Monday, May 10, 2010

Customer Service

So, on the one hand, there are a lot of ways in which customer service here is much better than back home. I've mentioned before that a salesclerk will gladly follow you around a store, showing you things you can buy, and many businesses are willing to fix stuff for free (glasses, scooters, bikes) if there's no parts involved. Even when there are, bike stores seem to only charge for the cost of parts- buying a new innertube for my bike tire costs as much as having the shop fix the flat for me. And if there's ever more than one customer in front of me at a place like Carrefour, I consider that a major inconvenience.
On the other hand, sometimes customer service is mystifyingly bad. I didn't realize this until I read about it on another blog, but having a place actually apologize for something they screw up is pretty rare. They'll say sorry for things like it took a while to make your tea, but not for important stuff. Like that fruit you brought was rotten? Well, it's not quite mango season yet. Um, how about sorry, here's a free mango? But you don't even get a sorry.
Tonight I was getting a massage and it was quite nice- the lady didn't seem interested in breaking blood vessels, knots were being undone, and then halfway through this extremely high-pitched noise accompanied by the sound of slightly arrythmic snapping rubberbands started. After a few minutes I asked what it was, and she said a laser (luckily laser in Chi nese sounds a lot like laser in English). I said it was pretty terrible. She said the laser person only came there once a month, so it didn't happen that often. Anyways, this sound went on and on. I pretty much can't overemphasize how awful it was. I asked if we could move to another room, she said that wouldn't be convenient. I asked if we could turn the music up, she said no. Finally I said I was going to leave because I couldn't stand it, and she just said, "Well, it's not usually like this." Um, okay. When I left they charged me for the massage and were like, "If you want another appointment, just call!" Never a sorry. Grrr.

No comments: