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  1. #1
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    Question Customer Service in the DR - Your experience?

    If you have any great stories of "good" customer service please post them here. Negative ones will be deleted, so don't waste your time posting them.

    And...

    Do you think the DR will ever get to the level as in the story below?

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    Starbucks is a wonderful invention. Coffee house for those who need a coffee house, meeting place for those who need a meeting place, and mobile office for those of us who like to work and meet people in a coffee house. I spend about $200/month in Starbucks, not including the funds I add to Starbucks cards used by others. Many of the Barista’s know me by name and drink, even across the nine or so different Starbucks outlets I frequent. One time I got a frantic client call from a client on my cell, about an urgent “opportunity”. I said I’d call back in 5 minutes from my computer, because I was confident I was not farther than 5 minutes from a Starbucks. In Seattle, I doubt I am ever more than 2 minutes froma Starbucks, but I had to allow for bootup and log in time.

    I sat at an outside table at the next Starbucks, opened my ThinkPad and dialed the cell. As I started with the client, a Barista came outside and said “Hi John” and asked if I wanted my regular. Wow… awesome service, but no, thanks, I was only stopping for a minute, but really appreciated it! Talk about being treated like a King! That is a great customer experience. But that’s not the end of the story.

    The client call went overtime… as everything does… nothing takes less than 30 minutes these days… and about 40 minutes later I was still there, still on the phone, and oblivious to my surroundings. Someone then placed a venti half-decaf drip coffee (my drink) onto my table. I looked up. The Barista smiled and said “You look like you’ll be here a while; this one is on the house”. Outstanding.

    From: http://www.johnon.com/

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  2. #2
    Mr. Chunky Skin
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    I think this thread is best suited for the Clown Bin.
    Having said that, several years ago Verizon sent a person from Puerto Plata to my condo in Sosua for me to sign a contract that had been forgotten about at their office. I was amazed.
    I must now temper that comment by saying that last week when much of the north coast was having internet problems, the rep Verizon sent had less knowledge than me about computers and connections.
    So my general jaded view of Dr remains, good one day and bad the next. Seldom any continuity.

  3. #3
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    I never understood why customer service is so bad in the DR. I could understand places in Europe (mainly France and Spain from my experience) because it's a bit of a cultural thing (not intending to offend or generalize). But dominican people are generally friendly and helpful; why does this change when they work. This isn't of course including tourist sectors. I'd like to think it's because they're stressed out--but really, a 2 hour break isn't enough??

  4. #4
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    Thumbs up I Have 100s Of Stories Of Good "CUSTOMER" Service In The DR!

    But they are all "XXXX Rated"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC

    Hooker's Motto:...... "The Customer Always Comes First!"

  5. #5
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    Default Here is my story

    I just bought a car from a dealership in santiago area, actually just a bit outside of santiago, close to airport on the autopista duarte. The dealer's name is veras Auto. The car was in perfect condition, camry 2000, and the price was negotiated to be about 1000 dollars less than any other dealer in the area, including moca. This car would have been sold for premium price because of its condition yet I got the price what I offered him.
    Now here is my story. The car had a bad tire, sort of like puncture damage to the side wall of a fairly new looking tire; hole plugged and almost bursting out. I immediately asked the sales man to replace the tire before we will sign any papers. I was assured by the owner that the tire will be replaced.
    I come back in the evening to pick up the car and to pay the money. I noticed that the dealership had lived up to their agreement and had changed the tire. The car drove off the lot running like a new car. I was impressed; however, I did feel a pull to the right side. I felt the wheels were not perfectly aligned. I took the car to the tire place to balance and align the wheels. That’s when I was shocked to see that I was cheated. It was the same with a hole in the side wall with a plug (cheap temp repair) but flipped inside of the car to avoid seeing the damage from the outside. I was furious and called the dealer and told everything that crossed my mind to the owner. I told him that he had cheated me by simply flipping the tired to inside to hide the damaged part. He apologized to me and tried to convince me that it was the gomero who cheated him. I wanted no explanation and asked him to immediately replace the damaged tire. He calls me back and asked me to go to his dealership. He then hands me money to purchase not one but 2 brand new tires. I was surprised to see a dominican dealer would go to such length to retain a dissatisfied customer, especially when he already had my money? I mean, the car was old and it was being sold as is. Needless to say, I walked out very pleased from the place and went straight to tire place on bartolome colon. Now check this out: De leon gomas, sold me 2 tires for good price and then balanced my 4 tires (including the 2 old tires in the back) and then did a computerized wheel alignment to my tires, all for free. This is something they offer to someone who buys 4 new tires, but because they know me as an old customer, they simply did it all for free even when I only purchased only 2 tires. This is considered good service in my books.
    AZB

  6. #6
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    I was in Sto Domingo and took a taxi from the bus station to my friends house.
    It was at least a 20 minute ride. Well, turns out I left my baseball cap in the taxi. To my amazement he came back the following day and returned my cap.

    Also, we, a friend and I, were on a guagua (bus) to get ready to head out to Haiti and I had bought some apples for the trip. Got on the bus and eating away waiting for the bus to get going and the vender steps away from his busy booth and hands me my change that I forgot.

