That advice?


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OK – trying to count to 20 and take some deep breaths.  I can’t believe that a so-called Customer Service person can be so aggressive and use a tone of voice that was just outright bullying.  This is the continuing saga from my last blog!

Yep, I raised my voice in the end and then pulled myself up and lowered it.  I asked if he believed his attitude was that of a good Customer Service person and what happened to the old adage that a customer is always right?

I don’t think that some Customer Service people from WOOLWORTHS understand the term ‘Customer Service’.

He wasn’t interested in the mistakes or lack of Customer Service made by WOOLWORTHS – and that image above is straight from the WOOLWORTHS online ordering web site.  All the ‘Customer Service’ supervisor wanted was to tell me what was on the Whiskas site.

He tried to tell me that 1+ was for ALL cats – kittens, adult, senior.

Well, why have 7+ items on the Whiskas web site?

And why have ADULT ones on the WOOLWORTHS web site?  The Customer Service expert said it was a mistake and shouldn’t be there and he’d get it removed immediately!  I asked why I had received one of those exact same boxes in the delivery last Wednesday (together with two totally different boxes)?  Obviously the last one on the shelf said the Customer Service expert.  And kept referring me to the Whiskas web site.

Well, it wasn’t Whiskas who delivered the incorrect items – it was WOOLWORTHS.  It wasn’t Whiskas who made promises on the phone – it was WOOLWORTHS – although I’ve given WOOLWORTHS 72 hours – not the 24 or 48 they had promised would result in a least a phone call.

I asked for and received a refund for the last order – that will take 3-5 business days.  I think the ‘Customer Service’ expert was pleased to be able to tick off another successful customer put down!  Still no food for my cat but I honestly can’t put up with the sort of aggressive conversation I had on the phone tonight.  It’s hard enough not being able to go to a shop / supermarket and find something suitable for my elderly cat without having to put up with that as well.

Some really good advice!


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AdultCatFoodNOTI can hear you saying – what has this got to do with history?  Simple – it’s part of MY life that I am recording here as part of my personal / family history!  Apart from that, it was so ridiculous and unbelievable I needed to share it with you.

Large Companies and organisations pay mega-bucks to other companies to be consultants and provide a report full of ‘helpful’ advice.

I am not charging one cent to give some really good advice … do NOT aggravate or upset someone who:

  • is in pain
  • is forced to use a service they don’t want to use
  • has to rely on that service for essential items
  • is completely immobile (adding to the frustration levels)
  • has a lot of time on their hands
  • doesn’t appreciate non-delivery of a service – not ONCE, not TWICE, but THREE times
  • loves writing blogs

OK – I guess that sums me up at the moment.  The only thing I’m not doing in this blog is NAMING the company – that will happen if they don’t rectify the problem by midnight tonight – as requested.

If you haven’t caught up on ‘the news’ of the moment, have a read of an earlier blog.  And, yes, Virgin Airlines definitely did the right thing as you’ll find on the follow-up blog.

So what has upset me this time?

Due to my immobility I have had to use online supermarket shopping and delivery.  Initially I was reasonably impressed and I particularly like the way my previous purchases over a number of months were displayed to I could purchase EXACTLY THE SAME PRODUCT as when I was mobile.  My first order and delivery was early in June.  That order included 3 boxes of

Whiskas adult cat food oh so meaty poultry dishes 12x85g

And they delivered the correct items – selected from my previous purchase list!

My next two orders didn’t include this item but my order last Tuesday, for delivery on Wednesday, did include it – 3 boxes, again selected from my previous purchase list.

If you haven’t used this service before, the items are delivered in plastic shopping bags and placed on a bench or table.  You are then required to sign the order form or the iPad so the driver can leave and get onto the next delivery.  Then you start to unpack each bag full of items.

WEDNESDAY – what happened to my 3 boxes of the above item?  I got 3 DIFFERENT boxes – one box that I HAD ordered, one was meat chunks (not POULTRY) and one box was clearly marked “1+” meaning for a 1 year old kitten – definitely not ADULT.

I called the number you’re supposed to ring if your order wasn’t correct … and waited, and waited, and waited, and waited, and eventually got onto a human being.  I explained the problem and received the expected platitudes.  I explained that my ADULT cat would only each the poultry dishes.


