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Ayodeji Rotinwa: I am An Angry Customer

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Customer service in Lagos, Nigeria is basically non-existent. Not a single week passes in which I do not have something to complain about. Anyone who knows me or follows me on Twitter would have come upon my rant sessions. I have had it and will perhaps continue to. There are a few things, however, I’d like service providers to realise. They probably won’t. Oh well. I tried. I shall rant still.

A Smile Will Open The Door To A Person’s Wallet
I walk through your door, needing a service. I will be paying for this service. I will be adding to turnover, your profits. I will be contributing in a measure, to your livelihood. No I do not care if you’ve just received a strongly worded telling off from your boss for watching Africa Magic for the umpteenth time and forgetting to confirm that appointment. No, I do not care whether you’ve had an upsetting night and morning staring at the ginormous pimple that’s smack in the middle of your forehead and would drop your prospective mistress points when that handsome, regular, leering and also married customer comes in next. No, I do not want to know that your break was due to start a millisecond before I walked in and appeared at your desk. When I do walk in, I expect a warm, inviting smile. The kind that disarms me even if you have held my internet connectivity captive for days and I was coming to your office to ‘tell you who I am’. The kind that derails my train of curse-filled thoughts and words dribbling at my lips when curiously, all the airtime loaded on my phone disappears.

But let’s even assume I’m coming to your office anew. You must smile. I do not understand why receptionists, front desk officers, tellers, and other first point of entry servicemen find this concept alien. One arrives at an office, needing a service; you are met with a steely frown, even at an early hour. It boggles my mind. Sometime ago, after a stressful week, some friends and I decided to head to a spa. We were bone tired. We literally staggered through the front door. My back and thighs especially needed some cold-blooded kneading. We approached the front desk. We met the receptionist; nose turned up, eyes hawkish and narrowing, rude pout delicately set. ‘YES?!’ she greeted us. Perhaps she thought who are these twenty-something’s waltzing into our overpriced spa, needing something? How dare they? How dare I come and spend money tirelessly worked for, expecting a warm smile and a quick direction to the massage table before my legs gave out, indeed!

A Stated Time Is a Must-Keep Promise
“How long will it take for the food to be ready?”
“15 minutes, sir”
45 minutes later, when I’ve perhaps drained my drink, lost my temper and even appetite, the food arrives.
“Apologies, sir… but…”

NOPE. I DO NOT WANT TO HEAR IT. You see, a stated time is a promise. Restaurants mostly run afoul of this. Always. If a waiter tells me my meal/drink will be ready in 10 minutes time, I expect it in 10 minutes. If you say 45 minutes, I won’t expect it earlier or later than that. This past holiday on a lazy Monday evening, craving a cocktail and laughs off overheard IJGB conversations and mangled accents, I headed to a popular restaurant by the lagoon. Cocktail menu briskly appeared and my eyes soon picked up a cocktail named ‘Screaming Orgasm’ I had to have it. What a name! Would it bring me to a tumultuous climax of sorts? Would it send me to cloud 9, perhaps higher? My curiosity was hot and throbbing. I made my order. 8.30pm. Jokes danced around the table about the cocktail I ordered and laughter ensued. Affected accents from the next table found their way to my ears. More laughter. I was having a fun time. Time passed. 9.15pm my drink had still not arrived. I called on the waiter. The young lady had the audacity to roll her eyes. Entitled me, thinking I deserved an apology for the tardy service or worse still, the drink.

Service Charge/Tips Can Not Be Mandatory
‘Service Charge’ by my simple understanding means charge for service rendered. At restaurants, I take this to mean, how you are served. When however I am served poorly, which is as good as no service at all, it confuses me to no end, why am I expected to PAY for this service! No small charge I must add. Why should I part with N1, 500 thereabouts after you almost poured pepper soup in my crotch, setting the saucer indelicately, close to the edge of the table? Also, some restaurants have now taken to adding a tab for tips on the bill. The ones who don’t; the waiter will hover around your table and flash one patronising smiles, waiting for a minty bill or two (N500 upwards, preferably) to drop into their palm, regardless he/she served me the next table’s order and had argued that I was the one at fault.

One or all three episodes I bet would have happened to you before, perhaps worse. Share! Angry customers need to stick together.

