Yearning for customer service heaven in TnT

Bad customer service makes my blood boil!
Being back home has been great and also amusing. There are just so many aspects of Trini life that are entertaining in various ways. Let's talk about customer service or in my case, the lack thereof.

While customer service in London is not stellar when compared to that of the US, it is still better than customer service in Trinidad and Tobago. I call US customer service people smurfs - cause it's like they drink smurfberry juice or are totally loaded on pot or some other type of "upper". Noone can be that bubbly and smiley as these Americans. It's just NOT normal! They scare me.

The Brits are not anywhere near as bubbly. They approach customer service with a bit of trepidation - not rude, but there is no warm, fuzziness about it either; no drug-induced glee. While not as scary as the Americans, they can be droll.

Trinis on the other hand - you're lucky if you get a smile and if they don't answer back. I always use Pennywise as the prime example of the worst of local customer service. I beg anyone to argue with me that this place has the WORST customer service known to man. I went in there last week to replenish my stocks and excuse me for interrupting the reps' conversation and asking for a bottle of shampoo to be handed to me. It was like I was begging for the shampoo and not purchasing it. All the free or discounted makeup in the world cannot hide the sourness and the lack of courtesy on the faces of these girls.

Grouchy Smurf ain't have nothing
on some of these reps
Let's not even talk about Tobago. Heinous! Unless you're white and have a non-Trini accent, you are shit. The taxi driver at the airport looked at me as though I got off the banana boat and was curt and dismissive as I tried to give him directions. I concluded that I was too black to warrant a smile and a positive attitude! I just handed him the phone to avoid making a scene cause I cannot handle rudeness especially where my money is anticipated to leave my hands and be transferred to the rude party.

I did manage excellent customer service at various eating establishments in Trinidad, where I guess, the tip is king and everyone wants a good tip. I don't mind tipping for great service and I got the same waitress last week on the two occasions I patronised one restaurant and on both occasions she got a nice tip cause she was stellar. On the other hand, I did not feel the love at my coffee shop on Monday as Sour Sally was loathe to redeem my loyalty points and give me my free coffee, which I had earned! I had to ask whether they had onion bagels about 6 times as she was busy having a conversation with the girls in the back - a non-coffee, non-customer, non-trininista-the-customer related conversation. And this after I had to pound the counter to get her attention in the first place after waiting for someone to acknowledge my presence at the counter, even after they saw me walk up. I mean...I am not invisible and I was in a dazzling sunny kinda outfit so I was not blending in with the walls either.

I swear, it's like these people feel yuh begging!!! But just to let you know, there are many instances of EXCELLENT customer service as well but somehow they seem to be overshadowed by the men and women who feel that an upside down smile is where it's at!

21 comments:

  1. Girl, I was at TGI's one day, and I swear the wait staff think they are OBLIGATED to get a tip. I REFUSE to perpetuate poor service. I told her butt off and left her with a big fat NOTHING. Insane!

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  2. Bad customer service really really boils my blood girl!! I get it. Visiting again from SITS girls commenthour

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  3. Bad customer services is one of my HUGE pet peeves. #CommentHour

    http://www.alittlenosh.net

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  4. I agree, the customer service really varies from country to country and even state to state.


    Visiting from CommentHour.

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  5. visiting from comment hour. What a great look into the experiences of another culture.

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  6. Loving the Grouchy Smurf analogy! I'd love to have one with me to take out when I come across a Smurf!

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  7. LOL, love the smurf comparison! It seems like customer service gets worse over time. People DID used to be friend;y, right? Or was I just young and naive?

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  8. customer service is so important!

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  9. Pounding on the counter? I might have had to jump it and serve myself.

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  10. You should come to Malaysia where I live. Customer service is alien to people working in customer service.

    #CommentHour

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  11. I can't stand poor customer service, either. If you've ever been to China, I think you might actually find something worse than what you've experienced in Trini...

    visiting from #commenthour

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  12. This was funny!! I worked customer service here in the states and you HAVE to be all bubbly or else people treat you like trash. It's awful. I hate working customer service some days. I can see why T&T ppl are not nice, some customers are downright rude too.

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  13. There are some days I just don't understand how people are allowed to work in retail establishments and restaurants where the #1 interest should be customer care and service. If the customer does not enjoy the experience of shopping/eating there, they WILL NOT return. I don't understand. They are getting paid to work FOR the customer. If it wasn't for us, they'd be out of a job. I know this sounds rash to some and sometimes just venting is all that you need to do to feel better, but ever call their customer care line or speak to management? Those calls go a long way... Note the time, who the problem was with and that you are a repeat customer. Customer loyalty is important to these companies, or at least it should be. And in most cases, they can get rid of the 'bad egg' and get someone new to fill their shoes. There are more people willing to work with a smile on their face than jobs out there.

    PS Nice meeting you last night via #commenthour :)

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  14. I'll keep my smurfs. I've only been one Caribbean island - Jamaica and even the nonlocals are treated like crap when it comes to nonrestaurant customer service. Hoping to visit London next year...we'll see. Then I can have a thorough comparison.

    stopping by from #commenthour

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  15. Oh, ps.... I'm stopping by from last night's comment hour :D

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  16. That reminds me of the other day we went to Target, the chicky at the check out was carrying on conversations with other employees while checking us out. Never said "Hi" or "Did you find everything you were looking for?" or "Screw off I'm busy" ...

    Yep.... Customer Service is a big hit or miss no matter where you go I think.. LOL..

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  17. I worked in customer service, so when I get bad service, I get snippy.

    stopping by from the #commenthour!
    http://grabenandgabi.blogspot.com

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  18. Wow- I probably wouldn't survive a trip there. Either I would be too sensitive & have a breakdown into tears or I'd just leave because I can not stand rude customer service. In the past I have worked in many customer service jobs & so maybe I notice more quickly than others. But still- there is a fine line when it comes to what I can handle with customer service being dished out.

    -Jessica
    #commenthour

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  19. Great post! Horrible customer service is one of my biggest pet peeves. I know from experience that working in the customer service industry can be difficult, but like any other industry, you have to be pleasant...and helpful! So sorry you had to deal with funky attitudes!

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  20. ugh...I know all too well what you mean, sometimes I feel like telling them "I not forcin u to work here u knw" because that's the vibe their attitude gives off. Some customer service training is greatly needed at some of these establishments!

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  21. I think this is the first time I've ever heard of anyone accusing American customer service reps of being "helpful" and "bubbly." Kind of makes me scared to ever travel to Trinidad!

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