Saturday, June 18, 2005

Close Encounters With Malaysian Customer Service - Other Side Of The Coin

Okay, I thought I'll give credit where credit's due and celebrate, hey, great customer service in Malaysia! (yes, there is such a thing)

There's a bank in Malaysia where if you get a number that's 100 away from your turn, you still get served in half an hour.

There's a bank in Malaysia where if you used the wrong form, they will happily fill up the correct one for you instead of giving you a sour face and asking you to requeue.

There's a bank in Malaysia where opening an account takes less than 30 minutes, including sorting out your ATM card and internet banking.

There's a bank in Malaysia where if their customer service line is busy, they offer to call you back on the number you just called. (how come no one else thought of this? I was once put on hold for 40 minutes by a telco!)

There's a bank in Malaysia where they DO NOT HAVE normal banking counters on the first floor (inconveniencing pensioners, pregnant ladies and the like) because their priority banking counters are on the ground floor.

Step up and be recognised, Public Bank!

I'm a recent customer and I must admit I'm impressed :)

Close Encounters With Malaysian Customer Service

Whenever I encounter "customer service" in Malaysia, I always try to tell myself that at the other end is just another guy trying to make a living, so don't take it too hard on that person.

But something happened to me recently that took the cake for bad customer service.

A courier company, which shall remain unnamed, tried to deliver a package to me when I was away. After arranging for it to be resent on a Saturday, I decided to pick up the package myself as I needed to send my wife to a doctor.

The card says their office hour starts at 9 am, so 9.05 am, I called and ......... got a message that all their agents are busy. Hmmm, must be some big hot shot courier company, I thought. After several tries, the call got picked up by a lady who said, no, she's not the customer service agent, all the agents are at the mamak stall having breakfast! Okay lah, give her credit for being honest.

Umpteen tries again later, the same lady picked up, and agreed to take a message that I will pick up the package. 11 am, got a call from them, saying sorry, they didn't catch me at home (??!!) I explained to them that I spoke to someone earlier about own pickup. Fine, the guy said, but you have to come after 1 pm, when the delivery guy comes back.

1.30 pm, courier company office. No customer service counter in sight, just a few guys lounging around with their smokes. A girl came up to me and asked me what I wanted. Then she told me that the manager locked up all the packages at 1 pm and no one could open them because he's on his way to Kuching for a meeting!!

I decided to rant and rave. Girl keeps apologizing, saying there must have been some miscommunication (understatement, my dear). Suddenly, after 5 minutes, she decided to open the manager's office. And there, lying on his desk, was my package.

More apologies from the girl. Have to give her credit for managing to stay cool.

Well, the Malaysian customer service strikes again.

Friday, June 10, 2005

A Tale Of Two Highways

Early morning. Typical rush hour jam, people muttering curses under their breath, blood pressure rising, radio traffic report telling you what you ALREADY know, time to call your boss and inform you'll be late AGAIN.....

Early morning. Serenity. Birds chirping, cars hardly seen.

Believe it or not, the above describes two highways in the Klang Valley at the EXACT same time of the day, morning rush hour. So, what''s wrong with this picture?

Money, that's what. Money that must be repaid to the guys who built the highway, thats what.

The highways in question? Well, there's actually two sets of them - Sprint highway and Penchala link, Federal highway and New Pantai Expressway.

Penchala' s charging RM 2 one way, NPE's RM 1.60 + RM 1.60 (if you wanna join back Federal highway again). No prizes for guessing which highways are jammed up.

The obvious next question is, why don't they lower the toll? Coz the gomen's compensating them, based on some consultant's ASSUMPTION of the traffic volume and definition of reasonable toll charge.

Now, here's an idea for everyone to chew on ...... since both the companies that built the highways are public listed, how about the gomen buying them over with our hard earned EPF funds and THEN lowering the tolls?

Maybe, the correct question should be - why is it NOT being done? No prizes for guessing this one .......

When I Get My Streamyx .....

Yay, TM is finally cabling up my part of the taman, I'm gonna get both my phone line AND Streamyx soon.

My wife often wondered why I need that much bandwidth for, and that set me thinking - WHAT WOULD I DO WHEN I GET MY STREAMYX ?? So, here goes:

  • download loads of illegal songs and movies (well, this one's a given)
  • watch streaming news from CNN, etc (hey, isn't that what Astro's for?)
  • download open source software (don't have to pay uncle Bill)
  • download software patches for Windows
  • download research stuff for work and, ahem, pleasure
  • blog more often (really? how come it hasn't updated it since the last millenium?)
  • use Skype (definitely cheaper than whatever deal the telcos can offer)
  • download trailers (must be up to date with the latest upcoming movies)
  • do my surfing in half the time, or double my surfing in the same amount of time
  • errmm, download more songs and movies?

Well, I guess we all know what REAL purpose of getting Streamyx is, then.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Down The Aisle

A dear friend got married recently.

She, plus a whole bunch of us were quite close some years back, but due to career advances and marriage, we all slowly drifted apart.

Back then, she was the blur queen, while I was the blur king, and friends used to play tricks on us to see which one was more blur.

Despite her blurness, my friend has a tender heart and a brave spirit. She endured the ups and downs that life dealt her with stoic patience.

She has met a very nice man, someone who understands her soul. I am sure they will have many happy journeys ahead.

Well, congratulations, blur queen. My gift to you is only three words - acceptance, commitment, patience.

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