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Customer Care? - No, couldn't care less - lah!!

Discuss about the latest news & interesting topics, real life experience or other out of topic discussions with locals & expatriates in Singapore.

Marita
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Postby Marita » Thu, 08 Dec 2005 10:48 pm

:o I'm gonna open yet another can of worms. Whether western women are easy or not is irrelevant! And if some people are gullable, or vulnerable, that shouldn't give anyone the right to exploit it. The level of service should be the same regardless of race, age, size or sex.

Really appreciate all the comments about my experience.

I do have to point out that there have been many many positive aspects that I have experienced during my stay in Singapore. But unfortunately us Brits are not very good at paying compliments!

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riversandlakes
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Postby riversandlakes » Fri, 09 Dec 2005 2:26 am

Marita, you ARE my Queen :D

I don't think it's a matter of local men picking on foreign/western women, but on women in general. Like in general mechanics tend to charge more if a woman drove the car into the workshop.

Local men even pick on local men, if they perceive them pickable. My brother and his Nokia 6630...

Is this characteristic of local men, or just human nature and bad manners in general?

Isn't there an official place where people can complaint and blacklist shops like these?
Goatboy will always cherish his former goatgirl.
But the world is full of fluffier ones.

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rakyomin
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^^

Postby rakyomin » Fri, 09 Dec 2005 4:37 am

Depends on individuals, characters have nothing to do with cultures and nationalities.

The owner of the shop is partly responsible for the attitudes of his/her employees.

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Bubbles
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Postby Bubbles » Fri, 09 Dec 2005 6:29 am

It's a damned shame that you got service like this because I'm sure there are many, many good retailers out there in Singapore. I have to admit that I got good service on my electrical stuff, but to tell the truth I always got it from the same people for the eight years I was there...Paris Silk in Holland Village, so I can't speak for SimLim.
It does all depend on character, how you react to certain stimulii. (For instance I think Marita was very restrained in her actions in the shop, I would have made sure I went back with hubby as he does 'threatening looks' really well, and I need him there cos I go overboard with causing a scene and need to be controlled...at least I know my weaknesses.).... You can't generalize across the board, though people tend to do so....until they are on the other end of the hypocrisy.

Take for example how people feel about ....

1. Car salesmen....most think these people are sharks...not true, they just have to earn commission.

2. Women Drivers....enough said, but don't we get a lot of stick?

3. Gypsies..........well, tell me, do YOU think people think of them as layabouts?

4. Young, pretty Singaporean girls who date Expat older men....Hmm...well, what's the phrase that springs to mind? All grossly unfair to lucky good looking women who like older blokes of other nationalities.

5. I could go on.....how about...Mistresses (can't all be cows)...Taxi Drivers...aren't all out to drive you the long way round.....etc etc

It's all about human nature in the end and unfortunately some people are out to fleece you, and that's that.

Me, I'm such a sweet child.....lolol.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Dylan Thomas.

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sapphire
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Postby sapphire » Fri, 09 Dec 2005 8:13 am

I know exactly how Marita felt about this mess. My monitor went on the blink after less than a month of purchase. Called up Hp service centre, boy did I have a tough time! Went through five monitors in a span of two months. They had the gall to tell me that maybe I was one of those retarded users.

In short, it took about ten phone calls, heated exchange of words which included talking to the attendant, supervisor and manager for me to get a loaner monitor. Almost always they don't have a spare in stock. In such a small country when the excuse given is that the technical engineer is on the other side of town, I just see red! Oh and never buy Hp!

In sharp contrast is the US. I bought a stick of ram in California, tried to make it work on my Hp computer, it went insane. I thought maybe its bad stick. All I had to do was send it to my friend in Cali, didn't even have the bill with me, within a month I got a brand new stick of ram. Its another story that you can't upgrade anything on a Hp machine. :roll:

Isn't Marita's case an example of racism? Lets stop accusing the westerners of racism, we Asians are not far behind. :roll:
Last edited by sapphire on Fri, 09 Dec 2005 8:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Marita
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Postby Marita » Fri, 09 Dec 2005 8:16 am

As the whole eposode was unwinding, I was texting my husband (where the language wasn't nearly as clean as what was being said out loud) and he was telling me to hold on and he would be there in a few minutes and would sort it out.

But, one of the hardest things for me to adapt to living here in Singapore is becoming a "non-person" Not only am I female, but I don't have a work permit either, and it really grates me that I can't get a mobile phone, a credit card, a loan or anything in my name. The best I can do is order a cake from the bakers for my kids birthdays.

2 years ago I was a fully functional person with a job and a salary, and there is no way I can let a jumped up sales guy with no social skills intimidate me.

After all, I AM the Queen..............

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samantha
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Postby samantha » Fri, 09 Dec 2005 9:00 am

Well, the customer is always right. Whoever is paying the bill is always right. :wink:
I'm so stupid that I surprise myself sometimes...

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Global Citizen
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Postby Global Citizen » Fri, 09 Dec 2005 9:22 am

Marita wrote:
But, one of the hardest things for me to adapt to living here in Singapore is becoming a "non-person" Not only am I female, but I don't have a work permit either, and it really grates me that I can't get a mobile phone, a credit card, a loan or anything in my name. The best I can do is order a cake from the bakers for my kids birthdays.

2 years ago I was a fully functional person with a job and a salary, and there is no way I can let a jumped up sales guy with no social skills intimidate me.

After all, I AM the Queen..............


Welcome to my world queen. I have been (and still am somewhat) in your shoes where I felt for a time I had lost my own identity vis a vis my husband's job in a different location. No work permit meant I couldn't work and thus didn't earn my own money, hence no credit card independent of my husband's account etc. Yeah it's very tough if you've been independent all along.

