Re: Really, really bad experience with Cadenheads shop/Amsterdam
My name is Andries Visser and I am the owner of this shop and would like to react on the article of the Scotch Chix. I was informed about this article by a friend, who was very wondered about the negative tone in this story. It has nothing to do with Cadenhead as a company, only with myself and the shop in Amsterdam.
First I want to apologise if I was incorrect, not polite or rude in any way. This is never a good thing and as somebody who is working in a shop, you have to serve people in the best way possible.
I remember the 4 of you very good; why?, I will tell you later.
This day was an extremely good whisky day for me in point of sales. As the shop entrance is very narrow, you come in one by one. And as I am busy with some customers I will greet the first person to come in and continue with the ones I'm helping on that moment. I think that is very normal. If there had been another sales person, he would helped you immediately, although this would also not be possible as there were more people waiting to be helped.
One of the best things of a good whisky shop is (as you said yourself) the level of self entertaining. Shelves with bottles, books, a table and chairs to sit on etc. So if I have the idea somebody is self entertaining I can give my attention to the current customers. Your husband asked me the price for a special bottling of Highland park, I told him the price, but was also still busy with the other customers. Then you asked me for HP's of Cadenhead.
Well maybe I sneered, but first I still was busy with another customer and second don't forget we are not English speaking, we are Dutch speaking people! So our language is a bit different than yours. I think most Dutch understand and speak the English language reasonably well, but it is not what we speak normally. (the best example is to look on television at our prime minister when he is visiting a prime minister in another country and he is speaking in the English language. LOL!). So sometimes it will not come out as you are used to or as it should be. But as I said, apologies if I sneered, that was unintentional.
As for the sample question. Everyone who is asking if it is possible to sample in the shop: the answer is always NO!
In the Netherlands there are some odd laws and this is one of them. In coffee shops - they are allowed, in Dutch we call it "gedoogd" with other words not allowed but ok it is here, you can buy and smoke cannabis, but it is not allowed to have in possession (I don't use it, so don't know the exact rules). In a specialty liquor shop it is not allowed by law to taste or sample any of the fluids for sale. So if somebody asks for sampling we are very cautious and always saying no, foreigner or Dutch.
As I'm busy with a customer and we are getting more and more exited the sampling will follow almost by itself, although I have to say that it depends on the customer and that it should never be taken for granted and it never should be standard.
I understand that a bottle of whisky is not as cheap or standard as a bread or milk, so sampling is a good way to find out what you like. So if you had stayed, I'm almost sure we had have some nice samples.
But the three things you are really hurting me with are about (one and two) newbies and women.
I think the term newbies is not very nice to use. I think the people, old or young, who are interested in whisky, but are new and do not know a lot, are demanding more attention than people who are already experienced. It is also the group where we (all the people working in the whisky business) should pay the most attention to (no offence and apologies to the more experienced if you feel attacked and don't agree). So when you were in the shop for a few minutes for me it was clear I could put you and your companions in the experienced group. Also I think it is not very polite to leave the shop without saying nothing at all. Not only me but also the customers who still were in the shop found this very strange.
As for the woman and women part: well for you (in your opinion) as exception, I think no one will ever say I have treated a woman or women different then men in my shop and find it really offensive that you are thinking and mentioning it in your article.
The third and last thing is also the reason why I knew so well you were in the shop. As I was closing I found about 10 cards from the Whisky Chix on my counter. I think that is a very strange and bold action. There are more cards from whisky related persons on the counter and I never mind, but they always ask if this is ok.
If you had time to do this you had also could left a message on one of them, like we are not happy with your service, so I had could react and mail or phone you why and how to solve this.
Also why leave the cards in a shop that you don't like? If you had left one it would be more understandable as a protest, but now you leave them as marketing for yourself in a place you feel and speak negative about. I think that's a bit strange.
I know it has become a long story, but for me it is important to tell my point of view. Also I think it is not the best way to use a forum, because you are hurting people (and companies) in a way, maybe not intended, but it will. It is very easy to accuse but we are all human and you never know what happened that morning. Maybe my child was sick (or myself). Never a excuse to be rude or not being polite, but it is possible. Rather send a mail or something and try to work it out first in that kind of way. Maybe you will be very positive surprised. At last I hope you will visit Amsterdam again and would like to invite you to visit the shop again and maybe we can drink a few drams and talk things over about this misunderstanding.