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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Spice 2010 Review (8)

SPICE Review

After hearing some good reviews about SPICE band 2009, twelve of my friends and I decided to give them a try for Carnival 2010. Now I know many others have already given their reviews of the road, I can’t give my road review because by 1:00 pm Carnival Tuesday, I was so fed up of SPICE’s BS I went home. I will however give a detailed account of the ugly, uglier and ugliest experience that I had with this band. Before I do that I would like to commend two Spice workers, and I know them by name because they genuinely cared about our happiness during this dreadful ordeal. So thanks to CJ and Rene (second stop in costume collection) the girl with the golden locks.

So seven of us entered SPICE’s Mas camp in September to register for costumes, while walking through the Mas camp we were followed by a not so helpful worker Natalia, who continuously reminded us not to touch the costumes (even though we were not attempting to do this). The majority of us liked Thailand, however when Natalia heard this she quickly informed us that we would not be able to get all our sizes in this section. Of course this was before we advised her of how many costumes we required or what sizes we would like. Still, going on Natalia’s advice, we then inquired what sizes would be available in this section. She replied, “I can’t tell you what sizes are available in that section unless someone is actually registering today.”.... EXCUSE ME??!!! My cousin (who has very little patience for stupidity) asked Natalia if she was about to turn away thirteen potential masqueraders because the sizes available were a secret. No response. To make a long story short, we approached some persons with a little more power and sense than Natalia, found out sizes and eventually registered.

Three people from our crew were foreigners and one of them was actually coming to Trinidad for the first time for Carnival. Being one of the youngest, her mother was a bit worried about the crime problem in Trinidad and requested some private security for her. When we contacted SPICE on this matter we were informed that each officer used would cost $1000 TTD, we obliged. On the date that we were requested to pay for this security, we were told that the price had increased to $1100 TTD because we were required to buy a SPICE T-Shirt for $100. We inquired then, what the $1000 was for and we were told that it included a T-shirt, but those specific T-shirts were already printed, so we need to buy one at Hilton for $100..... WHAT??? So where did initial T-shirt funds go.... to charity? Still we obliged. Fifteen minutes later, a gentleman approached my friend and me at Hilton, to inform us that Spice’s security unit had reached its maximum (400 individuals) and our friend would not be able to have her PRIVATE guards. Now, I am unsure what PRIVATE means to the average person but usually it means that, I pay for them and they guard ME. What that have to do with Spice security? Needless to say, no money was paid to Spice and the personal security walked alongside the rope both days.

On Carnival Monday we were at first irritated that there was only one small entrance available for the 2,500 masqueraders to enter QRC grouds. Furthermore that small entrance was made even smaller by two lines of SPICE security checking ID bands before entry. While we appreciated the security it was unclear why it was obvious to no one that over 2000 masqueraders entering through one tiny gate would be a bad idea.

I will refrain from commenting on the lines for food and the inadequate seating arrangements as this was already addressed in previous reviews. One issue however that I must comment on is the fact that there were drinks available in the food tents to Spice staff but masqueraders who PAID to play were told to go outside to the trucks if we wanted a drink. Yet there was no one who informed us of this practice as we roamed from tent to tent in search of a bar until one of my friends asked a gentleman in a Spice Tshirt where she could get some water and was told ‘it have a standpipe over dey.’ Spice officials, please keep your staff informed of basic information so that they can provide same to masqueraders. Not everybody knows who Anya and Rocky are if they need information.

Carnival Tuesday, after choosing not to run down the truck, and buying beers and water from a vendor around the savannah, we approached QRC grounds. Judging, from our experience the day before where there were NO drinks available in the rest spot, we went straight to the drinks trucks parked outside only to be informed by an attendant that the drink trucks were closed for lunch and restocking. Yet we noted that some of the bar attendants were giving bottled water to Spice staff members. Again, why is staff afforded better treatment than masqueraders who paid for advertised services? On the inside of the grounds there were two tubs with hot water, monster and red bull available for masqueraders to drink. As we sit to eat, one of my friends discovers that her macaroni pie is smelling foul (SPOILT), two seconds later my cousin discovers her Arabic rice is also SPOILT. We then overhear a group of other masqueraders complaining about their food as well. We decided, we will get something better to eat, all we need is some alcohol in our system and we will be alright. Head to the drink truck, ask for a Rum and Coke, to be informed by the same attendant, “All de Rum done.” But wait nah..... The trucks were closed for restocking ..... RESTOCKING!!! Where could the Rum have disappeared to??? How unfortunate we could not have gotten drunk like all the committee members did.... We’ll leave the matter there. Needless to say it was at this point that I decided that I had had enough and I went home.

