Thursday, August 14, 2008

Smile and Say GST

I scanned today's Straits Times and saw "Complaints up against Sim Lim shops". It appears to be a rather nondescript headline, hardly a scoop but it was resonant to me.

It reports "According to the Consumers Association of Singapore (Case), shoppers' complaints have risen steadily, from 119 in 2006, to 188 in 2007, to 133 so far this year. The Funan IT Mall, by comparison, usually receives between 20 and 30 complaints a year" and that the "shoppers commonly complained about being overcharged and sold defective goods." Some of the complaints were more upsetting as they involve verbal or physical abuses.

It appears that these 'bad guys' were under some 'rehabilitation' programs put in by the building management but they can't seem to kick their old habits. The STB supported these programs and was waiting in line to award the 'good guys'. I think either the programs were bogus or the award was unappetizing
. What a funereal situation.

I admit that I am a bit prejudiced (OK, OK, perhaps slightly more than a bit)... the problem at the Sim Lim Square seems to be really chronic. Come to think of it, how could it be so coincidental that so many 'bad guys' are herded into the same building leaving the nicer ones serving us at the other places. Puzzling. I can't say that the bad service attitude is trade related for consumers do not have the same issue at The Funan IT Mall. Strange phenomenon. Could it be the Feng Shui thingy? (see entry on
Wheel of Fortune)

I often hear grouses about poor service on this little island and how we have been attempting to propel this young nation to mature into a gracious society. I feel that we have a long way to go. Well, the rest of the island may not be as worrisome as Sim Lim but if we are pitching ourselves to compete with other cities, ever so hungry for the tourist dollars, we can't be complacent with the current state of affair.

Oh, yes! I find it totally insulting and ironical that slogans promoting good service culture are also grim reminders of pains to our wallets. How does GST sound to you when it actually means
Greet, Smile and Thanks.

Now, give me a smile and say Geez! :)

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