Disappointing

Service in South Africa is generally known for all the wrong reasons. And people here are quick to criticise poor service, but slow – despite their obvious amazement – to (publicly, at least) applaud good service. I have, in the past, publicly applauded good service though, and I only mention bad service on here when it’s exceptionally bad and when I’ve tried to sort it out personally and failed.

This week though, has been a revelation as to exactly how bad things can be. And thus, I present to you, a list:

  1. I bought two SA made light bulbs on Saturday. Get them home and discover that only one of them works. The cost of the petrol to get back to the light bulb shop for a replacement means that it’s not worth the trip.
  2. We bought a bedside table for our daughter from a local company. Before we actually gave it to her though, I had to repair it in two places, because it was so poorly made.
  3. Our guttering needs fixing. We contacted three companies to get quotes.
    One didn’t call back at all.
    One finally called back but hasn’t turned up. He hasn’t phoned.
    One promised to come yesterday, but didn’t show. He hasn’t phoned either.
  4. Our gate intercom broke. The gate intercom repairers turned up, “mended it” inside 5 minutes, stuck their company stickers on every electrical item in the entire house and billed us. Except the gate intercom still doesn’t work.
  5. Our recycling company didn’t turn up on Tuesday.
  6. We have three plumbing problems: one I could deal with, but two which are a bit beyond me, so I called a plumber out. He promised to come on Monday. When he still hadn’t showed on Wednesday, I called him. His bakkie broke down over the weekend. He hadn’t bothered to phone.
  7. We ordered food from a new “trendy” delivery service. Online ordering was great, the delivery was prompt, the food was terrible. Sadly, that last bit will stick with us more than the online ordering and delivery.

We’re told that times are hard. We’re told that people and companies need work, but then they treat their customers like this?
Why would I choose to support you in the future when you’ve let me down now?

Yes, guttering people, I know it’s been more than a bit wet this week. Maybe that meant that you had to alter your schedules unexpectedly. But did it really stop your phone working?
Cos mine’s been fine for the last few days. It’s just not been taking any calls from you.

Plumber. Just phone me. I will understand.

Recyclers. And now? Are you going to refund us for your no-show?
Or should we expect you to just turn up when you feel like it now that we’ve paid you in advance?

Bedside table and light bulb manufacturers. Manufacturing bedside tables and light bulbs is your job. Sort it out. Do it well.

Food people. Train your cooks. That was horrible.

I’m understandably disappointed all round.

  • I have come to the conclusion that people don’t actually want to be successful. It is far too much of an effort.

  • After 3 weeks (and now a wet *inside* of the house) I’m still waiting for the roofing guy to get back to me with his quote… so am shopping around – you got any suggestions?

    For plumber – I’ve used PlumbLocal once or twice (think this is them: http://plumblocal.yellowpages.co.za/contact-us)

    Guttering – when you find a reliable bunch, let me know 😉

  • ItsStillAyoba

    A baboon pulled part of our guttering off. Had the same experience as you with no shows and no call backs. Only got it fixed when I saw a guy in a van with a ladder on the top driving down our road. Ran out and jumped in front of him, asked him to fix it there and then for cash which he did. So there’s your answer – sit on a comfy chair outside the house, cash in hand, watching for white van man. Not easy in weather like yesterday.

  • This is the only aspect of the culture I’ve accepted. I take a book, ensure phone is fully charged and plan to do nothing else for the entire day whenever I need to visit government departments

  • Pamela > Indeed. Sad, but true, it seems.

    Rich > Annoying. Especially after *that rain* yesterday.
    Plumbing: Thanks. I may try them.
    Guttering: Don’t hold your breath.

    ItsStillAyoba > “A baboon pulled part of our guttering off.” Stuff that you never hear in Walsall, hey?
    Although, ironically, you can probably find a lot of comfy old chairs dumped around the roads there.

    ChickenRuby > Oh man. Don’t even get me started on Government departments…

  • Primate

    Vortex Plumbing – good price, good workmanship and great service.

    It’s my cousin that runs it, but I’ve recommended to a few people and they all been thrilled.

    Duncan – 0834742742

  • ItsStillAyoba

    True – no baboons in the West Midlands, not even in Dudley Zoo. We did once have an squirell invasion, which sounds far less impressive but was actually far more destructive.

  • Primate > Thanks.

    ItsStillAyoba > They can be little bastards.