Skip to content

SANParks.org Forums

View unanswered posts | View active topics






Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  Page 1 of 2
 [ 17 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Why the locking of compliments and complaints thread?
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:15 am 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger

Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 10:35 am
Posts: 1014
Am curious about this, I know there is a process for complaints to be handled and so there should be and people registering a complaint here were directed to fill in the necessary forms.

Now you no longer can do that, just have to fill in the forms which is fine, my gripe about this is as follows.

When a person lodged their complaint here, it was locked which was fine, but it gave people information.
I think valuable information when planning is now being lost as you want to be able to plan to avoid problem areas (Satara and Lower Sabie take outs for example) Now you will not be able to avoid the problems, it was an area that allowed forumites to not only highlight problems for Sanparks, but alert other forumites to a potential problem in their travels.

The other positive it had was it allowed the forumites to gauge if Sanparks took their complaints etc seriously, if the problem persisted for a lenght of time, it means it was not considered serious. I feel the system now restricts the flow of information (good or bad info is still valuable info). This feels like a clamp down on information and a shame that you now cannot share everything, only if you have a compliment are you allowed to share it and it is visible to all in Ubuntu. A forum should be a place where a balanced view can be given, good and bad needs to be there for the balance to happen. :hmz:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Why the locking of compliments and complaints thread?
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:27 am 
Offline
Moderator
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2004 5:54 pm
Posts: 42618
Location: Somerset West, Cape Town
RT,

The decision was discussed at length with SANParks. The general complaints posted on the forums did not get followed up properly and SANParks has revamped their whole customer services way of dealing with complaints. By using the correct channels clients complaints will be recorded properly.

Just last week there was the New Year Party at Satara topic, and the 'new breed' of toasted samie topic, so your points here are not really valid - there is no 'restriction' on information, nor a 'clamp down'. :wink:

_________________
Sawubona
Dalene

A roaring lion does not catch any prey - African Proverb


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Why the locking of compliments and complaints thread?
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 12:33 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger

Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 10:35 am
Posts: 1014
DinkyBird wrote:
RT,

The decision was discussed at length with SANParks. The general complaints posted on the forums did not get followed up properly and SANParks has revamped their whole customer services way of dealing with complaints. By using the correct channels clients complaints will be recorded properly.

Just last week there was the New Year Party at Satara topic, and the 'new breed' of toasted samie topic, so your points here are not really valid - there is no 'restriction' on information, nor a 'clamp down'. :wink:



Hi DB, I understand the recording from Sanparks side and the person lodging a complaint on here should fill in the required form.

The complaints topics were locked to avoid discussion and for Sanparks to react without getting into the debate.

I liked the idea of the complaint being locked until Sanparks reply without all the debate around it. The 2 Topics you are referring to are just that, topics ie open for discussion it waters it down and some people didn't see it as a complaint and others did and pages later you get a reply from Sanparks.

I suppose as you say, we can put it in another thread and all can then have a discussion about it as per the "Satara party and 3 slices in a toasted sarmie". :hmz:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Why the locking of compliments and complaints thread?
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:29 pm 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2007 7:43 pm
Posts: 2688
Location: KZN
RobertT wrote:
I think valuable information when planning is now being lost as you want to be able to plan to avoid problem areas (Satara and Lower Sabie take outs for example) Now you will not be able to avoid the problems, it was an area that allowed forumites to not only highlight problems for Sanparks, but alert other forumites to a potential problem in their travels.

The other positive it had was it allowed the forumites to gauge if Sanparks took their complaints etc seriously, if the problem persisted for a lenght of time, it means it was not considered serious. I feel the system now restricts the flow of information (good or bad info is still valuable info). This feels like a clamp down on information and a shame that you now cannot share everything, only if you have a compliment are you allowed to share it and it is visible to all in Ubuntu. A forum should be a place where a balanced view can be given, good and bad needs to be there for the balance to happen. :hmz:


I have to agree with you here RobertT, I, too was sorry that this thread was discontinued both on the grounds of its usefulness and on the grounds of an open forum. I suspect that it was because there was a high number of complaints appearing and this did not reflect too well on SANParks management and tended to discourage first-time visitors. Whilst I would hate to discourage any visitor to visit our wonderful parks, I did, like you, find the threads useful in terms of knowing what not to do/visit. stay at/ eat at and so on. I think that although one can raise the topics in other threads, not nearly as many people will see them, and they will not be usefully together. I would also not like a first time visitor not to enjoy their stay because they were unaware of certain problems and could thus not plan accordingly.. However, I really hope that everyone will use the alternative method of making a complaint if it is justified because I do believe that management is making an effort to improve many of the situations under criticism.

