can finish the job
- Why revenge is best served cold and billed twice
- Why Ugli Fruit Media will soon be changing its name
- That life tastes sweeter with schadenfreude
How The Tayberry Lost Its Bite
This is a simple story about a man being charged twice by The Tayberry for a fancy meal and then refused a refund. A shitty thing to happen, but why should you care? Unless you’re a Dundee diner contemplating home delivery from the Broughty Ferry restaurant, you shouldn’t.
But then you’re not here for a heads up on why The Tayberry should be swerved: you’re here to be entertained. And you’ve come to the right place. Allow me to introduce our cast of characters and then let the feast of fun begin.
The trio appearing in this unflattering review of The Tayberry are as follows:
Me. Your scribe who had the misfortune of ordering from the Scottish restaurant on his birthday.
Iain Fenwick of Ugli Fruit Media. The villain of the story and the managing director of The Tayberry. Feel free to boo whenever he makes an appearance, and to cheer when he finally gets his comeuppance.
Adam Newth, chef and proprietor of The Tayberry. A good cook and decent guy by all accounts, whose only crime is to have hired Iain Fenwick. Thankfully, he’ll be rectifying that mistake very shortly.
The Tayberry: Nice Food at Twice the Price
In late March, with the country in lockdown, I decided to celebrate my birthday as best I could: by ordering dinner and sinking a few whiskies. The restaurant I chose was The Tayberry, which had recently begun a ‘no contact’ home delivery menu. The meal for four came to £83.50 and I paid online by card.
The following day, The Tayberry contacted me to say the payment hadn’t gone through and I would need to pay again. I knew it had, and explained as much, but Iain was adamant. Wanting to receive my £83.50 dinner, I consented to pay again, this time over the phone, reasoning that any double billing issues could be resolved later. This second payment was even higher – £89.50 – likely due to an extra starter getting ordered.
The following day, my birthday arrived and so did our expensive dinner. This might be the first restaurant review to dispense with describing the food altogether, other than to say that at the time it was very nice. It was only later, once I found myself on the hook for £173 for a four-person meal, that I detected a bitter aftertaste. It’s been two months now, and I’m still struggling to get rid of it. Hopefully this review will prove a palate cleanser.
The Tayberry Doesn’t Do Refunds
The man who had called me to request a second payment was Ugli Fruit Media’s Iain Fenwick. (All together now: Boooo!) I waited a couple of days to prove that the card payment had been settled twice and then sent him a polite message with the following banking screenshot:
Iain was also polite. However, he was unwilling to issue a refund, blaming everyone else – the payment processor; my bank; me – but The Tayberry.
This went on for weeks…
…until weeks turned into months, with still no refund:
It was evident that Iain was never going to refund me; he couldn’t even update me on the fictional case he had opened with Stripe. To date, he hasn’t initiated contact with me once.
This head-in-the-sand approach was foolhardy for three reasons:
- The Tayberry is a small business serving a small community where word travels fast and word of mouth is the only recommendation that matters. It pays to be courteous to your customers.
- A customer has sent you a screenshot clearly showing a double charge. The odds of the customer lying about this and doctoring statements are infinitely small. The odds of your restaurant being in the wrong are overwhelming. Even if the payment processor has fucked up, it’s still your problem. Imagine a patron paying for dinner in The Tayberry with a £100 note and the till slams shut just as the cashier reaches for change and won’t open. Would you tell them to return for a refund once you’ve had an engineer out to fix the till? Would you hell. You’d reach in your pocket and settle the bill there and then.
- Iain Fenwick didn’t bother looking into the customer The Tayberry had stiffed out of £89.50. If he had, he’d have learned that he was dealing with a business-busting giga-troll. Annihilating the online reputation of scoundrels is what I do. I’ve sent businesses far bigger than The Tayberry to the coffin dancers (just ask Michelle Mone and Doug Barrowman). Consigning The Tayberry to the grave would be a doddle.
But I didn’t want to do that. I’m not spiteful or hot tempered, and I wanted to give The Tayberry every chance to rectify their mistake. So I decided to bypass Iain and email the restaurant directly:
I ordered home delivery from Tayberry in March. Due to an error on your site, I was charged twice. Once on your website and a second time over the phone, because you believed that the first payment hadn’t gone through. I’ve since provided evidence to show that both payments were debited from my account. Despite this, and repeated contact from me in the weeks since, I’ve not been refunded. This was almost six weeks ago.
I try to be supportive of local businesses, so have been patient while this was resolved. There comes a point, however, where this starts to get boring, and where it doesn’t reflect well on your business at all. Pls just get this refund sorted so we can all get on with our lives.
Almost immediately, proprietor and chef Adam Newth responded:
I must apologise for this. We are under a lot of pressure with working with skeleton staff currently trying to keep the business afloat. It’s not an excuse however things are difficult and things do get missed sometimes. But again I must apologise profusely. If you can please provide me with your acc number and sort code I will transfer you the refund ASAP. Again very sorry about this and I hope it won’t discourage you too much in ordering from us again. Our online ordering system has had a few teething issues running with these systems and takeaways is a learning curve we are still all adapting to.
Now that’s how you respond to a customer. My relief at being on the verge of a long-overdue refund was to be short-lived, however, for minutes later, Iain Fenwick (Boooo!) responded:
Thanks for emailing. I am not sure what to tell you. As I have previously stated, we have not received the payment from you as Stripe have informed us the transaction was declined. The only thing I can suggest is that you contact your bank and ask them to recover the money for you. I appreciate this may appear as if we are ignoring the situation, but I assure you this is not the case. I am sure you understand we cannot refund a payment we have never received.
