Lake Powell Houseboating Report and Review
Spring Break 1997
Date: 7 April 1997
To: Sharon Kennedy-James
From: Len Schwer
Subject: Comments on Houseboat Stocking Service
Hi Sharon --
I hope you will find useful my comments on your houseboat stocking service. The comments are intended to be constructive; if I did not think you were trying to provide the best houseboat stocking service, I would not bother to comment.
My Son and I departed the Wahweap Marina as scheduled on 30 March for a planned 5 day and 4 night outing on Lake Powell. All of the provisions I had ordered through your service were onboard and stowed, space permitting. I was expecting to see a receipt for the food and stocking service, but found none. I have still not received a receipt indicating the cost. I think this is a matter you should attend to promptly as I doubt your customers feel comfortable providing you with a credit card number and no indication of what charges you may have billed. Also there is the matter of an itemized accounting of what was purchased and charged, I would suggest a copy of the grocery store receipt would suffice. As part of providing an itemized accounting and final bill, you might include some type of response form to elicit customer responses to the service and food quality.
Given the number of items ordered and provided, I was pleasantly surprised that only two items were omitted, one was overlooked on the final order confirmation and the other never made it on to my original list of items. The green (bell) peppers I ordered for salads and with my Italian sausage & spaghetti dinner were not onboard. This item was on my original request, but did not make your final shopping list, and I did not catch the omission. The other item that I did not request, and was not suggested by you, was sugar. Perhaps in the future you can add sugar to your condiments list to remind customers, and then prompt customers to add sugar when they omit it from their order, as happened in my case. Missing neither of these items caused us any problem nor discomfort.
A few special requests were ignored, mostly in my reiterated preference for non-fat products. Perhaps these items are not available at Bashas, but I believe Safeway carries them throughout their chain:
|Dannon Fat Free Vanilla Yogurt||the 98% fat free variety|
|Fat Free Ice Cream||Dryer's regular ice cream|
|Non-fat sour cream||low fat sour cream|
|Apple or any type berry||Pecan pie|
I had requested ZipLoc bags and while a box of the large size bags was provided, these were of the vegetable storage type which include small holes (supposed to let the vegetables breath) but make poor air tight food containers. I did not request this type of bag and have no idea why such non-air tight bags would be provided.
Two other purchases I did not understand were the drip coffee filters and the dish washing soap. The coffee pot provided on the houseboat is a stove top percolator and does not use filters. The houseboat was provided with a biodegradable dish soap, and we were encouraged to use this soap, so I did not understand why the regular dish washing soap was purchased, or at least why I was not advised about the biodegradable soap provision.
I thought the quality of the food was very good and the quantities provided erred on the too much side which in my opinion is better than too little. This being said I did think that too much ice was provided. The entire ice chest was full of ice except for the two six packs of Cokes I ordered. I am sure that same ice will be adequate to last several more houseboat excursions.
In summary, I think your service is good and would recommend The Butler Did It to a friend. You need
to pay a bit more attention to details and special requests in filling customer orders. Most importantly, you
need to develop a much better system for communicating with your customers. I felt I was always waiting
for your responses to my inquiries and needed to take the initiative to follow up by contacting you. This
lack of communication has continued as evidenced by the absence of billing information and costs of good
and services provided.
Return to main Lake Powell page.