Friday, 20 March 2009

A cultural difference...

Following a recent trip to Spain’s most southern region “Pappa Cod” was blown away by a visit to the daily market of the small town of La Linea on the border with Gibraltar.

Here was locally grown oranges being sold at one euro for three kilos, an amazing and outstanding bargain.

More impressive was the display of fresh fish in the market that had a permanent queue of patronage eager to purchase.

It is difficult to imagine a similar small town say like Hastings (although it has a healthy number of fish sellers on the seafront) selling the array found in this market. Also having such a passionate bunch of customers demanding the freshness and provenance of the fish.
It never ceases to amaze me how culturally different we are in general terms. Still I live in hope!

Madness in a recession...

It came to my notice this week that a certain UK 5 star property has started to try and levy a surcharge of 5% of the bill to its guests on paying their bills using a credit card.

This is nothing short of madness and really raised the heckles of this guest a seasoned traveller who whilst being a partner of a global firm of accountants and a frequent visitor to these shores and supporter of the hospitality industry was both bemused and outraged at this practice.

They refused to be fleeced by this surcharge and demanded to see the GM ( they were promptly told the GM was away on holiday).

Following an even more heated discussion the receptionist eventually capitulated and waived this hidden charge. Why try it on in the first place?

This guest had not been warned the use of the credit card would incur this charge. All this practice like the budget airlines of levying this extra charge to use the credit card achieved was the guest’s wrath and desire to now never return to the property and also question the properties standing as a five star establishment.

So much so they are now writing to the awarding authority to question this. More worrying is the fact this episode has left the customer with a bad and tainted experience of the property. In these hard times surely a less inflammatory approach to the guest should and could be used?