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A less than glowing review of Tootsies in Belsize Park - By David Ward

196-198 Haverstock Hill
Belsize Park

A colleague and I had a dreadful experience whilst staying in London, when I decided to eat at the Tootsies Restaurant in Belsize Park, (196-198 Haverstock Hill). When the food was delivered it was not only late with the drinks items missing, the food itself was terrible burnt offerings. Yet to make matters worse, when the bill arrived, it was the wrong price, meaning that I had been overcharged. I asked the female personnel serving why the food bill was higher than the actual order, as was informed that there had been a 12.5 percent service charge added to the bill.

I was extremely unhappy about the situation since the service was dreadful, but more importantly I had seen no notification that the Restaurant would be adding a 12.5 percent service charge. After I returned home, I complained to the company Head Office (Clapham House Group Plc), writing to the Chief Executive (Mr Campbell). I also spoke with the Restaurant Manager, who informed me that a service charge DOES NOT! Have to be paid. Service charges can be removed from the bill at your request, however, the Restaurant did not inform us of this since they clearly did not want us to know and be aware of the situation.

I contacted Camden Trading Standards about the situation. They informed me they would investigate, since it is unlawful not to print details of a service charge, which should be displayed as prominently as the prices charged for the food. They have investigated and thus sent me a letter (dated 2 July). Camden Trading Standards made a 'test purchase' at the Restaurant and found the Restaurant 'did not have the service charge displayed on the menu' as legally required.

The Restaurant have been advised about their 'duty to notify consumers of any charges', and have agreed that this will be attended too and thus rectified.

Do not be caught out and overcharged any amount of money for a supposed service charge, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PAY IT! If it is displayed and legal, you can request that it be removed from your bill. If it is not on display, the organisation is breaking the law as required of them. Either way, don't be forced to pay money that is not necessary and report any organisation not complying with the law.

This review from Mr Ward, Dudley, West Midlands
(Full contact details provided)

Sub Note: It appears that other dinners have had similar experiences at Tootsies - please see:

Webmasters Note: At Dine Online we really like to focus on the positives in British Dining - but alas sometimes the negatives have to also be mentioned. I have personally dined in Tootsies several times a few years ago and it was always a pleasant experience but it appears from Mr Wards comments and those of others that I have found on the net, that service is not what it should be. Congratulations to Mr Ward for taking the time to follow-up as he has, even to Chief Executive level. Lets hope the Chief Executive cares as much or even more than his customers about service.

We also welcome feedback from Tootsies - so if you work at Tootsies and want to put the record right or comment further, please be in touch.

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