Friday, November 17, 2006

Where in the world am I? (12)

I am in a country where the notion of 'customer service' is still completely unknown.

For example, despite there being tens of thousands of English-speaking foreigners in this city, the country's main Internet service provider has no helpline in English. I had to ask one of my former students to hassle them for me about my 4.5-day interruption of service..... and she was told:

"It's not our problem."

"There's nothing we can do." (This nation's No. 1 Favourite Lie!)

"We've no idea what's causing the trouble."

"It's probably a fault with his computer, or his modem; they're probably too old, he should replace them."

And, the climax..... this corker:
"Well, if he can still access local websites, what's his problem? Why does he want to look at foreign websites?" (Hmmm, let me see - well, quite apart from the language issues, local websites are mostly SHITE!)

In the years I have spent here, I have come to realise that there must be a SECRET 'CUSTOMER SERVICE' MANUAL..... because, if you are ever brave enough or foolhardy enough to try to return something to a deparment store, you will always hear exactly the same litany of responses from the shop clerk:

"You didn't buy it here." (I love that as an opener! "Yes, I did.")

"You don't have the receipt." ("Here it is.")

"We only accept returns within 7 days." ("I bought it 6 days ago." OR "This sign on your desk here says you accept returns within 28 days!")

"If it's faulty, you should take it back to the manufacturers." ("I just called the manufacturers, and they said you'd replace it for me.")

"We don't have any more in stock."

And so on. And on. And on. They try to stonewall you into submission. ALWAYS. There's got to be some sort of training programme for this.

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