Complaints

 

Unfortunately we are human, therefore we cock up now and then.
We try not to, but for one reason or another, this does not always work.

SO

This is the Oh No ...we are very embarrassed and sorry, and will air our dirty linen in public page.

This was for me too, the Mothers Day from Hell - 2006

 
We had been having some problems with the people we were using for flower deliveries. We do have to change our suppliers far too often, because when the honeymoon period is over, greed sets in and the flowers go down in quality and the delivery prices go up, people are phoned and told to ' come and pick them up' etc etc 

Also, no one would deliver on Mothers day, so we decided to do it ourselves so that no one would be disappointed with missing out, as in previous years the flowers were delivered either n the Saturday or the Monday. (our experience told us that many people do not remember until Saturday to order, by which time it is too late anyway) 

We had found a new supplier, she had been given photo's of what we expect, we had overseen the first 5 days of her bouquet making for quality control, and it was great. 

So in order to make everything perfect, we had her make up the orders through Saturday night to be ready for us to collect at 5.30 am so we could fill them all. 

When we arrived, we found that instead of the usual ' 3 months before it all went downhill with shoddy goods' she had thought to make her first million that day.

I would not accept the flowers she had prepared. The standard bouquets were posies, the deluxe, not quite standard, and the Megaflash a joke . Not only that but she had used her ' nearly had it' flowers.

Rather than give up and go home to our children (who had been left with the promise that we would be home at about 5 pm ) and refund everyones money, and disappoint a lot of Mums, we set about finding decent flowers and making them up ourselves. This took a lot longer than expected but by 11 am we were off in the pouring rain! Well at least it wasn't boiling hot and wilting flower weather. 

The 2nd hiccup was entirely our fault. Filling up at the petrol station, the driver (who hadn't slept at all, as he had been the victim of a hit and run by a car the day before and we spent half the night in casualty getting a CT scan to make sure it wasn't more serious than it felt - we  still haven't had time to make a statement to the police properly) put petrol in the diesel van by mistake. 

You can imagine what happened then , or maybe not if you don't know about diesel vans.

We managed to limp into Paphos at an appallingly late hour, where we called in a favour from a lovely helpful woman, who found us a taxi driver who was willing to help us out (the other taxis didn't want to know) We transferred the flowers, whilst fielding phone calls from an understandably upset client, who's mother had not yet received her bouquet and raced up to Aphrodite Hills, where we met a delightful lady who was amused by the whole fiasco. That restored our spirits a little.

We crawled into Spitali village at what we thought was 10pm. It wasn't . In our hectic activity of the last 3 days we hadn't realized that the clocks had gone forward by an hour, so it was in fact 11pm. 

The driver by then really needed to rest, so we sat in the foothills in the car at midnight and looked at the stars in the wonderful quiet (apart from the howling dogs and the cockerel who's clock was as mixed up as ours
it seems) and contemplated the days events. Then we remembered our mothers, and our children!

   There is of course no excuse for what happened, we apologize profusely and without reservation, this was not written to provide an excuse or a justification, however we do think that we did our best at the end of the day. We thought it better to get to the mothers concerned a decent gift
later in the day than a poor offering earlier on, we would certainly have deserved complaints had we accepted to go down that road. We do hope that at least the flowers they received will be enjoyed for some days to come, and
they will certainly never be forgotten.

   The kind comments of some of you, were gratefully received and to the ones who were upset enough to write their ire, Of course you are entitled to an explanation (which is why I am posting this) and we do apologize again.

  We did not quit and go home, the driver and I both agreed that it was better to get the flowers and gifts there late than not at all.

Anyway - in case any of you are looking for a nice stressful business in the sun, plenty of outdoor life, creative and busy, this is now for sale - cheap!

 



The first of we hope not many !

February 14, 2001

 please,
 i am getting married at st barnabus' church, limmasol, on the 21st of this  month (february). could you please forward to me your rates. i will require  a car to pick us up from this church to take us to the reception in st  andrew's street, again in limmasol.
 thank you
 kevin garby, oxford, england

Many thanks for your enquiry and congratulations on your forthcoming Wedding.
We have a 6 door white Mercedes available which costs C60 per hour.
If you are interested please let me know asap.
Best Regards
Susannah

...and many thanks for your prompt and informative reply, and for your congratulations.
yes, i would be very interested in this car, and would like to book it. how might i do this?
regards
kevin garby

ps would this price include 'decoration'?

