After I received a quite unsatisfactory reply to a complaint, last Sunday I thought I finally had a bad experience with one of the many special sales events that regularly pop up in Taipei.
I had burned my left forefinger quite badly with Korean forged aluminum cookware, recently purchased at a very good price, while preparing my increasingly famous meatballs. The scar might be permanent.
For that reason a week earlier I had returned it provisionally, asking the saleswoman to forward my request to investigate the reason for this little accident. I specifically pointed out that I didn’t want my money back
The slow and rather vague response, after I had contacted her again, indicated that such cases were always the customer‘s fault and therefore the company hadn’t bothered to pay any attention to this specific case.
My immediate reaction was to communicate them that their service attitude sucked, because they flatly refused to take responsibility for a potentially dangerous product. Therefore, I would never buy any of their products again.
She called me quite late that evening, though our further discussion went nowhere. I appreciated her gesture, even if she said that it didn’t really matter if I boycotted her current employer in the future.
I even seriously considered not to pick up my latest kitchen tool and to tell them they could recycle it straight away. But then I changed my mind and today I passed by the store in Wanhua district during one of my now almost daily bicycle tours.
When I was greeted very friendly by the older lady with whom I had exchanged messages on Line, all my anger was gone. As a gesture of goodwill, I even offered her one of the Japanese melon sweets that I had just bought, which she happily accepted.
She mentioned that during her 16 years in the business no other shopper had ever encountered such a problem, and that they had been selling this specific model for quite a while already with no other reported incidents.
It became obvious to me that the management was reluctant to take this issue seriously. I said half-jokingly that they probably thought that a silly Westerner like me wasn’t smart enough to handle an item manufactured in the East, a suggestion that she politely denied.
As at the end it hadn’t been her decision to basically ignore my issue, but at the same time she tried to make me feel comfortable, I ended up joking that the lid’s heat conduction simply was too good.
So finally I went home with that Korean masterpiece in my backpack, not without asking about future sales. At least, I resisted the temptation of acquiring any other cooking utensils this afternoon…