Execuserve — Unethical business
This letter is drafted in respect of the sub-standard service and frankly, dubious manner of business, that I received from Andrew the owner of Execuserve “we Q for U”.
Execuserve is “conveniently” located in shopping centres including Clearwater Mall and Sandton City, and offers clients an outsourced solution for all passport, home affairs and visa requirements. The company will apply for the relevant documentation on behalf of its clients, and as such, the company demands a premium for the service. My complaint comes as a result of the lack of service, the lies and general attitude of its owner, Andrew.
On 25 January 2013, I submitted my British Passport to the Clearwater Mall kiosk of Execuserve, for renewal purposes. Not only was my passport about to expire, but I have my brother’s wedding in August which will be taking place in the UK, so there was a deadline that I needed my passport by. Naturally I thought I had more than enough time.
I was told that the Embassy would be corresponding with me regarding its delivery date. A friend of mine also submitted his passport for renewal around the same time, through another company; he received his passport back literally 5 weeks after applying for it. When I contacted Execuserve to query why my passport was taking so long, I was spun a long-winded story, by Andrew, that the British Embassy is sitting on thousands of passports and that many of his applicants are only getting their new passports 6 months to a year after applying.
Knowing that this was a ridiculous story, I patiently towed the line and waited till there was two months till my departure date. I contacted Execuserve again and spoke with Andrew. In short, I was told to “stop worrying”, and that my passport will definitely be ready in time for my trip. Once again, Andrew placed the blame for its long processing time directly at the feet of the British Embassy, stating that he has many clients still waiting on their passports which they applied last year for. He assured me however, that my passport had been submitted.
Out of desperation, I contacted the British Consulate's credit card line, in the UK. The Embassy was highly professional and informed me that my passport had NOT been submitted and referred my query to the High Commission in Pretoria. The South African office contacted me and stated furthermore that there was NO record of it being submitted or its payment. This is despite paying Execuserve R3495 cash for the renewal in January. I contacted Andrew once again with this new information, to which he called the Embassy “mistaken”, again emphasizing that my passport was submitted. I warned Andrew that I will need an Emergency Passport, and I categorically stated that he will be responsible for the additional payment, to which he agreed.
It was only on 17 July, that the British Embassy in Pretoria contacted me via email, confirming that my passport had now been submitted, but regretted to inform me, that “as of July, the Embassy no longer accepts cheques for payments on passport.” Again, I sent the email directly to Andrew and awaited his response, none was forthcoming. The Embassy sent me an email to say my Passport had finally been paid for on the 24 July. SIX MONTHS LATER!!
Again, calling Andrew numerous times he answered, I told him I will need an emergency passport, to which he agreed that he will meet me and duly pay for it. What was more worrying, is that Andrew did not seem to be familiar with the operating hours of the Embassy, telling me to go through on a Friday, when the Embassy is closed for applications. Also telling me that all consulate price's fluctuate based on the exchange rate. The Embassy have a SET PRICING GUIDE.
Eventually, with my family near hysterical over my passport, I had to start the process of applying for my Emergency Passport. Having not being able to get Andrew to answer my calls, I was resigned to applying and paying for my passport, alone. On my way back from applying for the Emergency Passport, I finally got hold of Andrew, who must have forgotten my number because he proceeded to get into the swing of his sales pitch. When my identity became known, the phone call turned frosty. I explained where I was and asked him to transfer the money I had to spend on the Emergency Passport, into my account. He told me he would do it immediately. Naturally I am still waiting, and Andrew is not responding to mine or my wife’s phone calls.
Yet another unhappy repercussion of this experience is that my wife and I will not be able to do the travelling we expected to. When you apply for an Emergency Passport, you have to have booked your entire travel itinerary. You cannot decide to do a quick trip anywhere else as my wife and I had been planning. We wanted to do all the bookings once we arrived in the UK because our first priority was being there for my brother’s wedding. Thanks to Andrew and his company, we will probably have to sacrifice that aspect of our holiday. I doubt he cares that it takes the average South African, months, if not years to save up for an overseas holiday; he won’t care that this will probably be the last overseas trip we take for many years (or until the kids have grown) up; and, I am almost positive he doesn’t care of the consequences to his bad business practice – he only wants the money.
I write this letter for a number of reasons; I want to bring this dishonest company to book and ensure that no other persons has to go through the nightmare of dealing with Execuserve (Andrew), and I want them to be named and shamed. With Andrew admitting his clients have been waiting an exorbitant amount of time for their passports, and information I have received from his own employees, I know for a fact that there are many others just like me, waiting on his excuses.
The public and Execuserve's employees deserve to know the truth about this company. Not only was my money taken without any compensation, I was lied to repeatedly – making the situation far worse than it had to be. Adding insult to injury is the fact that he tried to use the British Embassy as a scapegoat, and when he was caught out, simply reverted to child-like behaviour by ignoring all phone calls.
Since the first time I called Andrew in April he has never once called me back or responded to any emails EVER, I have had to call him every time and he only answers once every dozen calls.
A business such as this does not deserve to operate or to enjoy the support of the South African public.
This letter has been sent to various customer reporting agencies and also the British High Commission in Pretoria..