Entries tagged with “Emma Jackson”.


Mercedes-Benz logoThe Sweet Service Award goes to Mercedes-Benz Culemborg in Cape Town, for the assistance by its Service Manager Dean Guimaraes in opening my car roof, which stopped working yesterday morning. Despite arriving at 16h00 on a Friday afternoon after returning from a function in Stellenbosch, Dean checked out the car.  He found that a part of the roof mechanism had broken, and managed to open the roof, despite the broken part, which they will replace next week, once ordered on Monday. (more…)

Pick n Pay logo smallerThe Sweet Service Award goes to Manager Stuart at the Pick ‘n Pay at the V&A Waterfront, for walking the extra mile to find an item for me that the store did not have in stock.  He called regularly to inform me of the progress.  I also noted that he follows Twitter, and called immediately when I Tweeted about a ‘Customer Care’ assistant’s rude service when I returned an item, which was anything but customer caring! (more…)

Huguenot Fine Chocolate EasterThe Sweet Service Award goes to Huguenot Fine Chocolates, the oldest chocolate manufacturer in Franschhoek.  They completed wrapping Easter eggs for an order for our Whale Cottage Franschhoek guests within half an hour of placing the order, even though we would have been happy to collect them the following day.  We were able to choose the colours of the foil wrapping of the eggs too, to match our colour scheme.   The chocolate eggs tasted delicious, quite unlike the commercial eggs which were available in retail outlets. (more…)

iFixThe Sweet Service Award goes to iFix and their technician Theodore Ellis, who assisted with a problem when I could not get the photographs on my iPhone to download onto my laptop.  Theodore assisted me immediately when I arrived, tested the phone and the laptop, and suggested that there may be too many photographs on the phone (MasterChef SA being to blame!).  I spent an hour deleting about 1000 photographs, and was relieved when the download worked fine in time for the Finale of MasterChef SA last Wednesday.  He did (more…)

Whale Cottage LogoWe are delighted to have been included in the ‘100 Great SA Travel Twitter Feeds‘ list, which was compiled by travelstartblog.  The list of 100 top Travel Twitter feeds follows below, in no particular order the blog states, based on the following selection process: ‘To formulate our list, we first had to decide on a few criteria we feel make a travel focused Twitter feed exciting. This isn’t an exact science, but with the help of a few online tools such as Twitter search and our own observations, we’ve been able to arrive at a fairly inclusive list. Active participation on Twitter was a significant part of the selection criteria, as was location (South Africa), number of followers as well as social authority’.

1. Meruschka Govender, @MzansiGirl
2. Cape Town, @CapeTown
3. Gautrain, @TheGautrain
4. South African Tourism, @GoToSouthAfrica
5. Ryan van Zyl, @concierge_ryan
6. Cape Town Tourism, @CapeTownTourism
7. Ben, @sa_tourguide
8. SA Weather Service, @SAWeatherServic
9. CapeTownMagazine.com, @CapeTownMag
10. Table Mountain Cable Way, @TableMountainCa
11. US Embassy Pretoria, @USEmbPretoria
12. Ryan Sandes, @ryansandes
13. Black Coffee, @RealBlackCoffee
14. James Costello, @jamescapetown
15. Ryan Mackie,‏ @SATourismCo
16. SATravelTrade, @SATravelTrade
17. Clare Appleyard, @clareappleyard
18. Clare Townsend, @BloodyClarey
19. William Price, @william_price
20. Jonker Fourie, @FireflyAfrica
21. Mariette dT-Helmbold, @MariettedTH
22. Sarah Duff, @SarahDuff
23. Dawn Jorgensen, @DawnJorgensen
24. Getaway Magazine, @GetawayMagazine
25. Jan Hutton, ‏@janinehutton
26. Narina Exelby, @NarinaExelby
27. Peregrine Magazine, @PeregrineMag
28. Skye Grove, @SkyeGrove
29. Sarah Khan, @BySarahKhan
30. Thando Moleketi, @JoziFoodieFix
31. eTNW,‏ @eTNW_SA
32. Chris Von Ulmenstein, @whalecottage (more…)

The Sweet Service Award goes to Mercedes Benz Culemborg, and their car service booking executive Karen, for her excellent service in organising a replacement pair of windscreen wipers immediately, so that I could drive to the workshop to have them fitted within an hour of calling.  A loose fitting windscreen wiper arm was tightened when it was found that it was not wiping the windscreen on one side. A strong smell of oil, due to another supplier not closing the oil filter cap properly, was fixed as well, without an extra charge.  Karen was previously at the Century City branch, where she gave excellent service too.

