Well, there were always some things I didn't like about Salamander. For example, their coffee is way too expensive. In Yola, at the University Club house you can get a pot of french press coffee for around 300 Naira which is about 4 cups of coffee. I can buy a bag of instant espresso, cappuccino mix at any of the supermarkets for about 300 naira for at least 6 cups of coffee here in Abuja, which is the same stuff they use for their coffee and for one cup is about N1300 when you include the VAT. Plus, the food prices are quite high and often the service is slow.
However, I always went back because I LOVE LOVE COFFEESHOPS! It's part of who I am. Anyways, in the end, something happened last week that will prevent me from going back unless I get an apology from Salamatu herself.
On Thursday, I was already having a rough morning and had been trying to get to Salamander all week to use the internet because mine was on the fritz. And I wanted to go to Salamander for the ambiance, some time away from the house, and I was craving pancakes. However, when I went, I had filled my belly with delicious food I made the night before and had even had a delightful Latte at home. So I wasn't hungry. Now, I go to Salamander often. I often go and spend a lot of money on food I can prepare for myself for much cheaper but I go to get away. And then there are times I go because I have no electricity in my house or the internet is not working. And then there are the times I go because I want to eat and write and use my own MTN internet stick because the internet isn't fast enough there.
So here's my story...
I went in and found a seat. The waiter came to ask what I wanted. I said "I want an iced coffee and the internet password." He said, "You will have to order more in order to get the password." As I was holding the menu in my hands, I said, "You are joking, right?" He said, "No, it's the policy..." I said, "since when? Besides, it says on here, it's free-wifi and doesn't mention any minimum purchase." He then said, "the policy is invisible and it's always been in place." I asked, "how much am I to spend?" He said, "2000 Naira." At the that point, my eyes welled up with tears and I got frustrated and began to pack my bags and began leaving. He then said, "BUT we can make an arrangement." I said, "No thanks" and left.
Just because there aren't a whole lot of establishments like Salamander in Abuja doesn't mean you can treat your loyal customers anyhow. A lot of people go to Salamander after reading my blog. I've never gotten anything out of my promotion from my blog, nor have I expected too, yet, this time they pushed me too far.
Salamander employees, you lost a very good customer that day! I hope you don't treat everyone as such...