So what did I do? I decided to write a freelance agony aunt column where I was and made several calls to the local papers until one decided to give me a shot. That was many years ago (and I no longer do it) I made a pittance then but it was enough for my self esteem to know that I could earn some of my own money. Not sure if you can do anything similar or thereabouts without a work permit there but ask around and the rest may follow. Good luck and hang in there.
One man's meat is another's poison.

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Mary Hatch Bailey
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Postby Mary Hatch Bailey » Fri, 09 Dec 2005 9:39 am

Global Citizen wrote:
Marita wrote:
But, one of the hardest things for me to adapt to living here in Singapore is becoming a "non-person" Not only am I female, but I don't have a work permit either, and it really grates me that I can't get a mobile phone, a credit card, a loan or anything in my name. The best I can do is order a cake from the bakers for my kids birthdays.

2 years ago I was a fully functional person with a job and a salary, and there is no way I can let a jumped up sales guy with no social skills intimidate me.

After all, I AM the Queen..............


Welcome to my world queen. I have been (and still am somewhat) in your shoes where I felt for a time I had lost my own identity vis a vis my husband's job in a different location. No work permit meant I couldn't work and thus didn't earn my own money, hence no credit card independent of my husband's account etc. Yeah it's very tough if you've been independent all along.

So what did I do? I decided to write a freelance agony aunt column where I was and made several calls to the local papers until one decided to give me a shot. That was many years ago (and I no longer do it) I made a pittance then but it was enough for my self esteem to know that I could earn some of my own money. Not sure if you can do anything similar or thereabouts without a work permit there but ask around and the rest may follow. Good luck and hang in there.


I find this interesting since, like you I left a job in the US when I moved here and was not given a work permit here in Singapore. I have never felt for a second though that 'I don't earn my own money.'

It's scenarios exactly like what Marita described, which (sorry Marita) occur all to often that -- let's say -- contribute to my 'paycheck'. In other words, my husband works a tremendous amount and travels 75% of the time. With three kids and all the normal stuff that includes (I was at Mt. E three times this week) plus the fact that dealing with the day-to-day in Singapore can be time-consuming and challenging, I'm not sure our family could handle me in a full-time job. I've never felt more fully-functioning!

He goes out and works, my job is everything else. I know some trailing sposes really miss their jobs, just going to work and making their own money. One of the biggest reasons we stay is so I don't have to work.

Agree with GC though. Hang in there Marita becasue it does get better. I have a dozen stories like yours, but there are some unusual kindnesses which balance those out -- just wait and see. :)

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Postby Vaucluse » Fri, 09 Dec 2005 9:45 am

Marita, what an excellent piece of writing - Mrs 'Cluse and I were laughing, seething and cursing with you . . . good for you that it worked out in the end. The pox on the this salesguy and most others in Singapore - 'She who must be obeyed' has been in the same boat a few times, but she has NONE of the English reserve and usually has the offending 'pimple' cowering (despite her 5' frame).

Been on a trip for a while now, and heading off again tonight for a breather, but in Thailand it's all smiles until you want them to do something out of the ordinary - like explain something or ask for a refund. This smile turns into a scowl and the 'I Thai, dun speak Ingriss' black face turns up. After all, you're a Farang and all Farang are wealthy and owe Thais a living, whether it's the taxi driver who automatically keeps any change or the shopkeeper who thinks it's ok to charge $10 for a t-shirt that she bought for $1 and she gets upset if you offer $7 to the lousy government which charges foreigners up to 100 times more than Thais.

Anyone want an argument on the above - please give me the pleasure. :twisted:

Happy to back! :)
......................................................

'nuff said Image

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sundaymorningstaple
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 09 Dec 2005 9:49 am

Vaucluse wrote:Been on a trip for a while now, and heading off again tonight for a breather, but in Thailand it's all smiles until you want them to do something out of the ordinary - like explain something or ask for a refund. This smile turns into a scowl and the 'I Thai, dun speak Ingriss' black face turns up.


Welcome back, at least in registered format & enjoy your break in Thailand.

The difference between your discription above and here is major. Here you get blackface all the time with or without problem! :mrgreen:

Bon Voyage again!

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Vaucluse
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Postby Vaucluse » Fri, 09 Dec 2005 10:20 am

SMS, kind words indeed, and just for that:


Yes, black face pervades the industry here. One little game Mrs 'Cluse and I like to play here is that when we have a salesperson following us in a shop we split up and I block the passageway - therefore perplexing the poor person.

I know, I'm a sad git, but it's the little things that kids enjoy.
......................................................



'nuff said Image

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Bafana
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Postby Bafana » Fri, 09 Dec 2005 11:52 am

Singapore got a lot of bad service and on the other hand got a lot of good service...

I have found that the best way to deal with bad service here is to let them know your not happy with the way they are treating you - This is also a good way to get a bigger discount in the haggle.

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sapphire
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Postby sapphire » Fri, 09 Dec 2005 1:51 pm

Lol, you actually have a strategy in place, Vaucluse? Too funny.

Bafana, you are correct. You have to let them know you aren't happy. I loved Bubble's post on this issue, hit the nail on the head.
It's not getting any smarter out there. You have to come to terms with stupidity, and make it work for you.

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Baron Greenback
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Postby Baron Greenback » Fri, 09 Dec 2005 3:41 pm

Martia as you said
I can't get a mobile phone, a credit card, a loan or anything in my name.
Then you have to carry cash around with you. Therefore, your majesty, you cannot be the queen as everyone knows she doesn't carry any cash :)

On the topic of 'do men get better service' I find that my gf often gets into stick with service men of all sorts, air-con, removal men, delivery men etc, but they respond better to me & I can only guess it is because I am a guy.

Or could it be my irresistible charm? :roll: perhaps not.
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