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Monday, February 22, 2010

SPICE Carnival Band... The Good. The Bad. The Ugly

I could write pages and pages on my experience with SPICE, but it would be infused with too many emotions. I will attempt to keep my emotions out of this and speak strictly on the facts.

The Good.

- Spice employees customer service. EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT. I am speaking of the workers, not the management of the band.

- I would like to give a special thanks to the following people. Their help, concern, and just over all customer service was outstanding. Some higher ups in the band should take a hint from their workers.

*Miss Goldie Locs who worked at the second stop of collection. She has a head full of blond locs which she wears tied back. Always smiling with a twinkle in her eye.

*Marina who just sat and listened to me gripe without interruption, and showed true concern in the middle of all of my woes. I did not complain to her initially. She saw me standing up looking like I had lost my best friend and came over to ask me what was wrong.

*Leah... a beautiful spirit hands down. Great, great, customer service, always with a smile and a kind word.

*TAMMY! A total inside joke with me and one the workers. Every time I heard someone call her name, and saw her reaction, it provided a round of giggles for me. A sweet young lady and much appreciated.

Beautiful costume designs, (if they would have carried through on some of the actual prototypes). But still no denying, the costumes were lovely, and looked absolutely fabulous on the road.

The Bad

- Costume collection could be a bit more organized especially for foreign masqueraders

- Foreign masqueraders need more time to collect. Not just one or two days before carnival, in case there are any kinks that need to be worked out.

- Delivering costumes true to the prototype on costume collection day.

- Truly listening to the customer and giving them a voice. Listening would help to resolve conflicts easier than blowing off a customer's concerns, and really ticking off the customer.

- Issues with my costume, which were eventually resolved to my satisfaction.

- Well constructed costumes. The same costume which was adjusted to my satisfaction and that I was totally in love with. completely fell apart by noon on Tuesday. (My head piece literally broke into 3 pieces). It killed my vibes and left me quite sour.

The Ugly.

Bringing a mas band is a HUGE undertaking, and I have a much respect for the time, dedication, and planning that must go into producing a carnival band. I can only imagine the stress and pressure that band leaders are under, come carnival time, to meet the many demands from all sides (customers, the band leaders association, etc) that is required of them. All of these factors could easily a frazzle a person's nerves and make them a little "short". But what I find MOST UNACCEPTABLE is just flat out disrespect to a customer whose hard earned money is driving your business.

The women at the last point of collection was assigned to check costumes against receipts, and hand out wrist bands, and back packs. I was told she was the Band leader's mother. She had to be the rudest nastiest person I have ever encountered.

There was an issue with my costume, so I was told by another member of the spice staff, who I will call GENTLE, to proceed to the last table and collect my things, then to come back to see her. When I proceeded to the last table and passed on the message from GENTLE, Band leader mom blew her top and said this was incorrect.

Now I can understand how these little mishaps in communication, can occur. But instead of telling me that what GENTLE had told me was incorrect and I would simply have to wait, she lambasted me! Trying to keep cool, I told her I was only going on the directions that GENTLE, her band worker, had given me. She then stormed away from the table, walked over and proceeded to give GENTLE a tongue lashing. GENTLE was sweet as sugar, because she quietly took the tongue lashing, and even came over and apologized to me for the misinformation and on behalf of Miss Nasty Band Leader Mom.

I know it takes all sort of people to make the world go around, and I understand that not everyone has a sweet personality, but my goodness. When you have a pit bull, you use it to guard the gate, not to mind the baby. Each person should have their place, and this woman should have been stuck in a back office counting the money, instead of dealing with the paying customer.

That was the single most unpleasant thing about my entire spice encounter.

Designers mess up, costumes fall apart, miscommunications happen. There may not be enough chairs at the rest stop, food may not be good, security may have glitches... but for my hard earned money, that I could be talked to like I was a beggar on the street asking for a free costume, and not a hard working, paying customer whose business should be appreciated is unforgivable. At the end of the day, if Spice would have handed me a brown paper bag with a smile, humility, and courtesy, and told they messed up... I probably would have paraded the streets of POS in full paper bagged glory with no gripes.

It is no fun to be handed the too too special of the day on a silver platter, and be expected to think that this behavior is ok. Well it is not okay, and I can take my money and my self respect elsewhere in the future.. because if I wanted someone to too too on me... I could have that done for FREE


Tr|n|gYa| said...

Absoloutely DISGUSTED.
Anyone who plays with a band after this type of disregard for the customer after a review like this (without any response from Spice's public relations team), and after having seen the news clip on TV6 about how many disgruntled masqueraders there really were in Spice for 2010, deserves what they getting!

