Case shows that even big companies can listen

COMMENT: The return of good weather shouldn’t bring dread

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We’ve never been afraid to criticise companies when they act in an over-officious manner or let down their customers.

So we should be equally swift to congratulate those firms who listen to the public and act when something is not right with their service or policies.

We did so recently when Debenhams in Portsmouth admitted a member of its staff shouldn’t have stopped a customer from breastfeeding in the store cafe.

And now we say well done to fast food chain KFC.

It has rolled out Tommee Tippee bottle warmers to 12 of its restaurants as a trial after mum Donna Lovegrove was left disappointed by a visit to the North Harbour restaurant.

The mum-of-three from Gosport says she asked for hot water to warm up her seven-month-old son Leo’s bottle during a teatime visit.

But all she got was a member of staff showing her a sign asking people not ask to heat up their children’s food.

No wonder Mrs Lovegrove was surprised by such an instruction.

After all, KFC is a family restaurant and it would be reasonable to suppose that many customers may have babies.

When the owner of website contacted KFC’s head office and said the restaurant did not cater for parents with babies, the company could have dug its heels in and used health and safety as its defence.

But instead it decided to organise a trial and Mrs Lovegrove has met with company representatives at the North Harbour restaurant to test out the bottle warmer.

We hope the trial is a success and that they soon become available in KFC restaurants up and down the land.

What has happened in this case proves two things.

One, that consumers who speak out when something is not right can and do get results – no matter how big the company they are up against.

And two, that even multinational chains don’t have to act like unmoveable monoliths.

Where there’s a will, there’s often a way.