Dear Kevin
Many thanks for your reply.
First off I need to know what time you wish to picked up from the Church and
the name of the place that you will be holding the reception.
I take it this is for a 1 hour booking.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Best Regards
Susannah

thank you susannah. the thing is i don't have the exact details of the reception with me, they're at home. i do know, however, that i'm getting wed at 3.00 (how can i forget this?), the car will be requirede from about 4.00pm. it will, i imagine, be a 1 hour booking. could i book this vehicle and get in touch with you tomorrow with all the details you need?
regards
kg

February 15, 2001

Dear Kevin
What I will do is provisionally book the car for you for 4-5pm to be at St Barnabus' Church.
When you get your details together please pass them on to me asap.
Please find attached our fax authorisation form which you will need to fill in with your credit card details for the amount of C60.
We do not cash this but hold it as security in the event that you cancel the booking.
You can then pay the driver on the day in cash.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Best Regards
Susannah


dear susannah
thank you very much for all your help with this. this booking is perfect but can i book the car for 1 hour from 4.15 instead, and i can confirm that the church is st. barnabus'. the car's destination will be along the seafront to:44 patron germanou
3095 limassol.

unfortunately, the fax machine i have access to here at work does not allow overseas faxing  so i will complete and return the form you sent me instead. i hope this is satisfactory.

once again, many thanks!
O!, might i also ask that the car has the traditional ribbon extending from the car's bonnet? if this incurs an extra cost i would certainly meet it when my best man pays the driver.


have a nice day. i am looking forward to arriving in cyprus tomorrow evening...

regards
kg


Dear Kevin
Many thanks for the e-mail.
All is booked for you and yes there will be a ribbon on the car so don't worry about that.
If you could send me some contact details in Cyprus so that should there be a problem I will be able to contact you ( there won't be but better to be safe )
Our telephone number here is 04 665408 so if you want to telephone me,a when you arrive that will be fine.
Best Regards
Susannah

dear susannah
wonderful, thank you!
i do not, however, have a contact phone number with me. i have left it at home. i can be contacted though at the continental hotel, limassol, if there is a problem. (as you say, there probably won't be) in any case i will confirm with you on monday.
cheers
kg

February 26, 2001

 hello susannah
 good afternoon. i'm writing this, but didn't expect to be. our wedding was  lovely, however i was quite sad that the wedding car turned up to at my  wife's mother's house with no decoration at all; no corsage and no ribbons.
 to be fair, the driver went away during the service and returned with  ribbon, but i felt let down. i felt also that the photos of my wife entering  the car were conspicuous in their lack of ornament; the car looked like a  taxi.
 now i'm sure that this was not your fault as such but i would be grateful if  you could let me know if what went wrong...
 regards
 kg

February 26, 2001

 Dear Kevin
 I'm so sorry that this happened but this appears to be a total
 misunderstanding between me and the driver and I cannot apologise enough.
 I do have a suggestion though that might be of interest to you in that we  can always take your photographs and decorate them.
 We can also offer you a free page on our weddings website publishing some of  your photographs for all your friends and family to see.
 Panicos came to see us after your wedding and he too was very upset that  this had happened as usually he would of decorated the car with ribbons on  request( corsage is always extra) but it seems that I was not clear with  the  request.
 Let me know your thoughts.
 Best Regards
 Susannah

March 10, 2001

susannah
 i'm afraid i  must decline your offers. in the first instance i know,
 through being employed in digital photography, that my photos cannot  be  retouched to my satisfaction, nor would i let anyone try to do so. in  the  second case, i find it an insult that, by way of recompense, you  should  allow me to forward my wedding photos to you so that you may display  them  on  your web-site '...for all your friends and family to see' when in  reality  this site is a purely commercial site, a site where you might proudly  show  off examples of 'satisfied customers'. we are certainly not 'satisfied  customers', and, again, i find it repulsive that you should try to  turn  our  dissatifaction and disappointment to your own gain. 
 as things turned out, i might as well have ordered a taxi to take my  wife to the church; with this in mind i would now only be satisfied with a  reimbursement of my fee to you minus the amount i would have spent on a  taxi.
 i hope to hear from you soon.
 kevin garby

 


