Great Customer Service

2 Sep

Today we have a guest post from Jeff Harvie my Migration Agent.

Something happened to me the other day when I was shopping in the Department store of one of the larger malls in Davao. It was such an amusing situation that I wanted to share it. It was just something simple, but we had such a laugh, it really reminded us again of how open and friendly and hospitable some of the Filipino people can be. I went looking to buy a Microwave.

I browsed the shelves and pretty soon a couple of store assistants approached me I asked questions about the various appliances. You always receive service with such a smile and friendly behaviour wherever we go in the stores and this was no exception (is it purely because we are foreigners? I don’t know).

Something that is so great here in the Philippines, is when you purchase something here, the assistant will always unpack it all and demonstrate that everything is in working order. So, yes, we got a working demo of the microwave.

The guy actually serving me was a little embarrassed because the microwave required an adapter to be plugged into the wall and he could not find one. To help ease his embarrassment while he was hurriedly searching through the drawers and shelves I began chatting and bantering with the other staff.

Suddenly a chair was produced so we could sit down, in the middle of the shop floor. The microwave was placed on the floor in front of me, waiting to be plugged in.

“What channel can we get on this?” I asked, thinking the guys would understand my humour, but at first they looked a little confused.  “This is not very good.” I continued.

“Sorry sir, sorry sir,” they were saying, obviously apologising about the wait for the adapter plug.

“No not that,” I said, “But the picture is not very good. Where is Star Movies?”

Suddenly all the guys realised what I was implying. Here I am, sitting in the middle of the store, on chairs, surrounded by them all, staring at a microwave on the floor and we were making out it was a TV. Well they howled with laughter. Most of the department seemed to come to a halt; everyone was looking to see what all the commotion and hilarity was.

Well finally the plug arrived and they set it up and put a mug of cold water inside, to demonstrate that it would heat up. They did this and handed me a mug with hot steaming water. “No good. This hot tea tastes terrible.” I said.

For a second they looked worried then again the joke was realised and they cracked up laughing and clapping. It was hilarious.

By now I think nearly all of the shop assistants in that entire department were with us. All over a microwave on the floor and us sitting on chairs having a good laugh.

It really was a pleasure to be assisted by these guys. Shaking hands, back slapping and winking went on while the fully functional microwave was repacked.

“Can I have the adapter please?” I asked knowing that I needed one and wondered if they would just throw this one in as a freebie.

“Pardon sir?”

“I need the adapter” I repeated.

Several of the guys looked really concerned.

“Are you ok sir?” There was genuine worry on their faces and awkward shuffling.

You need a doctor sir?”

“Doctor???” They thought Steve said he needed a doctor.

“I need an adapter – not a doctor!!!!”

Well – the howls and hoots and laughter must have travelled throughout the entire mall.

But it was a great situation and a true demonstration of the Filipino sense of fun. Believe me I we could do with some of that magic in the stores in the west.

Jeff Harvie is an Australian Registered Migration Agent (MARN 0959797) who has given up the quiet life in Australia a few years back for one more adventurous with his Filipina wife and kids in Manila, Philippines. He runs Down Under Visa, which specialises in Australian partner visas for those Aussie men who fall madly in love with the local girls and want to bring them to Australia.

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