The Sweet Service Award goes to Haute Cabriere in Franschhoek, for hosting the guest house owners of Franschhoek for a cellar tour of Cabriere, and a generous lunch, as a way of saying thank you for the support they have received from the accommodation establishments, and to introduce their new menu for summer. Matthew Gordon is the chef who prepared the lovely meal, and his wife Nicky looked after the guests. All courses were paired with Cabriere wines, and Huguenot Fine Chocolates gave each guest a gift pack of chocolate footballs.
The Sour Service Award goes to Rocketseed and its sales executive Sam. Sam recently called Whale Cottage Franschhoek to sell the Rocketseed banner advertising. She started her call by stating that she was calling on behalf of the Franschhoek Tourism Bureau, who had made use of the banner advert of the company. She then proactively said she was not calling to sell advertising. However, she launched into a sales call for the company’s banner advertising. When she was asked how she could say that she was not selling advertising, she stated that she was selling ‘banner advertising’ which differs from ‘advertising’, in her opinion. The Franschhoek Tourism Bureau confirmed that they had not instructed Rocketseed to call members of the Franschhoek Tourism Bureau. Later that day Whale Cottage received an e-mail from Johan Huisamen, a Director of Rocketseed. He was told about the interaction with Sam, but had been contacted by the Franschhoek tourism bureau already, and had been asked to desist from implying that the bureau was endorsing the sales calls. On Twitter Whale Cottage picked up three Tweets sent by Sam about the incident, defaming Protea Hotels and Whale Cottage (she had thought she was speaking to the Franschhoek Inn, now the Protea Hotel Franschhoek). A half-hearted apology was made by Sam on Twitter under pressure from her bosses, but no further direct apology has been received from Sam nor the company. Rocketseed in fact refused to take responsibility for the Twitter communication, saying that it was done in Sam’s private capacity – however they were made after her business sales call! This is the second Sour Service Award Rocketseed has received – previously it was for the rude interaction with a Director of Rocketseed, when Whale Cottage pointed out that the banner advertising is highly spam sensitive, and does not always reach its intended recipients, and that it has a design problem as to where it places the ‘footer’ of the banner advertisement when one replies to enquiries coming from accommodation websites.
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 email@example.com. 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.