March 16,

Dear Mr Garby,

 This has been forwarded for me to deal with, as Susannah is far too upset. 
 Of course this was a mistake on the part of the driver, who should have  put  ribbons on the car as he was informed the booking was for a wedding.
 As you say, he went away during the service and returned with ribbons, and  as an extra touch by way of apology, says he also put on the pom pom  netting.
 Apparently this was appreciated, and (as is not normal,) was taken away by  your party as a souvenir.
 The price on the Mercedes Long wheel base 'taxi' that we are talking about  is C60 for airport transfers as well as weddings, we do not charge any  extra because it is a wedding.
 This is a service we provide directly from the driver. It has been made  clear to the driver that this was not acceptable, we have heard his  explanation that it was an unfortunate oversight, because we have always  had  good reports of his friendliness and helpfulness before, but have told  him  that any further work we put his way is hanging in the balance. I am  forwarding your request for a refund to him, but as that is his standard
 charge anyway, do not think that he will give you a refund at all. You  really should have taken it up with him at the time. This is not the UK,  and  things very rarely work in the same way.
 Susannah's offer of a web page was not in order to promote us, this web  page  would have been a private one, with access only to you and those to  whom  you  gave the URL. Your family and friends, as stated.
 I am sure you are a fine digital photographer, but we certainly could have  tried to do something for you, we have a fine top dollar graphics man, (I  have heard that Susannah approached him and asked if he would be   willing  to do this) the fact that you were not even willing to let him try (there  are after all no negatives to ruin with digital photo's) this gives me the
 impression that  the  ' conspicuous lack of decoration on those photo's '   is  now turning into something else.
  It was her way of trying to in some way to put right the thing that you   were complaining about, namely the ' conspicuous lack of decoration on    those  photo's ' and offering you something that she thought would please  you, not  offend you.

 You did not arrange a wedding with us, just hired a car through us.
  Susannah  tried to give you the same friendly service that she gives to all  those people that she deals with, and you are wrong, it is not a purely  commercial  site, Cyprus-weddings is a part of Cyprus-flowers, (The place  that people  buy the corsage) the wedding section has free information on  it, we help  many people get the info they need and enable them to make  
 their own  wedding  arrangements here that have no gain for us whatever,  we also post  forthcoming marriages at no charge and try to help people  have a  friendlier  and more welcoming experience than they otherwise  might. Many couples get help from us and never spend a penny on our  commercial sites - the ones  that  sell accommodation , cruises and other  peripherals to tourists and  honeymooners alike.

 Susannah gets considerably more from her job than the far less than English  minimum wage that she earns, she gets the warm glow of helping people,  (She  is an extraordinary woman who spent a long time in Africa  giving free service to needier people) which maybe explains why your letter  has shot  her  to pieces and shattered some of her self confidence, she feels terrible and  is the kind of person who will have sleepless nights about 
 this. I am very sorry that you had this lousy experience, yes, the bottom line is  that it was our fault, and I will see what the driver wishes to do about
 it.
             Best wishes
                 Jayne


22 March

jane
 i am aware i did not organise a wedding through yourselves and with  hindsight i am very glad we didn't...... now tell me. if i have a complaint,  who do i complain to? susannah? (no, she takes it far too personally and  gets too upset) yourself? (yes, but  then on the one hand, you tell me i do  have a legitimate complaint, on the other hand i receive a quite  extraordinary email from you that frankly does very little for customer  relations) for instance, when you say we had 'pom pom' netting, i think yes,  but where then were these ribbons you spoke of? and for your offer of
 doctoring my photos, why don't we go all the way and replace your taxi with  a rolls royce? and where you get the '...impression that  the  ' conspicuous  lack of decoration on those photo's ' is now turning into something else.'  let me tell you that it most certainly is not. it is a very simple matter, i  hope you understand this, of your taxi turning up with no decoration, no  cortege, and for goodness sake it was a wedding, after my speaking with
 susannah for a quarter of an hour the day before explicity stating my  requirements. and for this i pay 60 per hour, not just 60. i employed this  driver for nearly 2 and a half  hours. and let me state also that no matter  what you suggest, my contract was with yourselves, and not the driver. so i  wonder how you can tell me, '...You really should have taken it up with him
 at the time... This is not the UK...'? are you suggesting that i should  have, on my wedding day, stopped and had a row with the driver? there as  nothing he could do retrospectively because my only problem was that he  turned up with no decoration, what you call an '...unfortunate oversight'.
 good job he remembered to put his trousers on, i say.
 i can see i will get no satisfaction from this, not this way anyway. but  yes, i am aware of the other websites and what i intend to do tomorrow  morning is post this exchange of emails between susannah and i first, then  yourself and i, somewhere on one of these sites.  as it happens, i am returning to cyprus for 2 weeks over easter as part of a  party of 8. i had thought in my original discourse with susannah that we  would arrange cars from yourselves; now, i think not...................
 kg

22nd March

Dear Mr Garby
 
Yes of course you have a complaint, there has never been any question of that.
 
