Of Service Matters

I suddenly have this urge to write about the services I received yesterday to settle my mum's new phone.

Yes, I think we all have experienced something similar: rude, unfriendly, arrogant customer service, and at the other end of the (good) spectrum, really friendly and courteous service.

Well, for this rant, it will include both types as aforementioned. Here goes.

1. Changing SIM card
About mum's new phone, she recently purchased the Samsung Galaxy A5, a recently launched model, which she is transitioning from her more 'inferior' Samsung Ace Plus. So it required the change of the SIM card to a nano sim. Hence, a visit to her mobile operator DiGi was required.
One 'notorious' fact about service centres in Malaysia is that, they are almost always full (perhaps this is true all over the world -__-"). This inadvertently means that waiting lines are long. But that's fair, since there aren't enough service centres anyway -__-".
So anyway, fast forward to when we received service, the lady was friendly, and so was the guy, who was quite impressed with the phone as he used to work at Samsung. I like that they had a smile on their faces and were patient with my queries, and even struck up a conversation on Samsung phones. No hassles encountered at all during the change of SIM card. I give them a 5/5 for customer service :)

2, Screen protector
So, this phone was bought from another shop about a week back, from a phone wholesaler. Unfortunately, at the time of purchase, they did not have the screen protector in stock for this model, so instead, I bought two sets of it online. However, I screwed up the 'installation' of one of this screen protector on my mum's phone, because the more I tried, the more air bubbles formed underneath -__-". So mum decided to take the second (and last) one and ask a kind soul from any mobile phone shop to help us install it (for free). I argued saying that, who would do it for free? You're not even buying anything from them and you want them to do it for you for free? Then mum relented and said, "Oklah, I'll just get the screen protector from them".

And that's what we did.

We decided to try the Samsung shop first and see if they'll do it for free since the phone is Samsung, there's at least some sense of  'relation' to the phone, despite it being an irrelevant screen protector. Well, that was my rationale at least. So let me give to you (somewhat verbatim) of what went down once I entered the Samsung shop:

Me: Hi, I have here a Samsung A5 (I emphasised the word Samsung). Do you think you can help me install my screen protector (I showed him my screen protector)? It's a Samsung A5 (I repeated just to get the idea across that it is a SAMSUNG phone!)
Guy: Oh sorry, we don't do that.
Me: Well, it's a just a screen protector.
Guy: No, we don't do.
Mum: Ok, we'll pay you some money to help us put it on, since we are really not good at this.
Guy: No cannot. We don't help people put.
Me: How much is your screen protector? *sounding annoyed*
Guy: RM99
Me: Wah, so expensive??? *purposefully saying in very annoyed tone.. RM99 is stupidly expensive okay >:(*
Guy: *blank face*
Mum: Even though it's Samsung phone, you won't help us put? I will pay you some money lah.
Guy: But this phone you also where got buy from our shop?!
Mum: Huh, like that one ah. Oklah, thank you.
Me: Mummy, don't even bother saying thank you lah. *but my back was already facing the seller*

Wah, I tell you, the moment I walked out of that shop, I wanted to swear vulgarities at this pompous ass of a salesperson. But I refrained because I had to be the better man. Ugh,

Service rendered: -0.5/5. Negative 'cos you are a bad salesperson.

To give him some credit, he wasn't rude... until the "This phone you also didn't buy from our shop?!" remark. The audacity some people have to say the most 'defensive' things to not help someone is quite repulsive.

Why are people so quick to make such overly-defensive statements? I mean.. What are you even defending yourself against? I'm not even attacking you, I'm asking you nicely and you in return rudely make such a statement. Which I think is not even a fair argument. Here's what he could have said instead:

"Sorry, we only help install if you buy the screen protector from our store. It's company policy" -- maybe his English very bad. But seriously? He really didn't think of saying anything else, except answer our questions with  a very rigid "No, we don't do that."? How very limited in thinking is that?
Seriously, sales people should know better. Furthermore, he looks older than me, so he should have had more experience dealing with customers than I would. Dude, come on, sales people should be talking more than their customers. Not a short "Yes" or "No". You're not a damn private in the military.

