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Thread: Arugas Is Not Nordstroms

  1. #1
    Senior Member mmattalo's Avatar
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    Talking Arugas Is Not Nordstroms

    I am writing this post from 3 perspectives:
    - as a frequent visitor and local homeowner on Aruba who appreciates the uniqueness of all that is Aruba
    - as a North American customer experience expert and thought leader on how organizations keep their brand promise
    - and perhaps . . . as an adventurer and curiosity seeker

    So here is my story. I have been to Arugas to fill our BBQ tank many, many times over the 4 years we have been homeowners on Aruba. I have always been "curious" by the process by which one must go through to fill their BBQ tank. For those who have been through this incredible process, you will appreciate this story . . . but today, really set a new standard for what I can't quite describe but pretty much belly laughed at every aspect of our experience . . . almost . . .

    Step #1 - security guard (employee #1) must admit you to the property by lifting the entry gate. . . he is a serious guy
    Step #2 - the BBQ tank receiver (employee #2) demands that you write the license plate number of your vehicle on your BBQ tank with black magic marker and provides you with a hand-written record of your purchase . . . being we rent our vehicle each time we visit, our BBQ tank may look like a 5 year old passport in no time.
    Step #3 - the BBQ tank filler (employee #3) fills your tank (after waiting your respectful turn for 30 minutes) and returns it to you.
    Step #4 - after loading the said filled BBQ tank to your vehicle, you must queue up and wait in line to pay at the ONE cashier (employee #4) who will process your payment (about 25 AFL or $15)
    Step #5 - you then must move your vehicle a FULL 10 feet ahead to have a second security guard (employee #5) check your receipt, ask you to open the trunk of your vehicle, verify the license number of the BBQ tank you filled with your vehicle license number, then put a hole punch in your receipt and authorize your exit form the terminal . . . .

    Now while this may, depending on your own customer experiences from wherever you originate from, land between surreal to sublime . . . keep in mind . . . all this takes place within a physical space of approximately 50 meters by 50 meters where all 5 employees can visually see each other . . . okay, might I venture on ridiculous!

    I must admit . . . I scratch my head and giggle every time we drive to fill our BBQ tank . . . thinking there is a very logical explanation to this all . . . but after spending an hour and a half to fill our BBQ tabk today. . . I do wonder if they recognize us poor lemmings as customers at all . . .

    So, customers of Nordstroms in the USA . . . rejoice in every purchase you make knowing full well that the employee who served you gets their credo . . . do what it takes to SERVE the customer!

    Amen.

    Michael
    Last edited by mmattalo; 01-04-2013 at 12:29 AM.

  2. #2
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    Hi Michael

    Good to see your sense of hunour prevails.

    Well, Arugas!!!!!

    Here is some more ridiculousness. At our home we have the large gas cylinders. Upon geting them from Arugas, we paid a security deposit and serial numbers on the cylinders were dutifully recorded and upon each delivery of new cylinders the new serial numbers of the newly delivered cylinders are recorded. All this was fine until recently. Some rascals decided to steal one of our cylinders. Even though Arugas have serial numbers, they cannot intercept if someone goes to get the cylinder refilled.

    Oh well!!!

    But on a positive note, I see that the police have been a litle more proactive. They stopped 5 drug traffickers attempting to take the Air Canada flight to Toronto last weekend. Also they grabbed 2 guys on a motor scooter at Arashi who were stealing from the beach and cars. At least some improvement.

    All the best to you and family at this time of year

    John

  3. #3
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    Michael,

    Thanks for the heads up. I have not needed to fill my BBQ tank for sometime. I have several, so don't need to go very often. My husband would loose his patience, so I will make sure that I go to Arugas myself. I guess we could call this process "job security". Whenever I go to the bank or Setar, all I can think is "job security".

    Kathy

  4. #4
    Senior Member cpjones's Avatar
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    I'll stick with charcoal!

