I am a Tough Customer

Tough customers help to improve the service level in a country.” Michelle said. I love this idea. If there is no complain from customers and no feedback, the service industry cannot improve. I have been in the customer service business for 5 years and my bar for service is high. I tend to comment on the service level of any service provider in Shanghai. I was a really tough customer for LG last Sunday.

I bought a LG Air-Condition from Yongle, the largest home applicant shopping malls in Shanghai. They shipped the A/C to my home one day before and a group of worker came to install them the next day.

To my surprise, four persons rushed to my house to install one small A/C. They didn’t wear uniform and didn’t seem to receive any education. There are many details that I can tell that they didn’t get any training before they arrive. The result was, they installed the AirCon inproperly and made my wall very dirty.

I shouted and asked them to leave my house immediately. In the next 30 minutes, I placed three telephone calls: One to LG, one to Yongle and one to the manager of the installation company. I recorded the name of everyone I talked with and kept detailed reference. In the phone calls, I referenced the Consumer Protection Laws and evidence. I know the details because I often call the legal assistance hotline 12348 to learn legal knowledge. The manager of the installation service provider was very frightened because he knew my strong complain to LG will easily remove his company from the vender list from LG. LG was worried because they learnt, to send people (for whatever reason) without training and special certificate to install dangerous equipments like AirCon broke the laws and regulations.

The result was, the vender company sent two more persons to my house to repair the installation of the AirCon and a quality manager (in my term) or people in charge (in their term) came to my house 30 minutes later and agreed to reimburse my expense to repaint wall.

During the phone, I was tough, very tough. Maybe I was wrong, but now I believe, if I keep salience and not to complain, the training system in the AirCon installation company will never be established and the quality control of both LG, the manufacture, and Yongle, the dealer cannot be improved. The same group of people will continue to install AirCon to other customers. I don’t want to be tough with people, but I do want to do something as an individual to help improve the overall service level of an industry. This can be reached if more people in the country express their dissatisfaction more loudly and clearly.

12 Comments

  1. Good for you! In the U.S. it is very common (almost expected) to complain at bad service or product quality. But for those in Shanghai who’s Chinese is far from fluent (like myself), calling in and complain would be just one more headache and usually gets no results.

    Do you think I can contact you next time and have you file the complaint ;) j/k.

  2. Jian Shuo, you have to do it sometimes, show ur tough side to the one make u tough

    hehe

    xm

  3. You’re tough, JS! :o)

    “In the phone calls, I referenced the Consumer Protection Laws and evidence. I know the details because I often call the legal assistance hotline 12348 to learn legal knowledge.” Smart. Being well-informed is a pre-requisite to solving problems. Toughness alone can backfire…

  4. Yes. I was, WilliamW. Consumer Protection Laws are the most famous laws (I guess). The law is becoming tougher and tougher to product manufactures and service providers.

  5. hey, Jianshuo, I admire u! u know what…I bought new air con lately and found that all installation workers are in uniform with very good manner and carefulness!!! maybe these are all because of u!!!

  6. As the so called quality ensurance manager said: “To survive in the service industry is not as easy as before.” It is true.

  7. Can custom return the goods within certain days in Shanghai ? In U.S, we can.

  8. Shanghai Slim

    June 19, 2004 at 4:29 am

    WJS, great work! Thanks also for the consumer hotline phone number! This kind of information is difficult for “foreigners” to find.

    >>>Can custom return the goods within certain days in Shanghai ? In U.S, we can.

    Lisa, from my experience in China, you can return things – if you bought them at a “foreign” store (e.g. Carrefour/JiaLeFu). Most Chinese businesses I have dealt with have a blanket NO REFUND policy. Caveat emptor was never truer.

  9. Have you ever been to a shopping mall, especially in the food/nonfood department, asked for a certain thing and then got a “MeiYou” ?

    And then found the thing right after ?

    The malls have lots of highly incompetent workers, each are employed mainly to observe you, I feel. I go to Lianhua supermarket near Fushan Lu (Pudong) many times, and now I am luckily able to find the things myself.

    I understand that in China workers generally have a lousy salary, and that people needs a job. And that there are 5 times as many workers for the same function as in western countries.

    Unfortunately, only 1 out of 5 probably have the knowledge to answer your questions…

    Have you tried to buy a HiFi stereo or an advanced DVD-player you will know that not many sales employed can answer your sophisticated questions, which can be found easily in the manual. Rather stand and wait for the customer that study the things that they should know about. I bought a combined “Alllike” DVD/music system, believing the sales woman who told me that it had AUX for in-going signals, so I could connect my PC and play all the music on the music system.

    After I bought it, that was not true, and I spent 2 hours convincing that they HAD to take it back. The outcome was that I bought a JVC system and an LG DVD.

    The sound from the TV, the PC and the DVD is now connected to the AUX through a triple switch-box, great sound from all 3 units !

    So – know what you want and go straight for it, asking competent personnel.

    Don’t be afraid, ask for the manager of the shop if you feel it necessary !

    Buyers very seldom knows anything of how such “advanced” devices as aircon’s works. In fact it is simply like a refrigerator.

    An example : The pipe for draining the condensed water; it is important that it goes down in a straight line without bends. I have seen a few where the water comes out of the bottom of the indoor element, but people just accept that and place some buckets to catch the drops…

    Get smarter at http://home.howstuffworks.com/ac2.htm

    Jianshuo, have you been to the repair/maintenance shop yet with your new car ?

    That can be very frustrating, I have heard.

    Personally, I have only tried it 3 times, as I repair my own cars.

    That’s much cheaper and you know that the work is done, and done properly.

    To avoid that they trick you (they WILL try, believe me !), the issue here is to know as much as possible of your car. A repair manual is of great help.

    I have one for each car I have had through the times (I think I’ve had more than 10 different cars).

    The repair manual can teach you the functions of all parts of your car, and how the car is supposed to work. Quite interesting when you’ve spent so much for it !

    Please contact me if you cannot find one for your car (or if you have problems with it).

  10. This is a very important question to you, who knows a lot about phone-numbers in Shanghai. My burning question is: how to find a private phone-number in Shanghai on the Internet? Please, help me.

    I explain my problem. I try to contact my son in Shanghai, he visits the family of his his Chinese girlfriend. I have the name of the girlfriend, but I don’t know, which part of her name is the family-name if Chinese people have any.

    I’ve got a phone numbeer from the embassy after a lot of arguing with the short comment: “Try this”. That number is too regular to be a private number. If it is not the right number, I have to explain who am I and want and it will be very expensive.

    I am desperate, I have to find my son.

  11. There are way more companies and industries in China need to have customers like you. I did this kind of complains before, but their responds were worse than their services.

  12. I wonder why you feel it necessary to yell? Being belligerent is different from demanding quality service.

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