Sunday, September 02, 2012

Customer Service in non first world countries

I wanted to talk to yall about customer service in non first world countries. For those of you who don't know, generally speaking a "first world country" is America,Canada,England,(and most of developed Europe) Australia (and most of the British Commonwealth) so a "non first world country" would be most of Asia,Africa and South America. The concept of customer service is just different here. It is by no means limited to Colombia. The mind set is just different.

For example, today I went to a computer shop to have a document scanned and loaded onto my 14gb USB Drive. Well everything was going smoothly until the computer that the person at the shop was using just randomly restarted. It was no fault of the employee's she didn't do it on purpose. But, since my USB drive was plugged in at the time I lost all my documents and data for work and teaching. It is now corrupted and non functioning.

Their attitude was basically that it was an act of God and there was nothing they could do for me. I am going to go back there tomorrow and try and talk to them again but their attitude was very typical. Generally speaking when something bad happens to you in a non first world country you are on your own and left to fend for yourself. This is not always the case and there is some people who go out of their way to fix your problems but generally speaking they do not compensate you in anyway for problems you might have.

I didn't get my money back for the failed scan of my document nor did I get any kind of compensation for my now broken USB drive. It was no fault of my own yet I am left high and dry. In a first world country this would not be the case at all, I would be compensated in some way for sure. It is just different cultures and attitudes though.When my good friend and travel buddy, Ben and I were traveling to Lima Peru our bus broke down 1 hour outside of Lima and we were told to get off the bus and find our own way into Lima. We were not offered any kind of refund or assistance by the bus driver or the company and this is normal. You just learn to deal with it.

I know this blog might sound like I just complaining (and in a way I am) but I really just want to give you, my readers a realistic view of life here. Just like anywhere there is great things about Colombia (and 3rd world countries in general) but there is also crappy stuff and this is one of those times. Maybe we are pampered in the first world countries or maybe we just have a different view of acceptable levels of customer service.  Yall have a good weekend (hopefully better than mine haha) -Tyler

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