  • was given credit for the two incorrect items
  • was given a bonus voucher for $15 for my angst
  • I had to put in a new order for the ‘correct’ items
  • I had to order a minimum of $50 worth of goods to get a free delivery
  • notes were taken to guarantee that the RIGHT items were delivered

NOT HAPPY but I put in a new order to be delivered the next day – Thursday – so my darling cat wouldn’t starve – I wanted the food to get ‘us’ through to the date I hoped I would be moon-boot free and have a bit bit of mobility.

Because I had to order $5

0 worth of goods, I ordered 5 x boxes of the ADULT POULTRY items and two packets of the Whiskas biscuits he eats – that got me over the limit to get free delivery.

THURSDAY – items delivered.  Stupid me let the driver leave as soon as I’d signed the delivery docket.  He plonked the bags down and was well gone by the time I limped to the table to unpack them.

2 packets of biscuits were the right ones – selected from my previously purchased list.

5 boxes of Adult Poultry items – WRONG!  Instead I received 5 boxes of 1+ kitten items.  Check the delivery docket – definitely had the ADULT ones I requested.

To say I was gob-smacked would be an understatement.

On the phone again – waiting, and waiting, and waiting etc. etc. etc. etc.

I politely made it clear that I WASN’T going to order another $50+ worth of goods to get free delivery.  I was reassured that as the impossible had happened – incorrect items two orders and days in a row, I would get an extra credit voucher, I would get an extra free delivery voucher, and on top of that I would receive a delivery the following day – FRIDAY – of the 5 boxes and no charge for anything.

So, it shouldn’t have happened twice but to be absolutely certain I asked if it would help if I photographed one of the correct boxes and emailed it to ensure the pickers couldn’t possibly get it wrong a third time.

What a great idea!  So I photographed the last box in my pantry and emailed it to ‘the Company’ ready for the delivery the next day.

FRIDAY – I’d been reassured it shouldn’t have happened twice in a row and that it definitely couldn’t happen three times / days in a row but guess what they delivered – 5 boxes of the 1+ KITTEN food!!!!!!!!!!!

When the driver arrived I said I wouldn’t sign anything until I’d inspected the contents of the bags,  I was explaining what had happened previously – and showed him the INCORRECT 5 boxes sitting on my table from Thursday’s delivery as well as the earlier 2 boxes from the Wednesday’s delivery.

We were both gobsmacked as we opened the bags he delivered to find the WRONG boxes – all 1+ KITTEN food.  He was furious, grabbed his phone, and rang the ‘special’ number.  11 minutes later he still hadn’t got through!

In the end he had to leave – and he left behind all the wrong boxes – said there was no point in taking them back until they delivered the RIGHT boxes.  He DID take an empty box from the delivery at the beginning of June – to make sure the pickers got it right – the FOURTH time!

Take a look at the picture at the top – can YOU pick the ONE correct box?

They deliver on the weekend – I requested a delivery Saturday or at least before midnight tonight (Sunday).


Am I excited? YES!!


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No – I’m not mobile yet – still in a moon-boot – BUT I have got something fantastic to look forward to.  I’m not sure how much the excitement is due to (fingers crossed) maybe getting rid of the moon-boot in 3 weeks and getting some mobility OR going to the ‘Researching Abroad Roadshow’ in Melbourne.  I think the latter – after all a bit of pain, discomfort and lack of mobility definitely doesn’t dampen the excitement of discovering more about my ancestors!

And why does this Roadshow excite me?

  • I have German ancestors
  • I have other European ancestors
  • I have Irish and English ancestors
  • My brother and I have both done DNA tests

I’ve got heaps more to say about this Roadshow but time for that in more blogs.  In the meantime reserve Friday 18th August and Saturday 19th August for the Melbourne Roadshow, or check out the web site for other locations.

I hope to see heaps of you at Bulleen in Melbourne – mobile and moon-boot free!

And something my caring and thoughtful brother posted on my Facebook page!

He really does care!

