Unethical Website of the Month: Kio’s Asian Stir, Newport, Rhode Island

kios-asian-stir-I hate to pick on a small Chinese restaurant, but this kind of casual incompetence in an electronic age is ridiculous. Besides, I’m tired, hungry, and not in the mood to be tolerant.

I’m in Newport, you see, where I have  presented three-hour legal ethics seminars to two large and responsive groups of lawyers, courtesy of AON and the Rhode Island bar. My wife was kind enough to accompany me, and thus instead of returning from a seminar to a lonely hotel room and endless hours surfing cable TV, I am actually enjoying my surroundings for a change, driving around, checking out galleries, walking along the shore. The only persistent problem is meals. By the time I finish the seminar, talk with participants, get back to our bed-and-breakfast in scenic Newport and walk Rugby (he’s here too), it’s invariably 2:30 0r later; by the time we drive to Iggy’s or Flo’s (double yum) for clams, it’s 4:00, meaning that dinner is up against the hard, generally 9 PM deadline most kitchens observe around here, and the fact that I’m as fried as the clams we ate and barely able to move. This makes carry-out mandatory, but time is tight.

By this time we’re sick of pizza and sandwiches, so after perusing the options, and there goes another 20 minutes, we arrive at the perfect solution: the well-regarded Asian restaurant Kio’s, which is close by (everything is close-by; this is Rhode Island), delivers, and, it announces on it’s website, I can order on-line! See…

We are adding Online service to Kio’s Chinese Cuisine in Newport, RI. You can now online order your favorite chinese dishes such as Chicken Chow Mein, Shrimp with Cashew Nuts and Sauteed Mixed Vegetables. Order online is easy and fun. We provide fast Delivery too (minimum order $10). Order Now!

For the special experience of ordering online at Kio’s, try the link. There’s the tantalizing menu, but oddly, clicking on the various options accomplishes nothing. You will search in vain for a form or anything else that suggests “on-line order,” much less “easy and fun” on-line order.

Web sites often (always?) defeat me, since the percentage that both a) work like they are supposed to and 2) are designed with any logic or common sense whatsoever is worse than the likely Boston Red Sox winning percentage between now and the end of the season; my assumption, then, when I encounter a mystery like this is always “it’s me,” because it usually is. Thus, I searched the entire site, four times. Still no apparent means to order on-line from Kio’s manifested itself.

Finally, with time almost out, I called the place. Not to order by phone, mind you: this was a matter of principle. So I told the young woman who answered that I was looking at her website, feeling frustrated, stupid and defeated. “Your site says that ordering on-line at Kio’s is easy and fun,” I said. “But so far, it isn’t either. I can’t figure it out.”

“Oh, you can’t order on line, ” she said, airily rather than apologetically, with a clear “I couldn’t care less, you silly fool” in her tone. “The guy who set up the site put that in, and I guess he never took it out.” She made it sound like this has been on the Kio’s site forever, and frankly, Kio’s doesn’t give a damn.The dismissive attitude of the employee—a simple “I’m sorry” is mandatory here—was bad on its own, but I got no sense that the restaurant would be correcting its misleading site any time soon. I’ll check back in a week or so.

As it stand now, Kio’s voice on the internet lies. It says we can order on line, but we can’t, and Kio’s knows we can’t. It has a link that supposedly begins an easy and fun process that is really, because of the inattention and unapologetic lack of diligence and oversight by the management, impossible and a waste of time. Customers deserve more respect and fairness than this.

You know, daily life is frustrating enough without careless and incompetent people laying traps like this on the web.

To hell with Kio’s.

We’re eating leftover Doughboys from Iggy’s tonight.

5 thoughts on “Unethical Website of the Month: Kio’s Asian Stir, Newport, Rhode Island

  1. It seems its always Chinese restaurants that have the online ordering. And most times its hit or miss. I’ve been to Kio’s, but dine-in, not take-out, so I was spared. There is so often a language barrier with Chinese restaurants that I don’t like to order except in person, pointing at menu items.

    • All the better reason for ordering on-line…and hiring a webmaster who can speak English. The only time I had a language problem at a Chinese eatery was when I inadvertently ordered duck feet, and the waiter didn’t correct me.
      NEVER order duck feet.

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