Dining - Food/drink not what was ordered/expected

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When you eat out you have a right to food that is safe, matches its description and is of a satisfactory quality. If you are served a dish that doesn’t match its description or isn’t what you ordered, you should complain to the waiter or waitress. They should offer you a replacement dish, or you could ask to have the rejected meal deducted from your bill. If the waiter or waitress doesn't address the problem, ask to speak to the manager.

If you are not satisfied with the manager’s response, or they ask you to pay for the rejected meal, you are entitled to deduct the price of the rejected meal from the bill. You should leave your name and address with the restaurant and it will be up to them to pursue you for the amount they think you owe.

Alternatively, you can pay the bill and tell them you are paying under protest. You could then claim the money back by getting in touch via Resolver.

You should know
  • Always try to resolve your issue while you're still at the restaurant
  • Notices limiting the restaurant's liability must be prominently displayed
  • The food should be of a ‘satisfactory quality, fit for purpose, and as described’
  • Service must be carried out with ‘reasonable care and skill’ and ‘within a reasonable time’
  • Restaurants are only responsible for damage to personal items if it is due to negligence on the part of the restaurant

The Consumer Rights Act

The majority of your rights come from the Consumer Rights Act 2015. The Consumer Rights Act sets out what you should expect when you pay for a restaurant meal. It also outlines what you should expect when things aren't up to a reasonable standard.

ADR

Certified third-party mediators, called Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) providers, are available to all businesses to help when a dispute cannot be settled directly with the consumer. The system offers a quicker and cheaper way of resolving disputes than going via the courts. Once the internal complaint process is exhausted, businesses must give the consumer details of a certified ADR provider and tell the consumer if it is willing to use them. However, businesses do not have to use ADR unless they operate in a sector where existing legislation makes it mandatory, such as in financial services.

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