I recently had two service experiences that couldn’t have been more different. One was with VIP Pool Care in Vredenburg, the other with Dawn Wing Couriers.
I’ve been trying for months to find someone to come and quote me on refurbishing my pool pump and filter. It’s been impossible. Several companies have promised to come; one promised to come if I paid them R450 (which I agreed to); but none has arrived. It’s one of the downsides of living in the country: we’re a long and expensive drive from many services.
I finally tracked down VIP Pool Care in Vredenburg. Glynn, the man I spoke to, was both thorough and honest. First, he pointed out that the +-250km round trip was going to be costly in both time and fuel. For that reason, he said, it wasn’t worth sending someone to quote – he’d take down the details on the phone. He then guided me through a most sensible and thorough verbal diagnosis of my pool’s many problems. I emailed him some photographs of the pump arrangement and a few other pertinent details, and early the next morning I had a quote to replace the whole kit and caboodle, which included R600 in travelling expenses. I accepted immediately, was told they’d be here on the Monday to do the job, and put down the phone with hope in my heart.
At the same time, I phoned Twisp and ordered an electronic cigarette kit. (My friend Terry gave me his old kit to start with, but one of the cigarettes was already broken and the other gave up the ghost within a few weeks.) They said, understandably, that they wouldn’t dispatch my order until the payment was cleared. It cleared on the Thursday and I got an email to say the package had been dispatched with Dawn Wing Couriers, and that it would be with me on the Friday. By the time the package finally arrived on the Monday evening, I’d phoned Dawn Wing at least six times and been falsely promised its imminent arrival three times. I’d also been fed a variety of different stories to explain its non-arrival including at least one blatant lie and, amazingly, that old South African chestnut, ‘It’s not our fault’ – Dawn Wing had outsourced the delivery to a third-party courier who didn’t work on the weekends, and whose problem is that, I ask you? Mine, apparently.
Now, what’s the point of dispatching a package lickety-split via courier, if that courier is going to take four full days to deliver it? And don’t irritate me even more by telling me that two of the days were over a weekend – you’re a courier, for god’s sake, not a school. To add insult to injury, every time I phoned Dawn Wing to find out where the damned parcel was, the prerecorded message I had to listen to repeatedly told me they were ‘quick, smart and reliable’. What a load of old hooey.
By huge contrast, the VIP Pool Care guys did pitch on the Monday, as promised. And they were, in fact, quick, smart and reliable – and knowledgeable and friendly too. They completed a big, messy job in the boiling sun in about three hours without any fuss or bother, gave me a clear, intelligent refresher course on the care of the new pump, and cleaned up after themselves. And, when I got the bill and saw they’d charged me only R300 for ‘shared travel’, I realised that they must have found another job to do in the same area – a little fact they certainly didn’t have to tell me, so they’re honest too. What a pleasure!
A note re Twisp electronic cigarettes: they’re great. I haven’t smoked a real cigarette since 1 January. I really love smoking, so going cold turkey wasn’t an option for me, and Twisp fills the gap nicely. And, bonus: the galloping psoriasis I’ve battled with for years on my arms and feet is slowly but surely clearing up.