Eyes wide shut

At what point does customer service begins and ends to you? Does it begin during your purchase of a certain goods/services or even before you decide to buy? Or is customer service just after sales service to you?

Last week i went to shop for contact lenses with my wife at 1utama. We randomly walked into any optical shops we could find as we didn’t have much time to spare with baby in tow. We came across this shop called Optique Avenue by Paris Miki and before we enter, my wife said ” Please ask if they charge for an eye test? I need to test before buying a new pair of contact lens”. I was shocked as to why my wife asked this puzzling question- Don’t all optical shops provide FREE eye tests? So we went in and i asked the sales ladies if they have contact lens and if they charge for eye tests.

NO FREE eye test here. shoo shoo....

NO FREE eye test here. shoo shoo....

The sales lady replied, “Yes sir, its RM3.00 (My wife insists that she heard it as RM30) but its FREE if you buy contact lens from us. Flabbergasted, i asked them “What if after the test and you dont have the particular lens with the right power?”

She replied “Oh, then we will order for you!” .

Hmn…..you probably guessed it = i told my wife that we can get better service (a.k.a. FREE EYE TEST) from other optical shops. We then came across England Optical in the old wing of 1utama and true enough, the staffs there were friendly and more than happy to give us the free eye test.

england optical. Free eye tests and friendly service.pity about their prices though...

england optical. Free eye tests and friendly service.pity about their prices though...

Regardless of whether we are buying anything from them! After a quick 5 min eye test, we were about to buy from them but the prices were a bit steep, so too bad we decided to try another shop.

The last shop that we went to was probably the best optical shop in 1utama. its a very small scale “mom and pop” style shop and the staffs & tauke were very friendly. They didnt charge for eye test and they actually took around 15min to do a proper eye tests and give recommendation on what lens power my wife should use. Also the price of the lenses there were the cheapest out of 4 shops we went to in all of 1utama.

MY EYE shop in 1utama. The best optical shop in 1utama in terms of service and price. my personal guarantee man....

MY EYE shop in 1utama. The best optical shop in 1utama in terms of service and price. my personal guarantee man....

I had a chance to speak with the tauke (at least i think HE is the tauke) and i asked him

Q : why some shops in 1u CHARGE for eye test?

A: “its probably bcos they had too many customers going for eye tests and not buying.”

Q:  “But wait, dont all optical shops provide free eye tests anyways? so whats the big deal ?”

A : Well, its a malaysian practice. In spore, you actually have to pay S$20, regardless or whether you buy anything or not!”

Oh yeah, before we left, we also took pics of the tauke with my son for my other blog “PROJECT 1000” (Click to visit and also some customers of his at the shops.

MY EYE Optical shop tauke with my son

MY EYE Optical shop tauke with my son

SO there you have it. now coming back to the original question on the start of this post, i feel that customer service begins even before a customer transacts with any businesses. I feel especially today, in this globalized, web 2.0 and media centric market, one good customer service stories will really make or break a business reputation.

What are your thoughts? leave me a comment!

About xcarpathia

Just a normal average malaysian joe

Posted on August 21, 2008, in THE GOOD and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. You think a free eye ‘test’ is capable of detecting something that may eventually make you go blind? Don’t be so stupid.

  2. Sounds like you truly want something for nothing. Good luck with that. Do you charge something for your time? Do you give it away and expect to eat? With what?

  3. To Bob = Free eye tests are offered by most optical shops in malaysia. Its used to detect the power of lenses you needed to buy.Did you put on your grandma’s reading glasses when you read my blog or did you just took extra stupid pills today? Did you read my post properly or do i need to read it to you?

    To Tom= I am not expecting something for nothing. Its a standard practice as i said in my post. Just like how you expect starbucks to give you free wifi access and not charge you for it. perhaps tom and bob are related…..

  4. Is your dentist free? Is your physician free? (But I just wanted a cancer test, a liver test, a thyroid test, oh, and a CT scan test. Why aren’t they free?) Eye doctors go to 9 years of college to learn their profession. Free? WHY??!!!

  5. Sometimes, my friend, you get what you pay for.

    I’d rather pay someone who knows what they are doing than get it done for free by someone who may mess up my vision.

  6. If can restore your eysight with simple eye exercises, if anyone is interested: http://www.squidoo.com/restorevision

  7. opticians in msia usually dont charge anything for eye test…..you might need to consult an opthamologist…

    this aside, real customer service for optical store in KL? Reliance optical in Jln Telawi 3. no matter how busy they are, they are always consistent with their service to all their customers. this is what kept me coming back to the place…plus they have the best price around as well.