That’s right: he wanted me to go to my bank to seek redress for his restaurant’s fuck-up.
I had a better idea: I would examine Iain’s web presence in an effort to understand a man who thought stiffing customers would be good PR for a newly launched home delivery service.
The first thing I learned was that Ugli Fruit Media, a company that “makes sure your brand gets noticed and never forgotten” agreed with my sentiment about supporting local businesses, having reshared an entreaty to “visit a locally owned food cafe or takeaway.”
The second thing I learned was that Ugli Fruit Media supplied The Tayberry’s new payment system (the one Adam confessed to having problems with), which explained why Iain had been so defensive of it. “Easy to use, and only 5% transaction fee,” Ugli boasted. 150% profit too when you charge the customer twice.
But the pièce de résistance was learning that Iain Fenwick, a man who doesn’t do refunds, objects to this arrangement when he’s on the receiving end:
Like, really objects:
We’re talking caps lock objects:
We’re talking full-blown REEEEEEEEEEEEEEE objects:
Holy fucking nachos dude. You lose your shit over a lack of cheese on your Frankie & Benny’s and then wonder why a diner might have a problem with being billed £173 for a takeaway from The Tayberry? Who the hell orders takeaway from F&B anyway, let alone an “amateur cook and wannabe restaurateur” to quote The Ugli Guy’s bio, and then bitches about it on Twitter?
Sweet jesus, this is glorious. There are literally dozens of these. Allow me one last reaction image and then we can get to the punchline.
So where do we go from here? The Tayberry have my money and I have The Tayberry by the balls. Not because of this review – it’s merely the opening salvo – but because of what’s coming next.
I have one demand to make of The Tayberry and one of Iain Fenwick. If they are not met, I will use my network of media contacts to amplify this story until it’s the only news about The Tayberry and Ugli Fruit Media to be found on the first 10 pages of Google. I’ll publish this story on a different website every week for a year and leverage social to target it at every diner within 50 miles of Dundee. I may not be hot tempered, but I am stubborn.
Do the right thing and this will be my last word on The Tayberry. The Ugli Guy can delete his embarrassing tweets, Adam can commission some fawning Tayberry reviews to bury this article, and the business will survive.
What do I want?
- I want my money back of course. All £173 of it. The first £89.50 cos I’m fucking owed it and the remainder to atone for the shitty customer experience.
- Iain, I want you to take a photo with a shoe on your head. And then share it across all of Ugli’s social media channels and keep it there, as a reminder to never be a douchebag again.
I’m sorry to do this to you on your birthday week, Iain. Actually, who am I kidding? Now you know what it’s like to have yours spoiled by the actions of another. You can hate on me all you like, but ask yourself this: if you had been on the receiving end of an £85 double charge, would you have suffered in silence for two months? Would you hell. You’d be cursing the company on every social media channel you could. I haven’t even gone there.
And Adam, I’m sorry to have to rickroll your business. Perhaps in future you’ll examine the people you partner with more closely.
You have one week to make this right, guys – and don’t forget the shoe. I’ll be watching.
Q: The Tayberry has produced a screenshot of the failed transaction which appears to show the issue lay with your bank. If their software is telling them that, they’re within their right to request payment a second time, surely?
A: Sure. But when it became clear that it was their system that was in error again, it was their duty to make it right. The Tayberry knew their payment system was dodgy and consistently generated false positives. As Adam noted in his email to me “Our online ordering system has had a few teething issues,” while Iain’s first words to me, upon being shown the double charge on my statement, were “I hate Stripe!” Look:
I’ve no problem with The Tayberry having billed me a second time. When it became apparent that I had been double charged, however, and it was their payment system glitching again, it was The Tayberry’s job to fix it, not to pass the buck onto my bank.
Q: Have you tried contacting your bank?
A: If I am able to successfully have one of the charges refunded, this doesn’t get to the root of the problem. You can order your bank to charge back any transaction, but that doesn’t mean that culpability for the double charge lies on the customer’s side: that’s just how the banking system works. Remember, this story isn’t about which payment processor was to blame for a duplicate transaction: it’s about a restaurant providing shitty customer service and washing its hands of the matter at the same time as its PR manager was chimping out on Twitter over other companies for doing the exact same thing to him. It’s about hypocrisy, dude, and accountability.
Q: Why does everyone on The Tayberry’s Facebook page seem to agree that you’re in the wrong?
A: Cos The Tayberry went through the post and deleted all the dissenting comments and blocked all the dissenting voices. Elsewhere on Facebook, though, there’s a different story being told:
Q: You sound like quite a wanker/narcissist/dickface in this article. Are you?
A: Possibly. But remember, making content go viral is my job. If I hadn’t written this article with my troll hat on, you wouldn’t be reading it.
Q: Have you gotten your money back from The Tayberry yet?
A: No, and I don’t expect to. I don’t care about £85 or about Iain posing with a shoe on his head, amusing as it would be, though if both happen I will honour my promise to cease warfare.
Q: What happens now?
A: I’ll continue sporadically trolling The Tayberry and Ugli Fruit Media cos it’s fun. They’ll continue to screech indignantly, while blaming everyone other than themselves. Ugli Fruit Media will never take on another catering client in Scotland. The Tayberry might close or it might limp on; I’m not fussed either way.
Tl;dr: Do what you must. I have already won.