And we thought the standard of service in Malaysia was improving….
It was a rare opportunity for me to find myself (and kids in tow) visiting Suria KLCC last weekend. It was a Saturday afternoon (and public holiday! Wesak Day) and I planned to spend a couple of hours only doing aimless window shopping in the place which I hadnt stepped foot in in at least a few years. I had heard there were a number of new shops there and since I had a few hours to spare, took it as a chance to take the kids out for a jaunt.
Well everything started out nice enough….it was just before noon and the place wasnt too packed. I had two helpers with me and my 4 month old baby and a toddler (i.e. not one but TWO strollers). At least I give my breast-feeding self a pat on the back for attempting to take both kids out together.
It wasnt before long I realised that we were stuck on the same floor for the next 2 hours because we couldnt all fit into a lift. the 2 lifts running in the center of the place were always packed whether we wanted to go UP or DOWN. And then shortly thereafter, one of my helpers wanted to use the toilet. And the floor which we were on ONLY had the Premium toilets, which charges RM2.00 per entry. I never knew why they did that, since the toilets were not any better than the ones which were free. So I decided to locate everyone in DOME while one helper went to the loo on another floor. (I wanted to eat in Chinoz since they had a toilet there but it was under renovation!)
And about 5 minutes later, i found that my toddler needed a nappy change (big change!) and finally I had no choice but to pay RM4.00 for me and my OTHER helper to use the premium toilet. NO CHOICE!!! Whenever in Malaysia do you feel you have NO CHOICE but to be extorted for using a basic necessity?? I felt right mad.
So now that I deem Suria KLCC as one of the most baby unfriendly shopping centres in town, I have another (bad!) bone to pick with our very own Chanel boutique.
I dont profess to be so widely traveled and even then, I havent been to all the Chanel boutiques in the world, but in Asia, I think I can safely say that the sales people in the Chanel boutique in Suria KLCC fall far far below par. I have been to quite a number of Chanel boutiques in Asia and all of them lived up to the service standards you would expect of a luxury boutique, whether or not you buy something. Of course there were one or two in Hong Kong which had rather snotty sales personnel there but they served you professionally.
I was keen to visit the Chanel shop because I had heard that it had been renovated and was very spacious and of international standards. I had no intention of buying anything but was curious if it was a nice as you saw overseas. And indeed I was impressed! The items – many in variety, well placed, shop floor was spacious and looked just like those overseas in the swanky shopping streets of Tokyo, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore etc etc.
But I guess in terms of being similar, it stopped there. Stopped short and well below acceptable standards, I was appalled to note.
Firstly, there were only 2 other ladies (friends) in the shop being served by 1 sales assistant. I just walked around and no one came up to me or asked me if i needed anything. Usually I would have waved them away but this time, i was strange not being asked. Once I rounded the corner I saw 4 to 5 sales assistants standing in a bit of a circle. Possibly just after a briefing (I heard one of them say, is briefing over?)
Anyway, i squeezed past a couple of them, and one of them smiled as said to me Welcome to Chanel or something, while the other 2 was loudly discussing their options for lunch! I was looking rather interestedly at the shoes and NO ONE asked me if I needed assistance. They were too busy discussing what they were going to have for lunch. They stood about 2 feet away from me.
As I walked away feeling alittle disdainful, I passed another 2 different sales assistants (one male and one female), who seemed… to be flirting!
Male: You look so pretty today!
Female: I am pretty everyday!
I was walking past them in that enclosed area (in between clothes and shoes), about 2 feet away and they were busy chatting among themselves. I really felt sad and disgusted for the level of service in Malaysia. I dont even see such bad display of sales efforts in modest boutiques, let alone this luxury boutique of supposedly high standards! I am not a nazi….its fine to talk and chatter among yourselves but to do so when a customer is so nearby, looking interestedly in the goods….and being literally ignored (as if I wasnt even there) – is unforgivable! Madame Coco Chanel might have turned in her grave!
I passed by the first sales assistant on my way out. She was still serving the 2 ladies. She looked at me apologetically and I said to her…”I think you are the only one working today. All your colleagues are too busy chatting and ‘bersembang'”. She said….”Sorry, sorry! I already told one of them to serve you…”
I think the unspoken hung in the air….”but no one came”…..
Anyway, its sad that its the attitude of the Malaysian Chanel sales assistants. Poor Poor Poor. Bad Bad Bad. I hope this is not representative of the general service level in Malaysian International boutiques in comparison to our other Asian counterparts. Cos if so, we badly fail. We may have all the infrastructure, the glitz and shine of the shops, but unfortunately, not the warmth. This post makes it into my “WHAT THE?” category.