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  #81  
Old 05.11.2010, 17:28
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Re: Rude IKEA salesman

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Forgive me if I'm wrong, but to be honest, you sound a little snotty even in writing - god knows what you sounded like irl to the Ikea employee.
yo! ofcourse you dont see my smiling face in those words, i've been most polite in my approach. i'm sorry but too much reading in between lines i'm afraid.
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  #82  
Old 05.11.2010, 22:59
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Re: Rude IKEA salesman

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Great service from Ikea for sure!

From the guy, it is an other story. Yes she should have used some basic introductions words in french. But the guy didn't have to act like an ass for that. This ''I am going to teach you'' attitude didn't bring him any good because he had to help her anyway...
And..... he possibly simply IS an ass
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  #83  
Old 06.11.2010, 08:45
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Re: Rude IKEA salesman

Well I'm going to the Ikea in Lyssach today. My level of German is quite shocking (and I only speak Hochdeutsch). My boyfriend is a native French speaker and his German is probably worse than mine. Last time we went, we found plenty of sales assistants who spoke in French (only after asking in my best possible German "Entschuldigung, sprechen Sie Englisch oder Französisch?") and only one guy who only spoke German. However, he was very patient with my limited grasp of the language and we got there in the end (and he was very polite!). If I hadn't known German at all, I would have memorised how to say "es tut mir Leid... ich spreche kein Deutsch" (I don't even know if that's right, that's how terrible my German is). So we'll see. If I have a shitty experience simply because my German is bad, even though I try to be polite, I shall report back. Maybe we can get to the bottom of this mystery after all.
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  #84  
Old 06.11.2010, 10:46
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Re: Rude IKEA salesman

It doesn't take much effort to give a simple greeting but the attitude of the assistant is not necessary... in Zurich IKEA store clerks all have flags to indicate the languages they speak and they've always been quite helpful in my experience.
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  #85  
Old 06.11.2010, 21:06
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Re: Rude IKEA salesman

If I understand your post correctly, as soon as an English-speaking member of staff was able to help you, then they served you.

As far as I can see they were doing their best in the circumstances.

My apologies if I misunderstand.

Cheers,
Nick

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Right, I had a bad experience at Geneva Ikea today. For some it might amuse, for some it might remind of a similar customer service incidents.

Whatever the case, I think it is better to share, discuss and understand cultural nuances than ignore.

Background - I am a new comer to Switzerland (Non EU, Asian) so settling down to the new ways. Incase i am mistaken please correct my understanding of the situation.

This morning I went to IKEA and approached a sales person (young guy in uniform at the tills)

The incident goes as follows:

Sales agent: Bonjour,

Me: Hi hello,

Sales agent: Bonjour,

Me: Hi

Sales agent: Bonjour

Me: - sorry, do you understand english?

Sales agent: dosent reply, ignores and looks into the PC

Me: I ask again, hi sorry, do you understand english?

Sales agent: yes.... i do a little bit but my colleague here speaks better english (in perfect english grammar + pronunciation which surprised me) and completely ignores me next minute

The other guy was with a customer and refuses to even acknowledge (which is fine, it doesn't surprise)

Now i was bit disturbed at this behavior (not used to anyone treating me like this) and walked to the next counter where i approached a girl (very french) who could not understand english (well sort of). When I asked if she spoke english and if she could help. She was friendly and said wait one sec....walks me down to the same (rude) sales agent and said - talk to him as he speaks english! Now remember, the girl had not seen me chat to this sales agent before.

Before leaving me to him, both of them discuss something in french but she insisted that he helps me.

Then the sales agent says: OK,you can ask me anything and i will try to help you as much as i can (again perfect english)

I ask my question,he replies and the issue is sorted.

Now i want to know whether customer treatment like this is common in a big city like Geneva? Is there anything wrong or is this the way city behaves?

This is not a personality conflict or misunderstanding. I have the maturity, blended appearance and international outlook to understand the difference. Never once faced a discriminatory issue in last 10 years in Europe.

Ofcourse, i did raise an official compliant with a full follow up action request, .

Having said, I sympathise with people who work on low paid manual jobs. It is hard work and frustrating to work in such stores but this cant be an excuse to treat a customer like this.

So what do you guys think ?
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  #86  
Old 06.11.2010, 21:08
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Re: Rude IKEA salesman

Just to cheer people up...



Cheers,
Nick
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  #87  
Old 06.11.2010, 21:52
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Re: Rude IKEA salesman

With a couple of exceptions, I have found staff to be very helpful both in German and French speaking parts of the country. Things I have noticed here: in smaller shops it seems customary to greet the shop assistant on entering the shop. If I want service, it works best if start with an apology for not speaking the local language. Often the initial coolness of the assistant evaporates once they are sure that they can understand me. I interprete this as a shyness or anxiety, not indifference or rudeness from them.

IN the case of this Ikea incident today, I agree that a "bonjour" may have helped the initial communication. "Do you understand English?" is not the softest way to ask the question, even in English. better would be along the lines of "I'm sorry, I can't speak French. Do you speak any english." And look apologetic! That will probably get you a more sympathetic reception.
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  #88  
Old 07.11.2010, 08:37
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Re: Rude IKEA salesman

No Ikea-related incidents to report back. Everyone was helpful as usual, and did their best to understand my crappy German! A little effort goes a long way
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  #89  
Old 07.11.2010, 16:21
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Re: Rude IKEA salesman

I suggest Japan for service. Anywhere else have just no idea about service. Don't even expect service. That will make your life easier. No expectations, no desappointment. And everybody got their thing quickly anyway, so a succes afterall.