DB i was just wondering what now happens regarding compliments?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Why the locking of compliments and complaints thread?
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:56 pm 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2005 5:53 pm
Posts: 3789
Location: Cambridge, MA (and home from home in Darling, WC)
salamanda wrote:
RobertT wrote:
I think valuable information when planning is now being lost as you want to be able to plan to avoid problem areas (Satara and Lower Sabie take outs for example) Now you will not be able to avoid the problems, it was an area that allowed forumites to not only highlight problems for Sanparks, but alert other forumites to a potential problem in their travels.

The other positive it had was it allowed the forumites to gauge if Sanparks took their complaints etc seriously, if the problem persisted for a lenght of time, it means it was not considered serious. I feel the system now restricts the flow of information (good or bad info is still valuable info). This feels like a clamp down on information and a shame that you now cannot share everything, only if you have a compliment are you allowed to share it and it is visible to all in Ubuntu. A forum should be a place where a balanced view can be given, good and bad needs to be there for the balance to happen. :hmz:


I have to agree with you here RobertT, I, too was sorry that this thread was discontinued both on the grounds of its usefulness and on the grounds of an open forum. I suspect that it was because there was a high number of complaints appearing and this did not reflect too well on SANParks management and tended to discourage first-time visitors. Whilst I would hate to discourage any visitor to visit our wonderful parks, I did, like you, find the threads useful in terms of knowing what not to do/visit. stay at/ eat at and so on. I think that although one can raise the topics in other threads, not nearly as many people will see them, and they will not be usefully together. I would also not like a first time visitor not to enjoy their stay because they were unaware of certain problems and could thus not plan accordingly.. However, I really hope that everyone will use the alternative method of making a complaint if it is justified because I do believe that management is making an effort to improve many of the situations under criticism.

DB i was just wondering what now happens regarding compliments?

I agree with both these comments, also feeling that a BIG advantage of having complaints posted on the forum was making visitors — both newbies and regulars — aware of potential problem areas. I doubt very much that foreknowledge would put off first-time visitors.

Rather, what IS off putting is to arrive at a camp or park only to discover that the activities for which you sepcifically booked are currently not on offer — which is exactly what happened to me last September at Tsitsikamma :evil: Apparently the suspension bridge had been closed for maintenance since JULY (and I arrived on 23 September!!!), but there not only had never been any mention of this on the website, it was also never mentioned — altho it was supposed to be — when checking in :twisted: :roll: :twisted: This resulted in many, many disappointed visitors. Indeed, many day visitors had NO idea until they reached the point on the trail where further access was closed off. I at least knew that I would not be able to cross — or even see — the bridge before I started the trail but I met many, many disgruntled and disappointed visitors en route. Such a lack of honest information does nothing for SANParks reputation.

_________________
RSA 2014
20-16 Oct Joburg
27-30 Oct Mapungubwe: Limpopo forest tented camp, Leokwe camp
31 Oct-1 Nov Pafuri River Camp
2-15 Nov KNP: Punda Maria, Sirheni, Olifants, Tamboti, Skukuza
16-22 Nov Cape Town
23 Nov-20 Jan Darling


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Why the locking of compliments and complaints thread?
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:19 pm 
Offline
Moderator
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2004 5:54 pm
Posts: 42618
Location: Somerset West, Cape Town
salamanda wrote:
DB i was just wondering what now happens regarding compliments?
Members are encouraged to post compliments under the Ubuntu Tree Salamanda. Procedures to follow for complaints and compliments here.

_________________
Sawubona
Dalene

A roaring lion does not catch any prey - African Proverb


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Why the locking of compliments and complaints thread?
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:25 pm 
Offline
Moderator
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2006 12:30 am
Posts: 40876
Location: Worcester, South Africa
arks wrote:
Rather, what IS off putting is to arrive at a camp or park only to discover that the activities for which you sepcifically booked are currently not on offer — which is exactly what happened to me last September at Tsitsikamma :evil: Apparently the suspension bridge had been closed for maintenance since JULY (and I arrived on 23 September!!!), but there not only had never been any mention of this on the website, it was also never mentioned — altho it was supposed to be — when checking in :twisted: :roll: :twisted: This resulted in many, many disappointed visitors. Indeed, many day visitors had NO idea until they reached the point on the trail where further access was closed off. I at least knew that I would not be able to cross — or even see — the bridge before I started the trail but I met many, many disgruntled and disappointed visitors en route. Such a lack of honest information does nothing for SANParks reputation.

