Operator branded 'angry little man' by customer expecting free drinks

By Ed Bedington

- Last updated on GMT

Pub drinks are not free customer Trip Advisor horror

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A pub operator has been forced to put a sign on his frozen cocktail machine after a customer helped themselves then complained the drinks were not free on Trip Advisor.

Heath Ball, licensee of the Red Lion & Sun in Highgate, was described as a “very angry little man” after remonstrating with the customer for stealing drinks.

The customer, with the Trip Advisor handle Sarahtwiner, then left a three star review and stated:  “We … went to sit outside and there was a frozen margarita stand with pouring machine with no one there to pour and no signs explaining this was not a complimentary drink or where to pay so I assumed as there was clean glasses on the stand they were free. 

“I was then greeted by a rude man who demanded I pay for the drink when I explained I thought it was complimentary due to the lack of signs and said I wasn’t prepared to pay £12 for a drink I thought was free he then took the drink away and poured it away and came back with a rather aggressive sign that was not really required.

“It’s a pub it’s meant to be fun environment and in this instance the customer was not right!! Lol it’s a shame about the very angry little man who happened to be the manager who then continued to storm around past me.”

Ball, who is also a co-host on the MA’s Lock In podcast, responded to the review with: “Our menu, which you clearly neglected to read properly, clearly displays the prices for our drinks. We even have signs at the entrance and exit of the pub that proudly display the price of our margaritas. So, your defence that you thought they were complimentary because there was no sign is nothing short of a pathetic excuse. If you were unsure, all you had to do was ask.

“Since you are the only customer who has helped themselves to the margaritas, we have not had a need for a sign before you. Also, having complained about the lack of a sign, when I then added a sign, in your review you said it was not required... 

“There's also no signs on the bar, but people don't generally go and help themselves there either. Are you the reason it says "do not drink" on bottles of bleach?”

Speaking about the incident, Ball added: “It’s not a radical concept that you have to pay for your drinks in a pub, so we never felt the need to have a direct sign on the frozen margarita stand. However since this incident, it's clearly needed for some people.”

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