All in all SPICE, according to a good friend of mine, we played with you three times: FIRST, LAST and NEVER AGAIN. Your missing ingredient proved to be Customer Service and though I am sure you will succeed in the future, these are thirteen masqueraders you can definitely kiss goodbye.


greg said...

spice is the new TRIBE, yea right! What I do not understand is how after all the issues with Spice and their prejudice against more endowed females their first year, their non responsiveness to customer issues and their subsequent BS story why they had only small size bras after being busted (no pun intended) by Blaze and JW on air and I remember AC also calling in on this, and a host of other issues prior to carnival 2010, seemingly rationale thinking people still gave these morons their money. I am not surprised by these reviews, and I am truly sorry that a lot of you did not get the services for which you paid.

Anya and the pitbull ought to be ashamed of themselves, really! You owe these people a refund!!!!!!!

CityChick said...

I doubt Spice had 2,500 people. Island People had less than that. I would say 1,000 max.

Saucy you need a follow up on numbers.

I am very sorry about your experience. Big up to Rene- if its the right Rene, I met her at Samaroos- she told me they drafted her in to work - best decision they made it looks like!

This experience is actually symptomatic of the bigger Caribbean problem of lack of proper CUSTOMER service. We love to treat paying people as if they are begging.

A lot confused said...

I have read all the reviews of Spice - and I am yet to read a good one but one thing I can say is some band needs to hire the girl with the golden locks and Rene - these two names keep coming up and going above and beyond .
I had really hoped that Spice would be a Tribe alternative because everyone now says Tribe is too big - but I guess Tribe will see me come 2011

toxik said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shellss said...

Yuck!!! This band stinks!!!!!! And it just seems to be getting worse..

Aneka said...

my goodness

I think this is about the worst review i have ever read for any band *shudder*

while there are some who expereinced the good the bad and the ugly of a band experience, this one wow! Spice needs to stop sanitizing their facebook comments and falsely patting themselves on the back and work on a complete overhaul before they will find themselves with no members.

tribe is not perfect but to label yourselves the new tribe when your customer service stinks to high heaven? i think not

mas.jumbie said...

I did say I would have no comment until after Carnival. So dis is my first post. But if I really put all de facts out there some people would be shocked and Saucy would probably delete my comment.

I had to lay low for a while after Saucy highlight my comments a while back on de blog because Spice management went on a hunt to track down who was providing mas.jumbie with information. So to avoid my contact from losing their wuk I took a rest.

Here are my comments though:

1. The only people who claim that Spice is the "new Tribe" are Spice management and misinformed masqueraders. By now most people have seen through that and understand that Spice is a far cry from what they claim to be and are not within a mile of the service standards of Tribe.

2. Look at the owners of the band and their treatment of masqueraders and you will see that they are interested in ONE thing - MAKING MONEY. Look at the treatement people geh from the bandleader and she mudder. They don't genuinely care about ANY masquerader. The proof of this is quite clear when you consider the maquerader complaints with

-Costumes was falling apart
-Costumes was vastly different from the prototype with nasty feathers
-Drinks run out by midday Tuesday
-Bad food
-Problems with costume pickup and getting costumes ordered back in September
-Selective sizing
-Leaving masqueraders in downtown after dark on Tuesday

This band obviously lorse money in year one and as a result they cut any and every cost to the detriment of the masquerader dis year

3. To me this band is about false promises and false information. That has been my problem from day one.

4. Citychick is right. The band could have never have 2500 people. I know for a fact that dey cut most of their secation down from 200 to 150 and then to 100 to claim they have sold out sections.

In the end if they had 15 sold out sections.... which they did not have. But if they did.... then they had 15 sections by 100 people each or 1500 masqueraders.

Why is all of this important????

Bevcause they woulda lorse money again this year.

