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Been away from home too long..


Watches, travel, food..

27 Reviews by Swee

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NEXTAG is an absolute nuisance site!! As I find nothing of interest/value, I tried to unsubscribe. And then tried again.. and again. But the last step just doesn't work. It bombards me with its pathetic emails like clockwork and even though, on my desktop, these get caught as junk, my Blackberry still displays the cr*p from them. RIM really should develop greater customer-friendly sophistication in their devices (no wonder they are going down the tubes - unnecessarily)!

British Gas

British Gas


The comprehensive service home care package we have had with British Gas (BG) used to be great: appointments were made quickly, plumbers/electricians usually turned up on time - and customer service, polite and efficient. Things have changed it appears. This morning a rude lady from BG customer service called to say that the plumber who was meant to be turning up today (we have a toilet that cannot be used!) will not and that the earliest appointment would be in 11 days' time! She sounded like a robot and refused to call my wife who manages the household. Her tone was "if you don't like it, too bad" and claimed that there was no supervisor for me to speak with, so if I insisted on complaining, I would need to go online (where no doubt it would be sat on/dealt with) by other BG robots. This is the problem with businesses that grow too big and are virtual monopolies - they end up trading customer goodwill for short term profits. I'll need to research alternatives...




This is just to add to the masses of negative reviews of an airline that seems completely unperturbed by its market reputation - or dire lack of it!

Ryanair is remarkable in how it abuses its customers. I booked a flight to Derry and paid for all the bells and whistles for a more acceptable experience. Ryanair then emailed stating that the flight had been changed from 0650 to 1945 - without giving ANY reason OR apology. Getting through to them by phone is impossible - noone picks up the phone! Their website (for changing bookings necessitated by Ryanair's actions) is also hugely customer unfriendly - almost as if it was designed deliberately to confound and turn-off customers. I emailed them 5 working days ago and have still not received any acknowledgement or the requested call to sort out this mess.

Truly a case of Caveat Emptor in red neon lights!

Obviously, I will never book with this horrible airline ever again and most strongly urge anyone tempted to do so, NOT to. Even though there has been such bad reports on Ryanair, I booked with them because there seemed to be no alternative solution compatible with my location. Whatever it takes, I shall find one!




It's time for another review. I am currently a Premier (hah!!) card member - both personal and corporate. HSBC's "PREMIER" telephone service is a joke and an unmitigated disaster. When I call their corporate card number, the silly robot invariably transfers me to the personal card team. It then takes ages for them to transfer me to the right department. (Could HSBC be in cahoots with telcom providers?) I am invariably left waiting so long that I give up. I genuinely believe that this is symptomatic of HSBC's short-termist bottom-line focus. This is a visionless institution that places customer care FAR FAR behind short term profits.

Thankfully, challenger banks have emerged and we have signed up with the best I have ever come across anywhere in the world.

No doubt HSBC has convinced themselves that they are too big to fail and that their customers will be unwilling to switch. This dinosaur fails to recognise that change is unstoppable and the customer-experience is increasingly a powerful driver to stay or move. And it gets progressively easier to move..

Transglobal Express

Transglobal Express


Caveat emptor. I sent a parcel through UPS Saver via the Transglobal Express website. It stated that the max insurance cover was £1,000 and I duly paid the £20 premium. Again, nowhere made evident, was the proviso that UPS in certain territories could leave packages on the doorstep of the address - without signature. Surely for a courier, this is unacceptable - and if Transglobal are in any way interested in being customer-friendly, they should have highlighted this. It was only when the parcel I sent was "left on the doorstep" and purloined that I (after digging into their website) came across a note stating that if customers wanted signed-for service, they could pay another £1.95!! Again, I cannot understand why they did not make this clear at the point of selling the premium - or (better still) why they didn't just add it to the price. My parcel contained an item sold for just south of £3,000. Upon my request, Transglobal initiated tracing and after 8 working days has just emailed me to say effectively "tough sh** but your parcel's gone (my paraphraseology) AND by the way because it was a watch and even though we took your premium, you aren't covered, so here's your £20 back (which we would have kept if nothing had gone awry)". I have just checked their T&C's and I can't find this exclusion. This is a classic case of "heads I win, tails you lose". This is also the last time I use UPS which is being myopic by providing a "leave at the door service" (while collecting insurance premiums or permitting this 'product' to be attached to their service) - without making this UPFRONT!! Surely they know that customers these days are far more demanding and are hugely too busy to study small print and minutiae. Avoid like the plague!!!


