Friday, February 19, 2010

The Spice Saga Pt.1 - Costume Collection

I was extremely excited when I saw that costume collection for my section was on the Wednesday before Carnival, no collecting costume on Carnival Friday for me!

Costume on the Spice Carnival website

When I got to the Hilton just after 4:30pm, I was met by Mr. Rocky himself who gave me a number and told me to have a seat to wait to pay for the costume via Linx. After waiting no more than 5minutes I went up to pay for my costume. When it was time to swipe, my husband (who was paying for my costume :D ) was unable to get through, as the machine registered an error with the transaction.

Unfortunately, because I had to get back to the office I could not wait around while they sorted out their issues with the bank and I left. Rocky told my husband that I could come back the next day to collect no problem.

Got back to Spice shortly after 12noon to collect my costume, this time with my brother who had to exchange his boardshorts in Adulis. Everything went smoothly, I gave them my cash and was then told to proceed to the next stop. The next stop is where the girl checks your receipt, makes uneccessary small talk, then directs you to collect your costume.

When I got my headpiece the first thing I asked the young lady who handed it to me was if this was the right headpiece. She said yes. I told her the feathers look very dull and grey, and she said yes, a lot of people are saying that. On a second look however, she noticed that I wasregisteredfor a frontline costume and NOT a backline.
I thought *whew* let dem backline BABES deal with that! Lo and behold, the extremely helpful young lady brings out the frontline headpiece and it's the same dull dirty grey looking feathers.

I got the box with my costume pieces which the young lady went through with me. Bra, belt (SKIMPY! and had to be exchanged, this was done with no fuss on the spot), arm. leg, neck (which was pretty lame) pieces. The thong I had ordered was not in the box and I got this exchanged on the spot as well, although this seemed to be a different colour to the bra, but no biggie cause it would be covered up by my belt anyways.

I then collected my backpack.

The same dull grey blue dirty looking feathers greeted me on my backpack. I was NOT impressed. My brother thought they looked dull but passable, but what do men know?

This was the costume I registered for in October last year.
This was the costume that I had obsessed about for weeks on end.
This was the costume that I done a wallpaper collage for as my desktop wallpaper.
This was the costume I had planned all my accessories, boots, bag, etc around. and they hand me this backpack, with these dull ass washed out dirty looking feathers.

Close up of the feathers on my backpack

So after I got my adjustments (gems fell off my bra and leg piece), got the ribbon for my backpack, I go to the next station to get my stuff checked and collect my goodie bag.

At this point I ask the lady who I later found out was the bandleader, Anya's mother, if she found that the feathers looked dirty.

She looked at me and said, "No they look fine, they do not look dirty to me, it is supposed to represent the sea you know."

I say "This does not look like what was on the website."

She says "It looks fine to me. The designer herself went to China and picked those feathers."

I then see Anya and ask her, "Anya don;t these feathers lok dirty to you?" Anya says no, they look fine.

Because my brother and 4 year old niece with me and we had already been there for close to an hour, I took the costume and went home.

After getting home, and taking the backpack out of the car, I notice that the backpack looks unfinished, as there are white spaces where it should be covered. I go to the computer and pull up the costume and of course, my feathers are not drain water blue, but a rich vibrant blue. At this point I feel so disappointed, people are texting and messaging me to find out how the costume is and I just tell them "Meh."
I took pictures of the backpack, costume pieces, and went ahead with finishing up my boots on time.

A little later that evening I took my entire costume back up to have it exchanged as I was really unhappy about how the costume had turned out.
On the way there with my mom I decided to keep the costume and just add the usual Afro Chic flair. I had already planned to buy gems to bling out the feathers and backpack anyways and hopefully that could give the costume a lil summin summin.

I ended up just exchanging my backpack for a completed one, this was done with no hassle and after that I made my way to Tulip to get some bling. Bling purchased, I was a lot happier when I got home, went ahead and finished off my boot orders.


Friday morning comes and I wake up thinking, you know what work hard hard hard, you pay for dis! So I decided to call someone at Spice to find out if I can switch my section.

I call the Spice number that I was given by Hilton and ask to speak with either Anya or Rocky. Lucky me I got the bandleader herself on the phone. I explained the situation to Anya and reminded her that I had spoken to her about the feathers when I collected the costume the day before.

