Sweet Service Award goes to BP President in Sea Point; Sour Service Award goes to McQueens!



The Sweet Service Award goes to BP President in Regent Road, Sea Point, and its amazing petrol attendant Mike, who greeted me with a ‘welcome’, and proactively asked if he could check the oil, water, and tyres of my car, also giving me proactive feedback about one of the tyres being slightly below the correct pressure. I have never experienced such service at Engen in the years that I fueled up there. Having switched to Discovery Insurance for my car, I have to fuel up at BP or Shell to gain member benefits.

The Sour Service Award goes to McQueens beauty salon in Sea Point, which charges its clients R30 extra for a Corona fee, given the hygiene procedures it has to follow, despite it being a law that they do so. It should not be an extra charge, Sorbet for example not levying an extra charge for its outlets to be Covid-compliant.


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 chrisvonulmenstein [at] gmail.com. Past winners of the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be read on the Friday posts of this blog.


POSTSCRIPT 13/7:  I received the following disparaging and threatening email from the owner of McQueens Pride and Groom today. I deny that my Sour Award ‘defames’ McQueens, given that it is based on fact, having called the salon before publishing the post on Friday morning, to confirm the mandatory (not optional) Covid Charge: 

Dear Chris Von Ulmenstein

I am sure you are aware, being so ‘relevant, informed and abreast of current issues’ as you profess to be, of the extreme economic difficulty we as the BEAUTY INDUSTRY are facing as a result of the National Lockdown. We were effectively forced to close for 3 and a half months and were only allowed to resume trading, adhering to very strict protocols, approximately 2 weeks ago.
I am the owner of a Boutique Salon, McQueens Pride & Groom which is based in Sea Point. I know that you have experienced our services – albeit as a freebee organised by Marina Nestel in 2017. Your free treatment you received included: A QMS full luxury facial and a MilkshakeHair Wash, Blow Dry and Style currently valued at well over R1000.. This free treatment was arranged by Marina as a trade exchange in relation to an article you were going to publish to generate some publicity for our newly opened business. My staff remember you well due to the fact that, despite your comprehensive treatment being on the house, you ‘forgot’ to leave any of them a gratuity which is what our regular and courteous clients do as a matter of course – an act of generosity and kindness that is well appreciated by staff in the hospitality and service industry who rely on gratuities to supplement their basic salaries.
I am proud to say, that we have managed, in the short space of 3 years, to build up a very successful, well respected business with a very loyal and supportive clientele across the Atlantic Seaboard. The business prides itself on quality, service and integrity. I currently employ and continuously up skill a staff complement of 10 very highly qualified and professional ladies who are all extremely hardworking, dedicated to their craft and who all have families that they support.
My business is self financed, unlike the Sorbet stores who are owned by Brian Joffe’s Long4Life Group, yet you so easily compared us to them? Is this what you deem a fair comparison? We do levy an optional R30.00 surcharge to partially supplement the extensive PPE that is mandatory for us to be able to operate. Most of this PPE is disposed of after every treatment. Will this be permanent? We honestly don’t know. Will the COVID pandemic and Lockdown be permanent? Hopefully not!
We at McQueens continually support our community and contribute to a number of local charities including Ladles of Love, Atlantic Hope, Earth Child Project, The Haven Nightshelter, YGap SA to name a few. I am not sure why you have chosen to target us with such negative publicity. Is it perhaps schadenfreude? I find the piece you wrote on your blog and shared on Facebook about us rather cowardly, somewhat ill informed and arrogant. Am I correct in saying that your ‘SOUR’ SERVICE AWARD is decided via nominations received? In this regard, I hereby REQUEST the following from you:
– A public apology for defaming McQueens without verifying facts first and basing your damaging commentary on 3rd party ‘hearsay’.
– The name of the complainant/s who instigated the decision and subsequent article.
– The process by which the decision is made and exactly who is instrumental in deciding the outcome? Or is it simply a unilateral decision by yourself acting as ‘judge, jury and hangman’?
Should I not hear back from you by close of business tomorrow I will be consulting legal counsel to consider my options in the above regard.
For your information, I have forwarded your article to our Industry Body who were not impressed with your comments and failed to see what you thought your piece would achieve and what possible positive outcome it could have for anyone. In the true spirit of Ubuntu and during a crisis like this, we should all be standing together, cooperating and being supportive rather than taking cheap shots designed to hurt and destruct!
Yours sincerely


Susu Kikillus
+27 828225333’

POSTSCRIPT 14/7: On Facebook today there have been four disparaging defamatory posts and comments about me personally in reaction to the Sour Service Award going to McQueens. One could assume that this is a coordinated campaign against me, as none of the posters are Facebook Friends, possibly having been requested to write comments. 

About Chris von Ulmenstein

Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chrissy_Ulmenstein

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