Monday, May 16, 2011

Joke: Customer Service at Samsung in Accra

The other day my dad and I went shopping for a new air conditioning system. We drove down Ring Road between the Kanda Bypass and Circle trying to choose between LG and Samsung. We finally went with Samsung. The sales personnel told us to choose anytime the next day for the installation crew to stop by the house to install the AC, so we chose 10 am the next day. To be sure they’ll show up I had my cousin call them from 8am on the day of the installation appointment and practically all day long past the 10am appointment. They never showed up. So the day after they promised to show up my cousin called them again starting around 8am. They tried to get out of their commitment by giving all kinds of excuses – you didn’t give us your phone number (I gave them 3 different phone numbers). So I got on the phone myself:

Ring, ring, ring ring…..

Samsung guy: Hello

Me: Yes, I bought an air conditioner yesterday and you promised to come and install it and I’m still waiting.

Samsung guy: But I just talked to you

Me: No you talked to my cousin

Samsung guy: You didn’t request installation, and you didn’t provide us a number

Me: That’s not true, I can come to your office right now look the sales girls in the eye and ask them if I provided them a number.

Samsung guy: Well, the number you provided to us was wrong.

Me: No I provided 3 different numbers, and all of them are correct.

Me: Well, I need you to tell me what time the installation crew will be here.

Samsung guy: We are not sure, maybe next week. You need to request the installation.

Me: Look let me speak to your boss
(phone passes to someone seamlessly without warning)

Me: Boss, I need to know when TODAY you can come and install my AC or I’ll return the AC to your office and go to LG instead.

Samsung Boss: Calm down, I’m trying to be fair to you and you’re not (being) understanding.

Me: Listen, I don’t care. If you don’t come within the next couple of hours I will return the AC. We’ve had LG air-conditioners in our house for 16 years and with regular maintenance they worked fine. I don’t need to beg you guys. I’ll return your AC and go back to LG.
(Phone passes seamlessly back to someone unannounced)

Samsung guy: Herr, do you know who we sell to? Do you know what companies order for us? Go ahead and return the AC.

Me: I beg you, tell your boss to give you a lesson in economics. I am nobody but money from a rich person or company and money from a poor person is all money.

Needless to say they called my mom and said I was insulting everybody in the office and the installation crew showed up within 30 minutes of my call. The average worker in Ghana just doesn’t understand business. It’s very very sad. Everybody is waiting to make money without working for it.



  2. One of the 3 numbers I gave them :)

  3. Interesting narrative. I've always wondered what the so called "consumer association" in Ghana is doing. Things will only improve when there is a penalty and a direct quantifiable financial consequence (and I dont mean the loss of one sale). If there was some sort of class action lawsuit where the company was actually required to pay for the inconvenience and emotional trauma caused to the customer, "big corporations" will care what their employees are saying and doing as they represent them. Thats where the consumer association fails, the legal system fails and life in Ghana will continue to hold its "petty" inconveniences and frustrations.