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The Great Service Topic – who was really good?

By ant - 13 January 2009 40

I went looking for a topic where you could post accounts of great service received in and around Canberra, but failed to find one.  So here’s one.  I want to know where are the places to go to get great service, as they should be supported. Likewise, I want to know who are the people who give great service, for the same reason.

Last week, on the same day, I got great service from two businesses, service that made me go “wow”. Not just, that was nice, but wow, these people are amazing.

First was a weird one. I’m off to visit a friend in Utah on 1 February, and years ago, promised to bring her a Ho Mi hand hoe. They make them in Gundaroo, an Asian hand-tool which is the best thing I’ve ever used for gardening, it’s like a metal extension of your hand. So I went to the website to order one, and they’re closed for all of January! Argh! Noooo!  So, in desperation, I emailed them, explaining the problem, hoping there was some way I could buy a Ho Mi.

A few days later, I got a nice friendly reply, asking me to ring them in the evening with my details and they’d send me one. So I did (I think they were in the middle of dinner!) and they sent me one.  Absolutely brilliant.

Here’s their site:

Second great bit of service? I saw the Flight Centre ads for their killer cheap airfares to LA, and so rang the number the next day. Got a young chap at Fyshwick Flight Centre shop, called Jason.  Well, he was great. Happily looking up fares, seeing how to cobble together airfares. He already knew I usually used the ‘net to get fares, but was clearly enjoying hunting around and seeing how good a deal he could find. We had a great chat, and I went off to think about things.  However, I that night found a slightly better deal online and went with that, and called him back to say sorry. 

This is the kind of travel person you want, if you are looking for someone to hunt around and do it all for you. Friendly, energetic, and motivated. This is not a checkout-operator style travel person, this chap will jump in and enjoy seeing what he can do. I recommend him thoroughly. I think the Fyshwick shop tends to be a bit quiet, too, so if you want someone who can spend some time on your trip, Jason’s your man. 

What’s Your opinion?

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40 Responses to
The Great Service Topic – who was really good?
H1NG0 3:06 pm 13 Jan 09

I love a good fresh food grocer. I used to go to Fruitylicious and I agree that they do have very polite staff. Unofrutnately I had to stop going there as they often didn’t stock the fresh food I needed and thought they had their fingers in too many pies and lost focus on their fresh food section. In the end I couldn’t justify making the independant trip there before going to Woolies. Maybe this has changed since the last time I have been. I might give them another go.

I now go to Woolies for my all my groceries and the occasional shop to HUB Asian Grocer (which is fantastic!).

Granny 2:54 pm 13 Jan 09

I would have to agree with you, Danman.

I went in there the other day as they were packing away tables and stuff and asked if it was too late to get a muggacino.

Not only were they happy to make me one, but they also offered to let me stay and drink it at the store.

They are always friendly, and keen to recommend which is the best home-made cake or salad or cheese to try. I leave the place feeling kind of hugged.

Danman 12:45 pm 13 Jan 09

I am going to have to give Fuitylicious in Gunghalin a huge plug – they always have happy cheerful sales assistants, a great selection of fresh food, fruit veg and a deli section.

The clincher for me was the other day – there was a line of about 7 people waiting to pay, it was bloody hot and the sales staff could see evryone getting a little figety, so the owner went to the freezer and got out a tub of the mini gelati waffle cones and started handing them around to everyone in the queue, keeping young and old alike happy to be waiting.

Small touches like that ensure my repeat custom.

H1NG0 12:35 pm 13 Jan 09

Hahaha Wellington Macca’s, mate you were lucky you were served at all. Wellington has one of the highest unemployed populations in all of Australia. My girlfriends folks live on a property outside Wello and I avoid the town at all costs.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_ 11:47 am 13 Jan 09

I had a similar experience in the Maccas at Wellington, central NSW. It took them 15 minutes to make a bacon and egg mcmuffin one morning. And I was the only customer in the shop.

That said, the Queanbeyan maccas also sucks arse, although I think they’re trying to improve it now.

As for really good service…? Don’t think I’ve had any at cafes, although the Kingston bakery is always good for quick and cheap food.

S4anta 11:38 am 13 Jan 09

The trick to getting good service in hobart is to not mention Martin Bryant, and talk very slowly

Gerry-Built 11:37 am 13 Jan 09

I was recently in QLD, and stopped at Macca’s in Robina Town Centre. The two teenage boys behind the registers were having an in-depth conversation for several minutes, before they asked up the customers from the queue, and then the guy that served me stuffed up my order (which at 1 item, seemed relatively simple), whilst they other guy managed to royally screw up the other customer’s (slightly complex) order… This never happens in Canberra Macca’s…

H1NG0 10:46 am 13 Jan 09

Oh don’t get me started on the service in Paris. It is by far the worst I encountered in Europe. The Scots and the Swiss were fantastic.

Woody Mann-Caruso 10:32 am 13 Jan 09

Route 132D, even.

Woody Mann-Caruso 10:30 am 13 Jan 09

Canberra seems to have a lot poorer customer service overall

As somebody who’s been served in every capital city except Hobart, and pretty much every large regional centre in the country, and internationally in places as diverse as a fine bistro in Paris and a desert roadside stand somewhere along Route 32 in Mexico, I’d say service in Canberra is pretty much the same as everywhere else – that is, about halfway down a 10 point scale that has the US at 9.

ant 10:08 am 13 Jan 09

Which is why it’d be good if people highlighted the really excellent places and people who give excellent service. They deserve to be publicly acknowledged (and I’d like to patronise them, so as to get good service!).

H1NG0 10:05 am 13 Jan 09

I’m not saying there aren’t people out there with good customer service, but Canberra seems to have a lot poorer customer service overall than other cities.

peterh 9:33 am 13 Jan 09

H1NG0 said :

Oh and added to that, customer service does not apply in Canberra. We are all greedy public servants and should be treated as such, thats why we are astonished when someone is actually helpful.


I work in sales, in the IT industry, and am very diligent to provide the best levels of service to my clients, as they are my life. If i am prepared to go hungry, I treat them badly.

not ever going to happen.

I receive great customer service every day. There are places that i frequent for coffee with clients, and lunches, the staff are always professional and courteous. (Chocolate olive for one, in phillip….)

H1NG0 9:03 am 13 Jan 09

Oh and added to that, customer service does not apply in Canberra. We are all greedy public servants and should be treated as such, thats why we are astonished when someone is actually helpful.

H1NG0 8:59 am 13 Jan 09

If we are discussing Cafe service, then Cafe Injoy at Gold Creek gets my vote. It is the type of Cafe where you need to go to the counter to order, however their service is very quick and efficient. Even when the place is packed, I have never had to wait more than 10 minutes for my food. Amazing service.

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