Arks, are you referring to the Storms River Trail ?
I apologise for going off topic but, if that trail, the closing for maintenance was announced .

_________________
aquila non capit muscas


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Why the locking of compliments and complaints thread?
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:37 pm 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2007 7:43 pm
Posts: 2688
Location: KZN
DinkyBird wrote:
salamanda wrote:
DB i was just wondering what now happens regarding compliments?
Members are encouraged to post compliments under the Ubuntu Tree Salamanda. Procedures to follow for complaints and compliments here.



:thumbs_up: DB!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Why the locking of compliments and complaints thread?
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:05 pm 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2005 5:53 pm
Posts: 3789
Location: Cambridge, MA (and home from home in Darling, WC)
MATTHYS wrote:
arks wrote:
Rather, what IS off putting is to arrive at a camp or park only to discover that the activities for which you sepcifically booked are currently not on offer — which is exactly what happened to me last September at Tsitsikamma :evil: Apparently the suspension bridge had been closed for maintenance since JULY (and I arrived on 23 September!!!), but there not only had never been any mention of this on the website, it was also never mentioned — altho it was supposed to be — when checking in :twisted: :roll: :twisted: This resulted in many, many disappointed visitors. Indeed, many day visitors had NO idea until they reached the point on the trail where further access was closed off. I at least knew that I would not be able to cross — or even see — the bridge before I started the trail but I met many, many disgruntled and disappointed visitors en route. Such a lack of honest information does nothing for SANParks reputation.

Arks, are you referring to the Storms River Trail ?
I apologise for going off topic but, if that trail, the closing for maintenance was announced .

Apologies Matthys, I certainly never saw that announcement (and I do have the SANParks home page, not the forum, as my default home page, so do always look for those items on the home page). However, even so, I should have been alerted at reception, as should the coachloads of day visitors. I did meet a lot of very unhappy visitors. As well, the very charming woman at the restaurant who gets most of the face-to-face enquiries about the activities was feeling very frustrated that visitors were not being given proper information about the trail when they arrived :( She, unfortunately, was getting all the negative and angry feedback from disappointed visitors. Which she fielded with great patience and good humour — IIRC, her name is Angela and she is a real credit to SANParks :clap:

_________________
RSA 2014
20-16 Oct Joburg
27-30 Oct Mapungubwe: Limpopo forest tented camp, Leokwe camp
31 Oct-1 Nov Pafuri River Camp
2-15 Nov KNP: Punda Maria, Sirheni, Olifants, Tamboti, Skukuza
16-22 Nov Cape Town
23 Nov-20 Jan Darling


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Why the locking of compliments and complaints thread?
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:19 am 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger

Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 10:35 am
Posts: 1014
salamanda wrote:

I suspect that it was because there was a high number of complaints appearing and this did not reflect too well on SANParks management and tended to discourage first-time visitors. Whilst I would hate to discourage any visitor to visit our wonderful parks, I did, like you, find the threads useful in terms of knowing what not to do/visit. stay at/ eat at and so on. I think that although one can raise the topics in other threads, not nearly as many people will see them, and they will not be usefully together. I would also not like a first time visitor not to enjoy their stay because they were unaware of certain problems and could thus not plan accordingly.


Salamanda I am also of the opinion that it is done to limit the complaints in public, think Sanparks were taking strain from people complaining about the same things and about nothing being done about it, so they stopped the complaints in public instead of fixing the problem.
I do not believe a first time visitor will be put off and if they are put off it means it has got to such a point where it is then deserved. People understand a once off complaint, but repetitive complaints about the same thing are something different. I thought all the complaints from the site were forwarded to Sanparks relevant people anyhow, so I see no difference then to the official complaint or the forum complaint, they should both be treated seriously.

It could also have been valuable for Sanparks for eg

If a thread was started and there were many about take aways at Lower Sabie, Service at Satara and people could comment, you may get 10-15 people who agree as they also had a problem, but it may not have affected them to a degree where they would make an effort to fill in a feedback. So because they did not make an effort to fill in the feedback, it does not mean the problem doesn't exist. All it means is that there are a lot more people walking around unhappy about something of Sanparks. I feel people are more inclined to discuss it on an open forum in general conversation instead of a feedback form.

But these are just my opinions, It could all be above board, I just feel the opportunity for the info sharing is now gone and gone from a Sanparks point as well as very few people will take the time to fill in the form, they just wont use the service again. So Sanparks will think everything is cool and a person will be getting terrible service and product and just not using it again. But there will be new unsuspecting people daily so who cares????


