The Sweet Service Award goes to Pick ‘n Pay Franschhoek, which proactively assisted customers in checking their Smart Shopper card balances on arrival at the store, and organised a cash back (a welcome R270) against the purchases made, as well as triple points for the purchases made on a public holiday. This was welcome proof that the Pick ‘n Pay Smart card does work, unlike that of Woolworths, which is swiped for every purchase, and gives one the benefit of some occasional minuscule price discounts, but they do not pay back a portion of one’s purchases, as do Clicks and Exclusive Books.
The Sour Service Award goes to Fego Café inside Exclusive Books at the V&A Waterfront, which refused to serve food at 20h00. They told me that their kitchen closes an hour before the book shop closes at 21h00. The staff and rude manageress Vusi said that they need an hour to clean the tiny kitchen. I asked for the manager’s number, and Vusi wrote it on a torn scrap of paper. The Exclusive Books staff have no control nor say over Fego Café they said, as it is a leased space, despite the poor reflection on their brand. To add insult to injury, I received a bill for a sandwich, which was not ordered nor served! The staff also changed into their ‘civvies’ in full view of their customers behind the coffee machine, despite having a changing room.
POSTSCRIPT 2/7: Joe de Vries, owner of Fego, has just called, very defensive and aggressive, and questioning why we are wanting to ‘destroy’ his brand, saying that he does not have a lot of money, and also does not have a manager called ‘Vusi’ working for him. He has threatened legal action, and says he is at his coffee shop all day, and then put down the phone! I called the branch (a different number from which he called) and his manager Vuyo clarified that Mr de Vries is normally there from 8h30 – 14h00 or 15h00. Mr de Vries became very irate when I told him that I have never seen him in his establishment, and this explains it, as I usually go to Exclusive Books in the late afternoons or evenings. He blamed Exclusive Books for forcing him to close the service an hour before their shop closes. He is a very poor listener, as I explained to him that over the Festive Season Exclusive Books closed at 22h00, and Fego still closed at 20h00, two hours before closing time!
POSTSCRIPT 2/7: Mr de Vries had added insult to injury by writing a comment on our blog, disparaging and defamatory in its attack on myself and Whale Cottage, which we have deleted. This is a rather immature way to deal with a service complaint!
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.