  8. THANK YOU RONT!
    I was holding myself back from replying …..

  9. I mean for a full-blown eye examination, one would need to refer to an opthamologist.

    i have been to the england optical outlet in 1U before..that was years ago. they probably have different staffs now….but i never bother to go back there….because they were not professional enough. doesnt seem want to serve customers, that sort of attitude (which) is quite common in many places.

  10. I have been to the england optical in sek 13, giant shah alam last november 4, 2008 to do eye examination and have a new spectacles for my eyes. I collected my new order 2 weeks after and wore it early Dec 2008 until 31 January 2009. I came back to the outlet many times after i can’t see properly because the image that i saw its not stabled and felt not comfortable, headache with my new spectacles. 1st visit, they said its normal case if u feel not comfortable because of new spectacles. 2nd visit, i told them whether something wrong with my right eye or the spectacles because i really felt not comfortable and really headache until i went to medical centre to see specialist what went wrong with head on the right hand side and because of that i got to on Medical leave and can’t work. The girl noticed that my eye looks so tired and red in color. She said kindly leave your contact no because their specialist was not in and will call me back for an appointment but no calls. 3rd visit, the same thing was happened again. On the 31 January 2009 i went to Home & Work Optometriy Care to get 2nd opinion and the proper eye test since the England Optical that i went could not solve my problem. After i had almost 3 hours for eye test, i was shocked because my result was very different with what i had in England Optical. Can u imagine..how could england optical gave result for my right eye for SPH-4.75 and CYL-0.50 and left eye SPH-5.25 and CYL0.50 which is far different with my recent eye test which is SPH-2.00 and CYL-4.50. And for left eye is SPH5.75 and CYL-0.25. Then i came back to Giant sek 13 shah alam to ask them because i was not satisfied what they have been done to me. They did not checked my eyes properly and because their careles mistakes i was sufferred and my eyes condition was unstabled because i was forcing my eyes wore that stupid spectacles and listened to that stupid girl who do not even bother every time i came and gave me all idiot consultation. And because of them, i have to get new lens which is cost for RM575. Who wants to pay for the cost?

    Please take note on this matter and kindly reply to me soonest possible. If no feedback within 2 weeks from today, i will get further action.

    Thank you.

  11. Well……I think I can tell better here.

    First of all, I’m a qualified optometrist. It’s such a sad thing to see all this thing happen in Malaysia. Free eye test?? Yes, very common in Malaysia. Why?? you have to ask yourself? An optometrist need to attend a bachelor science of degree in university, and followed by pre-registration year training. We spend so much of our time and money in order to give you very good and professional services. The very next time you drop by to any optical shops, especially those given you free eye test, please ask them: what is your qualification? Don’t be surprise if they “eh….ahh….”, then tell you that they are optician. Ask for their certs (compulsory to display in the shop). Let me tell you, you will be surprise to find out quite a bit of them are not a qualified optician. Maybe you will ask me, what is the difference between optician and optometrist? If you are interested…then I will let you know. Letting those people to handle your precious eyes, just like letting someone who is not a doctor to treat/prescribe drugs to you. Why your wife’s eyes are still OK? because even your son/daughter might know that if you have fever, then you should take panadol or something alike……it’s just as simple as that. That’s provided her symptom is only normal fever…..luckly you. You might not be so lucky everytime. Imgagine what will happen if next time she has fever, but actually only part of the symptoms of other serious diseases? And she just take panadol and had delayed her previous golden time for treatment……..

    Awareness is still very much lacking in Malaysian society.

  12. I happened to stumbled upon your blog while I was surfing the net, well I have to agree that yes, as a customer you are right, you deserve better service, especially when you are paying.

    however, I would always like to look things from two sides. for a salesman that’s working at a shop, most probably he is struggling with his own financial needs. sometimes you won’t be surprised that these people actually have 3 jobs just to feed their family. throw in a couple of stupid customers, it is not a easy job for them. maybe you have or have not been in their situation, but if u had, I’m sure you will understand. It is not easy for someone to smile back to the customers when the customer is barking his head off. not forgetting after that he still has to get a barking from his boss. anyone who has been in the retail line will definately agree.

    next, for the horror truth. you think the people that is giving you good service really cares about you? they just want you to make the purchase. this is basic sales technique. after you done with the purchase, you are HISTORY to them. yea it is sad, but it is the truth. how do i know? i’ve been in the sales line for more then 5 years. if not you can ask anyone that is. of course they will deny it, but the fact is so that- u will still buy their product.

  13. I m from KL, May I know your contact number

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