    Just damn well love it there.

  7. #7
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    I consider customer service in the DR just slightly below the international/latin norm. Or let me put it the other way around.... customer service in the USA (and territories highly influenced by the USA) is way above what I would call a "natural business" standard.

    Let me elaborate with an example.
    Want to apply for a few jobs? Buy a plain paper fax machine at Office Depot, keep it for 2 weeks, use it all you want, bring it back and say "its not what I was looking for"... get the full money refunded. Some furniture shops let you virtually get brand new sofas every 2 years if you make sure to spill some wine on them shortly before the "optional insurance" runs out. DSL service down for 2 days? Bitch loud and long at the representative and eventually get the whole month credited. Hair in your soup? Worst you can hope for is 1 year free meals, best a few million $ settlement. I'm exagerating with the lasst one

    This is great for the customer but not "normal" and only afforable in a very large economy like the USA with its mega coorporations/chains. Not quite do-able for small businesses in developing economies, just think of the "customer-abuse" factor if you could easily exchange items in the DR.

    PS: I'm not trying to justify the state of things, just giving my explanation.

  8. #8
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    To add an actual DR example to my rant: Had a small problem with the cable service a while back. Technician came, no fix found the first day, came back second day no luck either... 3rd day he fixed it and called the office to have them activate a higher connection speed, one step above the package I'm paying.

  9. #9
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    Default The delicatessen counter at Silverio Messon's, Puerto Plata

    Normally you go to the counter, take a number, wait your turn and get served. Last few times I was there, the lad spotted me in the deli area but getting my veggies. By the time I got to the deli my cheese and ham was already sliced and wrapped, didn't even have to ask for it...........fortunately, I DID want the same as I had wanted the week before.......... Same in the breadshop, same in lots of shops I go to regularly. Took a friend to breadshop once; next day she went in on her own.........got served with MY usual order.......lol Woe betide if she wanted to place her OWN order..........but it helped her because she didn't speak Spanish.
    It's all about making relationships. If you're known, chat about the other person's family etc etc, you will get super customer service, much better than UK (although no one knows me in UK any more.........)

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrf View Post
    I was in Sto Domingo and took a taxi from the bus station to my friends house.
    It was at least a 20 minute ride. Well, turns out I left my baseball cap in the taxi. To my amazement he came back the following day and returned my cap.

    Also, we, a friend and I, were on a guagua (bus) to get ready to head out to Haiti and I had bought some apples for the trip. Got on the bus and eating away waiting for the bus to get going and the vender steps away from his busy booth and hands me my change that I forgot.

    Just damn well love it there.
    My experiences in the DR are similar to jrf's.

    I would buy fruit every morning at a stand across the street from the house I was renting in Gazcue. The vender was always extremely kind and always threw extra bananas or another piece of fruit into my bag whenever I made a purchase. The women I rented from asked me how much the fruit vendor usually charged me and she commented that she felt the price was more than fair.

    I used to take taxis to get around town. Once, I took a cab and the driver got lost. He was stopping and asking directions from pedestrians and even other motorists in traffic. The cab fare had been agreed upon before we left. The cab ride took about 30 minutes longer than it should of. When we arrived I gave the driver double the fair, simply because I knew how expensive petrol was in the DR. The driver refused payment and gave me back the extra money. As I got out of the cab I handed it back to him. The guy had gotten lost , but he hadn't done it to rip me off or anything. And I did arrive safely. I didn't mind paying for the extra petrol. I insisted that he accept the money.

    When I was trying to track down a copy of a limited edition Dominican history book, the women in the store told me that she would look for it and asked us to come back the next day. When I returned, she had managed to find(by digging through books in the backroom) what might have been the last unsold copy of that book in the Dominican Republic. She didn't charge me extra.

    I was looking for a bookstore that sold copies of Rene Fortunado's DVD's on Balaguer and Trujillo(actually I had the Trujillo series, I was looking for the Balaguer centered documentaries). One of my Dominican friends telephoned the offices of Palau Films. Rene Fortunado was in the office and spoke with her personally. When she told him about my interest in the Era of Trujillo, he invited me to come and see him in person. The next evening I went with my friend and had drinks with him. Rene Fortunado was extremely nice and answered every single one of my questions. He also told me some great places to buy old Trujillo books. I brought a copy of one of the Balaguer DVD's with me and he even autographed it for me(One of the Balaguer DVD's has a cardboard case, the rest are plastic).

    I had a Dominican housekeeper who washed my clothes, and would leave them either hung up on hangers or neatly folded in my bedroom. My flat was cleaned everyday while I was out. I would return home around noon for a well cooked lunch. I never had any difficulties with my housekeeper. I gave her double what I agreed to pay her for salary as a gift and thanks for her hard work.

    I had many experiences like that when I was in the Dominican Republic. As far as I know, I was never cheated by a street vendor or shopkeeper. I was always treated politely and kindly by everyone. Granted, I don't live in the Dominican Republic year round, but for the time I spent there early this year, I really don't have any complaints.
    Last edited by Ogre of the Caribbean; 09-12-2006 at 02:34 AM.

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