To be fair it is not just China I have experienced the brush off. It has been in other countries as well. Dubai is another one that comes to mind. Being from the US, believe it or not in the US there is a customer service mentality and it is expected. Demanded by some. If you don’t know he answer you expect someone to get it. If something is not available, you expect options. If there is a failure in service you expect something to do done about it.
In China, here is regular occurrence I often experience
Shop Attendant Mind: I don’t want to deal with you for whatever reason and do whatever it takes to get you away from me.
In a store, you ask where something is and they point you over there, it is not clear where over there it, you are given the brush off wave. They just don’t want to deal with you or is some cases I think do any work. It is not foreigner discrimination or due to language challenge either. They just don’t want to or be bothered. That is what my mind tells me.
Ordering lunch today was a classic example of the often common brush off I experience. We like to order lunch from this Thai place that delivers. They have a delivery menu in English and it says for lunch delivery you must call between 11:00-11:45am. We followed the rules, I asked my intern to call the order in around 11. She tells me she put our order in and gave them the delivery address and they said it was too far. My office building is on the same street, a straight shot down the road. A 15 minute walk, much quicker by scooter. The intern tells them we have ordered from there before. She is then told that they can’t deliver today, not enough drivers. In China, no really doesn’t exist, no one says no so instead of saying no you get excuses and it makes you skeptical to if any are actually true. My favorite is don’t have. Do you really don’t have or just saying that? Goes back to maybe they just don’t want to deal with me or the situation. Also instead of no, hard to say is used. Can you have this delivered today? Response: Hard to say. Actually, it is really not hard to say, it is either yes you can or no you can’t, pick one and go with it. However, I do believe they may not have drivers, it is after Chinese New Year and many workers may have quit and found a new job. Very common after Chinese New Year for they are waiting for their bonus and then it is off to a new job. However, why didn’t this place just say that in the beginning when she asked to place an order for delivery. It is so too common to go through the process to be told don’t have, can’t do, hard to say, or whatever. A regular frustration I experience and the idea of customer service, what is that? *SIGH*