The Sweet Service Award goes to the Traffic Department in the Civic Centre, and staff member Tamlyn Spielman, who assisted me in getting a replacement Motor Vehicle Registration form for a scooter, which I had sold, and for which I needed the form to hand over to the purchaser. Despite having recently replaced my driver’s license due to theft, and having been issued with a new license for my car, there was no record of my FICA-registration on the system. It was also not good enough to show my driver’s license as identification! I was so annoyed that I threw a Charlize Theron fit at the counter. When I calmed down, I realized that I had a proof of residence in my phone. A Manager was called, and she must have taken pity on me, allowing me to get the form without the ID Book and the proof of residence!


The Sour Service Award goes to Flight Centre in Garden’s Centre, and its Assistant Team Leader Lee Speechly, who had no compassion for the delay in the departure of our Emirates flight on 12 August, costing me my flight connection to Nice, only flying once a day, and almost every other Cape Town  passenger its connection to another destination, Dubai being a hub. Flight  Center is one of the main travel agents in our country, yet it appeared to have no clue as to what the rights are of Flight Centre clients. Speechly lied about the hotel standard, saying that it would be a four star plus, but it was a three star! On our arrival in Dubai, only one counter was open to deal with the planeload of unhappy Capetonians. One would have thought that Flight Centre would have ascertained our rights from Emirates, and emailed or messaged us to inform us of these on our arrival. There was no contact from Flight Centre at all, it having no interest in our well-being, and not apologizing. When I wrote a Blogpost about it, Flight Centre Tweeted pathetically: ‘We’re so glad you were able to make the most of your delay and experience this remarkable city!’ No Flight Centre, my destination was Italy, via Nice, not a city tour of Dubai, which I had to pay for! Speechly wrote an email to me after my Blogpost link was Tweeted, more than patronizing, and filled with assumptions: 

‘Dear Chris

 I trust you are well!

We do apologise for the delay leading to the issues surrounding the connecting flight from Dubai to  Nice, as well as the issues you experienced following the delay.

Unfortunately airline delays are out of Flight Centre’s control and wherever possible we strive to establish next steps for those who are affected.

It is only through feedback such as your own that we are able to maintain an exceptional standard of service at all times and to enable us to better reassure customers during a stressful situation.

Our key priority is alerting all customers to the issue as soon as possible and that they remain our number one priority at all times.

We are glad that you eventually enjoyed your time in Dubai that you were able to share some of the sights and attractions via your blog. We hope that the rest of your stay in Italy will be positive and productive in the writing of your book.

Thank you for booking your flights through Flight Centre and we do hope to assist you again soon.

Kind Regards’

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 chrisvonulmenstein [at] gmail.com. Past winners of the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be read on the Friday posts of this blog.

Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chris_Ulmenstein