The Sour Service Award goes to the V&A Waterfront management, for its lack of response to our Tweets about the poor quality of the new Ladies’ cloakroom which has been moved across the upstairs passage next door to Fabiani.  The previous ladies cloakroom has been closed to create a new shop. The new (ex-Gents) cloakroom is one-quarter the size of the previous Ladies’ cloakroom. Transformation into the Ladies’ loos was incomplete, with tiling not finished, the loo door was sticking, not openable from inside, and there was no toilet paper at 19h00 on 10 April, and the cleaner seemed uncertain as to where she could find more. The toilets were very dirty. Angry men were standing in the passage, looking for their cloakroom, nowhere to be seen nor was it signposted.  When shared with the V&A, the Marketing head Chantelle Cole responded as follows: Thank you for highlighting this with us and I’m sorry to hear about your unpleasant experience. It’s particularly helpful that you have given us a specific time of the incident; we are investigating this further with the shift manager, to understand why it was in this condition. Our maintenance team had already snagged the issues you highlighted regarding the door sticking and the tiles needing replacement; the tiles were damaged during the conversion and will be replaced at night, when the mall is quieter. As you point out, there are only four cubicles and so we opted to have all four operational, rather than close this one to allow for the repairs.  We’re doing a number of exciting changes, including expanding the store space for Superdry and Markhams. To accommodate these extensions, we have had to close one of the toilets. We are building new men and ladies’ toilets near the Post Office, which will be opened in the next few months. We appreciate it has resulted in some inconvenience and we hope our visitors are understanding of this short-term impact. We have prominent signage in place regarding the location of alternate men’s toilets and have signposted the upcoming conversion for the past few weeks in the lead up to this changeover. Thank you again for highlighting this issue and apologies that your tweet was not responded to. This should not have happened and I have discussed this with our social media team, so we don’t have this experience again’.

When replying and asking why the Ladies’ Cloakroom was opened for use whilst substandard and why the signage was so poor, contrary to the V&A’s reply, Ms Cole wrote back, without answering the substandard question, and gave a classic non-Customer Care response to the signage question: Your feedback is noted; yours is the only complaint we’ve received on signage and we have tested it with a few people however we will continue to monitor this’ !  A visit to the ladies’ cloakroom last night (2 May), three weeks later, found the toilet cubicles still untiled, and three basins leaking!

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 info@whalecottage.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.

For the first time since the creation of Twitter seven years ago, Members of Parliament and lawyers who Tweet and Facebook are under threat of being charged for libel, reports The Times.  Codes of conduct in their Social Media communication are being developed, and should be considered for general businesses too.

In Parliament Tweeting by DA members, in particular party parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko, appears to have irritated other members of the house with their persistent Tweeting, and on occasion allegedly libelous Travelgate Tweets.  This has resulted in a call for a code of conduct to govern Parliamentarian Tweeting.  The Social Media policy of Parliament may remove the parliamentary privilege of making statements and allegations on Social Media platforms without threat of litigation.

The ANC caucus spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said that  Parliamentary rules and its code of conduct should be revised as a result of the wide spread use of Social Media by members of Parliament, Tweeting on their tablets and phones, in order to preserve the integrity of Parliament. MPs are also to be informed about the ‘legal perils’ associated with Social Media. Cedric Frohlick, responsible for committees in Parliament and for drafting the new Parliamentary Social Media policy, said: ‘If they (Parliamentarians) put information out there, they must take responsibility for it, because if you put information in the public domain about what is happening in parliament, and it is not a true reflection of what is going on, then you must expect that people are going to expose you for giving wrong information‘.  The article refers to Western Cape Premier Helen Zille as a ‘serial Tweeter‘, sharing ‘just about everything with their followers’, including being bitten by a rat when she collected her newspaper.  The parliamentary Social Media code will not affect the frequency and the content of her Tweeting.

The Johannesburg Bar Council has also warned advocates to not make ‘inappropriate statements’ on Social Media platforms, and that they ‘desist from publishing statements that could open them to accusations that they had breached rules governing professional conduct’. Members of the bar are prevented from writing about pending cases on any non-legal platform.

The Law Society of South Africa already has prepared a draft Social Media policy for its 25000 members in law firms, warning that comments about their clients’ cases may be a breach of confidence which could damage a client’s reputation.  Cape Town lawyer William Booth told the journalist that he does not issue statements about his clients’ cases on Twitter and Facebook.  He will only comment to the conventional media, yet does so with caution.