You did first complain to Susannah, who apologised and took the can (so to speak)
You did not ask for financial recompense , but for 'an explanation' She gave you one and said 'I cannot apologise enough.' She then tried to, in some small way , fix the thing which obviously was a priority... the photo's.
 
I spoke to the driver, and the explanation that it was ' an oversight' might not sound very plausible or logical, but it is the only one we can give. The fact that if we could turn the clock back we would is not valid, as we can't.
Your reply was that you were insulted by her efforts. I found it surprising that money back would make up for your disappointment in any way. Yes we could have tried to put a Rolls Royce there for you if that would have pleased you.
 
I still do not know what you mean by cortege.. that is a train of attendants or a procession of mourners at a funeral (according to my  Webster's dictionary) ! A corsage on the other hand is a decoration of flowers worn on the upper part of the body . There was never any mention of flowers, only the 2 strips of ribbon, traditionally used to show a wedding car. Where does this come from ??
 
My comments that this was not England is a perfectly true and reasonable one. I have been here for 20 years, and have never had any satisfaction for cockups made. It is not in the local ethos (or Very rarely)
 
I have spoken to the driver, and he says that you paid  120 for the 2 and almost a half hours and not the 150 that it would have been for that time. He says that he is not willing to refund the money. We work on a commission basis, and will of course refund that to you , please let us know where you want it.
 
You really should have taken it up with him at the time was not meant (yet again) as a suggestion that you should have 'had a row on your wedding day' but you might have mentioned it ?. However, point taken.
 
Everything we have said up to now has offended you, and whilst I can certainly understand that you were quite rightly disappointed, I do not understand the comment that you can get no satisfaction from this, not this way anyway. My last comment was ' I will see what the driver wishes to do about  it.' As far as I was concerned, this was an ongoing dialogue. I am very sorry you feel that way.
 Yes I understand that you wish for this to be publicised, and so have put up a web page for complaints, thereby doing as you suggested would give you some satisfaction.
Please find it at http://www.cyprus-flowers.com/complaints.htm This is the weddings site, also accessible through http://www.cyprus-wedding.com .
 
 
Best Regards
Jayne

11th August 2008   We received a telephone call from a lady in Akrotiri who said that the flowers she had delivered last week were all dead and were we going to send compensation. I pointed out to her that august in Cyprus is extremely hot and flowers do not last, I get them directly from the wholesaler and if roses for example last longer than 1 day I am doing well. That if one wants something to last longer one should instead send a plant. She said that we should warn people that flowers die in Cyprus and that it is our responsibility to warn customers of this situation, so... we are warning you both here, on the flowers and gifts page and on the terms and conditions page ... flowers die in ovens.

The word ' compensation'  was mentioned many times, even after I explained that we are a small company and any more flowers will not last any better. But, as she obviously wishes to warn others:

 

**Please Note - The summer in Cyprus is very hot - flowers do not last well unless the recipient has good air conditioning or lives in a fridge - If they are likely to get upset when they wilt and die, do not send them cut flowers, send a plant instead. We do not give compensation for flowers that only last a few days in August in a heat wave.


I have asked her to send in a letter or email, here it is

 

Sent: Monday, August 11, 2008 8:24 AM

God Morning,
 
I am absolutley disgsted with the recent telephone conversation I have just had with Annalise. To expain.
 
A very good friend of mine has used internet from Afganastan to send my family flowers using your florist, firstly the card was sent with the wrong message and an email was then sent to Mr T. Ketcher apologising and a phone call from Annalise was made to myself to say sorry and and explanations of the correct message was relayed.  Secondly after 3 days and very good care these flowers all DIED, Yes I know we are in Cyprus and its hot and flowers dont last as long as the UK but like Annalise said on the phone to me this morning, people should buy plants as they have a better chance of survival, if she has told me this as I complain why not be a GOOD business and tell your customers on purchase that this is the case and this is what you recommend.
 
I think that as a gesture of goodwill you should not either replace the flowers that are a total eyesore with a plant or other or reinburse Mr Ketcher of the money you have charged him for these pathetic goods.
 
