Edward Lai Harner, Edward Harner
Andrea Harner
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January 31, 2008

It's hopeless. I thought Charles Schwab was the one company from which I could expect good customer service because that had always been the case until now.

The doomed conversation began like this:

AndreaHarner.com: I'm having trouble with an incoming wire transfer from Austria.

Schwab rep: Ok, Australia.

AndreaHarner.com: No, Austria.

Schwab rep: The wire is coming from Australia, right?

AndreaHarner.com: No, Austria.

Schwab rep: But is it in Australian dollars?"

AndreaHarner.com: No, they are two different countries. Austria is next to Germany and Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere.

Schwap rep: So what kind of money do they have?

AndreaHarner.com: Aren't you the bank?

More and more I see how growing up in Japan has handicapped me when dealing with the rest of the incompetent world.



Comments

This is clearly the trickle down effect of bad management at the top of the country: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/worldnews.html?in_article_id=480494&in_page_id=1811

Posted by: amyinNYC!!! at January 31, 2008 12:29 PM

Amen sister! I remember getting bows and smiles at the Wendy's in Tokyo. Here, people who deal with customers that are buying a lot more than a cheeseburger give you worse service than the burger flippers in Rising Sun land.

What we need is even MORE global competition to whip our service industry into shape.

AH.com: I think some necessary components are higher pay and our culture valueing and priding ourselves on service more.

Posted by: Jamie at January 31, 2008 6:05 PM

I agree. I remember Japan reminding me of what life might have been like here in the fifties. The Japanese gas stations are still full service, with guys in coveralls rushing out to pump the gas, clean the windshield's, etc. They are all probably decently compensated as well. This is why Japan has a huge middle class.

The sad thing is, I think they learned this from us. What happened?

Posted by: Jamie at February 1, 2008 1:10 PM
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