It would be advisable for companies to review their policy on the Social Media presence of their staff, whether in their personal capacity or on behalf of their company.  It appears to still be early days in this regard, most employers not setting guidelines as to the content of Tweets, and the Twitter Bios of their staff containing links to their company websites, yet claiming to Tweet in their personal capacity.  Any company linkage obviously would make the Tweeter and the employer equally liable for libel charges and defamation damage claims.  Siyavula MD Mark Horner’s reaction to the libelous Tweeting of his employee Marthèlize Tredoux was a surprise in his naive reaction, in that as long as she Tweets privately, he can not take action, even if some of her Tweets identify the name of the company as her employer. He also does not appear concerned that his employee is using his company time to write the defamatory Tweets, instead of doing her job.  The University of Stellenbosch head of Accounting had a very different attitude, instructing his lecturer Len Steenkamp to remove his defamatory Tweets.  Short-lived Social Media Manager of Robertsons, cookbook writer Sonia Cabano, lost her job when she used her client’s Twitter account to settle personal scores.  So too Emma Jackson, the V&A Waterfront Tweeter, has used her client’s Twitter account to settle scores. Cape Town Tourism managers, including Mariette Du Toit-Helmbold and Skye Grove, have a link to their employer website.  Grove has reTweeted libelous Tweets, and has written defamatory Tweets too, yet she and Mrs Helmbold have been quick to run to Cape Town Tourism’s lawyers with threatened claims for defamation, without any follow-up action. Grove appears to have been censored of late, and was reprimanded for using Cape Town Tourism lawyers for what was deemed to be a personal matter!

But it is not just the abusive action on Social Media that is a concern for employers.  How appropriate are the challenging Tweets by a chef’s wife about how long he is working, and that he is seldom at home, with the employer’s name mentioned in the Tweet?  Even more difficult is the situation when a well-known employee, who is synonymous with a wine brand, starts following a Pinterest porn page, showing on his Facebook page. Every shared hangover may build a profile of the person linked to a business brand, not what an employer may want to see.  Should one reTweet or share photographs or news about competitors’ brands and so ‘endorse’ them by implication if one is a well-known brand personality?  Are Mommy Tweets and Braai Tweets appropriate for the CEO of Cape Town Tourism, when one is following her for tourism news on Twitter?   Blocking followers on Twitter and on Facebook does not prevent one from reading the posts and Tweets, if one thought that the employer and others would not see them.  Employers have checked the Facebook page and Twitter feed of prospective employees, and have not employed them in some instances, due to what they have seen.  Imagine the abuse on Social Media platforms if an employee were to be disciplined, if they already are abusive towards others on these platforms?  Clients have done the same, and have often avoided using the services of suppliers if discretion is not respected in their Social Media communication.

Incredibly powerful as a communications channel, Social Media in general and Twitter specifically needs a ‘gentleman’s agreement‘ as to how to communicate.  One thing is certain: defaming any person is not only bad manners, but is also libelous, and opens the communicator (and potentially the employer) to legal action and claims for defamation.  Each one of us is a brand, whether linked to an employer or self-employed, and so a profile is built up through Twitter and Facebook about a person, and the brand linked to it, even though one may never have met that person.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage

The Sweet Service Award goes to The Wash, which was nominated by Nicky Farmer: “I immediately thought to nominate as below as this kind of customer service just doesn’t seem to happen as often as it should. On 24 Jan, I had a meeting at the Lifestyle Centre on Kloof Street and I took the opportunity to have my car valeted downstairs at The Wash (021 422 2233). They’re always so friendly and do a pretty good job. It wasn’t until 31 Jan that I opened my wallet to take out my business card and realised it wasn’t there. I got a fright, but immediately calmed down as I hadn’t had any notifications of transactions on my account, so I knew it was safe – probably in a pair of jeans at home or something. I couldn’t find it at all the next day, so I went through my bank statement online and realised that the last time I’d seen my card was at The Wash. I called them immediately, and Malcolm, the Manager said he’d been holding onto it for me, but couldn’t find a number for me in the phone book.  I know it’s a really simple one, but he had such an opportunity to take advantage, but instead played the role of good citizen.  His will be my car wash service of choice moving forward!”