To say that Catawiki's customer service and systems are poor would be an understatement. I could tell of many bad experiences but here're a couple: (1) my relationship manager (RM) recommended that when listing items, I should not mention the number of days they should run as it might "upset" the (obviously hyper-sensitive and, as I found on several occasions, pedantic and less-than-adequately-knowledgeable) "experts" i.e. auctioneers. I was assured by the former that he had advised his colleagues to list my items for not less than 7 days. Yet, too often, my items are listed for fewer days, resulting in poorer prices. (2) I recently tried to cancel a sale as I discovered the item was not fully operational and thus unfit for sale. When I reported to Catawiki, they (or their robot) replied to say I was contractually bound and had to deliver. Happily, the deadbeat buyer failed to pay (even after 3 chaseups by Catawiki) and they had to cancel the sale. Interesting that when they can't get the buyer to pay up, they can cancel the sale, but sellers can't. Compared to other online auctioneers (think of the obvious ones!), Catawiki is a joke - they also take ages to "approve" listings - and then ages more to actually list! Indeed, I have noticed that the market leading online autioneer (unlike Catawiki) has made dramatic improvements in their customer service and has become brilliant. Catawiki, on the other hand, seems to be seriously in reverse gear. As I have said to them, their approach seems to be "heads we win, tails you lose!". Never again will I sell on this disastrously arrogant platform.




HSBC must be about the worst bank when it comes to customer "service". I have been trying to activate my digital key for a month now. Each time involves answering a memorable question and the providing selected password characters - plus more key strones. So, time consuming indeed. I have only tried to do so at least 6 times but each time, I am greeted with a brainless (generated by bots) error message. I have contacted HSBC's customer service (or disservice) department twice and each time they tell me that their (pathetically useless) IT bods are still working on it - and that they have no clue when the system will be fixed. Having experienced the service of one of the "challenger banks", HSBC's "service" (what a misnomer!) by comparison stinks - mega big time! Its complacency, hubris and derogatory treatment of customers are an unmitigated disgrace!! I really hope that the challenger banks will wake up the dinosaurs like HSBC to the reality that customers do have options - and that with the advance of blockchain, they will need to really up the ante to survive.




Further to the review I posted on ParcelForce yesterday, this morning, Chris Lindquist of Parcel Force wrote to me. Besides the usual facetious and disingenuous BS, his main message was: "Items that have been delivered to a Post Office following a failed delivery attempt have been delivered according to the agreement between our customer and Parcelforce and would not therefore be collected from the Post Office and sent out for a further delivery attempt."

Interesting that whilst acknowledging that there was a training issue (that would be taken up) with the driver, the clear message was "stuff you - even though we made a mistake, we aren't going to do anything about it as it would inconvenience and cost us - and we would much rather the inconvenience and extra cost be on your shoulders instead. So, piss off!".

ParcelForce is even more CRAP than I suspected..




It is tremendously disappointing when a supplier you have spent well over $20,000 (always paying immediately up front) in the last 15 months alone, treats you like dirt and not only fails to deliver as promised (time and time again), but overcharges, provides spurious non-existent tracking references and ignores all emails and phone calls. This is precisely my experience with CTG (Chino Talented Group) in HK.

Over the last 18 months, I have bought 9 upmarket watches from CTG. Additionally (but this was at the start), I referred a fellow collector who, like me, bought 2 Limited Edition watches. Regrettably, he too found that his delivery was hugely delayed - and was overcharged (i.e. others who ordered after us from CTG were charged less!). Not surprisingly, he will never buy from CTG again.

Initially, CTG was responsive, courteous and acceptable in delivering. In the last few months, they have missed (by ages!) promised delivery deadlines, sent me HK Post and FedEx tracking references that were false - and then completely ignored my emails and voicemails (in fact on my last call, they had the audacity to tell me the last time we spoke that CTG's new "customer friendly" policy is to no longer accept phone calls). In their last email before they went AWOL, they actually sent me a false FEDEX tracking reference*. When I could not get this to work, I called Fedex who informed me that it was non-existent. (*Check out the 9th June 2016 post setting out the same problem on this forum link:

After weeks of silence and non-delivery from CTG, I called upon the good offices of Chrono24 (an excellent online platform for luxury watch retailers), the Hong Kong Consumer Council and a HK solicitor. These all approached CTG which under this 3-pronged "attack" finally gave in and delivered the watch they were obviously hoping to keep.

