Stickman Readers' Submissions July 2nd, 2003

Thai Service Standards

By Phil

The thing that amuses me and infuriates me more than anything else about Thai behavior and standards of customer service is the fact that no matter how many times the customer might complain, the problem is never corrected.

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I could send a different Falang or Thai friend into any particular bar or restaurant every day for a month to complain about poor service but it would never be changed. They could complain every day about warm beer but it would never be chilled correctly. They could complain every day about dirt in the ice but it would never be removed. They could complain every day about the air con being faulty or the music being too loud or no water from the toilet taps or bugs on the toilet seat or padded bills or any other deficiency in customer service and you know what? When you go back next month the place will be exactly the same – no change whatsoever.

Thai service staff have no attention to detail, nor do they have any pride in serving their customers well. They have no desire to correct any faults and improve their businesses. They simply have no care whatsoever in the experience their customers have when they enter their place of work. And they certainly appear to be unwelcome or unwilling to any kind of change, particularly following a customer’s suggestion.

My only guess is that most Thai business owners are not concerned with improving their business either. Or perhaps it does not occur to most of them to initiate and maintain high standards of customer service. It may not assist business catering for the Thai consumer that much, but it would certainly assist business catering for the Westerner where high levels of customer service are expected and appreciated.

CBD bangkok

Speaking of customer service standards, I recently did a (sex) tour of Thailand and was expecting to have BGs fighting each other to get their greedy little hands on me due to the current downturn in tourism. I found Bangkok to be its usual dirty self (just a bit quieter) but when I got to Pattaya I found the place to be void of any customers and also void of any good service.

The funny thing about Pattaya is that unlike Patong Beach, the prices have not skyrocketed, nor have any of the BGs given up and gone back to Isaan to wait out the quiet period. There are still heaps of girls but what has happened is that every single BG in Pattaya has taken a “Boring” pill. They are not interested in serving the customer at all.

I was heading out in my best threads with 4 other sex tourists (football team of virile falang 30 year olds) and we hit the bar areas hoping to liven things up and cause a bit of mayhem. I am used to hitting a bar with a couple of bottles of Black or Jack and getting all the girls together in the bar and bar fining a few cute chicks from adjacent bars to join us and causing a riot of a party with drunk BGs doing all sorts of stupid things that Thai culture would not normally permit. I know how to have fun.

I had thought that the BGs must be really desperate for some action and I was expecting to be able fire things up on this holiday even more than I usually do. The funny thing was that no matter where I went in Pattaya I couldn’t get a rise out of any BGs anywhere. The BGs and all other service staff working in the bars just didn’t seem to give a flying fuck. I could barely keep them awake.

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There was the usual cute skanky chicks out the front of some of the bars attempting to solicit you inside, but once you’re in your seat with beer in hand nobody wants to know you. I found the most boring BGs to be working at the bars on Pattaya Beach 2nd road and North Pattaya was a total waste of time and motor bike petrol getting up there. Walking Street was fair to average. I don’t really do GoGos in Pattaya so I can’t comment there.

Soi 7 & 8 were doing ok, but the only place I could really recommend for good action is the sleazy bars around the Thai kick boxing ring at the start of Walking Street. I still love it when you first enter the bar area and all 200 BGs scream and yell in unison trying to get you to sit at their bar. Incidentally wile I was there I saw a twist to the usual old worn-out-has-been kickboxers on yaba beating each other's brains out. This time they brought out a few midgets and these vicious little fellas got right into it. Their techniques are not all that graceful but they certainly put on a realistic show. I’m 6”2 but I wouldn’t like to get in the ring with these midget size pit bulls.

I guess I will just have to stick to Marine Disco.

Stickman says:

To make a change would be to admit that there was a problem and to admit that there was a problem would lose face. Losing face is the LAST thing a Thai wants to do, perhaps apart from losing money.

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