Aside: Part of me dies whenever phone books or fax lines are forced into my life.
Sub-titled: This is how a large Trinidadian bank does business.
I emailed my bank today requesting wire instructions. I got this in reply.
Ok, a little back story. We all know how sketchy those Miami-Trinidad courier companies can be. Everyone has their horror stories. It’s why I’ve avoided doing business with any of them for several years.
Until a couple weeks ago when we urgently needed a package delivered and decided to give Web Source a try. They’re the new kids on the block, full of bright promises of “providing the highest level of service” to their customers.
Today, though. Today they were on the verge of striking out but somehow managed to pull out a last minute home run. I just know somebody is watching me cut eye for the baseball reference eh. Ok, fine. The man bowl a inswinging wicked yorker at their toes but somehow at the last minute they managed to jam down the bat and squeeze it away for four. Happy?
We were expecting a package today. A package we urgently needed before we get super busy for the rest of the week. So we called Web Source this morning to confirm yes, the package is out for delivery today.
Now I know you can’t pin these deliveries down to a specific time, so much of today was spent waiting for the delivery dude. Eventually, after 3pm we got fed up and gave them a call. Got the driver’s number and contacted him. To be told there was “some problem” and he left the package at the office this morning. Dude! You did WHAT?
And no-one at your office knew to tell us this when we called? Nope. Because further calls to the office revealed driver dude did not tell the right people the package was left behind. Communication breakdown. Poor processes. Whatever. I don’t care. Not my problem to solve. Just get me my package.
Web Source and driver dude seemed quite content to just deliver the package tomorrow. Because, you know, usual laissez-faire, whatever goes Trinidad customer service attitude.
And honestly, I didn’t expect anything more than some empty platitude, if anything at all. And that would have been ok. I would have collected my package tomorrow, paid the people their money, and consigned them to the Never Again bin.
This is the strike out/yorker, by the way.
Thing is, we’re small business owners too. And when we screw up and don’t fulfill our promises to our customers, we make it up to them. Something we let Web Source know quite pointedly in a follow up email.
But - home run/four time - lo and behold, it seems someone at Web Source actually believes that “highest level of service” line.
We got a call, way after hours, promising that one of the managers would personally deliver the package to us tonight. And a reduced fee. He didn’t get here until after 10pm, but he did.
I’m not happy because some poor guy had to drive down here in the bush at 10pm. Or because I had to pay less money.
I’m happy because finally, just maybe?, a company in Trinidad has surprised me with its customer service. Not by being stellar all the time. But by admitting when a mistake was made, and going above and beyond to rectify it.
So thank you, Web Source. Credit where credit is due.
Trinidad & Tobago increased its departure tax this week, from TT$100 (~ US$16) to TT$200 (~ US$31). This got me wondering whether we now have the highest departure tax in the Caribbean region. And also whether this would have any effect on our already underwhelming tourism industry. But that’s another story.
But without further ado, these are the figures I turned up for departure by air. Several islands have different taxes for departure by sea and/or cruise ship passengers. Please don’t treat this list as canon. Confirm with your own travel agent, airline, etc.
- Anguilla - US$20 or EC$53. Children aged 5-11 years old: US$10 or EC$26.50
- Antigua & Barbuda - US$28.00 or EC$70.00
- Aruba - US$36.75 to the USA. US$33.50 to all other destinations
- Bahamas - US$15.00
- Barbados - US$27.50 or BD$55
- British Virgin Islands - US$20
- Bonaire - US$35. US$9 for domestic destinations (Curacao, Sint Maarten, Saba, St. Estatius, Aruba)
- Carriacou - US$4 or EC$10
- Cayman Islands - US$25 or KY$20
- Cuba - 25 Convertible Pesos (CUCs)
- Curacao - US$22
- Dominica - US$22
- Dominican Republic - US$20
- Grenada - US$20 or EC$50
- Guadeloupe - no departure tax, it seems
- Haiti - US$25
- Jamaica - US$27
- Martinique - US20.50 or EC$54
- Montserrat - US$13 for CARICOM nationals, US$21 for all others
- Puerto Rico - couldn’t figure it out
- Saba - US$5 to Windward Islands, US$20 to elsewhere
- Saint Barthelemy - US$4.50
- Saint Kitts & Nevis - US$37 or EC$100
- Saint Lucia - US$26 or EC$68
- Saint Martin/Sint Maarten - US$30. US$10 to other Netherlands Antilles islands
- Saint Vincent & the Grenadines - US$15 or EC$40
- Sint Eustatius - US$12. US$5.65 to other Netherlands Antilles islands
- Trinidad & Tobago - US$32 or TT$200
- Turks & Caicos - US$15
- US Virgin Islands - no departure tax, it seems
Several countries, including T&T, bundle this departure tax into the airline ticket price so you may not even be aware of it.
Oh yeah. Findings. No we don’t have the highest departure tax in the Caribbean. Aruba, Bonaire and Saint Kitts & Nevis have us beat.