The Sweet Service Award goes to the head of the Service Division of Mercedes Benz Century City, St. Elmo Burger (yes, this is indeed his name), for turning around the poor service when I sent my car to this branch for a service for the first time, about 3 weeks ago. On arrival, I was pointed to an outside parking bay, and then a trainee mechanic asked for the registration number and took the key. I was not told anything further. As I needed to be taken back to my home, I had to find out who would drive me. There is no clear directive as to where to go to find the ‘service ambassador’. Morne James looked for my booking but did not ask my name, and therefore could not find it. He was rude when calling through a verbal quote, and when I asked him if he knew the new Consumer Protection Act requirement of written quotes, he said that he did know. His written quote grew by R2000 relative to the verbal quotation. As soon as I called Burger, he took over the responsibility for the client interaction, was charming, and somehow the final price to be paid shrunk by abour R2000.
The Sour Service Award goes to Mercedes Benz Century City, for its small-mindedness, and lack of appreciation of the lifetime value of its customers. The incorrect replacement of a new windscreen wiper during the service three weeks ago meant that the car had to be taken back earlier this week, to have the problem fixed. I was invited to have a coffee, while waiting. At the Mercedes coffee shop I was told that I could have a coffee (R6) for free, as a client, but not a cappuccino (R13,50), even though I had the petrol cost of getting the car back to get the wiper fixed!
The WhaleTales Sweet & Sour Service Awards are presented every Friday on the WhaleTales blog. Nominations for the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be sent to Chris von Ulmenstein at firstname.lastname@example.org. Past winners of the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be read on the Friday posts of this blog, and in the WhaleTales newsletters on the www.whalecottage.com website.