Monday, May 30, 2011

Major Customer Service Mistakes in Marketing

Never repeat the following story that happened to me, just yesterday.


Most disappointing experience in my adventures on Traffic Exchange circuit. With a lot of bitterness and heavy heart I must write about this.

I posted an article yesterday, praising how careful and attentive is Hilbert Gavel. Lesson, many should learn, if you are in marketing. Today I saw exactly opposite of that.

Well technically there is nothing wrong. However, what I want to highlight is the fact that this is what you should not do.

Soaring For Traffic, Hit Safari and Real Hits 4 you have partnered together to offer something called, Power Surf Central. For a user, I see all of them as partners to the party of promoting it.

I had some technical issue with Real Hits 4 you and I sent in a support ticket. It has been more than 4 days maybe 5 now, and I have not heard anything from them.

So I thought, I would seek some help. I send in a request, politely, opening a support ticket to people over at Hit Safari. Guess what? I was replied negative. An out right I cannot help with Real Hits 4 you questions here with a sad smiley.

No, don t show me that sad smiley. I am not impressed. I may be a free member but I was just about to blast the adverts promoting you three guys. If you are offering a Power Surf Central as a fixed feature on your sites, I believe you are in contact with each other. All I requested was to remind the people at Real Hits 4 you to look for my support ticket and reply to it. You refused to help?

Hmm. What does this tell me about the business model? About the customer support? About partnering members. What would happen if it was a paid member? Forget about it? Is it? No I am not a pain in the back side customer. I would be last person send a support ticket.

It was a genuine request for help not asking for resolving an issue. It was out right refused. I am sorry friends, these three exchanges are going out of my list. Out of my adverts. If you do care to spread good words, please spread this message too.

I am not being touchy or making mountain out of mole. However, an out right refusal of given situation. Well people may argue in favour of Hit Safari. I don t care. I did not get any help/support from Power Surf Central participating member site(s) so all the sites get a bad mark from me. Nothing personal. You slammed the door in my face. You even closed the ticket.

Here is the image of the Open/Close Ticket. As it is. No edit. You be the judge.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Candle Blowing in the Wind:

"He came from Germany to work in property sales. Uli Alex’s background was quite different; instead he had worked in the fitness industry specializing in fitting out and starting gyms and fitness centers. He found his time selling property stressful and he went on to study the Japanese hands on healing technique of Reiki. He seemed to have found the right path as people flocked to him for healings at his home. In 2006 he decided to quit his sales job and had a plan of focusing the next two years on himself and his own holistic development. However, fate was to intervene and offer him a life changing experience.
It all happened off Maenam where he used to go “Kite Surfing”. In this extreme sport the surfer slides his feet into locks on the board and holds onto a kite that fills with air according to the vagaries of the wind and takes the kiteboarder scudding across the waves, sometimes at tremendous speed. On this particular day he set off from in front of the Santiburi Hotel and found himself dragged by a fresh wind and strong current to a point some eight kilometers off the Samui coast. He let go the kite and flopped into the water. A golden rule in this sport is never to release the kite because it makes you visible. He was now invisible and three quarters of the way to Koh Phangan! Uli is a fine athlete who has competed in triathlon competitions, but try as he could, he could not make headway against the strong current. He was to spend the next five hours in the sea. His girlfriend and other watchers were desperately worried as the hours ticked by, realizing his chances of survival lessened by the minute. He could hear boats passing nearby but he was too low in the water to be visible! Slowly it dawned on Uli that he was facing death! As the realization deepened thoughts flooded over him. He understood how his way of life had taken him away from the mainstream and his was a different path from the majority. With this thought “he let go”, he surrendered and stopped struggling. It was then that the current released him. Suddenly he found he was able to move and to make headway. He shifted his sights to Bophut and started swimming in that direction. It was then after five hours in the water that the cramps began to seize hold of his muscles, but by this time the Gods were smiling. He had passed his test and a fishing boat came into sight. This time the fisherman saw him and drew alongside helping him on board and then took him back to the shore. Instead of feeling tired he suddenly felt himself brimming with new energy. Naturally everyone was mightily relieved to see Uli return from what seemed to them a certain drowning.
On reflection he realized lazing on Samui was not for him. He still had work to do! He continued offering healing sessions whilst his clientele continued to expand. He realized that he needed candles to make his session more meaningful. The candles available in the supermarkets were not good enough for the job. So he went to Bangkok to learn how to make candles. His efforts were successful and soon hotels and resorts clamored to buy his products. He realized, too, that he needed a retail outlet from which to make sales to the general public. After burning his kitchen at home he elected to open a shop in Nathon’s Walking Street. This was an ideal venue from which to service the Saturday market crowd. He has since extended to join the Walking Street Market in Maenam and hopes soon to include Bophut.
To find out more about these lovely “Prometheus Candles” you can e-mail Uli Alex at or phone him on 085 471 6320."
This article by Alister Bredee appeared in the "Samui Gazette" of May 27th 2011. Candle image thanks to

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Full Moon Parties on Koh Phangan: and Elsewhere, too!

