More Thanh Words

"My name is Thanh and I'm a Blogger". Now that I have admitted to that, I can say that I'm a stereotypical "geeky" Engineer who enjoys sci-fi books and movies and into all things technological. I also love music and have a passion for FOOD. I'm a social person and like to talk to people. I hate people who are fake or overly aggressive. If you're also into some serious discussion, with a pinch of sarcasm and a dash of real emotion, then please read on.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Customer Service 4 - Asian Style Service

Following in my series of customer service stories, I have a couple more to add.

Firstly, my friend Kin had emailed me today about his customer service saga and I was going to blog about it anyway. But then during the day, I had my own customer service story and will include that as well. The common theme between both stories is that both of us were served by Asians. It may be stereotypical but it also has some basis of truth that you don't really get much service in suburbs such as Springvale where most of the service staff are Asian, and in particular, Asians that didn't grow up here. Being Asian myself, I recognise this trait as just part of the way people grow up in Asia, but it varies vastly with the service that you come to expect in Australia.

So here is Kin's email detailing his story with corrects for grammar only.

You won't believe what I had to go thru to cancel that Asian VCD/DVD membership card. I knew I had to be there in person because if I tried explaining over the phone it would be impossible.

First I just said I've lost the card, please cancel my membership. She was confused (mainland China I think), and said she could do that but I can't get my money back. I said I don't want my money back, the card was expired years ago anyway. Just take me off the records just to be completely safe.

It took her 5 mins to go through the records in the computer, in the cabinet and then she had to call up someone and spoke in mandarin. After about another 5 mins, she finished her phone call and then said it was ok but asked me why I wanted to cancel my membership. I thought we established that at the very start. I had to explain to her to potential dangers of having someone else use your card to rent from them and not returning.

My story is worse since at least the other assistant was trying to help him but maybe wasn't paying close attention. I went to Western Union to make a money transfer. When I walked in, I was the only one in the place and there was an Asian lady behind the counter. She was on the cordless phone and initially I thought it was a work call so I just stood at the counter and waited. Then when I realised she was talking in Vietnamese and in a very casual manner, I knew it was a private call. She looked up and saw me standing there, yet it must have been a good minute before she even bothered to take the phone down for a second and ask what I wanted.

I thought she would hang up at that point, but no, she kept talking, walked over to another counter computer and quickly snapped, "What do you want to send". I passed over the form that I had already filled out. She proceeded to chat away without doing much, then slowly started typing in the computer. All the while, she was talking in a mixture of English and Vietnamese and laughing and giggling and telling her friend that "You're so naiive if you think that..... (switches to Vietnamese)". When she was done typing, she literally barks at me "Are you going to pay". I'm already standing there holding out my bank card. What did she think I was trying to do, use the card as a part of my ninja throwing. I said "Please charge it on EFTPOS". She replied with "Cash only", no "Sorry we don't take card, only cash." So I said I would have to go to the bank teller and get money, which I proceeded to do. When I got back, she was still yapping on the phone and I handed over the money. She then counted the money, literally tossed over my change and printed out the form. She didn't bother explaining anything about the tracking numbers. I just took my form, said "Thanks" and walked out.

That was totally unprofessional and very rude. If that is the way that that particular Western Union shop operates, I won't be doing business with them unless it is totally the last option. That girl was so lazy and irresponsible. She was at work and that is no way to conduct yourself at work. You will never get anywhere far with that attitude. However, that type of attitude is all too common amongst a lot of Asians who think service is something you do to your car. This is such a shame since leaving the customers unhappy is not going to do your business any good.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

These stories don't surprise me.
These Asians come here with no manners, no morals, no ethics and no english.


6/15/2007 9:57 AM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

Anonymous, I'm sure the story doesn't surprise you as it happened to you hahaha. Stop being so intentionally provocative, you'll just get lots of angry comments.

6/15/2007 6:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wasn't born here myself and I had to grow up in a family where chinese was spoken daily. But I still took the opportunities to develop my skills with English language, make friends with westerners, leart the Aussie culture, etc. All these other useless Asians do is hang in their own groups and pretend they still back home.

Pauline Hanson may not have been popular with her policies but they had some merits. Why bring in all these migrants who refuse to embrace the Australian way. That's why they get stuck in medial jobs and lack morals and manners. SIGH

6/15/2007 10:25 PM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

Anonymous, I don't think hanging out with your own race is a useless things. I do think that people should integrate to a certain extent as that doesn't alienate them from the rest of society. But it doesn't mean that they have to adopt the "Aussie" way for everything.

The fact that immigrants bring in a different mentality and culture is a good thing. Its adds more depth and diversity to this nation. The point of my post is was more that Asians are use to service being different in Asia and carry that attitude here, which seems very rude to most people here.

6/17/2007 1:08 PM  
Anonymous Juz said...

Of all the countries in Asia, service in Japan is exceptional. Sometimes it was even better service than that given by my non-Asian counterparts in Australia. Go figure.

6/17/2007 6:03 PM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

Justin, I haven't been to Japan, but I think thats the impression I get from various other people and tv shows. I guess they just have a tradition of good service and probably care about it more. Whereas in other Asian countries, service is an unheard of thing.

6/17/2007 10:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Do

That's what I am trying to say. These useless Asians are welcome to share their culture coming to Australia but they also must adapt themselves in the new environment. This involves learning the required spoken/written language, understanding certain manners & customs, aquiring certain skills, etc. Otherwise they alienate themselves as a minority squatting in Springvale smoking and spitting lining outside Centrelink.

Make themselves useful for goodness sakes. They ain't necessarily rude in customer service but just hopeless and clueless. Not good for the economy. I ain't telling them to go back where they come from, I'm saying that they need to prepare themselves to be productive citizens coming in here. We don't need anymore Fobs taking advantage of our nations natural resources while not contributing to anything. Tell me those friends of yours hanging outside Sandown Park station every night are making are streets safe.

6/19/2007 9:13 AM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

Anonymous, you have a point regarding that a certain level of adaptation is required so that you become a useful part of society rather than a burden on it.

And I don't have any friends who hang outside Sandown Park station, I think those are you friends hahaha.

6/20/2007 9:14 PM  
Anonymous Train Station Loiterer said...

Hey don't pick on us about that. We wait there everyday to loot the Brotherhood bin. Where else can we get our baggy pants and Michael Jordan jerseys from? My cousin Bongo picked up a the latest Bling and Nokia 5110 last week.

7/10/2007 11:20 AM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

Loitering is never good, and to steal from the Brotherhood bin is disgraceful. Go steal from rich people and give to the poor.

7/10/2007 7:01 PM  
Anonymous Train Station Loiterer said...

Give to the poor???

What do you call us then> You think I earn a lot every fortnight at the Centrelink office. I've got 5 accounts but still not enough. Bongo can't even be bothered lining up, even though the centre is right next to this playpen.

7/11/2007 1:36 PM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

Lazy people who are still capable of working shouldn't be able to receive the dole long term. Its a drain on hard working people like myself who have to pay so much taxes for you to sit around all day loitering at train stations. Shame on you Train Station Loiterer, Shame.

7/11/2007 10:26 PM  

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