Saturday, July 24, 2010

The good, the bad and the ugly.....

Incident 1 - BAD
Bought a universal remote control from an IT shop in Tiong Bahru Plaza. Had checked with the staff (sales staff & cashier too) SEVERAL times if there's a return policy and was told "yes, no problem at all. Just return the good in its original packaging together with the receipt in 7 days for a full refund". When the remote didn't work on my TV, I did as I was told...brought remote back in its original packaging with the receipt within 7 days.

First the staff handling the return asked all kinds of questions like "why you want to return?", "what's wrong with the item?" etc. Then he scrutinized the item front, back, up, down & centre (I was pretty sure he would've used a microscope to inspect the remote if he had one!). Finally, he told me that a cash refund was not possible....and that I could either find another item (of a similar or higher price) to exchange for and pay the difference in price or I can top up another SGDXX.XX to obtain a cash voucher of the smallest denomination.

All these options require that I spend more or buy something that I don't really need. And none of these "conditions" were conveyed to me even after I had asked the staff numerous times regarding the return policy before purchasing the item 'cos I was really worried that the universal remote might not work on my TV! In the states, there are no questions asked for refunds and you either get a credit on your account or cash back on the spot! And I know that I won't be looked upon like a criminal/cheat when I need to return something.

Incident 2 - BAD
I was going to purchase a scarf at a clothing shop at CCK Mall. The price tag clearly read SGD9.90. I proceeded to the cashier to make payment. First I was made to wait really long for someone to appear at the cashier....then the lady started keying in the price and then took my credit card to swipe. Then she told me "oh, by the way, the scarf is not SGD9.90....the actual price is SGD14.90". Great...I was told about the wrong pricing only after the price had been keyed in and my credit card swiped!

So I told the cashier that the price tag clearly read SGD9.90 and the rest of the scarves on the same rack were all priced at SGD9.90. She said "yah, sorry...I'll get the staff to price them correctly later". In the states, wrong pricing on goods do occur fairly frequently....and when that happens, the shops would usually honour the price even if it's much lower than what it should be. I had once bought a floor rug for only USD1.00 in the states 'cos the item was tagged wrongly...yet the wrong price was honoured by the shop.

Incident 3 - BAD
We had made a room reservation for a night's stay at a new fancy hotel in Singapore yet we did not receive any email confirmation or payment invoice. And when we called the reservation hotline on numerous occasions, the calls went answered. So we wrote them an email to check regarding our online booking and guess what, there was no reply either.

And when I finally got through to the reservation hotline after many many tries, I was told that our booking was confirmed. I asked why there wasn't an email confirmation at least...and the staff told me that the booking system is not capable to do that yet! I also asked why our email went unanswered and the staff could only muster a feeble sorry. For a big hotel chain....I'm quite surprised by the poor service standards. I just think that if the hotel is not ready to handle guests' bookings...then perhaps they should've delayed their opening.

Incident 4 - BAD & UGLY
Since I got back, I've seen and personally experienced numerous cases of people cutting queues (i.e. at the supermarket, shops, cab stands, cinema etc.). And what's shocking to me is, the people cutting queues are young SG adults who look educated. They were so shameless and even after they were being told off for cutting queues, some of them would still talk back or stare at you like you were being a bitch! Grrrrhhhhh

Service staff should be trained to handle such situations too. There were many instances when the service staff had witnessed the queue cutting and yet did nothing about it and continued to serve the queue-cutters. It makes my blood double boil! I do not think that should be the case. Service staff should be trained to "tell off" the queue cutters politely and refuse to serve them.

Incident 5 - GOOD
I made an online booking for a hotel in London and paid using my SG credit card. When the amount was charged to my card a couple of days after my online booking, I got a message from the bank saying that an amount of GBPX,XXX had been charged to my card. The sms served to verify the authenticity of the charge as it was an out-of-the-norm overseas transaction.

I think it's a very good system for credit card customers as it'd definitely help to reduce fradulant credit card usages. I wish there is such a system in the states too. Even when I accidentally overdrew on my US checking account...there wasn't any form of notification to alert me of it.

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