40 minutes

That’s how long one has to wait at the Kah Motor Honda service centre in Jalan Ipoh if they walk in on any ol’ afternoon for an enquiry. Never mind if you called ahead with the enquiry in question, you’d still have to take a number as a walk in customer regardless.

You’ll also have to endure watching the the appointment customers walk in after you and waltz their way to the customer service agents before you.

No process is sacrosanct and this is no exception. Now I’m not going to suggest a walk in customer gets their service ahead of those who took the trouble to book themselves a slot however it wouldn’t hurt to balance judgement with process. After all, how hard could it be to attend to all those in your waiting hall in order of arrival?

Another day another decoder

I wrote last week about my experience with Astro and how they were able to get to my home within 24 hours to replace my faulty decoder. Great but the satisfaction didn’t last long. Turned out my new decoder didn’t like recording very well. It would freeze unannounced and leave me on a cliffhanger.

A follow up call to Astro IPTV (this time I knew who to call) ensued and they talked me through some troubleshooting steps and asked me to monitor the situation. The problem didn’t go away and they committed to send yet another technician over.

As I write this post, the technician and his sidekick is busy replacing my decoder. Again. For the 4th time this year. And the reason for the replacement is classic – he’s got no idea what’s wrong and the only thing he’s been authorised to do is to replace.

I would have thought Astro would send a chap to troubleshoot the problem. Check the cable, the connection, the router. Check something! This blind replacements are no fun for me and Astro is wasting its time sending technicians over.

Alas the only hope is to hope that this replacement solves the problem. I won’t be holding my breathe. And if the problem persists, I may not be holding on to my account either.

Lipstick (not) on your collar

It’s always good fun when you take a friend to a restaurant when the cuisine is not up his alley. Such was the case last weekend when we took a friend to a Sushi Tei in Tropicana City Mall. The outcome was lukewarm – he refused to try sashimi and kept to the familiar tempura and the like. At least I got him to try some maki. Semi success you might say.

The same can’t be said about a lapse of good judgement form the head waiter. Having found another customers red lipstick on one of our tea cups, we duly informed him of the unfortunate lack of cleanliness. The response was priceless:

“It’s normal”.

No it’s not! And the 10% discount off the bill didn’t make up for it. 

IPTV to the rescue

Thankfully the more tech savvy among us can tell the difference between a satellite and a fiber-optic connection. Thankfully I am one such person. And thankfully Astro IPTV’s speed of service to rectify my dead Astro decoder was swift and I got what I was paying for back on track within 24 hours.

It’s a shame that most who can’t tell the difference would have to spend additional time languished in the automated response systems and in the hands of the customer service agents who may ask you every question under the sun only to tell you that they can’t help. Not only can’t they help, they may also throw some jargon at you and will expect you to call another phone number for help.

Now this seems like the standard script when you call Astro’s regular phone number and if you have an IPTV service. With the varied connectivity options these days and with at least three providers in between (Time, Maxis and Astro), one may have to call different numbers for different services. Not good, takes up my time – time that could have been spent buying another movie on AOD.

Suggestion Astro: Consider consolidating your support for all services under one number. Add to that a new ad with a jingle that’ll make us remember that number. If you need help with either, let me know.

To meat or not to meet?

The following excerpt is an account from an unhappy customer.

I’m Glen (not his/her real name) and I would like to provide some feedback on the service I received at TDH @Oasis ara damansara. Yesterday evening I went there for the first time to check out the somersby promotion and have dinner with my girlfriend and another friend.

My girlfriend and I proceeded to place our order with a member of your staff who did not write down our orders but simply “memorised” it and went away. We ordered an egg bacon sandwich and a carbonara without beef (my girlfriend is a vegetarian and the menu stated carbonara with beef). Approx 15 mins later the same person who took our order came back to us claiming that he had already keyed in the order but wanted to confirm he got it right. He proceeded to guess (Yes I’m not kidding he took 2-3 guesses) what my girlfriend and I ordered and got it horribly wrong! From this I concluded he hadn’t keyed in the order at all and was trying to correct the mistake. We repeated our order and again he went away not writing it down again.

Sometime later our food arrived ( it would have been close to 30mins from our initial order). The carbonara had meat in it and we sent it back saying that we had specified saying no beef. They brought the dish back to us saying its not beef but pork. We told them that when we said no beef, we didn’t expect you to replace the beef without checking with us. Had we seen carbonara with an option of beef/pork, we would have specified no beef and no pork. We sent the carbonara back and said we want carbonara with no beef and no pork and this time specified that the customer is a vegetarian. Another 10 mins later the meal arrived. As my girlfriend started to eat, she noticed that there were still small pieces of pork inside the carbonara. This then lead me to conclude that they had removed the pork on top from the same dish and had re-served it to us.

Imagine our frustration at having to wait so long for a meal and on top of that have our specifications and requirements simply belittled. I was quite patient throughout what was an entirely horrible dining experience and had called for the manager at this point. A man by the name of Win presented himself as the person in charge and promptly fixed the order and got our meals to us. Its one thing to have the order mixed up on a busy night which I can understand. But to re-serve a dish that was rejected by removing the meat from the top of the plate to a vegetarian is beyond all realms of being cheap and is truly and utterly disrespectful.

Firstly, you will have customers who will customise orders as and when required and had there been an issue in doing so, the waiter should have informed us accordingly.

And secondly, please write down the order!! We don’t expect your staff to have super human memory. The dining industry uses a pen and papers for these very simple reasons.

Thirdly, train your staffs in sensitivity of dietary requirements. If a person is a vegetarian, they wouldn’t like some meat in their food. These things may seem like common sense but sometimes need to be told.
Fourthly, when you’ve made a mistake, at the very least be apologetic about it and not try to ignore the mistake. That would piss customers off even more. Win was very nice and apologetic and made the difference between us walking away that night or staying to finish our meals.

I hope this feedback will be well received and action taken accordingly to improve your service. Am not sure if I will go to TDH again after last night but I hope when I do I see an improvement. Thank you for your time if you have read up to this last line of my long feedback. I believe customer feedback is important and I owe it to TDH to give you this feedback.

When the decimal counts

It can’t be that difficult to know how much engine oil a car uses. If you’re selling and servicing this car for hundreds, if not thousands of people, I’d expect you to know.

But this is not the case. I can’t seem to get a clear answer from Suzuki service centers in Subang and Puchong about how much engine oil a Suzuki Swift uses. Is it 4L or 4.3L?

And no – the answer of “both also can” does not suffice.

More to come.