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Service to the Public


Are we getting the quality of service that we deserve? Is the quality of service to the public on the decline in St. Vincent and the Grenadines? This week we would look at some negative practices with the hope that there would be improvement. {{more}}

Queue on the side walk

Many of us who passed by on Back Street on Monday mornings are accustomed to see the long queue that spills out of a particular business place in Kingstown on to the side walk and in front of another business place. This public spectacle clearly informs us that there is not sufficient space inside the building to accommodate the number of customers doing business with that institution. This shows, too, the level of respect on the part of the service provider for the public. Long queues are burdensome to the public and when the service providers are not willing to provide some comfort within a building, there is a certain level of disrespect to the public.

Queue in the Banks

Long queues are also a regular part of doing business in many of the banks, but not the type that spills outside. It is virtually impossible to take a short time off or one’s lunch break to transact some business unless one fixes a visit for around the middle of the month. One has to be prepared to spend at least one hour on a queue. Those persons who live some distance from capital Kingstown must expect to take a day off from work if they intend to include a bank transaction with their regular end of month transactions.

Managers need to make sure that their services are delivered in a timely fashion so that persons do not have to spend undue time for one transaction. This could be attained if the managers and supervisors provide more tellers at the times when there are many users, especially around the end of the month. Waiting in queues is a drain on the customer and on the economy. It represents valuable time lost.


Receipts are an important part of our transactions, and most business places provide customers with the same. However, sometimes it appears as if we are presented with a blank piece of paper instead of a receipt. The prints are so faded that one cannot read one’s purchase.

Telephone recordings

We would think that as time progresses and with the improvement in technology that the new services will help and not frustrate. Many persons who call certain institutions are put through longwinded recording routine which frustrates rather than help. There is the need for more efficiency in the delivery of telephone services minus the long recording.

The face of the business

Customers who purchase items in the store, supermarket or restaurant, expect a certain level of service, and there is no doubt that good customer service attracts and brings repeat purchases, while poor customer service drives away customers. No business is more conscious of this than the tourist industry. Perhaps some local businesses would better serve their customers if they could look to some of the practices associated with the tourist industry. Customer relations could be vastly improved if more formal training, however short the period, is provided for workers, especially those who come into direct contact with the public Vincentians are well into their Christmas shopping, and it is hoped that consideration would be extended to them. After all, they keep the money circulating.

One year has elapsed since Stacy Wilson was killed (December,11th) at the bus terminal. Gone but not forgotten!

Ada Johnson is a solicitor and barrister-at-law.
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