  5. #5
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    I agree with Sugar. Although it is a bit amusing to have so many people process the purchase of a fill of gas for our BBQ(or is that propane), it is better that these people are employed.
    It is better than have them begging on the streets or lined up at the unemployment offices.
    Strangely enough, I have filled my BBQ tank many times and never had to be admitted at the gate or had to write my licence plate number on the tank. Steps #3, 4 and 5 yes though.

  6. #6
    Senior Member mmattalo's Avatar
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    I agree with all comments. I carefully postitioned my post up front so it is not seen as a criticism, but just sharing the amsusment of just one of the things that makes Aruba, well Aruba. :-)

  7. #7
    Senior Member charles's Avatar
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    STARTS AT 8:45 AM

    Went to get my brand new car repaired at the dealership.
    The sales guy hid.
    (One person)
    The service man came out and asked me to go to the service desk where I would be processed. (No one does anything anymore - we process)
    (Second person)
    The service girl processed me and took my key and put it on a paper tag and asked me to put my name and address on it
    (Third person)
    The service - customer assistant came and walked me over to the waiting area
    (Fourth person)
    The service manager asked me if I would be needing anything else done to the car such as an oil change.
    (Fifth person)
    I explained the car was only two weeks old and the door handle was loose
    He asked me if I knew why.
    I said no.
    I was brought coffee and cookies while I waited.
    (Sixth person)
    A kid next to me was playing on a table that had a bunch of balls going through wire loops. GGRRRRR
    My cell phone battery ran out from playing games
    I was offered a chord and told where the charging station is
    While sitting there a gentleman came and asked me to fill out a customer service form so that they could be better.
    (Seventh Person)
    I did.
    3:30 my car was done
    The passenger door handle had been changed
    Two days later - It broke again

    Location - Miami
    Year 2011


    Every time an island gets something perfect, the big boys copy us

    be well
    charles
    Last edited by charles; 01-07-2013 at 04:32 PM.
    THERE ARE PLACES TO SEE - STORIES TO TELL
    IMAGES TO HARNESS - AND MORE STORIES ON caribbean.tv
    be well
    charles

  8. #8
    Senior Member charles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpjones View Post
    I'll stick with charcoal!
    Hi CP
    There is a brand of Caribbean Charcoal called kwitchurbichin. Used by us natives. Great stuff.

    be well
    charles
    THERE ARE PLACES TO SEE - STORIES TO TELL
    IMAGES TO HARNESS - AND MORE STORIES ON caribbean.tv
    be well
    charles

  9. #9
    Senior Member mmattalo's Avatar
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    Charles . . . your post made my day, thank you!

  10. #10
    Senior Member cpjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charles View Post
    STARTS AT 8:45 AM

    Went to get my brand new car repaired at the dealership.
    The sales guy hid.
    (One person)
    The service man came out and asked me to go to the service desk where I would be processed. (No one does anything anymore - we process)
    (Second person)
    The service girl processed me and took my key and put it on a paper tag and asked me to put my name and address on it
    (Third person)
    The service - customer assistant came and walked me over to the waiting area
    (Fourth person)
    The service manager asked me if I would be needing anything else done to the car such as an oil change.
    (Fifth person)
    I explained the car was only two weeks old and the door handle was loose
    He asked me if I knew why.
    I said no.
    I was brought coffee and cookies while I waited.
    (Sixth person)
    A kid next to me was playing on a table that had a bunch of balls going through wire loops. GGRRRRR
    My cell phone battery ran out from playing games
    I was offered a chord and told where the charging station is
    While sitting there a gentleman came and asked me to fill out a customer service form so that they could be better.
    (Seventh Person)
    I did.
    3:30 my car was done
    The passenger door handle had been changed
    Two days later - It broke again

    Location - Miami
    Year 2011


    Every time an island gets something perfect, the big boys copy us

    be well
    charles
    Funny.... they (so many places) seem to work so hard to try to put a barometer on customer service (survey card) that they actually back slide.

    Kinda like the 'tail waggin' the doggie!'

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