29 June 2009

Below Average Service Encounter

Just came across something that I think I ought to write it up here.

About 2 months ago I've registered for this SoftBank phone contract, and according to the contract a gift voucher worth 5000 yen (~RM 185) will be delivered to us after 2 months.

My friends who registered the same date as me received their gift vouchers. Almost everyone got it except me. Baffled by this situation, I ought to give Softbank a call to check things out.

Too bad the Chinese-speaking agent Ms Pan is having issue with her phone so she's not easily being reached. I've decided to call Softbank's English customer support line.

The operator attended me was Ms Satou (if I'm not mistaken). When I started to speak with her I noticed the way she responded to my requests are kinda.... how should I say, a little rude?

The conversation goes something like this:


(skipped the introduction part)
CLF: " OK, so my name is XXXXX-XXXX-XXX."
SB: "uhuh...."
CLF: ".....? "
SB: "Please wait a moment while I check for you." *Plays Tchaikovsky's music*

SB: "Sorry to keep you waiting sir. I've just checked, and according to the information you will be receiving the voucher by 2X of July."
CLF: "Wow that's quite some time to go! A question, how come my voucher would be delivered later than the others? Because my friends who registered the same together, same phone and same package had already received their vouchers."
SB: "Oh? Let me double check again, hold on a sec please." *Tchaikovsky's music again*

SB: "bla bla bla.... (something about database assortment thingy)."
CLF: "I see. I would like to know how come there's such a big gap in between me and my friend's? As the reason mentioned above we all applied on the same time so it should be delivered roughly around the same tine isn't it?"
SB: " (sounded annoyed) The voucher will be delivered to you, so please wait for it."
CLF: "Oh OK.... Well then, that's all. Thank you."
SB: "Thank you. Once again, my name is Satou. Bye." * line cuts off *


Things aren't that bad initially when I asked her to check the status for me. It's only when I started to question her regarding the why I would be getting the voucher late, she started to sounded unease.

I don't think whether I've asked too much, but as the customer I had the right to inquire the delay in the service. A simple reply would be sufficient but the way she sounded, as if she had lost her patience.
Her English is OK, we can understand what we're talking about so it is not really a problem of miscommunication.

The whole conversation lasted within 10 mins, it isn't long winded, just straight to the point. I expect at least satisfying service from Softbank, but turns out that this time I've met a bumper. Although I roughly got the answer, I'm not entirely satisfied with it especially the service of the operator.

Previously I've called the English customer service for another matter earlier this month. The attendant Ms Moma (again, if I'm not mistaken) was good, so I expected similar service this time and unfortunately it was a disappointment.

Japan is famed for it's superb service quality, no doubt. I've seen it and experienced it for myself. Luckily I bump into such trouble through a phone instead of real-person encounter, which would be more troublesome then.

My Japanese level is still far from fluent speaking so I would stick to English to prevent any possible miscommunication or faux pas. Too bad, it's hard to find a Japanese that can speak English fluently. Seems like they're kinda afraid speaking it. Some more details I would talk about it in a later post in this week, if I had the time to write it.


  1. Maybe that day Ms Satou mood not good... Haha...
    btw, i think u can act like japanese customer to write a letter to softbank for complaining la~

  2. hahah but you know what, I can't find a write-in in the Softbank's website! terrible.... aiyoyo....