Malaysia Insider

Malaysia insider

Service 'in a while', part two

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Someone mentioned to me that I may have been a little harsh last week.

In fairness then, I should point out that customer service in Malaysia isn't always so laid-back. When I step into the Body Shop the sales assistants pounce on me so fast that I often find myself backing out before I've even looked at anything. It's one thing for them to be attentive, but it's quite another for them to essentially climb onto my back and ride me round the store while commenting on each and every item I glance at.

Perhaps I should say at this stage that I'm painting with broad strokes. The people who put up with my ludicrously complicated Starbucks order every morning are so lovely that I just want to take them home.

However, I still maintain that service culture is not especially prevalent in Malaysia. It also appears that there's no significant improvement if you move to the higher end of the financial scale.

A few weeks ago I went looking for a new car and, after a good 10 minutes of poking round the showroom, sitting in Protons, playing with switches and making "vroom, vroom" noises, I found myself having to go into a back room in search of a salesman to help me.

Actually, I take it all back … being left alone by a car salesman was actually quite a nice experience. Perhaps there's something in this lack of service after all.

Is there a happy medium? Have you discovered it in Malaysia or on your other travels? Tell us about it.

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