My personal stragegy: I continue bugging and following the guy/woman anyway... they always give up and suddenly speak Hochdeutsch/English/French or what ever you want afterall. Take it as a game, you'll start enjoying it.
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  #90  
Old 08.11.2010, 09:44
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Re: Rude IKEA salesman

mrs. and I were in IKEA/ Vernier on saturday and I couldnt think of the french for what I was looking for ( disposable dinner wear, plastic knives, forks ) so I walked up to a group of three clerks who were standing around and asked them ( in french ) " excuse me, do you speak english "

only one did but all three were very helpful and after they found what we were looking for we had a good laugh " it was very nice for you to ask us nicely, you should have seen the jerk that was here last week"






EDIT ..
perhaps not true about that last sentence but yes all three clerks were very helpful.
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  #91  
Old 26.11.2010, 13:39
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Re: Rude IKEA salesman

I wouldn't raise an offical compliant. Maybe you're right he wasn't polite but on the other hand... It's always worth to make a little effort and learn few words in language of their country. It's "their" place... I'm only a guest in their country and it was my decision and nobody made me to stay here. Saying "bonjour" instead of "hello" every time doesn't cost a lot but it can help in the future...
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  #92  
Old 07.02.2011, 21:21
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Re: Rude IKEA salesman

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My personal stragegy: I continue bugging and following the guy/woman anyway... they always give up and suddenly speak Hochdeutsch/English/French or what ever you want afterall. Take it as a game, you'll start enjoying it.
Cool! Can you follow me around? I'd love to be able to speak German.
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  #93  
Old 13.02.2011, 10:46
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Re: Rude IKEA salesman

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So what do you guys think ?
I think feel irritated by the fact that he/she could speak the language of the country and you, as a guest, could not, but you were unwilling to admit that he was correct, and now you're seeking justification.

Are really expecting an IKEA salesperson to be a multilingual interpreter? And please bag the rubbish about 'English is the world's language.'

Face it. You were wrong. He may not have been polite, but you were wrong.

You asked.
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Old 13.02.2011, 13:08
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Re: Rude IKEA salesman

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Cool! Can you follow me around? I'd love to be able to speak German.
You'll have to get a job at IKEA first. They'll tell you how your German ought to be in the first place. Then I come onto the scene. Good luck with your new job.

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  #95  
Old 13.02.2011, 21:53
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Re: Rude IKEA salesman

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Cool! Can you follow me around? I'd love to be able to speak German.
You would love to be able to speak German ? Simple, simply learn it !
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  #96  
Old 13.02.2011, 22:18
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Re: Rude IKEA salesman

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My latest trick it to just speak French. Don't know a word? Then make it up as you go along.

Je want un ticketer pour Lausanne s'il vous plait. (I know better French than that, but it's just an example)

They will eventually just speak English or find someone who does speak English.
There is an IKEA in Geneva? I thought the nearest one was in Aubonne. Did they finally open one in Geneva?

The other thing that I can offer is if you are an English speaker, do not enunciate your French when you are having trouble being understood. It screws up the liaison and makes it impossible for the natives to understand you at all. My wife (English) speaks pretty good French but when she wasn't sure about how to say something she would slow down and enunciate more precisely and fail miserably to connect. I on the other hand would just blather on whilst smiling and eventually get through what I needed to say.
Go figure.
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Old 13.02.2011, 22:23
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Re: Rude IKEA salesman

Well that sounds a lot better service than I have received at any of the apple stores here (Geneva or Zurich)... in the US the apple store employees are super helpful - here seems they hire teens who just want to hang out with each other and get all bothered when you want help.

On the french or german vs english it depends. Just the other day my wife had some help tell her basically to "do us both a favor and stop trying with the french and just use english".

But generally a nice smile and a "bonjour" in response goes a long way.

Thanks for the tips about the flag - I need to buy a wardrobe and from what I've seen Ikeas are some of the best because of the customization for your needs. I was cringing at the thought because even the computers where you configure them are only in french or german but I'm gonna hunt down someone with the right flag
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  #98  
Old 13.02.2011, 22:26
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Re: Rude IKEA salesman

I've been in the Dietlikon Ikea branch a few times (sometimes swing by just for their delish 1 franc hot dog ) and have never encountered rude service from any of the assistants, regardless of whether I spoke English or German to them. On balance, some of them have in fact turned out to be the friendliest and most helpful customer service representatives I've encountered anywhere in a long, long time. One even went so far as to say he'd bought me a present on one of my visits there . . . the mind boggles!
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  #99  
Old 13.02.2011, 22:45
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Re: Rude IKEA salesman

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I've been in the Dietlikon Ikea branch a few times (sometimes swing by just for their delish 1 franc hot dog ) and have never encountered rude service from any of the assistants, regardless of whether I spoke English or German to them. On balance, some of them have in fact turned out to be the friendliest and most helpful customer service representatives I've encountered anywhere in a long, long time. One even went so far as to say he'd bought me a present on one of my visits there . . . the mind boggles!
ehmmmmmm, well oh well , please realize that traditionally, Englishmen here on the continent, not just in Switzerland, are preemptively regarded as being on the arrogant side and being ridden by some kind of superiority feeling This still is an active feeling in many many many places. You however are not perceived as being out of the British ruling class
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Old 13.02.2011, 22:54
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Re: Rude IKEA salesman

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You however are not perceived as being out of the British ruling class
Yeah, I'm now a regular Swiss homie - just like LiB!
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