anivyl (anivyl) wrote in bad_service,

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the difference in services (really really LONG)

i haven't been home (singapore) for a few years, so upon return, i went on a shopping rampage, and was more than disgusted at some of the services i was "provided". To start off with, i will just mention right off that while i know there's no tipping culture here, i will sometimes tip. however, restaurants on the "higher" end will also charge me a service charge, to ensure that their staffs get tipped anyways. Also, considering how Singapore prides herself on her service industry, what i have experienced shouldn't be at a... horrific level.

so let me start off from the mild case to the not so mild case.

1) I went to Hog's Breath Cafe, a steak house, as it was a restaurant i have grown fairly close to when i am in Australia. Right from the time i stepped in, there was no smile, and the general impression given to me was one of being care less.

i have barely sat down, when the waiter just came over and asked if i wanted to order. didn't double checked my order either, and got me the wrong sauces and sides to the meal.

Furthermore, when i wanted to order a drink, he suggested that i get this particularly expensive (by singaporean terms) drink, which is nothing more than a flavoured soda/tea thing. in his words, "you be getting 2 drinks for the price of one".

when i finally started eating, i was almost at the end of the drink. he has disappeared, and his manager was busy doing some work on his laptop. i tried to wave for his attention, to no avail. finally, the waiter re-appeared, and after a couple of waves, he finally attended to me (no 2 bite checks, nothing) to which i asked for my second drink.

when the bill came, i was charged for the 2nd drink. when questioned, he said, "oh, no, i meant, since it's flavoured soda cum tea, it's LIKE having 2 drinks for the price of one."

so not only do i have to pay the service charge for... literally no service other than his bringing me my food and drink and taking my orders, i had to pay for his misrepresentation. instead of arguing to lift the 2nd drink and service charge (which i have been told i could do, but have never seen it performed), i got irritated enough to just up and go.

2) This isn't quite Singapore, since i was in a British Airway flight to singapore, from sydney.

it didn't start out bad, i was seated by the aisle, and there was a good movie on. Then "dinner time" came. The air stewardess ran out of food on her truck in the row just infront of me, and left to get some more. normally, most flights that i have been in anyways, the air stewardess just pushed the whole trolley back to the kitchenette and start back at the row she missed, so i wasn't afraid that she might have missed me, and continued watching my movie with the headset on.

the couple to my right have gotten their food from the stewardess on the right aisle.

then, the stewardess came handing out the food packs 2 by 2 from the row in front of me, rather than pushing her trolley all the way back to the row in front of me, but it wasn't my turn yet, so i didn't care. but she took so long to come back this time, i was checking every few minutes to see if she have forgotten me.

first couple of times, the people behind me haven't got their food yet, so i didn't worry. then, i turned out around, and they had food, and she was nowhere to be found.

then she re-appeared, pouring coffee.

by the time her superior and her realised her mistake, there was no more meat left, and what looked like an eww looking vegetarian pasta. so i said i won't eat that. She told me i would have to wait for the first class cabin to finish eating before i get any other available choice of food.

By the time she came back to me, there was again, only the vegetarian option left, but it was vegetarian curry rice and i was awfully hungry. so i just took it. what landed on my plate though, looked like someone had eaten a scoop or 2, didn't like it and threw it back at them.

serious. but me = hungry, and me = i really am too drained to care. she apologised a few times, and i just let it go.

however... i bought some chocolates on flight. she claimed there was no change at the moment, it was too small a sum (5 pounds) for any change to occur. so i said i don't mind waiting... AND she never came back.

i have a bad habit of not wanting to explode at a service staff, since i find it hard to control the volume of my voice when angry, so i left seething, but with a snide remark left at the head stewardess. "tell her, i am tired of waiting for her to remember me, she can take it as a 'tip'". and instead of realising something was wrong, from the tone and the hint, they thank me like i just booned her 5 zillion pounds.


3) Finally, for today, Harvey Norman (Singapore) is truly shocking. while it didn't quite happened to me, i was there for a few of the interchanges.

Friend and her father-in-law went to get himself a fridge as his had broken down, and they needed one urgently. However, they made a mistake, and chose one that was too big for the kitchen, and luckily, they were told they could change it for a smaller one, and need not pay a penalty since they discovered the mistake before the fridge was delivered.

now, after choosing a new fridge, the father-in-law was told over the phone that the fridge is currently unavailable at the warehouse, and it would be a month before they would get the fridge. Bear in mind though, this exchange happened at her in-law's place, she was staying in a neighbouring block.... so she didn't hear the original exchange.

the in-laws are a meek group of people, who get frightened if someone so much as raise their voice towards them...

so FIL notified my friend that perhaps, he wouldn't want the fridge anymore (since they need a fridge urgently, and it wasn't possible from harvey norman), and perhaps they should use the deposit towards something else. He said, he was "told" though, that it was not possible to change his mind anymore. Curious, my friend called up harvey norman.

and omg, the nightmare that ensued.

the guy, let's call him Desmond, SCOLDED my friend. "why couldn't you guys have made up your mind? why the constant changes? no you can't do it, i won't let you. go learn how to make choices before laying down deposits."

the whole exchange went on and on for about half an hour, with him railing against my friend, and her constantly telling him and warning him that she is a PAYING customer, and it wasn't like she wasn't going to buy something else. it just wasn't going to be a fridge.

"so what if you are a paying customer? doesn't mean you are in the right!"

and after some railing, and she finally screamed at him, "don't tell me an exchange is not possible, i have asked around and was told it was possible." he told her in a curt tone, "let me ask my manager then" and hung up on her.'

and when my friend relayed to her FIL what happened, he quietly and sadly said that he too was yelled at, which was why he called her. that upset my friend heaps, so when Desmond finally called back, she was seething. funnily, this time he was all nice and polite, albeit there was NO apologies. she railed at him again, for being rude and disrespectful, while he just pretended not to notice what she was saying.

when friend finally went down to spend FIL's deposit, her in-laws were so scared, they waited outside of harvey norman for her.

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