Tuesday, January 08, 2008

What Is Up With Customer Service Malaysia?

OK, so over the past month I have come across so many poor customer service and cleanliness issues that I just felt the need to rant about it here! Maybe it's always been this way here in Malaysia...or maybe it's just getting worse...I can't really decide which one it is especially since I have lived most of my life away from here. But seriously! It seems that many Malaysians do not understand the concept of customer service or service with a smile even...

On two separate occasions I found foreign objects in my meal and when it was pointed out to the waiter/waitress there was not even so much as an apologetic response! It went something like this:

I was happily twirling my Spaghetti Aglio Olio on my fork and enjoying it...completely oblivious to what lay in store for me! As I was chewing I suddenly bit down on something hard and sharp...I pulled it out and found a staple...YES a STAPLE! I was horrified and immediately called the waiter over and this was his response:

Waiter: Oh...(then he reached over to take it away and bring me a new one)

Me: No thanks I don't want another one after this

Waiter: OK...

and that was it...no apology...nothing...and I figured(of course this was my mistake since I had lived in the states and only thought it obvious) that they wouldn't charge me for it. After all, I had only taken 2 forkfuls before I chomped into staple and sent it back...but as R asked for the bill...there it was right on the bill! They had given me a discount on the pasta...but I found it pointless! I shouldn't have had to pay for it at all...I left that place hungry and I will never go back!

Then a few weeks later at a completely different restaurant almost the same thing happened except for the foreign object was a piece of plastic in my dessert. The waitress said oh...took it away....brought another one to my table where I found ANOTHER piece of plastic. By this time I knew it would be pointless to say anything as she'd just bring me another one...so I just shut up and left the dessert untouched. When the bill arrived this time there was no compensation at all.

Of course with my luck there was yet another incident at another restaurant just a week later...although, is it my luck or the lack of cleanliness and service here? Anyway... I was sitting at the table with some friends looking through the menu when I noticed a baby cockroach running across the table. Not wanting to make a scene I swatted it with the menu and flicked it off of the table. Just minutes after that another cockroach ran up on the table. This was when I noticed that my friends were completely immune to the crap we're being dished out in restaurants here...because not one of them reacted to 2 cockroaches on the table!! And this is not a roadside stall we were eating at...this was a nice restaurant! So I once again killed it and flicked it away. But third time's a charm right? And lo and behold! One more cockroach ran onto the table...and NO ONE CARED!! Not even the waiter who by now had noticed me killing cockroaches left right and centre! Once again no apology...no customer service on the restaurants part.

Now I'm not saying I should get a discount or a free meal every time I find something in it. I know mistakes happen and some things are unavoidable BUT an apology would be nice. That's all I ask for. That one little apology may have me coming back to your restaurant. Just that little bit of customer service is what builds regular customers regardless of your mistakes and fall backs...
Is it just me? or have you been experiencing this here as well?


Ester said...

Wut can I say bout cust service in this nation,.... never had that experience before in fine dining places but kopitiam (hawker centre)!

one idea that I can think of (if it were to happen to me) is to ensure my complain is heard by the right person, i.e. manager in charge, and carry some difficult-customer-to-deal-with kinda attitude will show them that we're taking the issue seriously.

Cant imagine what if this foreign object like staple were to be chewed and swollen into our stomach... we can even file a case against them for health damage!

tats all from me.. keep up your good articles in Chefspiration, Ms. Yummamia! surely come back to check on MY customer services..

Dynamite said...

Yes customer service here leaves a lot to be desired. My main complaint is being ignored whilst the service person talks to another service person or on a mobile phone. I have on occasion gotten up and walked out of a restaurant due to lack of service.

The cleanliness issue has been around forever and does not seem to be getting better. At least years ago you would get a profound apology but nowadays you just get apathy. Perhaps a reflection on modern culture?

Alex said...

Yes! Exactly...I have gotten ignored many times too...often when its time for the bill...you literally have to chase ppl down to PAY them!! It seriously makes no sense...

Apathy is exactly the word to describe it...and it's horrific! Thesedays we pay a bomb for below par service...disgraceful!

victor said...

Feel sorry for you but I will make a lot more noise than you did. However things are really not as bad. Last year November I was in a Japanese Restaurant and the pot containing the Japanese tea broke and spilled all over the table but not scalding me nor my friend. The manager came over and apologised profusely and I sort of graciously accepted it. Nothing happened till I asked for the bill and found out that the manager complimented me the dinner without telling me in advance.