We all know that Koh Phangan is Samui’s smaller sister island which lies approximately ten kilometers to the north of the bigger island. Koh Phangan is definitely less developed than Samui. The south coast is blessed with good roads but as you go north many of these disintegrate into dirt tracks. This makes transportation a slow and bumpy affair. A boat service from Maenam sails the east coast and is often the best way to get to some of the more interesting resorts situated on Bottle Bay. This service serves the Sanctuary Detox resort and Mai Pen Rai bungalows,too. A trip to this region of Koh Phangan takes you back in time and gives you some idea how Samui was 10 years ago.
The Full Moon Parties on Koh Phangan are world renowned. Haad Rin is the nightlife hub of the island and every full moon, 10 or so of the clubs band together to host a beach party which has rocketed to world wide acclaim. The next full moon arrives on May 17th, so if you are thinking of going don’t mark this date in your diary because it is a Vishaka Bucha Day which means parties of the type enjoyed on Koh Phangan will have to be delayed until the following day in deference to the religious holiday. Then surprisingly this peaceful and relatively unblemished island turns into a party goers paradise. In the quieter off season months like the month of May, ten thousand people make their way to enjoy the full moon revellery. They dance the night away to music so loud that it reverberates across the water and can be heard as far away as Samui, itself.
You can be pretty certain it will be a difficult task to find a bed close or not so close to the party unless you book early. For the hardy there is no real need to spend the night on Koh Phangan because an armada of speed boats whisks passengers across the sea from Bangrak all night long. Most people make their way to the party from Samui. You need to book a return trip to avoid being stranded overnight. Another caution is to be sure to find your boat by the appointed time for the return voyage unfortunately some party goers find this a difficult feat to accomplish! Koh Phanagan is definitely worth a visit, so this speedy in an out approach to the Full Moon party is not to be recommended. You would be well advised to spend a night or two across there. Venture away from Haad Rin and there are many breathtaking surprises to be had, because then you have the opprtunity to spend a few days in any one of the many delightful resorts scattered all over the island. As I say if you want to stay during the time of the Full Moon festivities you need to book, this means some prior research is indicated.
However, if you are going expect am amazing evening, where the huge speakers act like jackhammers to drive the beat into your very bones. This makes everyone get up and boogey. It might not be your cup of tea, it certainly isn’t mine but I am told everyone should try it at least once. Instead I shall be going to Jun’s wonderful vegetarian Art Cafe in Samui Town Centre. This is just off the ring road a few hundred meters after the Bophut traffic lights travelling in the direction of Chaweng. She opens her door at 2 and closes them at eight on every full moon day. She donates the food which comprises a healthy fusion menu for free and the happy eaters then pay a donation for their feast. This goes to support a worthy charity. In April the money was directed to recompense for some of the damage incurred by the local floods and the previous month it went to the survivors of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. To find out more link to their webpage by going to:Check here
By Alister Bredee in "Ther Samui Gazette" of 13th May 2011

Sunday, May 1, 2011

“Infinite Horizons”, top notch Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation Centre to Open on Samui on May 1st.

“Infinite Horizons” is a luxury “rehab” center slated to open on Samui on May 1st. The property itself sits perched on the side of a hill in the south west corner of the island. The sunset coast is a far cry from the rowdy bustle of Chaweng or even Lamai. In this corner, off the ring road, life becomes much more tranquil and takes on the tone of rural mainland Thailand. Quiet villages nestle beside the sea and acres of coconut trees sprawl upwards to hills that give way to small mountains.
Infinite Horizons perches at the top of a steep road on one of those hill sides. The property itself is decidedly five star. It comprises 9,600 square meters of tasteful luxury nestling beside an infinity swimming pool that affords unbroken views out to sea and the five islands beyond. On a clear day it is easy to see the mainland shimmering in the distance. There are six accommodation types and clients stay in suites that vary from 51 to 161 square meters in size. All rooms face west, affording breathtaking sunset views which can be enjoyed from the privacy of their very own private terraces. Coming to Samui to kick the habit of drugs or alcohol will certainly be a comfortable experience. The program’s creators have decided to limit the number of “guests’ to a maximum of eight at any one time. This makes for an intimate, family sizes community where the client to staff ratio is 2:1. This ideally small number gives rise to caring and personalized treatment programs.
These programs have been carefully designed according to clinical research. They are at the cutting edge of modern clinical practice. As a result the “Center” is able to offer more intensive individual and group psychotherapy than is the usual case. Infinite Horizons is also offering complementary therapies which include luxury spa treatments, yoga, nutritional counseling and natural medicine as well as innovative holistic treatments that have never been seen in a ‘rehab facility’ anywhere in the world. However luxurious the surroundings which are probably unsurpassed anywhere else, it is necessary in order for the project to succeed, to have a professional staff who which is both skilled and dedicated . The creator of this project is the marketing brains behind the venture. He was fortunate to recruit clinical social worker Ian Lyons who has a lot of experience in running “rehab” programs in the United States and elsewhere, including Thailand. The “falang” group are ably assisted by Thai Doctors and nurses, a management team, a yoga teacher and Spa therapists who have all come together to provide one of the most outstanding rehabilitation programs available not only in Thailand but elsewhere, too! When you consider the price of a rehab program in the UK’s “Priory Clinic” franchise, you will find that coming to Samui works out a fraction of the cost. The treatment s are arranged in three programs starting with a 28 day “Detox”. For those in need of a little more assistance there are also 45 and 90 day programs. All programs, besides offering individual and group sessions also have the invaluable component of A.A meetings several times per week.
Admissions to the facility are handled through the Bangkok Office, where all e-mails are seen and then answered by an experienced addiction’s counselor. The reply is confidential and leads to a telephone interview. Once clarity is established secure booking with confirmed dates can be made and treatment can thus begin easily.
On the website there is a short self-assessment questionnaire. This will help the individual determine what his or her needs are and give some indication of the most desirable program length. However, you will still need to undertake the telephone interview before a secure booking can be made. To find out more about Infinite Horizons see their website click here
This article by Alister Bredee appeared in the Samui Gazette of April 29th 2011