The Barn at Herons Farm - PR at its worst

by DannyUK

Customer facing businesses are never the easiest of places to work. Fixing a smile on your face, being nice and generally not trying to upset a customer is a difficult juggling act. So when it does go wrong, it can be cringeworthy, as The Barn found out.

The Barns at Heron Farm website

The website

The website for the venue is basic, at best, but it provides all the information needed to book up, as well as providing a few photographs and what can be offered.

I’d never heard of The Barn before now, but they are based in Pangbourne near Reading. It was seeing a tweet about the venue that caught my eye and led to this blog post:

The Barns at Heron Farm Tweet

The tweet that caught my eye.

Curiosity killed the cat, but lacking the feline gene I clicked on the attachment. I’ve broken it down into two pictures below, the first of which is the response from someone at Herons Farm to the initial enquiry.

The Barns at Heron Farm Email 1

The email

Unfortunately for them, they had obviously received the information via email from whoever took the initial enquiry. Rather than starting a new email, they simply hit the “Forward” button, leaving the original internal email attached:

The Barns at Heron Farm Email 2

Whoops!

Of course, this hasn’t gone down well at all with those who were looking to book the venue, and they have taken to Twitter to share their displeasure.

In the interest of fairness (and as much as the email equally amused and horrified me), I emailed Herons Farm with the details to see if they would like to comment.

They replied saying:

The attachment to Richie’s email was written by me, it was a tease to Richie which was attached by mistake. I did telephone to lady concerned and apologised.

We have a stunning property, people who come to us truly appreciate the venue and all we do to make their time with us very special. I had not heard of baby showers before, I think it is a lovely idea so I hope we can promote them in the future.

An afternoon tea here is first class, beautifully presented and served, and is excellent value for money. As you would have observed we would only have charged them a token venue fee.

If you are ever in Pangbourne, please come and visit us and have glass of wine although I have been known to call it antifreeze.

We didn’t offer [the lady that made the enquiry and subsequently was spoken to] anything, she wasn’t interested in talking.

The email that Richie sent her was not a blanket email it was a personal one asking her to ring him, as he was very keen to discuss her requirements further.

As you could see we were originally going to let her have the venue for a token fee. What we offer is a fabulous location, excellent service and food regardless of the event size or theme. Kind regards - Maggie.

It’s not an ideal outcome for either party, but it acts as a good reminder that it’s worth double checking before sending an email. This whole thing could have been prevented had that been done. It’s also another example of the way that the tone of an email can be interpreted.

The email in full:

Read from the bottom email up!

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