Thursday, October 30, 2008

Hot weather and poor customer service

Just a few posts ago I was complaining about the wet weather. I think the skies heard me and now they've responded with vengeance. It's suddenly become hot since last week. Really hot and dry that Caitlin's sensitive nose has been feeling the effects. We normally sleep without the air condition but last night, we felt like we were in an oven so the aircon came on.

It's good on one hand that I don't have to worry about going in and out with umbrellas and raincoats, driving in the blinding rain and stepping into puddles. It's bad on the other hand that I have to make sure we, especially Caitlin, are well hydrated with lots of drinking water, wear cooler materials and stay out of the sun.

Sure sounds like I've nothing more interesting to talk about other than the weather right? I guess it must be the weather getting me down, lazy, sleepy, tired....and irritable.

I've one grouse about customer service in Malaysia generally...or rather the lack of it. Three weeks ago, before the Hari Raya break, I requested for a cost estimate from one so-called renowned kitchen cabinet makers in the country. The guy sold his product and service very impressively but as they say, talk is cheap. He promised to get back to me within three days but took two weeks instead. And even then, I had to call his boss to complain after not being able to get him on his mobile several times.

His boss was not that great with being nice too. His first words when I told him I'd like to make a complaint was "Why?!" and in a rather antagonistic and defensive way. Their 'signature' kitchen designs are nice and they boast of quality materials but I believe other kitchen designers are equally good if not better.

The cost estimate finally came via email but only provided a total sum for my two kitchens (wet and dry). I spent another frustrating phone call requesting for a breakdown of the cost to get a better picture of where and how my money will be spent. It's almost two weeks now and still no phone call or email from them. I've not been holding my breath as I've moved on to other kitchen planners, but it just sickens me when people lack the courtesy to follow-up on their word. That goes not only for customer service people or professionals but even so-called friends I've encountered. Where is the integrity and sincerity?

For the price I'm to pay for their product, they'd well be giving impeccable service but no siree, not these people. Or maybe in their eyes, we don't look like the type who are seriously looking or can afford to purchase? No one even approached us when we visited their showroom in one of the largest malls in town prior to me calling for a meeting with the kitchen planner.

I wonder why they spend so much on branding themselves and paying exorbitant airtime rates for their typically-Malaysian-overly-exaggerated radio ads shouting out their customer service number if all I get is lousy service which they claim is second to none as one of their USPs? Little do they realise that the attitude and behaviour of just one staff can spoil their entire image and impact their business. More so with the power of word-of-mouth, SMS and the Internet these days. Or maybe they just don't care as they are arrogant and confident that their image and product can supercede their lousy people?

I guess I shall stop my rant here before I cross the line in bad-mouthing them further and naming these guys directly (though it doesn't mean I haven't done so indirectly...). Suffice to say that I won't be using these guys for my new kitchen.

1 comment:

lcb said...

Tip:
Never use a contractor that needs more than a phone call to respond.