CTG are crooks and should be avoided at all costs!! (PS: I have full email trails as evidence..)



I bought a brand new Q3-01 from a trusted ebay seller (779 100% +ve reviews). When I tried to replace the strap, one of the strap-release push buttons just popped off. Rubbishy quality. I called their UK AD (CW Sellors in Ashbourne) and informed them of the problem, stating clearly that the warranty was undated and unstamped. The lady I spoke with cheerily said that was fine and that I should send it to them. Trekking down to my PO, I sent the watch by registered mail (£7.25) as instructed. I then received a call from CW Sellors the next day saying that as the card was not stamped, they could not do anything with the watch a SEVENFRIDAY would not repair it, despite it being a 2016 model (and thus definitely covered by the 2 year warranty). This very poorly reflects on BOTH the quality of SEVENFRIDAY watches AND their pathetic customer care (and integrity).


I bought a Tudor Chrono 20300 from FG GIOIELLI (proprietor Flavio Fragasso) - a so called Trusted Seller" on Chrono24 - based in Torino (Turin), Italy. The watch was described as "Item in excellent condition 1 (Mint)" with "box, booklet and original warranty". Regrettably when the watch arrived, its bezel was very poorly polished with inconsistent swirling AND where there should be 18 links to the bracelet, it only came with 14! (Surely, they should have mentioned this!?) Naturally, I wrote to them to inform them of the actual condition of the watch and for the replacement links (just 2). They replied to say that "in their opinion" the quality was superb and that they were not going to do anything about replacing the missing links (or contributing to this).

My next 2 emails were ignored and so I asked Chrono24 for help but after very reluctantly agreeing to do so, they did a pretty feeble job at playing "post box". So, I am stuck with a watch that is completely not as described.

Beware of this dishonest and unprofessional watch dealer - and don't expect Chrono24 to help in any way!


Seriously beware of this outfit. How they managed to get (and keep) the URL "", I do not know. Upon checking their website, "Rolexservice" does not appear, rather "Watch Repair Centre", located at the basement of 35 Greville St in Hatton Garden.

I brought a perpetual complication (Roger Dubuis Hommage) to them which needed its calendar functions (day, date, month and weeks) synchronised. When I asked if they could fix such a complication, the reply was "yes but it will take a month and cost £500". I should have remembered the adage "if anything seems too good to be true...". To cut a long story short, the watch was returned to me in precisely the same state as when I handed it over - only after I paid them £500. They refunded me £300 but when I asked what they actually did to the watch, the only response (in writing) was " always knew you'd be trouble". They have, obviously refused to explain or refund the money they took for doing nothing. I am afraid that whilst this a repairer that may (?) possibly be capable of servicing simple/basic movements, complications are evidently beyond them. Don't expect civility of quality communication either.



I buy lots of high end luxury watches and as such value integrity and customer service above price. There are some pretty dubious sellers on the luxury watch platform (on which this online watch retailer lists its watches) - probably the world's largest "gathering" of (mainly) professional watch dealers in the world. (FYL) based in Costa Mesa (CA) is one to beware of as keeping their word and communicating half decently are not their strong suits. In my first attempt to deal with them (3 days ago), I verbally agreed to buy a Rolex 116508 from them at their full asking price. The FYL representative I dealt with - besides being tremendously unresponsive and uncommunicative - agreed to send me an invoice that day. 24 hours later, with no invoice, I rang him again and on my 3rd attempt got through. He casually told me that the reason he had not bothered to get back to me was because a customer had bought it earlier that day. To "do me a favour", he said he would get me another at the same price but they would bear the cost of insurance and shipping. Lo and behold, he messaged me the next day and the price was unchanged i.e. he reneged on his promised to bear the cost of insurance and shipping. He then said I should pay upfront for the watch before doing anything to secure it (and FYL is not a Rolex AD). Folks who can lie about small things will do the same when larger things (and sums) are involved. As I don't believe cows can fly, I passed on this opportunity. I am happy to pay more for peace of mind/insurance.


