The Sweet Service Award goes to the Western Cape provincial Minister of Tourism Alan Winde, for his responsiveness and willingness to be contacted. On Twitter two days ago a tour operator requested the name of our provincial tourism minister. I Tweeted his name and Twitter handle. Minister Winde immediately wrote back, asking how he could be of assistance, and provided his e-mail address and cellphone number! There are not many politicians that are so ‘customer friendly’. Minister Winde and our Western Cape Premier Helen Zille have both embraced Twitter.
The Sour Service Award goes to SARS in Paarl, which is so understaffed that a queue of 50 had to stand and sit for 90 minutes outside on the pavement to get a number to wait inside the building to speak to one of only three staff on duty two weeks ago! When I got to see one of the staff, I had two bank account changes and two VAT payments to make. Initially the lady told me that she may only handle three queries, and that I would have to go back to get another number for the fourth query, even if I had waited for 90 minutes to get to speak to her! When I asked to see her manager, she agreed to deal with the fourth query. Whilst two hours is an unproductive waste of time for working persons, it would have probably taken four hours at the Cape Town city centre branch. SARS does not allow one’s accountants to do bank account changes anymore (one has to come in personally), and does not allow VAT to be paid via the printed form anymore, sent to companies for years, causing the queues.
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.