I heard a very interesting story today. My friends (two foreigners to Shanghai) went to the DaShiDai (a mall of all kind of meal venders) for lunch. It may be the first time for them to visit thier and order lunch for themselves.
They waited in the line and when it was their turn, they pointed to the sample dishes (not unknowing Chinese) and wanted to order. The waitress said “No. No. No!”. Not knowing English, the waitress didn’t know how to explain to them the reason.
So my friends thought maybe the waitress complained that they didn’t follow the line. They get back to the end of the line and waited until they have the opportunity to see the waitress again. The answer was still NO! and No!.
Finally they realized that they didn’t accept cash or credit card! They only accept the card issued by the mall – the little gray plastic card. They were so happy to find out the secret and looked for the card dealer, bought the card, got back to the end of the line again. When they met the waitress for the third time, both of the three persons were so happy that they could finally complete the deal.
It was not rare that many shopping malls, restaurants have their own processes that the customers have to follow to complete the transaction.
In most shopping malls, for example, the process was complicated, although local people didn’t realize it any more. It looks like this:
1. You browse the goods and select what you like.
2. You ask the server to write an order for you.
3. You take the order, ask the server where you can find the check-out counter.
4. You go to the checkout counter by yourself with about 2-3 different documents (sometimes with a record sheet the shopping mall uses internally).
5. You wait in the line again and pay by cash, or credit card.
6. The person at the counter gets the documents (paper) they need, give you the documents you need and stamp all the documents.
7. You bring back everything – your credit card receipt (if you use CC), the record sheet, your receipt and the internal payment proof back to the place where you order the goods. Sometimes, the person at the counter will give you the bag you need to take the goods.
8. The server there will check everything, take whatever he/she needs and only leave the documents you needs. Then he/she put the goods into the bag you bring from the checkout counter, and smile: “Thanks for shopping with us and hope you will be back again”.
Well. It looks complicated for the first time visitor, but you will get used to it quickly. Most of the shopping malls are using this process, at least at Pacific Shopping Center, Parkson…
Any reason for this? :-)