I have NEVER experienced such arrogant incompetence from ANY other courier service in the last 4 decades of sending and receiving parcels to and from abroad. Fedex was meant to collect a parcel yesterday before 1pm CET. Unilaterally, they changed it to 5pm and then again 7pm - but the pick up driver never arrived. Notwithstanding, it was logged in their system as having been collected!? After a dozen calls to Fedex, they rescheduled the pickup for today before 1pm but, of course, failed to make that! After another half dozen calls, they said "before 2:30pm" - and then (yet again) moved that to 4pm. I expect that the parcel will never be picked up. This firm, which used to be good, is an UNMITIGATED DISASTER AND ABSOLUTE DISGRACE! There is NO service (getting through by phone takes as long as to get through to the police re non-emergencies i.e. forever!!) and the "customer service" agents are curt and sound absolutely bored with the fact they have to speak to customers.. NEVER use this pathetic and wholly UNRELIABLE firm. Try any one else as it - seriously! - just couldn't get any worse.


Very disappointingly unresponsive - totally!! This is supposedly a "Trusted Seller" on Chrono24. I recently made a full price offer on one of their watches. Having had no reply for a week, I contacted Chrono24 which kindly emailed them to chase up. The retailer has still not responded after days. Perhaps they feel customers are an inconvenience... Very poor seller which should be banned from Chrono24.




Things change over time. We live in a world where online consumers all over the world are growing exponentially more sophisticated and knowledgeable on the choices they have - including the non-obvious ones they can manufacture/conjure. But, pioneers who become dominant players sometimes think they know it all and can let their foot off the pedal. They forget that dissent travels virally and far quicker and more robustly than positive sentiment. Additionally, as the adage "necessity is the mother of invention" is as true today as it ever was, arrogant, dominant players provide reasons for alternatives and substitutes to arise.

(Wikipedia is a great source of information which I shall credit with some of the info in this review.) Ebay and its powerhouse offspring (that is fast outgrowing its ageing parent), Paypal, seem to be guilty of the above. (One cannot talk about Ebay without referring to Paypal, Ebay's "unfair advantage".) Notice how they change rules unilaterally without consultation with or regard for those who contribute so much to their success - e.g. requiring every seller in Australia and UK to accept Paypal; and taking away the rights of sellers to leave negative feedback for buyers, no matter how criminal or perverse their behaviour. Some of these rules could well fall foul of unfair contract laws - but with their deep combined pockets and army of legal minds, they are understandably not particularly perturbed by individual action. When Paypal moved from the UK to Luxembourg in 2007, they removed themselves from the relatively conscientious and onerous jurisdiction of the FSA and with it, the English, Welsh and Scottish courts.

Ebay and Paypal may think that they are too big to fail, but the welter of disenfranchisement among its user community remains very much a reality. (There are websites dedicated to the downfall of these monolithic entities.) To Paypal's credit, it has not just survived but thrived whilst others e.g. BidPay and PayDirect, have bitten the dust. For all intents and purposes, Paypal is a monopolist that is getting bigger by the day. Perhaps it's time the M&MC checked it out.

I have been an 'ebayer' since early 2000 but am now looking for alternatives. Ebay and Paypal are very friendly to buyers but sellers (especially newbies) have a tougher time. I have noticed that some superb sellers I have often bought from in the past - who have had thousands of feedback - are no longer on ebay. Happily, I have managed to track down their own websites... When there are problems, getting through to Ebay/Paypal can be a grind. There are times I have called during their office hours only to hear (after having laboriously obtained and entered the PIN number, etc etc) "your call cannot be taken at this time..."!! Messages left verbally or through their messaging system (and email) not infrequently get lost in transit (or translation??).

Even though Ebay/Paypal are huge organisations, a bit of personal touch from well-trained and empowered staff and some situation-specific flexibility (followed by fine-tuning of their systems) would certainly pay dividends in improving customer affection, referrals and loyalty (which immensely reduce cost of sales).

I rate Amazon far above Ebay. I think I shall sell my ebay shares and buy Amazon...


When my wife logged on to - as a new customer - to buy a watch for me, a 15% discount pop up appeared. Having retrieved the discount code, the checkout system refused to process the code with the message "the code you entered couldn't be applied to any items in your order". It is pathetic when sellers make promises and then pull them. Shows a clear lack of integrity. should look up what the word "cognitive dissonance" means.

BTW, they don't provide a phone number to call customer service. Shows how much they regard customers..




