Sunday, May 31, 2009

Some days the polar bear eats you...

Day in, day out Indonesia tests you. It has it's highs, and when they're high they're very, very high, and it has it's lows most of which are to do with the shocking state of the nation's crumbling infrastructure (including the education system) or it's nightmare bureaucracy, which feels like the worst elements of 19th Century Dutch colonial administration overlaid with half a century of incompetence and corruption, until nobody really knows what's going on much of the time.

Or the shitty, the customer is always wrong service.

Mostly though Indonesia is pretty easy going and muddles along. Java in particular always feels open and very generous (probably more so than Bali, where the smiles you see everywhere can sometimes hide something thoughts rather less charitable).

And so it was yesterday, when we went to the ISP to find out why we get cut off month in, month out regardless of whether we've paid or not. And we, at my insistence went to see the owner. And he re-defined the shitty, the customer is always wrong philosophy.

So, Pak Herry, why do we, regardless of whether we pay for your grossly overpriced and slow internet service, get cut off every month.

Because the money has not gone into our account.

But it happens when I pay cash in your office. In fact for the 36 odd months I've been with you, it's happened 20 times and I've never been late paying..not once.

It is because of your bank.

It has nothing to do with our bank. It also happens when I pay cash..please listen carefully.

No it doesn't.

Yes it does.

So you are saying I'm lying?

Mr Simon we are just trying to serve you the best we can.

No you are not, you are now calling your long term reliable paying customer a liar and no number of smarmy platitudes will change that.

You must open an account in our bank.

Pardon?

You must open an account with our bank because our bank has problems with other banks.

Pardon?

You must open an account with our bank because our bank has problems with other banks.

Why can't you open an account at my bank since it's yours that is causing the problem.

Mr Simon we are just trying to serve you the best we can. Please help us.

Good god. Brigid gets upset and tells Pak Herry that he's essentially a smarmy wanker. We move on....

Since you advertise 24hr service, is it possible to have someone in your office after 6pm and before 8am? That is, since your feed often goes down overnight...

Mr Simon we are just trying to serve you the best we can. But no.

Why?

It costs too much. You must wait until morning.

So the biggest independent ISP in Bali can't afford one person to sit in the office overnight? I don't believe you.

Mr Simon we are just trying to serve you the best we can. But no.

Why can't my two connections, at work and home, be on the same invoice?

Mr Simon, we cannot do that.

Why?

It would confuse my staff. Please help us.

Surely it is a simple matter.

Mr Simon we are just trying to serve you the best we can. But no.

So I cannot get one invoice, because I'm worried that we will, now that I will have two connections, regardless of whether they are up to date, be randomly cut off every month.

Mr Simon, I cannot promise you that you won't but my staff are working very hard to serve you as well as we can.

No you're not. You are a smarmy soulless git, whose approach to business is to spend as little as possible and see how much you can get away with.

Perhaps you can open an account at our bank?

New ISPs are launching this year. But I'm thoroughly satisfied with ours, after all they are just trying to serve me the best they can.



2 comments:

johnorford said...

sounds like an indonesian basil fawlty : )

Simon said...

This guy is something less pleasant. Very ugly. Sadly his attitude to customers is all too common here