The Adrian Loveridge Column – Barbadian Customers Not Being Respected by Big Business

Adrian Loveridge

There seems to be some doubt whether Mahatma Gandhi was the original person who articulated the following quotation, however,t few can doubt the meaning and intent of the message.

A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favour by serving him. He is doing a favour by giving an opportunity to do so’.

Whoever was responsible, it is something that every person in business supplying a service or goods should repeat to themselves daily. Better still, every manager or director should become a customer for a day, so they can endure what many of us are forced to accept under the guise of an ‘acceptable’ level of service.

One case in point is that one of the leading communication providers decided to dramatically change their payment portal recently. In addition to lack of access for some time, when the ‘modifications’ were made, clearly no-one within this huge organisation took the responsibility of checking whether it was fully functional or not, prior to forcing it on their paying users. Even when major defects are pointed out to the company and key named figures within the company are sent personal emails, do they respond? The simple answer is no or very rarely.

And this despite major changes in senior management, with those persons buying air time on various media channels to state that customer service is their number one priority.

I am not singling out this particular entity, because there are several other examples. One of our leading financial institutions imposed a 50 per cent increase recently of its monthly service fee, without the required 30 days written notice and in fact no notification to its clients at all. They may argue that the increases are displayed in all the branches, but as we know, people with restricted time avoid at all possible costs visits to a bank branch unless they enjoy queuing for long periods.

The same bank, unlike any such charge being levied in the thousands of branches across the domain of their headquarters, imposes on Barbadian customers, a $12 monthly fee on a no risk (to the bank) debit card. It defies belief, charging for access to our own funds which currently earn little or no interest. Yet weeks later, they again after considerable launch marketing costs, roll-out an annual fee free credit card with cash back benefits, despite the potential default risk by users to the bank.

Is it that we are completely docile as consumers and feel there is nothing that can be done without an effective regulating authority or lobbying body?

Who or what Government agency is going to oversee the dramatic price hikes widely anticipated from 1st July? I sincerely hope that any active consumers out there use every square inch of the social media to highlight unwarranted increases and price gouging, as it is clearly an area that we cannot rely on the current administration to monitor and police.

15 thoughts on “The Adrian Loveridge Column – Barbadian Customers Not Being Respected by Big Business

  1. Is it that we are completely docile as consumers and feel there is nothing that can be done without an effective regulating authority or lobbying body?

    Simple answer……YES.

    We require a functioning fully fledged consumer body in Bim……from all indications no one wants one…..we like it so in our wukkup country.

  2. A timely submission. The time has arrived when we, as consumers, have to mind our business very carefully and not rely on official regulators to do it for us. The honour system is dead and Big Brother is no longer looking out for us.

  3. A good example of the need good consumer protection: sometime ago a Christchurch based time share company used to have young women in Broad Street trying to temp visitors to visit the hotel and, as a prize, they would get some white rice.
    My wife, as she would, thought it would be a good idea to go to the site to help out the young women. To cut a long story short, we paid BDs$1000 down on a timeshare with the intention of cancelling it the following day. We made the assumption, without checking, that there must be a cooling off period for such a large investment.
    But the company held on to our money, claiming it was non-returnable, further, the timeshare agreement was apparently written under US law. It was scandalous. I complained to some consumer body who started waffling.
    I was left with the alternative of taking the hotel owners to court. But when I considered it was Barbados, I sadly decided to forego the $1000.

  4. @ Vincent at12:23 PM

    What you want my people to do? We could as well wukkup. You see anything else for we to do? And do not mention it in the presence of certain people because they may tax that too.

    • @Bernard and Vincent

      Have you observed how the upper class in the society are making money from the wukking up by making attendance by invitation only?

      If we can be creative in this way why not extend it to other areas of endeavor?

  5. Hal

    Timeshare laws to protect the customer/purchaser/owner were drafted in 1980 on the request of Tom… date they have never been passed,not surprised at the issue with your wife.


    Chuckle……you have a point as this year the wukkup police may register the bumpers and tax them.

  6. David

    More fodder for the MoF to use as proof as to how wealthy Bimmers are and to drop more taxes on them……we like it so.

  7. Vincent,
    Had the down payment been made by credit card I would have been able to raise the case in the UK. Sometimes the protection offered by credit card companies can be useful. But it goes back to poor regulation in Barbados, it is a bandit country.

  8. @Hal A
    But the company held on to our money, claiming it was non-returnable, further, the timeshare agreement was apparently written under US law.
    Poor Hal, the astute Financial columnist forgot the following “ A fool and his money are soon parted”

  9. @ David at 12 :43 PM

    That is only seasonal, like the Sea Egg diver. After the season, they catch their royal like the rag- a – muffins such as I. They got to eat too you know. That is entrepreneurship.

  10. Hal what was the company,Lol by the time I was finished with them they would be begging to give my money back. I would find out who owned it and make a donation to the rainbow coalition ,hari krishnas and Jehovah witnessess on there behalf so they get on their lists. I would have my friends sit in on their sales pitch get the rice and have a food fight with it. Bad news travels half way around the world before good news gets up , bad mouth them every opportunity. I did a job once for a pizza company in my neighborhood , they screwed me over for peanuts 300 dollars I ate there once a week and never went back, my friends stopped going , If a customer wanted me to work on there house I would ask if they ate there , if they did I would pass on there job unless they used another business . Now what do you think that 300 dollars has cost them over 30 yrs.. These idiots have to learn that people are not cows to be milked

  11. Lawson,

    It was one of those moments when you allow your heart to rule your head. I was determined to take them on but had no confidence in attorneys. I am trying to remember the name, it is that hotel just below the Blue Horizon.

  12. Here is some advice being shared in T&T that Bajans can take on board as well.

    Wayne Sturge
    6 hrs ·
    Buy your produce at the market, not Massy. Enrich the vendor.
    Buy your poultry and meat fresh, Prince Street is a good start. Enrich the vendor.
    Buy most of your groceries at the small groceries like Meat Cottage and Suchit. If you like the Bigger ones try Xtra Foods et al.
    It is way cheaper to import even brand new vehicles from the Roll on Roll off dealers and to service your cars by the ordinary mechanic. Check CRISM
    You don’t need to buy from Francis Fashion or Detour as it is actually cheaper online or if you don’t have a credit card there are other stores.
    For God sake buy local. And by local I mean not only locally produced where that is possible but buy within your neighborhood.
    We don’t need to be parading our asses in Rituals knowing that we are using an outhouse at home. Save your money and build a water closet. Nagib Elias is virtually defunct so let us grow neighborhood hardwares.
    You don’t have to buy your electronics from Standards. Buy from the Abraham Brothers (regular Syrian folk) on Henry Street. The battle is not against the regular Syrian guy. Racism gets us nowhere.
    No more C**lie, N**ger talk, that benefits only them and the executive puppets that govern us.
    The list can go on.
    The battle is against the oligarchs.
    It’s us against the system.
    Let us unite and empower each other.
    Our children and grandchildren must not be consumers and slaves to the system.
    Our children and grandchildren must own businesses.
    We start from today.
    Let them see if they can eat money.

  13. @ Hal
    Here is some free bush-advice….
    Stop contributing on this topic….

    When finding oneself in a deep well
    FIRST STEP ….. stop digging…..

    The very fact that you would publicly reveal such financial idiocy – using your REAL name (and involving your poor unfortunate wife) speaks volumes…..

    A real bushman would have taken the lawson approach ….
    if the initial”rock-stones on the roof all night long” did not work.

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