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    Wednesday, December 01, 2010

    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.)


    Anonymous said...

    Not that it's a racial issue, but it's unlikely that a stereotypical ex-pat white guy would have simply turned around and walked out of the store without a satisfactory result.

    Which just goes to show - getting good service has probably got less to do with skin colour, and more to do with appearing ready and willing to slap around a few clothes-store droids, if need be.

    About This Site said...

    I didn't have the time and they did not get it. Perhaps, more accurately, it's not worth my time. They had more to lose.

    Having said that, I do pick my battles.

    Esther said...

    haha... almost the same case with mine back few months ago.... I have an event to attend at angkasa, but unfortunately I broke the zip of my dress. from ttdi to my hse at setapak then to angkasa where the event take place? is very imposible to be at the event on time. no time to take another outfit at home, means hav to buy at the nearest store... the only place i know is bangsar villege. once i arrive, park my car, enter... i saw ted baker... n i said ok let's check it out... they also looked at me with 1 kind as i was with my selipar jepun + short pants + spaghetti top, baru balik dari latihan theatre, harap maklum la pakaian selekeh. for final pick i want to try it out and ask where's the room, and I just can't believe that the retail assist said "cik, tak boleh cuba... rak sebelah tu ada yg lebih murah" I was like "what?" I don't have much time to choose a dress that cheap + nice... I don't come to survey price of dresses, but I need a nice outfit. In such a limited time such as that mana la nak fikir benda lain... all i care is get a nice outfit (tak kesah la a dress or a skirt/pants with a blouse, but it's better if dress spy jimat masa pilih 1 item jer), find a ladiesroom, clean up, dress up, make-up, do my hair and go... what I do was, i just ignore them, try it on cepat cepat haha... straight to the counter, pay and left... since that I tell myself not to enter ted baker anymore... even if the same incident happen where force me to get new outfit, i will not enter ted baker anymore... there r other shop for me to go to for emergency case such as this....

    Woman said...

    and here i was thinking that you were gonna talk about a bakery. mmm breaddddddd.

    Rachel said...

    its all a matter of "who u are" or who u want them to think u are,when u first step into their store! they wont remember who u are if u dressed up like a guy who just looked like he was just gonna browse around,maybe buy a discounted t-shirt. but if u walk in looking like a million bucks,they will surely be on their hands and feet ,ready to serve u as if u were their king! trust me,i know. there is a different kind of air that they breathe when u come in ,clutching an LV or a Hermes hbag. or if u are just carrying a backpack or if u just have a Guess hbag on ur shoulder and for u guys,u probably hv to look like richard gere or brad pitt(distinguished looking!)...thats hw they pick their customers. its d same if u go to d fish market,but hey,isnt everything about money nowadays? money matters,but first,appearance is d key to good service! DAMN!

    Brotha said...

    I think we've all had identical encounters, same scenario, different shops / merchants.
    It boils down to poor service, ESPECIALLY in Malaysia.

    I lived in Tokyo for a decade, boy do they have good service, well in the retail sector at least.
    (Bcos in some restaurants, they don't even know how to hold the onions if say u happened to be allergic !)
    Anyway I remember buying a t-shirt in Tokyo, wore it once, realised i hated it, so returned it, there were no questions asked !

    Back in a Bata at Mid-Valley Mall however, I once remember buying the wrong length of shoelace,
    not even my fault coz thats what the salesgirl recommended after looking at my shoe.
    But when I tried to return it, the owner (not salesgirl) of the shop gave me the hardest time imaginable !
    Wtfish !
    After arguing a good coupla minutes, the owner finally gives in, but not without trying to insult me first. Interesting ;-)