Costume at the band launch

Anya explained that the costume on the website had been 'enhanced' which is why the feathers were a different colour. I asked if I could exchange my section, as I did want to play mas, just no longer in that section. Anya told me that was not an option, Spice does not switch sections. I told her then if that was the case I would like to get a refund on my costume as I did not get what was advertised. Anya then responded, "I doh handle dat. "
I asked, "Aren't YOU the bandleader, who else would handle it?"

She replied, "I doh handle dat, you could go up to Hilton and talk to Rocky, he up there now."

I said fine and hung up the phone.

At this point I was pissed off by her attitude and dismissive tone when she spoke to me and the fact that they were no willing to admit that an error had been made and own up to it.
It should be noted that before this I was just taking things real calm and trying not to go Hulk on people. I eh raise my voice or cuss or carry on. Yet.

I decided that after work I would carry back my costume and go "talk to Rocky." and this is when the real drama started...


ennekaycee said...

AC, I am STILL not over this effed up costume. I mean I saw it up close....Carnival is had a great time...that's all that matters....but I still cannot believe this SHIT!!!!

LOOK AT THOSE FEATHERS!!! No one could see that headpiece or backpack in person and actually say that it looks like it's worth the asking price! SHAME SHAME SHAME!!!

I do not buy that "costume was enhanced on the website" crap at all. We all went to the launch AND the mas camp and the costume looked waaaaay better than the mess they handed you.

I guess we were all so willing to give Spice a chance that we were too delusional to see the dingy feathers.....STEUPS.

Bizzie Chic said...

Eww @ the feathers. Those were some dirty looking feathers, sorry.

Can't wait to read part 2 of The Spice Sage...

Naughty said...

I truly hoped you didn't play in that band after the way you were treated, even if they were willing to switch you at that point. Spice needs to get with the program and start producing quality and don't give ppl any fucked up excuses.

Sorry Sweets for your experience.


Zaira said...

sad thing Afro Chic is that u look on spice facebook and all the crap posted on there are kiss ass reviews...i call all those who dont realise that they have been robbed (dumbasses)..carnival has u that blind!

1mauvaislangue said...

Just plain the ass you could advertise the enhanced costume on the website and not put a disclaimer...’costume shown at launch and on the website is enhanced and may the not be the actual feathers/product you receive on collection day.’ At least show the downgraded version of the costume on the website and at the mas camp so people can decide if it’s worth their money.

Give people what they pay for; if they pay for first class, give them first class. Don’t give them second class with a load of bull shit on the side.

Springmoon said...

I love how Anya -- the band leader!! -- was just absolving herself of any responsibility! They like to behave as though they are dealing with a set of dotish people who will just accept anything given after laying out THOUSANDS of dollars on a costume!

I can't wait to read the Rocky part of this saga...

shells said...

How could she as 'BAND LEADER' not know how to handle section exchanges?! It's either the band does it, or not. Seems to me, like she's not capable of dealing with anything that remotely seems confrontational or slightly out of the ordinary. Seems like Spice needs to take some Customer Service lessons.

I await part 2 of the saga.

Wuzdescene said...

oh gorm Afro .... whey part 2 gyul .... de suspense killin meh! :-)

babydoll said...

Lawd let the drama begin...anxiously awaiting part 2!

Penze said...

WTH!!! And here I was thinking of heading to Spice next year!! Getting quickly discouraged!

Naughty said...

I'm waiting on part two... Where is it :)

analiesef said...

WOW! i had to comment before reading part 2....sounds like Miss Band Leader is incapable of dealing with disgruntled band members that are helpin to finance her band!!!! how de assszzzzz she and her mom could watch that backpack and say that it supposed to represent the sea and it not dirty?? what sea?? de one by de foreshore?!?!?! not even the backing that the feathers are attached to (those little teardrop-ish shaped things) are decorated like the prototype! far less for the feathers....and the whole thing looks scanty! AC girl i eh know HOW you stayed calm up till the end of part 1 nah!

Saucy aka "The Sauce" said...

sigh, more people with problems ... you have to wonder about that facebook group!

HotUsTrini said...

I played in Merchant's of Venice Frontline and the back pack was not lush with feathers as the one in the showroom and on the road Anya was a bit snitty and dismissive to a few masqueraders that I observed when they asked her to take a photo with them,I played with them last year and I will say the customer service was better than this year and more convenient as was the food and drink options,I did not have any issues with their customer service but I am hearing a lot of complaints from masqueraders and I'm wondering if I'm looking at things through rose colored glasses.