Posts Tagged poor customer service

December 27, 2004 – I miss Japanese Customer Service

I did a lot of shopping in Winnipeg today. After spending hours in the mall, I realized how much I miss Japanese Customer Service. If you only ever shop in Canada, you don’t realize just how good service can be. I found that some clerks just simply had no interest in serving customers at all.

In Japan I have had great service in almost any place where I was a customer. Staff will do their best to help you, even with a language barrier. Restaurant servers are fantastic even though they don’t get tips. Japanese customer service truly raises the bar for everyone else.

The worst offenders on my return home┬áso far have been Sport-Check and Roots, where the staff had no interest in working at all. I am not sure if they were unhappy to be working in busy stores over the holidays, or if they just didn’t like their jobs. Getting any help at all was a major imposition. Those clerks would have been fired in Japan immediately. Koya, Moore’s, Robin’s Donuts and Osborne Cyber Cafe (where I am now) haven’t been very good either.

To be fair, I have gotten some great service at Carlos and Murphys, Olive Garden, Applebees, Lens-Crafters and The Liquor Mart. Well done folks, well done.

I spent several hours at Polo Park mall shopping with my mom. By the end I was tired and grumpy, and just wanted to leave. If you are living away from home and only have limited time to spend with your family, spend that time doing something you both enjoy. Shopping was a poor choice and I wish I had just played a few intense games of Scrabble instead.

(2014 Update) Please remember that these posts happened 10 years ago. I make no assertions about the level of service you will receive in any of these stores now. Even if the service has improved, it’s still probably not as good as service in Japan. Seriously, I miss Japanese customer service.

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June 6, 2004 pt2 – Lost plane tickets

The guys are leaving tomorrow, so after returning from our rainy day in Kamakura, everyone slowly started packing. We also watched the hockey game on the Hello House TV (Calgary lost again) and tried to finish any leftover alcohol from Canada.

All of the guys booked their flights through a travel agent in Green’s home town in northern Alberta. The travel agent was a friend of Green’s father. For some unknown reason, the travel agent booked all of the tickets from Winnipeg to Chicago to Tokyo instead of the faster, easier Winnipeg to Vancouver to Tokyo. Also, not everyone was on the same flight home. Flounder was flying solo at 2:00pm, while Green, Code Red and Hippie were on a 4:00pm flight.

During the packing, Hippie couldn’t find his ticket. He carefully checked all of his bags and still couldn’t find it. We searched my room that Hippie and I had been staying in from top to bottom – no ticket. Flounder, Code Red and Green searched through their room and suitcases carefully – still no ticket. After about an hour of careful searching, we took to the phone.

Due to the time, we couldn’t get in touch with the airlines. Green called the travel agent and someone in the office answered the phone. Green explained that he and his friends were in Japan, leaving tomorrow, and one of them lost a ticket. The travel agent told Green that they were closed and hung up on him. Hippie then turned to his last resort – calling his parents for help.

We got a call back at 4:30am from Hippie’s father who had just talked to United Airlines. Hippie could show up at the airport with ID and fill out a lost ticket form. He would receive a new ticket in exchange for $100 US dollars. Hippie was not thrilled about having to pay, but was happy that we would be able to go home.

It turns out that Hippie losing his ticket was a good thing for the whole group, but we didn’t find out until we got to the airport…

(2014 Update) It’s hard to imagine that only 10 years ago it was that difficult to get in touch with an airline.

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