Image result for smiling emoji

ADDENDUM: Oh, and while you’re looking at the UTP web site about the Roadshow you’ll find references to ‘OFFICIAL AMBASSADORS’ as per the logo at the beginning of this blog.  Yes, I’m an Official Ambassador and really appreciate the opportunity to promote the Researching Abroad Roadshow.  There was always the possibility that I physically couldn’t get there due to my broken ankle and I’m so glad that I’m going to make it.

YES Virgin Airlines DO have a heart!


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We all have the right to complain when we believe an organisation has done the wrong thing.  More importantly if they then do the RIGHT thing it’s really important to say Thank You.

And that’s what I’m doing.

Thank you Virgin airlines.

Last weekend I created a blog asking Virgin Airlines to reconsider my case.

Overnight I received an email from Virgin Airlines – they had reviewed my medical documents again and offered a credit for my flight which I can redeem in the next 12 months.

Yes, I had a sad birthday last weekend but it’s so much easier knowing that once I’m fully mobile again and have a clearance from the orthopaedic surgeon I will be able to fly to Adelaide to spend another weekend with my dear brother.

So thank you to both Virgin Airlines and Jetstar who have both showed compassion.

Both organisations deserve a public Thank You!


Do Virgin Airlines have ANY compassion?


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Sometimes you just have to speak up – this is one of those times.

Back on 17th May, although I really couldn’t afford it, I booked cheap flights to go to Adelaide to spend my 65th birthday with my older brother.  I hadn’t seen him for some time and he is not well enough to travel.  Instead of spending my birthday on my own in Geelong I could think of nothing better than spending it with my brother and his family in Adelaide.

It wasn’t going to be a long trip – Friday 9th June to Adelaide on Jetstar and back on Sunday 11th June on Virgin – mixed flights to get me there and back.

YES – today is my birthday, and NO – I’m not in Adelaide.

What happened?  

On Thursday 25th May I had a fall – broke my right ankle and had tendon and soft tissue damage in my left ankle.  Absolutely no mobility!  Spent 24 hours in hospital.  Follow-up appointment with orthopaedic surgeon on Monday 5th June – under no circumstances could I fly, apart from the problems of getting from Geelong to Tullamarine Airport.

Both legs were cheap fares that did not allow changes to the dates / times etc.

I even paid for travel insurance just in case.


Travel Insurance – I have to pay the first $100 to change or cancel and get a refund.

Jetstar – after reviewing medical certificate etc., on compassionate grounds they have given me a Travel Voucher for the full amount paid, valid for 6 months.

Virgin – said the equivalent of “stiff xxxx”!  They want $80 to change the date / time of travel.  They do not accept the medical certificate as grounds for leniency!

So Jetstar can show compassion but Virgin CAN’T? – exactly the same scenario – one a flight from Melbourne to Adelaide, the other a flight from Adelaide to Melbourne – just 3 days apart.


I want Virgin to show they have some compassion, just like Jetstar did.  I can’t afford to pay another $80 and I certainly can’t set a future date for my trip until after I have clearance from the orthopaedic surgeon.

I am unemployed – looking for work but difficult to get to interviews at the moment.  Today I become an old age pensioner!  That’s my income.

I have found the ‘Complaints and Compliments‘ form on Virgin’s website – I will be attempting to get them to show some compassion and give them a link to this blog.

Can you help – not sure if they are interested in hearing from others but at least I’m going to get my message out there!

Gosh it would be a great birthday present if Virgin actually replied and showed some compassion.  I don’t want my money back – I just want to be able to book a flight after I become mobile again, at no extra cost, so I can visit my brother and his family for a very belated birthday celebration!

Susie’s Five Faves Geneameme


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If there is one thing that GeniAus could really get me motivated about it has to be books – but what a challenge … FIVE????  … Five Faves Geneameme.

FIVE books?  My Library Catalogue contains 3,008 items.  Oh, I have heaps more – they’re just the ones that are catalogued at this stage!

How is it humanly possible to choose just FIVE from that collection?  Now that’s what I call a challenge.

I have other priority things I should be working on but decided doing this blog would get me in the right mood!  So here is how I reduced it from 3,008 to just 5!

First I tried the books I pulled off the shelves more often than others.

Then I looked at the books that weren’t fully available on the web.