For one:
-I'm offering to pay you to do it, which translates to extra income for you.
-You practically have nobody in the shop at the time, and what were you doing when I was walking in? Playing with phone. Isn't that more unethical in the context of work ethics?
-Even if someone were to walk in the shop at the time, your two other colleagues could attend to them, while you could be helping us install the screen protector.

So yeah, pretty much a very typical rigid type of Malaysian thinking and behaviour that pervades the customer service industry. It's really sad and paints a really bad picture of our country.
But one thought popped into my mind... if a really hot and sexy chick walks in asking for his help, and if he f*cking said yes to the same request from her instead, I swear, I'll get his name and write a really bad review of that shop. I hate f*cking double standards especially when it's so superficial.

3. Another shop
So we walked out, and so happened there was a non-brand specific mobile phone shop just a few steps away. We tried again, but this time we first asked to buy the screen protector from their shop. Exchange as below:

Girl: Yes, can I help you? What do you want to buy? (BINGO! Customer Service Etiquette#1 - CHECK.)
Me: Do you sell this model's screen protector?
Girl: Oh, this one no.
Me: Oh, okay. We have our screen protector, but can you help us put?
Girl: *asks her immediate boss at counter* Can help ah?
Boss: *thinking* Oklah. (Customer Service Etiquette#2 - CHECK.)
Boss: *takes phone and looks* Good ah this phone?
Me: Not bad ah.
Boss: *turns on screen, and inspects the body* Wah, nice colour ah, and the body also so slim.
Me: Yeah, nice hor. You got sell ah?
Boss: No wor. *proceeds to put s.p. on while we observe her deft hands doing it*

-- she was doing it like it was just another paying customer wanting to have a screen protector on their phone. No discrimination, just pure and simple work-as-usual. Customer Service Etiquette#3 - CHECK.

Boss: Ok, done.
Me and Mum: Thank you, wah so nice!

Then, I gave her the RM5 I had in my hand. She rejected it, saying "No lah, no lah, it's ok"
But I put it in her hand anyway and thanked her again.

Now, you see, she exemplifies a kind soul. She volunteered to do it for free, but surprised by the offer of payment. Come on, RM5 for 5 minutes of work is welcomed anytime if it were me too! The as*hole guy in the Samsung shop sure didn't think of that for himself. Pffffffft.

So, that's pretty much it for one night's urban adventure. I just think that offering a helping hand, especially when it means so little on your part, should be offered without even thinking twice if asked.
If someone ask you to open the door for them, wouldn't you do it?
If it's to turn on something that you know how to, why not help?

It's not about the money... it's about courtesy, small help, paying-it-forward type of altruism.
I guess there is hope after all when I went to the second shop. :)


Things you should know as you get older #6

One certainty about growing older is that you grow wrinkles, and not necessarily wiser.


A Timeless Song for Always

This is a classic from the rock genre, a hit I will always love.
Bon Jovi, Always (1994)
This was also the years men sport long flowy hair.
Gotta love the 90s.


Here's a sentence I found

Stumbled upon something that triggered reading about the Iranian Revolution of 1979 which toppled the last Shah of Iran from his monarchy in place of a new Supreme Leader  which is (till today) governed by an Islamic theocracy.

It was this sentence that made a lot of sense about 'brain-washing' and 'blind-siding' :

Revolutions, Islamic and otherwise, seldom deliver on all their promises, and a clear external enemy can serve as a useful diversion from internal problems.
Think North Korea too.

Familiar? Well, I don't know, I'm probably another cog in the wheel. But when many of these cogs decide to stop working (and start revolting) in the tangible yet invisible machine that they supposedly serve, things can go.... awry.

