Pick ‘n Pay Sweet Service and Fego Café Sour Service Awards

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 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.

20 replies on “Pick ‘n Pay Sweet Service and Fego Café Sour Service Awards”

  1. Deon Fialkov says:

    LMAO …I didn’t even know about that place…guess the exposure does them good…
    now people can decide for themselves whether they should go or not go based on your awards-system.

    LMAO …

  2. lolla says:

    Deon, what a silly comment. Chris, as always, spot on.

  3. Excuse my ignorance – what does LMAO stand for?


  4. lolla says:

    Laugh my ass off.

  5. Oops, can’t keep up with all these Social Media acronyms – many thanks Lolla, mine of information!


  6. lolla says:

    Glad I could assist! Oh, and I heard that Michael Olivier pulled out of Crush! Not sure if my facts are correct. About time I give you another little tit-bit! He is going to host cooking classes with Sonia Cabano, among other things host “Mad hatters tea parties”…what an appropriate name, given the company.

  7. What interesting news, given that Michael brought Crush! to SA! Will investigate, and thank you for the titbit.

    Absolutely agree about the Mad Hatters… she has really been losing it in the past few days!


  8. lolla says:

    Yes, she does not need Robertson’s to keep things spiced up, that is for sure. Hope my info re Crush! is correct, heard it from a reliable source, but you never know.

  9. Her Twitter timeline is full of spice, but clearly she has some agreement with Robertsons to never use their brand name again! Wonder how much they paid her for this?

    Will check up on Crush!


  10. This is a very cruel way to expose poor service. It’s just nasty and not helping anyone.

  11. Thanks for your comment Jenny.

    You must be a new reader of our blog – the Sweet & Sour Service Awards have been running for about three years, with a predecessor on Radio Good Hope and Kfm too.

    Are you condoning poor service?


  12. Of course not but I just feel that this is a very strange way to deal with these things. It’s all very sensational and dramatic. I respect the fact that everyone has an opinion but I just don’t understand what this achieves, other than entertainment at the expense of other people’s businesses or potential shortcomings?

    I really don’t want to get into a comment war here but this is just how I feel about these kinds of things. Can I just ask, do you write these posts to ultimately try and help people or do you not really care if you hurt people? I know business is not about touchy feely feelings but people are still at the heart of business.


  13. Thank you for your further comment Jenny.

    Of course the Sweet & Sour Awards are meant to provide feedback to business owners – Mr de Vries’ reaction was one of horror initially in receiving the feedback, and he clearly is not in his coffee shop at times when most customers visit.

    The Awards also highlight that customers have the right to complain and provide feedback about poor service. Mr de Vries has moved from inviting me in writing to a replacement meal, which is appreciated, to being abusive in his telephonic contact and in the two (unpublished) Comments he has sent to this blog.


  14. Annika says:

    I’m right with you that a consumer has a right to complain or praise a business in ‘public’, but how the heck did Sonia end up in this conversation again?? Oh please…

  15. I hope Lolla can answer that question for you Annika.


  16. Annika says:

    Never mind, Chris.

  17. Erinyes says:

    Hi Chris

    I recenty discovered your blog, and having only read a few posts to date, I get the feeling I’m missing something re the Sonia Cabano affair and how she is mentioned, seemingly unrelatedly, in the comments section of a post that has nothing to do with her?

    I suppose I’m just repeating Annika’s question of how this happened? If either you or Lolla could clarify, perhaps?

  18. There is no ‘Sonia Cabano affair’ Erinyes.

    We allow all comments that are not disparaging or abusive.


  19. I couldn’t refrain from commenting. Perfectly written!|

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