Since you asked...
This morning, for the third time this month, I forgot to pack my clothes to wear after my workout at Bangsar Village. Again, for the third time this month, I had to go to a store in my gym clothes and get a whole new outfit. Today was extra special because I had specific clothing requirements for a photo shoot later in the afternoon: Plain white T-shirt and dark jeans. (Thank you Anugerah Juara Lagu!)
I walk into Ted Baker on the ground floor. I can sense the Ted Baker retail staff looking at me thinking "Why is this guy in shorts and a gym shirt here? He can't possibly afford this!"
I am the only customer. Three retail staff. I get no assistance. This has happened before.
Hurriedly, I pick out a pair of jeans and a white T-shirt. I try them on. Seems OK. The price tag on the jeans says "RM420" but it has a "30%-off"tag on it. I sneak in the reason why I am in a hurry.
I'm thinking, "RM294 for jeans."
The T-shirt is RM99 with 30% off. Never thought I'd pay RM60 for white T-shirt but since I screwed myself over, I'll pay the price.
I get to the counter and the total is RM519.
You see, the price tag is AFTER the discount. To which I am thinking, "Sneaky bastards!" If you are already going to put the price after the discount, then why bother put the discount percentage there? You might as well put "90% off"!
Of course, I could have not paid for it. But I needed the clothes and I didn't have the time.
My beef is not the RM519.
So, I pay and leave. I go the gym and do my thing and experience the wonders of the treadmill. Take a shower and put on my new Ted Baker clothes. Damn, the RM100-white T-shirt seems a little large now. I put it on anyway and head back to Ted Baker.
I explain to one of the three retail assistants.
"I just bought this shirt. May I try on a smaller size?"
I understand how it looks.
"I just took a shower and this shirt has only been worn for less than 2 minutes. Less time than if someone where to try on the clothes in your store. And I am fresh out of the shower with Adidas Team Force Shower Gel. I am sure you have had filthier customers try on your clothes and then put them back on the rack. If it will make you feel better, I could go back and change."
The three stooges looked at each other dumbfounded. After watching them struggle for about 2 minutes, I just walked out.
"It should not be that difficult to satisfy a customer."
Here is a business that has no concept of customer service. They are giving me shit over a RM100-T-shirt after I paid RM400 for a pair of jeans. You can imagine how much desire I have for wanting to shop at Ted Baker again.
Ultimately, I blame Ted Baker management because they failed to empower and train their staff to handle these situations. More importantly, they fail to allow them to exercise common sense. As a result, they lost me as a future customer. I have ill-feelings towards the brand and I will communicate this within my friends.
The burning question now is, would they have treated me this way if I were a white guy?
(In response to the comment posted below: It is not an issue based on racism but I'd expect them to be chicken-shit about it and give the expat what he wanted. Possibly out of fear, intimidation, pseudo-worship, or a combination of all the above. This double-standard exists. Don't kid yourself.)