The Sweet Service Award goes to Pick ‘n Pay Franschhoek, and its Manager Jonathan Brown specifically. The store normally has filthy floors and poor service, with errors made when one pays the monthly Easy Pay accounts at this branch. However, when Jonathan is on duty, he will proactively come to the customer, to check if there is something that he can get, and there is never an error with the account payments. The store is clean when he is on duty. He understands customer care, and goes out of his way to make sure that it happens, an excellent but rare ambassador for Pick ‘n Pay.
The Sour Service Award goes to Asara Wine Estate and its reservation executive Tamarin Byne, who received a Sour Service Award when she worked at the One&Only Cape Town. The nomination comes from Dr Volker Arends in Hamburg: “I read that the Sour Service Award went to Tamarin Byne in 2009 when she was working at One&Only Cape Town. I would like to propose to grant the award once again to her. Now, she is working at Asara Wine Resort in Stellenbosch, a five star hotel. The service level, however, apparently has not improved. We have booked a classic deluxe room for three nights from 1st to 4th January 2012. We received a binding confirmation (with cancellation fees applying from our side) from the agent working for Asara (booking.com). Mrs Byne contacted us and informed us that “due to a system error” we could not receive a room on 2nd January, 2012. We could either chose to use three different rooms in two different hotels during our three days stay or Asara could cancel the confirmed booking (at least making a reservation in a different hotel). When we politely mentioned that we had a confirmed booking and would not agree to either of such options but would like to receive a room at Asara for the time period as agreed and confirmed, our wish was just brashly ignored. Several emails were exchanged but the customer demand was just ignored. Although we had several times explained that we would like to be accommodated in a room of at least the standard booked and even offered to change the room within the Asara Hotel, such demand was just ignored. We then received an email stating that we are welcomed on 1st January 2012 and we would then be moved to a different hotel “as discussed” and on 3rd January we could move back to Asara. As “compensation” for the inconvenience caused by such “unforeseen system error” Mrs Byne generously offered a complimentary wine tasting at Asara. No upgrade on the room, no lunch, no dinner, not even drinks for dinner. No, a complimentary wine tasting to make up for using three different rooms during three days solely caused by the Hotel… After such behaviour we have had enough. We wrote Mrs Byne to cancel the booking and that we would make different travel arrangements. We asked her to confirm the cancellation (caused by the Hotel which was not able to accommodate us in the agreed time period). It took about 24 hours and only after we called the agent (booking.com) we received an answer stating the confirmation and generously expressly waiving the cancellation fee of the Hotel!! I think that speaks for itself. We have now booked a different hotel and are really looking forward to our visit to South Africa”.
POSTSCRIPT 17/2: This article by a lawyer addresses the consumer rights in the case of overbooking:http://www.iol.co.za/travel/travel-tips/overbooking-what-are-your-rights-1.1236474
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.