My point all along to people was that if a band only about making money and not about the masquerader and then they cater for big numbers like 2500 which they did not get cause the band was nevere fully sold out....what do you think will happen????? Not cost cutting??? And who will suffer in the proceess????

Anyway those who doh hear does feel....the problem with Trini is we is accept too much sub-standrad treatment and then go back for more......but that is what choice is about.....

in the end I gave away my free costume in Spice and played both days in Tribe aand was happy.....

Leh we see what 2011 bring....I strongly suspect for some there will be more false hype and more false promises but we like it so eh?

NY Fashionista said...

I also played in Spice and I REFUSED to not get my money's worth! Even though there were lots of issues I was still able to force a good time for my crew and I.

Drinks people were lying or not looking properly for drinks. Twice they told me something was done and I was able to see bottles stocked overhead in the drinks trailer. I had to tell one guy 'UM I see a case of Rum right there', magically the rum appeared.

I am a carnival VETERTAN so I was able to plan accordingly and grab like 3 waters 3 Redbulls and 2 cups or rum for my crew and I before the drinks trucks turned off.

I had a friend who joined the band late run up to QRC and reserve seating for my crew and I, that saved the day. AND we all stayed away from any rice products Pasta all the way.

This year Carnival I have to say was like a strategic mission. I had to plan each portion of the route due to the band not planning. I couldn't really enjoy myself and not think about anything. I brought 4 people down from London so I couldn't have them have a bad time.

NEVER AGAIN SPICE. And someone from the band PR girl needs to step up and make some comments regarding the poor poor customer service the band gave this year.

Anonymous said...

Who said Spice is the new Tribe? I agree with you all and say that is a definate no, and I played with Spice.

I agree with the costume collection issues, and the lack of security Tuesday night that some people posted, but I guess I lucked out because my twin sister and I (both overseas masqueraders) dealt with CJ and Marina, and they were wonderful, and we had a great time.

However, I guess if we didnt I couldnt say that. As for the stale food, I am a vegan so I didnt even eat their food, and cant comment on that.

As their second year, I expected some issues, but some of the issues they could have avoided, oh gosh man!

Lisa said...

From ash Wednesday onwards, I said Spice could not have had 2500people. I walked that band twice, and after experiencing, Barbarosa and Poison I think I could judge the size. IP management said that they had 2500 when they crossed the savannah. They were behind Spice. Spice King cotume was on the curve from Charlotte St. and the rest of the band could barely pass the hospital. Music trucks and 2500 costumed masqueraders would need more space than that! But, why all the lies? and why is no one from Spice trying to defend their product, after all these reviews? Remember M who, in the beginning came to this blog to incourage people to part with their hard earned dollars via Spice pockets? When everyone found that the prices were too high for a new band, this person gave a breakdown of costs, saying that Spice only intends to break-even in their first year. This is sooo
confusing, what is Spice about? If
Ms. Anya's dad has such deep pockets, why loose money on a Carnival band? and if they made no money in their first year, ( I heard this from management) why even bother a second time? Is it that someone insists that they need to prove something to Tribe?

Jazz said...

I totally agree with review. They don't know what customer service is.

I also agree with Greg. Not only was the bra small, they were extra padded.

Nicky said...

dang no positives at all? not 1???

i don't really get the private security thing. was she jumping by herself? watever happened to friends? and now we know wat happens when a 'private' security is hired!

anyways, big up golden locks, since every1 acknowledges her presence! :D

Carnivalcocoa said...

OMG!!!!! I heard that mas.jumbie was back and I HAD to come back and read this. I WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree with you dear!!!! If mas.jumbie had said all this before nobody would have listended anyway.

Sales are the base of a business. If sales are poor then things DO go bust, especially for an upstart business. They don't have enough backing to buffer themselves from shortcomings. And who loses out -- the masquerader. That's the big ass deal.

BTW, no business/mas band cares about the masquerader. They care about the bottom line. BUSINESS HAS NO EMOTIONS. Be real folks. What we the consumers should be looking for is respect and appreciation for our patronage, and getting the product you PAID for. Not illusions of oh-we-care-about-our-masqueraders. Simple respect is all that's needed. And when you don't get that respect, don't you feel angered and upset?
Nuff said.

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