Taiwan’s service industry in the view of a foreigner

Frankly speaking, I don’t really like to buy things in Taiwanese shops or go to public authorities. At these two places, I often think that the service quality of salesclerks and government employees is not quite good.

I know, I know, I’m probably too strict on that matter, probably because I also had been a service worker (in a bank) in Germany before. On the surface, it seems that the service industry in Taiwan is not bad. When you enter a convenience store in Germany, no one would greet you „Welcome“ and when I first came to Taiwan, I thought that this is very polite, but meanwhile I think that this kind of greeting doesn’t have any special meaning. It’s honest in behavior, but not voluntary, since it’s simply the salesclerk’s duty to do so. As far as I’m concerned, I don’t really care whether the salesclerk is going to greet me or not, since a few hundred times daily saying „Welcome“ often just sounds like a hollow word.

Another thing is the incompetence of many salesclerks and government employees. When I ask them something I often think that they totally don’t know what to answer. Of course, my Chinese is also not extremely well and when I ask a question it might be that I express it rather strangely, but even when my wife is asking them something, the answer usually keeps us unsatisfied. Three years ago, I handled my marriage documents and visa for Taiwan and had a lot of strange problems at many places. Not because my documents had any problems, but because some government employees didn’t know how to handle them. Their incompetence really caused me a lot of trouble. For that matter I already wrote a „Thank you letter“ in German, please have a look.

And then there is the 10% service fee in restaurants. In my opinion, the service fee should be related to the service quality, so if the service is bad, the service fee would be less, like it is the case in Germany. If the service is good, I would also be willing to give more than 10% of a service fee, the key point is that I could decide myself how much to give.

Finally I would like to write one more thing…from my point of view, the service quality in Taiwan and in Germany is not very different, both is neither fish nor fowl. However, in Germany, there seem to be too less salesclerks and in Taiwan, there seem to be too many…

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