I would appreciate some Management correspondence as soon as possible.
Regards
 
Mrs A.L *******

 

August 12, 2008 9:52 AM

 
Dear Sirs,
 
Further to my recent email I am still waiting for a reply to my complaint, as a small business as you pointed out to me during our telephone conversation I would think for your reputation you would reply to these complaints as soon as you recieve them.
 
I am more disgusted now than I was with the attitude of the lady on the phone.
 
I look forward to your imminent reply
 
Mrs AL *******

Our reply is thus:


 

Dear Mrs. AL,
 
Thank you so much for you letter, which has brought to our attention certain very helpful issues.
We are sorry that you feel our service did not meet your expectations and we have informed the florist concerned that you are not satisfied with the length of time your flowers lasted.
 
As your actual complaint was rather nebulous, I have done my best to try and find out what a reasonable life expectancy for flowers would be in a climate such as ours, as this is something we think should indeed be posted on the web site for those who are not aware that flowers + heat = dried flowers.
 
I asked the florist who made the bouquet and the delivery how long it is reasonable for flowers to last , she said 2 or 3 days - then, because she may of course have an axe to grind,  I telephoned other florists and regular flower users.   Apparently 2-3 days with ordinary care would be considered normal in an airy room, whilst one may hope for up to 4 with air conditioning.
 
 
Athenouta Gardens in Nicosia say 3 to 4 days, as long as you change the water daily and don't trail leaves in the water.
Anoulagia Gardens in Paphos said 2 to 3 days with care.
Arocaria Ayia Napa said 3 days as long as you change the water every day - they use bleach in the water and keep the flowers in the fridge, they last for up to a week as long as they are under 10 degrees, change the water, feed with sugar and cut the stems daily.
Blungearaco in Nicosia didn't reply (I will try again tomorrow)
 
There was one customer (an English gentleman) who happened to be in one of the shops at the time I called. He has been going to her for 15 years, he said, 2, 3 or 4 days, depending on the strength of the flowers. Chrysanthemums are strong flowers and maybe last 4 days to a week, but most will be 2 to 3 days. Mr George, who lives in a strongly air conditioned house said that he gets about 5 days at the max,  as long as the A/C is on day and night where in the UK he would expect 12 - 14 days.
 
The Grecian Bay Hotel in Ayia Napa say that in the air conditioned public areas, they may hope for 3 to 4 days before replacing them, and of course they will get their flowers directly from the wholesalers rather that going through a florist.
 
I was also told various interesting things, such as for the care of cut flowers.:
 
1) Wash the vase each day and fill with fresh, clean water
2) Cut a little from the stems at a 45 degree angle, with a sharp scalpel or scissors, preferably underwater.
3) Put a little bleach or methyl bromide in the water
4) Put a little sugar in the water
5) Keep out of direct sunlight
6) Put them in the fridge at night
7) Do not allow any leaves to remain below water level
8) Be nice to florists
 
These tips will keep any flowers you receive in the future in the best condition that can be achieved.
 
As I think we have ascertained that your flowers were not at all substandard, the florist concerned is not interested in any gestures at all, but as you say, as a gesture of good will, I have a lovely and unusual cactus here which I will be very happy to give you whenever you are in the Larnaca area. It is a biggie, and worth about 250, it flowered this year with amazing purple flowers, the first time in 9 years, it needs very little care and I am sure will give you years of pleasure even if we have the drought which is forecast for next year.  I do hope you will like it and accept it in the spirit of goodwill that you so rightly point out is sorely lacking in today's rude and grasping society.
 
 
                With Best Wishes
               Jayne *******
                   Manageress
 
                  
   Armata; PO Box 40218. Larnaca. Cyprus.
              Tel + 357 24 665408
              Fax + 357 24 627489
 
Did you know that Armata arranges many things for you to enjoy on your holiday. The list is very long and you can find most activities from angling to skiing, horse riding to flying, please see some of the services we offer in the links below
 
http://www.cyprus-holidays.com - Discounted Flights, hotels, villas, adventure, tours and holiday ideas etc.
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http://www.cyprus-villas.com - Villas, apartments, Agrotourism projects (Old style  with character)
http://www.cyprus-hotels.com - Hotels and self catering throughout Cyprus - good rates -full descriptions, live help.
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http://www.cyprus-wedding.com - Wedding arrangements - all the hassle out and all the special touches in.
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