Only in Africa: The Delayed Table-Tennis Set
One customer wanted a table-tennis set, including the table, delivered to the managing-director of a Zimbabwe client. It was meant as a birthday gift. For obvious reasons, the date of delivery was time-sensitive. Much irritated and after a couple of weeks, our client phoned to complain that the gift had obviously not been delivered, because they had received no acknowledgement from the consignee.
With a great deal of effort and some days delay, for reasons that were not immediately obvious, we discovered from our Zimbabwean agent that the consignment was delayed in the Zimbabwean customs department.
The reader should know that consignments of merchandise are often delayed by customs inspectors. However, this delay had been inordinate, particularly as the consignment’s delivery date was so time-sensitive. Aerospeed therefore needed to establish the cause of the delay and insisted that our agents actually visited the Zimbabwean customs shed, to trace the exact location of the set.
Much to their irritation, flavoured with some amusement, our agent found that the table had been set up in the custom’s shed and was being used by officials for recreation. Their excuse, before clearing the equipment, was that they had never seen such a lovely table-tennis set and could not resist the temptation to use it. Soon afterwards the set was delivered and out client received suitable acknowledgement.