The Sour Service Award goes to the V&A Waterfront, whose Aniem called from the Info Centre to say that a Loyalty card was waiting at its Info Desk, and became cheeky when I told her that it was not business calling time (before 8h30), and a particularly busy breakfast preparation time for us.  She retorted that as I own guest houses, I should answer the calls!  The application for the card was in my personal name, and only the e-mail address referred to the guest house.  The postal address and e-mail address were included in the application, and could have been used to communicate in a less disruptive manner.  After Tweeting about the disruption, the V&A Waterfront Tweeter Emma Jackson rudely defended the action, offered no apology, and set out to purposely personally embarrass me in the Tweet.  Chantelle Cole, Executive Manager: Strategic Marketing of the V&A responded sympathetically for the first time about the regular Twitter abuse by Jackson: I’m so sorry about this, I will raise the issue with our community manager and Info Centre team”. No further communication has been received.  Annemie Liebenberg, the V&A’s head of Tourism, to whom the Info Centre reports, did not return the call about the matter.

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 info@whalecottage.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.

The Sweet Service Award goes to Chrisna Kok of BURO in the V&A Waterfront, upstairs next door to Woolworths, a shop selling Apple-complementary products such as phone covers, and stylish laptop carry cases. Chrisna assisted in changing an iTunes account on an Apple iPhone, and setting up the apps again, and offered practical and understandable technical advice without charge, an exceptional service compared to the Apple store in the Waterfront, which forces one to make an appointment for technical assistance.  She has offered additional help, with an open door for questions relating to any Apple products.

The Sour Service Award goes to the V&A Waterfront for its poor handling and lack of co-operation in the search of Wilkes McDermid, who ‘disappeared’ in or around the V&A Waterfront, having last been seen leaving the Cape Grace hotel on 26 December. McDermid is a food and beverage blogger in the UK and is very active on Social Media, and it was his lack of Facebooking and Tweeting that raised the alarm. He had been at Orphanage the night before and had Tweeted about his experience there. McDermid is a good friend of whisky aficionado Bernard Gutman of Cape Town, and he raised the alarm about his friend’s disappearance.  As we found too, the whole management of the Waterfront was on holiday from about 18 December until the beginning of this week, and therefore Gutman could not obtain permission to view the Waterfront’s security camera footage, and it was not made available to the police.  In simple terms there was nobody on-site who appeared to have any proper authority’, wrote Gutman. An acting manager could not contact any of the V&A management, saying that she would be fired if she were to contact any of them while they were on holiday! For days the Waterfront’s PR Manager Carla White interacted with Gutman, stalling, and stating that the matter was ‘subjudice’ and therefore Gutman was not allowed to see the footage from the claimed 1000 security cameras in the Waterfront.  Gutman expressed his concern to the V&A about the UK media interest in the story, but this did not appear to be of concern to Ms White. Gutman believes after this experience that the Waterfront overclaims the extent of its security and protection of its property, and that there are blind spots‘ in the security camera coverage, which would make it dangerous for parents to leave their children at the Waterfront. He believes that the V&A did not want to hand over the footage to prevent the security breaches from being exposed. The V&A Waterfront’s Tweeter Emma Jackson unsympathetically Tweeted that they could not help Gutman as she worked for the Marketing department, which does not deal with missing persons!  She was out of her depth in managing a crisis in the V&A.  Gutman is relieved that McDermid was traced via his cash withdrawals and credit card payments, and appears to have been in the V&A every day since he ‘disappeared’, but this was not picked up by the Waterfront’s security cameras at all!

POSTCRIPT 12/11 The V&A Waterfront has retaliated to this blogpost and the Sour Service Award, by blocking us on Twitter!  We are regular shoppers at the V&A, so this is poor service indeed.  Surprisingly, they did not protest their tenant BURO winning the Sweet Service Award.

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 info@whalecottage.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.

The past twenty four hours have seen bullying, bashing, and blackmail on Twitter, kick started by an abusive Tweet by über Tweeter Jane-Anne Hobbs Rayner, who accused us of ‘cyber bullying‘ her ‘friends’ Mariette du Toit-Helmbold (CEO) and Skye Grove (Communications and PR Manager) of Cape Town Tourism, supermarket wine promoter Michael Olivier, and Eat Out editor Abigail Donnelly!   Not only was her stream of Tweets disparaging, but she also blackmailed her 5000-odd Followers with the threat of being unfollowed!  One would have expected the New Year to have had a gentler start!

Hobbs is a ‘mommy food blogger‘, her Juno and now Scrumptious blogs having impressed in the past with the quality of her photographs, and portfolio of recipes.  In the time that we have known her, we have had little interaction, seeing each other at odd Franschhoek (more…)