Next I looked at the books that I used for ‘local’ research [VICTORIA] when I did research for others, and my own personal family research [NOT local].

Finally I tried to look for a real variety.

GeniAus I hope you realise the sleepless night(s) you caused!  So finally here they are …

Book No. 1
Title Pastoral Pioneers of Port Phillip
Author(s) R V Billis and A S Kenyon
Description From the foreword: In this work the names of the true pioneers of Port Phillip, and of the properties they held under depasturing licenses, are perpetuated.

It is in two main parts: Part I – Pastoral Licensees [the people]; Part II – the Port Phillip Runs [the property names].  And don’t skip the Notes at the end – additions to both Parts.

Details include the name of the District and potentially a number of different runs.  Other information could include: years / dates the run was held, arrival, birth or death, and sundry other data.



Book No. 2
Title Dielheimer Familienbuch 1648-1900 mit Horrenberg, Balzfeld, Unterhof und Oberhof
Author(s) Klaus Ronellenfitsch
Description If you don’t have German ancestors then you mightn’t be interested in this one.  BUT if you have any non-English speaking ancestors this may perhaps get you thinking and encourage you to tackle this type of research.

To ease you into the Familienbuch, have a look at ‘The Ortssippenbuch (OSB)‘; and the ‘Local Family Books (The OFBs of Germany)‘ on Family Search.  Then get a little more adventurous with the ‘Family Book‘; the Dielheimer Familienbuch 1648-1900 and the ‘Online Local Family Books‘.

How did I learn about these books?  Jenny Paterson from the Burwood and District Family History Group has written many excellent articles on (Australian) German research for their journal ‘Ances-tree’.

I can’t stress how important it is to follow every ‘lead’ – footnotes, references, sources and bibliographies.  This is the golden rule for every book, database, website etc. – you will learn so much doing this.

I believe that because of Jenny’s work, the Society of Australian Genealogists has the larges collection of Famillenbuch in Australia.

I was able to purchase the one relevant to my own family and location of Oberhof in Germany via the web direct from the author.  Using the book I was able to confirm a possible ancestor from Family Search adding siblings, parents and another generation to my family.  I can’t wait until someone produces the book for Epfenbach!

And don’t forget to use Google Translate and/or the browser Chrome to translate entire web pages and site.



Book No. 3
Title London’s East End: Life and Traditions
Author(s)  Jane Cox
Description How good does it feel – browsing through maps, sketches, history and lots of photographs from the East End of London where my French Huguenot Silk Weaver ancestors lived for so many years? From the various Censuses I know that for some years they lived in Brick Lane – 37, 43, 45-7, 49, 117, 120, 142, 147, 179, 186 – all entries from the index.

Using this book I can immerse myself into their world – an absolute joy that literally gives you goose-bumps.



Book No. 4
Title A New Genealogical Atlas of Ireland
Author(s) Brian Mitchell
Description  If you don’t love maps you are really missing something in your family history research.

Some people put Ireland in the ‘too-hard’ basket, however understanding the various geographical, ecclesiastical and administrative boundaries will help you with your research and selecting the right resources.

Bounties, Baronies, Poor Law Unions, Civil Parishes, Dioceses and Probate Districts are all important to your research.

It is also so important to become familiar with ‘the neighbourhood’ – those places that are so close to where your ancestors lived.



Book No. 5
Title Shipping Arrivals and Departures, Victorian Ports

Vol. 1 1798-1845

Vol. 2 1846-1855

Vol. 3 1856-1860

Author(s)  Marten A Syme
Description OK – I know there are three physical books but it IS one series – you just can’t separate them.

Just because you’ve found a digital copy of a passenger list which shows your ancestor you haven’t finished your family history research if you haven’t looked at the entry for that specific journey in Syme’s books.

What port did it come from, when did it depart, when did it arrive, and where did it go next and when.  What was the cargo?  Was it a special voyage for Assisted Immigrants? Who was the Master?  What was the source of the information provided?

And Volume 3 includes a huge amount on the minor ports of Victoria – you will learn so much from the cargo on arrival and departure.

Don’t rush – absorb and learn from this wonderful series!


Don’t forget to use your local library or inter-library loan to access these books!