Vietnam is not perfect. In fact there are several things that drives me fucking insane. Traffic for example. Rush hour in district 1 can be a nightmare. And why the hell do they allow motorbikes to drive and park on the sidewalks?! And why don’t people put weights back at my gym!!! Aaaargh!
And then we have customer service in Vietnam. Coming from the US where the customer is always right, it was a cultural chock when I arrived in South East Asia. Here I had my fair share of rude waitresses, food that arrives at different times and orders that got mixed up. And don’t get me started about my angry maid. Sigh.
But sometimes an act comes about that brightens my day and reminds me how great the people of Vietnam can be. Let me share two recent stories about excellent customer service in Vietnam.
T-Shirt Tailoring Surprise
A few weeks ago I needed a new t-shirt. Unfortunately, buying clothing in Asia is not easy because my body is not the standard size here. I have big arms and legs combined with a slim waist. In other words not the typical Asian male body.
Anyhow, there’s a street near my apartment called Nguyen Trai that has several clothing stores, which I decided to visit. And as it happened, the first store I dropped into had a white v-neck that looked great on me. One issue though. It was too wide at the hips and the sleeves were slightly too long. Damn. I was about to leave when the staff told me they can alter it to fit my body. For no extra cost. Say what? The t-shirt wasn’t even that expensive to begin with, and now this guy offered to tailor it for free.
Well I decided to give it a shot and was told to come back the next day. On my way back home I was pondering if this alteration work would be any good. Was I being screwed over? However I didn’t thought much more of it and went back the next day. There I was greeted by the same friendly staff and they handed me the t-shirt, which I tried on. Wow it looked really great on me. Almost like it was tailored to begin with.
Walking home with a smile glued to my face, I realized how these small acts can really brighten someones day.
Laptop Emergency Surprise
Back in April I was in Nha Trang. It was a great trip and most of the time I spent on the beach relaxing.
Since my online business requires constant attention, I always need to bring my laptop. And in case you’re wondering, as a true Digital Nomad I of course worked from the beach. Life is truly a bitch!
But one day my laptop stopped charging. Damn. I tried another wall plug converter but to no avail, thus the issue had to be in the charging cable or in the laptop itself. And since the laptop is a digital nomad’s most precious tool, this needed to be fixed asap.
But I was in a new city and had no idea where to bring my little precious. Luckily, Google is your friend. Soon I found a service place only a 10 minutes taxi ride from my hotel, and I decided to go there next day. I remember thinking “Damn how much is this going to cost me?”. Thus far I never had to service electronics in Asia myself, but heard horror stories from other friends.
So the next day I took a taxi to the service shop where I was greeted by two friendly guys. They knew very little English but stopped whatever they were doing and decided to look at my laptop. One of the guys took out a new charger cable and plugged it in. It worked. Phew.
After a bit more troubleshooting, he nailed the issue down to the first piece of cable that goes from the wall plug to the transformer box. He replaced it with a new cable and handed everything back. And he told me its free. Wow.
With the above examples in mind, I have to say that the customer service in Vietnam is really inconsistent. Half of the time it drives me fucking nuts but once in a while I run into some really wonderful people that goes the extra mile to make me satisfied. I just have to do a better job with identifying the latter group!
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