You know the saying "No news is good news."; to be frank, we could all use a little more of this absence of bullsh*t. I'd prefer it more than anything in my daily dose of reading.


last week i won something

In my feeble attempt to revive this blog, let me update about the goings-on in the past couple of weeks so that I don't forget what I've been doing (in case my old brain decides to forget them unwittingly). I'll get to the subject that the title alludes to in a bit.

Last Thursday-Friday (9 Oct) - The GE Women's Network Annual Summit 2014, where I was emcee for the day (my main responsibility was to introduce speakers/panelist as well as to facilitate the flow of event for the day.) I must say that it really is a little nerve-wrecking to be the one responsible to inform the audience of the background of such high-achieving people who have taken the time to come and spend their time with us. I feel like I was just reading from paper (which is pretty much what I did LOL) and didn't do their background justice (I lacked inflections and worse, I didn't bother to memorise their achievements, but to my defense some of their achievements are too long to say in one breath LOL). But anyway, the main focus lies on the speakers so, I hope my emcee-ing was average, at least.
And then at night was the one where I could let my hair down a little (day time events are always so formal) as it was the gala dinner of the summit, with the theme of "Celebrating 1920s glamour" - think 'Great Gatsby' style dresses, headpieces and accessories. Again, I was volunteered (the irony) to be emcee for the night, along with 3 other people (Tracy, Pei Wen and the one and only Iskandar) and I think I was more in my element at night as I didn't have to be formal in the least bit. We split our jobs and the games were received pretty well by the crowd if I do say so myself. We had 1920s trivia quiz, a Charleston dance-off, a best-dressed runway and a live band. I hope it wasn't too bland. I received some nice compliments from people saying that my emcee-ing was good. So encouraging, thank you all.

Here's a photo of me in my 1920s outfit (I rented it for RM100 from Century Fiesta)
Not too shabby, eh? I think I looked like I came straight from the 20s LOLOLOL (perasannya). But honestly, if I wasn't the emcee, i think I would have been one of the nominated for Best Dressed of the night. I wouldn't mind parading like I'm Heidi Klum or Cindy Crawford because the prize was a one-night stay with breakfast at the Majestic Hotel KL (which was where our event was held). But I guess it would be a conflict of interest (not sure how that works but oh well) if I had won. LOL. Oh well, there's always next year to be a participant and not an emcee, LOL!

The next day was the MasterChef challenge which I didn't particularly feel engaged because I don't cook very well and I was damn tired from two days of having less than 5 hours of sleep -_-"
But who knew that cooking Thai food is actually not too hard? now i know how to make this (Red Rubies):
It's incredibly easy!!! One day, I'll probably try it out myself (no promises, but one day..)

That very afternoon after the GE Women's event was over, I was volunteered (yet again) to participate in a competition on how to best remember a new set of GE Beliefs that was being rolled out of late. I was so stressed out because I can't not participate ( I was asked by the HR manager herself) because then it would look bad. But thankfully for awesome GEMP-ers Awatif and Cheok, we managed to put something together in the form of a video presentation. It employed the use of irritating sounds/music and peculiar imagery woven together to make a video that is memorable (in a strange way). Since there were only 4 group participants in total, every group got a prize (I must thank the CLO for making it happen this way also LOL), RM500 Hilton food vouchers yo! Shared among group members of course ;)

So the first thing I won was that RM500 voucher at any restaurant in Hilton (group)

The second thing I won was the 'Caption that GE Photo' contest which was circulated earlier last month through emails, which had an attached photo and all you had to do to participate is to caption what you understand about the photo in 15 words or less.
*rubs palms* this is my time to practise writing copy!
Copywriting is such an art I wish I can spend more time in. Well... what better way to do that than to 
try your hand at writing competitions like these!
And with that, I landed myself with RM200 worth of MPH vouchers. much happy!

So the second thing I won was a set of vouchers worth RM200 in total. Off to buy books yay!