Decent product, rubbishy communication, (post-purchase) service and failed promises. After buying 2 polo shirts (which were on sale) from the Superdry store at Westfield Shepherds Bush, I ordered 2 more from their website. After over a week, I rang to enquire why they had still not arrived. After being made to wait a very long time on the phone, I was told that there was an error with the order and it was never sent. They said they would send off immediately for next day delivery. One shirt arrived 2 days later and I had to ring again to chase for the second which arrived a few days later. I was promised by the supervisor that I would be receiving a token of their regret i.e. a refund for my troubles. He also promised to call me after that shirt was delivered. Neither of these happened. Superdry's customer service is poor and their systems need to be improved. Their word is also NOT their bond. From now on, I shall buy (another brand which I am not permitted to name) polos, which are IMHO quite superior to Superdry's.


It is regrettable when customers are disappointed because a business over-promises, then under-delivers - BUT absolutely foolish and myopic when the business is given the opportunity to restore loss of trust and goodwill, but wilfully chooses NOT to do so! The latter is my disappointing experience with Germantech Wimbledon (

Germantech has been servicing my cars for 6 years now and in the last 2 months, has serviced 2 of my Porsches. I had intended for them to re-commission a 3rd but that will now not be happening. The reason being: whilst Germantech proudly claims that they wash every car before being delivered back to the customer, my 1st car came back dirty. So, when my 2nd car was collected, I reminded them to clean it - which they assured me would be done. When it came home, however, it was evident that it had not been cleaned - and even the Germantech delivery chap acknowledged the fact. He promised to speak with his colleague, S (my "relationship manager"), who would then call me. When this finally happened (after a couple of chase-up calls from me), S promised to speak with his manager (and the cleaner) and assured me that he would arrange for the car to be collected, cleaned and re-delivered. When he failed to call as promised, I phoned him at 5:18pm today (close to closing time!) and his REVISED solution was that I send the car to them! I then spoke to his manager who robotically repeated the same message.

When a business under-delivers after over-promising/hyping - and then retracts what they volunteered by way of a solution, they shout clearly that: (1) their WORD IS CERTAINLY NOT THEIR BOND and (2) customer goodwill is of no perceived value to them! This is MANAGEMENT MYOPIA. It also got me thinking: if they are not able to do as simple a job as giving a car a decent clean, how can I (or any other customer) possibly be convinced that the rest of their work is of a higher standard? Come to think of it, my first car (that they re-commissioned and charged a significant sum for) drives somewhat ropier than it should...

For sure, I will never use Germantech again. CAVEAT EMPTOR!!

PS (Update): Just checked the 2nd car they serviced (and returned a couple of days ago). Even though they changed the washer motor, they failed to align the spray angle on both sides - so most of the sprays were going to the side and above the windscreen. Very little water hitting where it was needed! Attention to detail seems to be another of Germantech's weaknesses. Sigh.. just re-affirms my decision..




I can understand why Yahoo is failing - they have to contend with Google! I long ago gave up looking for answers on Yahoo - I now Google (it's my most visited site) everything; whether it's to find out more about something or just as a quick and lazy way to access a website. Having first tried Yahoo Finance (which I found very fiddly and sometimes downright impossible to get working or to enter data - but I confess I am a technophobe/dinosaur), I switched to Google Finance for portfolio management and stock price/trend checks and comparisons. It's just easier (most important!!) and more intuitive to use. Notwithstanding, Google Finance still has bugs it needs to sort out for folks like me (and there must still be a handful of us old timers left). When I learn how to use it without hitch, I might just return and pin another star to this review (or in a revised one.. if that's permitted).

Swee Has Earned 22 Votes

Swee Q.'s review of HSBC UK earned a Very Helpful vote
Swee Q.'s review of Chrono24 earned 5 Very Helpful votes
Swee Q.'s review of earned a Very Helpful vote
Swee Q.'s review of Superdry earned a Very Helpful vote
Swee Q.'s review of earned a Very Helpful vote
Swee Q.'s review of earned a Very Helpful vote
Swee Q.'s review of CTGWatch earned a Very Helpful vote
Swee Q.'s review of Google earned 2 Very Helpful votes
Swee Q.'s review of NexTag earned 2 Very Helpful votes
Swee Q.'s review of RyanAir earned a Very Helpful vote
Swee Q.'s review of Transglobal Express earned a Very Helpful vote
Swee Q.'s review of eBay earned 4 Very Helpful votes
Swee Q.'s review of Forums.watchuseek earned a Very Helpful vote

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