They call it the land of smiles and a tourist coming to Thailand would think that the service in Thailand is exceptional and well it is if your a tourist! If you stay in a 3+ star hotel eat at the farang restaurants and visit the local tourist attractions as most tourists do in Thailand you’ll get exceptional service well actually exceptional is probably going a bit too far but you’ll get the smiles that Thailand has built it’s reputation on.
However when you step away from the tourist traps you rent an apartment and live amongst the Thai’s you’ll begin to learn the truth behind the smile and in fact the smiles are no longer to be seen. The smiles are now replaced by frowns and attitudes and people standing around talking to their peers more interested in the latest topic than they are serving you!
I never used to think about service that was until I moved to America and learned what true service is like. Thing about the USA is they realise it’s a service industry and so the service must be exceptional. Go to a restaurant in the USA and you’ll have the manager come to your table and ask you personally if everything is OK and to your liking go to a restaurant in Thailand have a problem and ask for the manager (oh he’s not working tonight).
To say Thai’s don’t tip is total BS they do tip, especially in pub/restaurants it may not be much but they do. In fact if you come to Chiang Mai the waiters and waitresses in pubs/clubs in Chiang Mai earn a paltry 3-5000 baht a month! Honestly that’s not enough to live off they actually need the tips to survive yet they give the crappiest service you can think of then ask why they don’t get more tips!
Take my ex for example, she got a job down at the Sukahsem Cafe which has some of the crappiest service of any pub in Chiang Mai. She would make over 500 baht a night in tips while her peers were lucky to make 50 baht. Yet they all asked her why she would get lots and they didn’t. Because she learned from me about service and about what I hate to see she made sure the customers saw it. Yet she and I for that matter would tell them how and what to do but they would just nod and say “yeah yeah yeah” you know it’s going through one ear and out the other and still complain that they don’t get tips.
Pubs especially are built on service and just because you got a girl with nice long legs in a short skirt isn’t enough Thai’s should learn that the better service they provide the more customers they bring in and the better the tips are for the waiters. Another great example is a place I go all the time, Blah Blah Blah. Now if I go in there the girls there know me and the guys working do too. It’s kinda like an acquaintance deal and so they are happy to serve me and joke around. Yet my mate went there and no one knows him and they just were not interested fucked up his order and wouldn’t poor his drinks. The same people who ask me how to get more tips! Again in one ear out the other.
Now me I’m the worst customer you’ll ever meet. I hate when things are really stupid like the apartment complex that asks for a 6000 baht deposit if you stay one month and a 12000 baht deposit if you stay two months! I know it’s not the girls at the counter fault but in part it is see they wouldn’t dare to question the owner after a hundred people walk in and say it’s stupid they just keep going with it explaining the same stupidity over and over again. Or how about at Infinity when I asked the waiter for an itemized bill and they come back and gave me the bill with just the total on it once I’d given him a 200 baht tip in the hand! I hate stupidity like this as much as I hate poor service.
Talk about poor service and stupidity rolled into one in Thailand. How about you go to the local language school and get an ED visa for a year and then they try to explain to you over the course of an hour in broken language the steps and what you gotta do next. And you come out and you still have no idea what to do where the hell the embassy is in Kuala Lumpar how to get there what times you need to go for how many photo’s you need to take to immigration overseas as well as here, the fees etc what a bloody joke. If that was me working there I’d have it all written down hand it to the Farang and say got any further questions come and talk to me. But that’s the thing about Thailand is improving service is not a priority to most companies because in Thailand it has to come from the top down it can’t come from the bottom up. If the customer service clerk wishes for improvement they wait for it to happen instead of having the initiative and motivation to make it happen themselves.
Anyone else agree or disagree? Any service horror stories?