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Why the locking of compliments and complaints thread?
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:22 am 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 9:14 am
Posts: 2387
Location: Pretoria, South Africa
Agree Robert! Just post complaints under the Forum Indaba or Kruger Camps & Roads threads, it's even better because now we can discuss these problems!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Reply
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:28 am 
Offline
Moderator
Moderator

Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2007 9:06 pm
Posts: 260
RobertT, this has got nothing to do with hiding information from visitors, it has to do with service delivery. Have a look at the stats of complaints received in the latest Annual Report - hardly SANParks trying to hide anything! No one is being prescribe to as to what experiences they can share on the forums.

As you rightfully said, complaints on forum were not always dealt with efficiently. One of the reasons for that is that the mods are not geared up as a Customer Service department but did try to do their best in any case.

SANParks has a department which all complaints have to go through so they can be properly recorded and logged. That gives management (the ones who are ultimately held accountable but not the ones complaints usually go to) the statistics about where the problems lie. Members are encouraged to send their complaints directly to this department because here on forum we usually deal with aliases and they need more information than that to hold people responsible. They also want direct communications with their clients for in case they need more information about certain matters.

The above relates to general service complaints.

Policy discussions are welcomed on these forum and the mods will do their best to get SANParks' attention to those.

What is left? All compliments will be welcome in "Under the Ubuntu Tree" from where RosamaryH will still forward them as always.

We hope it is more clear now, no deep dark sinister moves.

There is also nothing further to discuss on this issue, so this topic will be locked.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: What are complaints?
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 3:17 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 4:44 pm
Posts: 117
On the Anouncements forum the following was posted by JenB:

Quote:
We no longer run a facility on forum for complaints to be forwarded. The reason being that general complaints posted on the forums did not get followed up properly and SANParks has revamped their whole customer services way of dealing with complaints. By using the correct channels clients complaints will be recorded properly.

In order for this system to work, we encourage members to please forward all complaints to SANParks as per the details in the post above.

From here on, all complaints posted on forum will be removed.



Could the moderators please clarify what is considered to be a complaint? :hmz:

If a complaint is defined as some matter that someone is unhappy about and on which they are specifically requesting feedback from Sanparks on then it would make sense to utilise the correct customer service channels as set out above. However if this rule means that it is no longer permissible to share negative experiences encountered when visiting a Sanparks reserve this seems to amount to undue censorship which I hope is not the intention. When I read about another member’s experiences I would like to hear about both the good and the bad as otherwise it becomes an unrealistic one sided promotion piece.

Or am I misinterpreting above comment? :pray:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: What are complaints?
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 3:27 pm 
Offline
Honorary Virtual Ranger
Honorary Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2005 5:42 pm
Posts: 17943
Location: Red sand, why do I keep thinking of red sand?
We have removed the complaints as these forums were never set up for it, and taking care of the complaints does not happen on forum.
That means that a complaint, real or not, is posted on the forums, and we never see the outcome.
And that in turn means the forums are filled with complaints, not the answers to it. Which gives quite the wrong impression, and this below does not happen:
Quote:
I would like to hear about both the good and the bad as otherwise it becomes an unrealistic one sided promotion piece.

Aside from that, it is the wrong place to complain. The department taking care of that does not read here.

_________________
Arriving currently: The photos from our trip! Overhere! :yaya:

Feel free to use any of these additional letters to correct the spelling of words found in the above post: a-e-t-n-d-i-o-s-m-l-u-y-h-c


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: What are complaints?
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 3:37 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 4:44 pm
Posts: 117
DuQues wrote:
We have removed the complaints as these forums were never set up for it, and taking care of the complaints does not happen on forum.
That means that a complaint, real or not, is posted on the forums, and we never see the outcome.
And that in turn means the forums are filled with complaints, not the answers to it. Which gives quite the wrong impression, and this below does not happen:
Quote:
I would like to hear about both the good and the bad as otherwise it becomes an unrealistic one sided promotion piece.

Aside from that, it is the wrong place to complain. The department taking care of that does not read here.


Am I to understand then that a negative experience would only be considered a complaint (which will be removed) if a specific thread is created for it? Would it be acceptable to state that I found the reception staff unfriendly or the housekeeping below standard in a trip report? Or are you saying a member may not relate anything negative about Sanparks on the forum?


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 17 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group

Webcams Highlights

Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Submitted by Kiepersol at 20:35:27 Submitted by patries at 18:54:25 Submitted by Anonymous at 20:45:23 Submitted by avidspotter at 15:34:36