Saturday, October 9, 2010

The universality of terrible customer service

I have been scouting around Hanoi for my first smartphone and have been very disappointed with the level of customer service.

Given that most of these phones sell for more than the average monthly wage, it ought to take some pretty good sales advice to convince people to part with their hard-earned cash.

But not a bit of it. Having visited about 15 mobile phone shops, not one assistant could explain the pros and cons of different makes/models.

A Vietnamese friend, who was helping me to translate (my Vietnamese is still more, erm, conversational than technical), noted that these shops were effectively pushing eager customers away.

Just as my frustration began to boil over - and I started wondering if the ineffectual customer service was linked to the fact that Vietnam has yet to really open its retail sector up to foreign competition despite its World Trade Organization obligations - I realised that the Vietnamese mobile phone shopping experience was not particularly exceptional.

You get the same muppets working in these shops everywhere.

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