The Sweet Service Award goes to Shoprite/Checkers, for refunding all its customers for Velvet Sky airline tickets, bought via Computicket Travel, or at a Shoprite or a Checkers store.  The airline has been grounded, and has not made arrangements to refund its customers’ tickets. ‘Despite having no legal obligation to refund Velvet Sky’s fares, we feel strongly that you shouldn’t lose your hard-earned money due to this unfortunate event’, said a letter from CEO Whitey Basson, in a newspaper advertisement.

The Sour Service Award goes to the Pick ‘n Pay BP Express in Green Point.  Recently the monthly municipal accounts were paid via EasyPay at this branch and sms bundles were bought for the staff.  When the sms vouchers and proof of payment were printed by the cashier one could barely read the detail, as the shop printer cartridge was close to empty. The Manager Darren didn’t want to call the franchisee Paul Schaefer (he is never there in the evenings nor over weekends), so he tried to dismantle the printer linked to the till and swop it with another. He called when it was done, an hour later, so that we could fetch the newly printed and far more legible slips.  We had not noticed that the sms bundle vouchers did not have a pin code due to the reprint, and this necessitated a third visit to the branch on a Saturday morning, again finding Mr Schaefer absent.  I was asked to return two days later, which was unacceptable, due to the time already wasted over three visits.  Mr Schaefer called, explaining that he would have to look through the screen shots of the till screens of the two previous visits, to get the sms bundle voucher pin numbers, and this could only be done on his return. We called Jacques Lombard at the Pick ‘n Pay Head Office, and he immediately instructed Mr Schaefer to issue replacement sms bundle vouchers, which was done, but was accompanied by abusive calls and sms messages from Mr Schaefer, absolving himself and his staff from any responsibility for the problem created. We will not return to this Pick ‘n Pay branch, due to the continued EasyPay incompetence experienced in the past year.

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   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 website.