Tag Archives: Value Car Hire

Whale Cottage Blog: Restaurant Specials tops in 2012!

Before the new working year kicks in tomorrow, when most return to work, we have taken stock of our blog.  Last year we had just over 401000 unique pageviews, and the winter Restaurant Specials blogpost was by far the most popular. Most traffic came via Google searches, and interestingly Facebook generated three times the volume of traffic to the blog compared to Twitter.  More than 2000 subscribers receive the latest blogpost daily on RSS feed subscription.

We cannot always predict what drives traffic to the blog.  The three best read Blog days, with over 2800 unique pageviews each, were 11 January (Cruise liners mean ‘The World’ to the V&A Waterfront: Cape cruise crisis), 23 April (Chef Bruce Robertson returns to Cape Town, plain sailing at The Boat House), and 9 November (Spier Sweet Service and City of Cape Town Sour Service Awards).  Interesting is that the blogpost we wrote on 18 April in 2011 about the unfortunate passing of the President of Ferrero Rocher in Cape Town still achieves daily readership, and was the second best read blogpost last year.  The top ten Continue reading →

Franschhoek Motors Sweet and Value Car Hire Sour Service Awards

The Sweet Service Award goes to Jannie from Franschhoek Motors, for replacing the clutch of a Chrysler PT Cruiser, which he had replaced eight months before.  Not only did Jannie collect the car from Cape Town, and tow it to Franschhoek, but he also demanded that the clutch supplier Luc Repco replace the clutch at no cost. 



The Sour Service Award goes to Value Car Hire, a supplier of good value cars for Whale Cottage clients for the last twelve years and previously a Sweet Service Award recipient.  Due to the clutch repair of the Chrysler PT Cruiser, we had to rent a car for five days, and chose to support our supplier.  Being neurotic about a blanket authorisation hold on my credit card, I called our contact over all the years and senior manager of the company, Munier Abrahams, and agreed that no such authorisation would be held over my credit card, as I would pay by EFT once the car was returned.  I told him that I had not signed the form, and in fact had scratched out the card payment authorisation on the form.  When the car was driven, it was badly aligned, the steering wheel wobbling badly.  We called Munier, and a replacement car was brought to Stellenbosch.  We were surprised that the Value Car Hire driver Bradley had not picked this up when he delivered the car.  Later that day I noticed from my bank statement that the company had put an authorisation hold of R1500 on my credit card after all, despite our agreement.  This was reversed three days later, after I expressed my dissatisfaction to Munier.  On the day of the return of the car, R1181 was booked off my credit card without permission, for the rental as well as a petrol fee, despite the car having been refueled prior to handover and our agreement that I would pay by EFT.   I called Munier, and he promised to sort out the problem, even though he was on leave.  I noticed that the credit card reversal had not come through, so called Munier again, and reminded him about his promise.  He apologised for not having been there, but said he was on the way to the office, and would sort it out.  I called at the end of the day, and we had a war of words on the phone, Munier denying any of the terms of our telephonic agreement.   I gave him until midnight of that day to reverse the payment.  The payment has still not been reversed, and therefore we have approached our bank for a chargeback of the payment, and have found a new car rental company for our guests. It would appear that a take-over of Value Car Hire by i-Drive has changed the attitude to doing business with their customers.

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.

Value Car Hire Sweet and Beluga Sour Service Awards

The Sweet Service Award goes to Murnier and his team at Value Car Hire.  Earlier this week a Whale Cottage Camps Bay guest inadvertently took the room keys with him when he checked out, and called the guest house from the airport.   He tried to find a way to get them back to Camps Bay.   Value Car Hire, with whom Whale Cottage has a long-standing relationship, had staff at the airport, and they kindly met the Whale Cottage guest at the check-in counter, and then delivered the keys back to the guest house.  A whale of a thanks to Value Car Hire!

The Sour Service Award goes to ‘Blonde’ Oscar Kotze of Beluga restaurant, for asking this writer to leave the restaurant when invited for lunch as a member and Chairman of the Camps Bay Accommodation association.    Kotze is a director of the Caviar Group of restaurants, which also owns Sevruga and the Caviar deli, as well as Blonde restaurant, which is to open in February.    The reason for the eviction appears to be that Beluga sister restaurant Sevruga received a Sour Service Award from the WhaleTales blog more than 2 months ago in regard to the poor handling of the Penny Vincenzi launch lunch (see here).      The Marketing Manager Sam Obery was in a state, repeatedly being instructed by Kotze by phone to ask the writer to leave.  The staff ignored the writer, even though she sat at the table with her guest house colleagues, not taking her food order, and not serving her drinks other than water.   Kotze was asked to call the writer, but he refused, and also refused to take the call from the writer.  He instructed his staff to call the police, so that the writer could be evicted by them!   Kotze is short-sighted, as he had a fantastic opportunity to make good the writer’s perception of the Caviar Group of restaurants, which unfortunately has worsened as a result of this incident.   Ms Obery was severely embarrassed, understanding that in marketing one tries to turn things around to the positive, and that her marketing effort to attract business from guest houses in Camps Bay had become a PR flop. A smart restaurant owner would have called the writer, and thanked her for the Sevruga feedback, and asked her to retry the food and service that she had critiqued.   The marketing documentation presented to the guest house owners at the lunch was not adapted to be relevant to the guest house group, it thanking the guest houses for “coming to our fabulous cocktail party… this evening”, when it was a lunch they attended!

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.

POSTSCRIPT 25/1/12: Blogger Shaun Oakes caused a huge furore today, when he blogged that he has been banned from Beluga, due to feedback his girlfriend passed on to Beluga owner Oskar Kotze.  They have been banned from the restaurant as a result, and Kotze has threatened to lay criminal charges against the couple for allegedly swearing at the staff.  Kotze’s reaction reflects the treatment we received from him, and for which we awarded a Sour Service Award.  A link provided to this Sour Service Award, in the Comments section on Oakes’ blog, has led to over 1000 unique views today.