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Wednesday 23 September 2009 9.34am
Seems like it's a case of who was the lucky person rather than people - Clarice in this case - as she seems to be the only free-mealer on the SE1 website! Hope you enjoy it Clarice.
Thursday 24 September 2009 5.29pm
Quote:
Amy Scott Wednesday 9 September 2009
Following mentions of the Waterloo review opportunity on London-SE1.co.uk, VisitLondon.com, LondonNet.co.uk and Twitter; we have been inundated with applications to become a Waterloo reviewer… to date we have received nearly 400 applications!

So, using online techniques to reach (tens of?) thousands of Londoners she was surprised that "nearly 400" of us were be willing to try a restaurant for free. What planet is she from?

Quote:
The high level of responses we received exceeded our expectations, but we have made a concerted effort to ensure all applicants receive an acknowledgment from us within 24 hours.

The "concerted effort" has not been very good, has it?


I don't mind not getting a free meal as it has been so amusing to see this PR disaster unfold! I wonder if the Waterloo Brasserie has been following this thread?

I walk past the Brassierie every day, and I have never seen it more than 1/4 occupied, even between 7 and 9 pm, which suggests they are not getting any repeat customers. I for one -- if I ever receive my 'Loyalty Card' -- will personally deliver it back to them, explaining that 10% off prices that are generally agreed to be too high, is not enough to entice me to spend hard-earned money there.
Thursday 1 October 2009 1.38pm
Hi all -

I have been watching this thread with interest over the last few weeks. I've stayed out of posting a comment as I have a pretty high tolerance to PR initiatives and wasn't really counting on "winning" anything in the first place.

However, the tipping point came today when I received an email indicating I wasn't one of the lucky free reviewers. Fine - no problems there.

The email was cc'd to over 250 other people meaning names, email addresses and employers have been released to a very large number of people. I never agreed for my information to be used this way and feel that this is a fairly significant, naive and blatant breach of our privacy. Not sure if anyone feels the same way.

~ Bluefish
Thursday 1 October 2009 2.04pm
I received the same thing today and as you say, no problem with not getting the freebie.

But, visibly copying in all those email addresses is an unbelievable schoolboy error. If they were my PR firm, they would definitely lose my business now after the first cock-up. What a shower!

Let's wait for all the spam to arrive in our inboxes, as if I were a similar business in the area, I'd sure take advantage of that list of local diners landing in my lap...
Thursday 1 October 2009 2.11pm
I also got the email today, with all the email address showing, I dispair...
Thursday 1 October 2009 2.18pm
Not only did I get that same email, but as Le Martinet astutley pointed out, the spam has already started.
Thursday 1 October 2009 2.45pm
Oh dear.

Sorry folks for having promoted this to you all. I will certainly be seeking detailed assurances from any restaurant that asks us to push such an offer in the future.

It's a shame, because this could potentially have been both a good deal for users of this site and a valuable exercise for the restaurant.

However it seems to have been handled ineptly, which is disappointing all round.

Editor of the London SE1 website.
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Thursday 1 October 2009 2.47pm
PS - did the latest email come from Davies Tanner or from the restaurant itself?

Editor of the London SE1 website.
Subscribe to our SE1 Direct weekly newsletter.
Thursday 1 October 2009 3.02pm
James,
It came from [email protected]
and read:

"Dear esteemed customer,

Thank you for applying to become a Waterloo Brasserie reviewer. We apologise that you were not successful in our draw for 5 reviewers on this occasion, but we would like to offer you a special Friends of Waterloo Brasserie discount card. This will entitle you to a 10% discount off you bill every time you visit us. The discount applies for bookings for up to 10 people and can be used throughout the year ( apart from December) subject to available space in the bar and restaurant.

Even more exciting is a once a year offer of 25% off your bill on your birthday for groups of up to 4 people!

We do hope you will be along soon to take advantage of the offer. Due to exceptional demand, we are having to reprint the cards and yours will be posted as soon possible. In the meantime, your name is on our database so you can use the scheme by just letting the receptionist or waiter know your name when you arrive.

Best regards

The Manager and all the team at Waterloo Brasserie"

Oh dear, oh dear...
Thursday 1 October 2009 4.20pm
As the Sales and Marketing Manager for Waterloo Brasserie I just wanted to join this thread and pass on my sincerest apologies for the e-blast that was sent out last night. I fully appreciate the importance of personal privacy and can't apologise enough for our blunder.

The purpose of the email was to thank you all for your patience and support over the last few weeks and to assure you that your Friends of Waterloo Cards are on their way (and not in fact an empty promise from our PR team) - we are waiting for a reprint and you are welcome to claim your discount in the meantime at the brasserie as your details are already logged on our system. Also, as a bit of feedback for you, after tonight, all of our reviewers will have been in to enjoy their complimentary meals and so far we have been delighted with their feedback.

We are very proud of our Bar and Brasserie and this initiative was designed to reach out to the local community. We are offering a very genuine discount scheme for those who did not win the reviewer prize so we truly believe we have acted honourably and in good faith.

I'm based in SE1 and welcome feedback and comment from the local area… which is why we launched the reviewer promotion the first place. If anyone would like to contact me directly, I can be reached on [email protected] and I will be in the brasserie this Friday night if you would like to pop by.

Sincerest Apologies

Val Brooks
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