A lot confused said...

After reviews of Tribe where really the only major gripe was the size of the band - every other gripe I could deal with; I was thinking that I would try Spice next year as the costumes at launch seemed OK and it seems to be a smaller organisation - well I guess Tribe has my money in 2011 because I have never seen this type of complaints for them.
Have you guys seen AFRO CHIC's blog - she was in Caspian Sea and what a mess that costume turned out to be - wow all I can say, from what I've seen and read is that SPice is more like Old SPice yes.

Shellss said...

OMG....and I actually considered playing with them this year....never in a million years will I play with them....just because of the STINK attitudes.....these complaints are too great to be ignored....

Springmoon said...

@A Lot: Saucy actually covered part of AC's story, and I was HORRIFIED before reading what she had to say herself. I had a short list for next year when I was going to play again. Bye Spice! And I never even knew you...

Anonymous said...

Yea that last lady was Nasty, not necessarily to me, but her attitude was terrible. I just chalk it up to being a grumpy old woman. Maybe she is unhappy in life.

Empress said...

LOL @ Old Spice....sounds like one big horror story. It's a good thing that we have options for carnival yes.

Karabana said...

"When you have a pit bull, you use it to guard the gate, not to mind the baby."
Great one, gonna remember it.

Carnivalcocoa said...

Ditto Kara.
Waaay sah! Now THAT was a horrendous experience.

Anonymous said...

I think that the aforementioned experience was horrific, but I feel that carnival experience is an individual thing. My sisters and I played with Spice, and did not have the same experience as this person mentioned nor did we have a run in with this "nasty lady", we had great customer service by Marina and CJ, and some hiccups with costume collection.
God spare our lives we'll be back next year.

Яїçħїε's §pōίłčћĭļέ said...

well yes i was reall consdidering spice for 2kll but after reading these testimonies I think i am scratching them off my list...seems that the band leader's mother is causin her to lose business

*scratches Spice off list

ms. hershey said...

funny enough, i like many here, was thinking of playing in Spice... not anymore. after reading the complaints here, I'll stick with my Tribe. the only issue I had with them was the size of the band and the fact that some of the security need their heads examined but lo and behold, those small issues are nothing compared to what i'm reading here about Spice. I'm actually a bit disappointed for them because their costumes were some of the prettiest i'd seen this year...they need to do better. as for that grumpy old bag... wunna good because old or not, she would have gotten cussed. lol

Anonymous said...

I played in the Sri lanka Ratnapura section with spice. I am a 34D and was worried about the support the bra would give me. when i picked up my costume i was impressed, it was just as launched and the bra gave me wonderful suport. it was comfortable and very high quality in my opinion (the bra). For this reason i will play again. I saw some other bands out there with some cheaply made bras that did not flatter the larger chested ppl. I also have to say that as i was waiting around i saw that if your costume didnt fit they easily swaped it out for a size that did. this is good for you, but bad for the last people who came to pick up their costumes because they were the ones left with the wrong sizes. I know this b/c i went to get my costume on saturday and then acompanied my friend to get hers on Sunday and saw some of these issues.

my complaints are that the saturday pick up was unorganized and just crazy. Sunday they learned their lesson and it was pretty good and organized. I also had a run in with the nasty lady at the goody bag collection. i had to go back to see her to pick up the booklet she forgot to give me that had info of where we were going to be meeting at. she gave me the booklet after she gave me attitude and said she never forgets to give that booklet out. Um, its a booklet lady not a wristband or anything near that valueable so whats the attitude for? no biggy, anyways, music on the road was great, the bathroom truck and drink truck was always near, and i thought the food was pretty good for lunch depending on what you choose. i had the lamb the first day and it was tender and juicy. the second day i had italian spageti and meatballs and it was so so.

the fact that i saw spice learn their lesson on saturday pickup and corrected their mistakes on sunday makes me feel that they will keep learning and improving in their service. iam all about the costume and how it looks so they i would play with them again

Gabrielle said...

I would like to commend the Mercedes and SnakeOilGyul... you all actually considering playing with Spice again. Kudos!! My section was China, I had the worst experience of my carnival life in this band, ALL HAIL TRIBE!!!! I miss yuh!! The registration was a struggle, the costume collection a hassle (my headpiece was stuck in traffic, on its way from south), the food was sour, and the drinks.... what drinks??? Really Spice, you charging too much $$$ for what yuh dishing out.

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