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Old 13.12.2005, 18:48
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Zollikon, Switzerland
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Re: Share your shopping experiences.

@LordMonkey:

Welcome to the forum - and sorry about you losing your posts. That was probably me restarting the server - I had some problems and needed to do some restarts (quite a lot of them actually) but didn't realise someone was actually posting - but you are right - better safe than sorry.

I've only been to Singapore once, and must say I was impressed. Parts of it reminded me a lot of Sydney, and the food was edible, taxes were low and everything seemed to work. Overall, apart from the rain I had almost nothing to complain about. I hear it's not a good place to smuggle drugs to, and what's this business with a law forbidding more than 5 people showing up in the same place at the same time? Taxi drivers complained that the rules were too strict and told me it was worse than Switzerland - but then again taxi drivers always complain don't they?

I tend to agree with your comments about the fact that they have to do 3 years' worth of training to deliver poor service is a joke. My girlfriend recently tried for 6 months to get a job - she'd partially completed university studies and nobody, and i mean nobody would hire her for a job because she hadn't completed a "lehr" - the funny thing is they don't even care if your training is relevant to the job, just as long as you have one. She worked for a while in a pub and at least did the things that make customers happy - smiled, acknowledged customers while they were waiting, and wait for it - wiped beer glasses if she'd spilled any froth down the side while pulling the beer. Isn't that just a basic courtesy? Seen it in a pub lately? Anyway, despite actually being good at what she did, nobody would hire her. Which is a good thing, because now she was forced to start her own business and is doing really well with it (though starting a business here is not easy!!)

So it is a shame that we seem to have all this training for staff, yet we constantly here complaints from people about unfriendly service. On balance though that I have to say that it isn't all bad, it just usually is. I have had some shopping experiences where I have been so impressed that I've bought extra stuff. I have had some really great experiences in Ochsner Sport and Sportplausch Wider where the staff knew what they were talking about and they spent a long time helping me. I've also noticed that I don't have to "hunt" the staff down, like I had to do in Germany, so I guess I should be grateful for that.

They say that sales staff are the worst paid staff from all industries, and I guess it is true. Swiss have often offerred this to me as a excuse for their behaviour (defending sales staff) as if it somehow makes it right. I retort that whatever you do you should do it with pride, whether you are paid for it or not. I used to earn almost nothing working in a department store. I was paid much less than the Swiss were and worked longer hours. It paid the rent (just) but I did the job to the best of my ability and took pride in my work, no matter how menial it seemed. I never complained about it.

Oh - sorry to disappoint you - but if you think that the staff in the original store felt any regret about you buying the bike somewhere else think again. If they even remembered you they would have come up with any number of explanations as to why you didn't buy from them, but all of those would not have involved laying any blame on themselves. Revenge in these situations is not sweet - it's only for your own amusement and that's as far as it goes!

@Gav - I know what you mean. We've both been here over 5 years, and even though I've pretty much figured it all out I still feel like they are trying to always grind me down. My girlfriend always says that she likes me much better whenever I am away from Switzerland - she says I'm a different person. I think she's right, I do notice that I'm much happier and jovial when I'm "outside".

Just a note about the poor service. I think part of the problem is that service staff don't know what service is because they've never experienced it for themselves. How can they deliver something they've never seen? They should be sent away to the states or Japan to learn a thing or two as part of their 3 year training!

I'd like to share a positive shopping experience (just in case people think all I ever have to say is negative). I bought some stuff from the online shopping site www.ch-foto.ch. Now they were advertising a housing for a camera with an availability of 3-4 days - but I happened to know that the Swiss distributor had a lead time of 3-4 weeks+. So I ordered and made my order conditional on the information on the website not being a lie. The guy contacted me, and explained that there was a longer leadtime, and he was dependant on the supplier. Now I was really angry, because I was sick of being duped by Swiss online shopping sites - because they don't take credit card you have to pay in advance for products you find out aren't in stock, and then you are screwed.

Anyway, to cut a long story short the guy wrote back to me in perfect English (his name was Scott) which lead me to believe that he was a foreigner himself. But it was also his attitude that was suspicious. He made it clear that he was willing to fight to keep me as a happy customer and to have me back. I was so impressed by this that I bought a whole lot of other stuff from him, and have always been back to his website as my first choice when I want to buy something camera related, even if he isn't the cheapest, or he doesn't have the item in stock. Mind you, when you are used to being jerked around, finding someone good makes them stand out like a shining star!

Mark
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