Photo Credit: sebastianbooksblog.wordpress.com

________________________________________________________________________________
Ayodeji Rotinwa is a writer. He believes satire should be the palm oil in which words are eaten. He hopes, on here, you will not choke. His fiction (which he also writes) can be your water. He is currently a penman for ThisDay (Style) Newspapers and you can find him and others running word riots on a creation of his, http://www.theurbanemix.com/, an online magazine on Nigerian culture, social commentary and literary works. You can follow him at @ayodejirotinwa on Twitter.

Ayodeji Rotinwa is a writer with a keen interest in documenting, reviewing and critiquing the arts / (pop) culture of our time. He also comments on how technology and business play into these fields. He is a columnist, the lead features writer at THISDAY Style (Newspapers) and a contributor to Forbes Africa magazine.

67 Comments

  1. Blossom

    February 18, 2014 at 11:55 am

    First.

  2. Africhic

    February 18, 2014 at 11:58 am

    I love this article. I am usually that lone voice causing a scene when I don’t get the type of service I deserve.

  3. some hater

    February 18, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    shoprite workers!!!!!!

  4. Iyke

    February 18, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    Emphasis on time > A Stated Time Is a Must-Keep Promise!
    I don’t care what time you fix our appointment, what time my meal will be ready, what time the show starts, what time whatever it is we do, but I do care how long you make me wait. Once we agree, every minute beyond assumed expectation disrespects me…and diminishes the importance of the event, reflecting negatively on your intentions. Your intentions left to interpretation concerns me…but ultimately it’s your problem to bear….

  5. her

    February 18, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    Customer service is “nonexistence” in lagos

  6. chikita

    February 18, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    1)i went to an etisalat office, paid them 1k and needed 200 naira change, instead of her to look around for change, this woman just said ‘ i dont have change sorry’.. ah ah .. she’s lucky i was in a hurry because i would’ve blown a fuse up in there.
    2) CHURASCOS- these waiters NEED to either SWITCH UP their behaviour or STOP putting service charge as part of my bill. We were waiting for about 45 minutes for a waiter/waitress to get our drinks, and there was one waitress not too far from us that we kept calling.. no answer.. Lo and behold, some foreigners stepped into churascso for a casual drink.. see how this waitress and about 3 others FLOCKED to them. urgh stuff like that pisses me off. ‘racism’ in my own country.What the Hell, I’m telling you this is why people bleach.. we are not celebrated enough in our country, ah ah.. Everyone should be treated fairly for Pete’s sake and not based on the colour of your skin..hiss

    • Ayodeji. R.

      February 18, 2014 at 1:04 pm

      SKIN CURRENCY!!! This has happened to me more times than I can remember. Its so disgusting. “Emancipate ourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our mind” Bob Marley screamed many a time back in a day. We refuse to heed.

    • Nkeiru

      February 18, 2014 at 1:32 pm

      buhahahahahahahahaha……too funny @ “racism in my own country and this is why people bleach”. Nice piece btw.

  7. Jo!

    February 18, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    *sigh* you’re always angry… Oh, it’s the same article, scratch that

  8. Crofty

    February 18, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    I went to Nigeria for the first time in almost 11 years this Christmas and I was so intimidated by the stone cold, what do you want? who are you? hostile kind of face some shop keepers had on. After a while, I had to get my brother who lives in Nigeria to do the talking for me cos they started thinking I was alien when I said my please and thank you!!

    Naija go betta oo!!

  9. Funto

    February 18, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    You just took the words out of my mouth!
    I get upset to no end (And im not pretty when upset) when it seems like you are merely doing me a favour!
    Hello! Im paying for this “purpoted” favour and I also like to imagine in this “pink floral candy land aka my head-where everything is all nice& rosy” that I am actually by the singular act of paying, contributing to your salary and preventing you from being jobless & roaming the streets of Lagos.

    *loud hiss*

    Its so bad that I get all excited and sweaty in my palms on the extremely rare occassions (perhaps when the moon is blue) when I receive average to exceptional service.

    • Ayodeji. R.

      February 18, 2014 at 1:06 pm

      Me too. I always feel as though a higher power has allotted me some good fortune when I get some exceptional service. I’d be grinning from ear to ear. Sigh.

  10. Chigbo

    February 18, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    You are an angry customer.
    Just like he or she is an angry customer service personnel.
    Everybody is angry in this country called Nigeria. It is a way of life and a culture.
    Just like it is a way of life to greet with a kiss in France.
    That is what Nigerians are known for.
    They wake up angry and go to sleep angry.
    A lot of frustrations both internal and external .

    You just have to learn not to expect good service that way you will not blow a fuse.
    The few times I ve seen good customer service where from 1) people who trained overseas and came back 2) when there was an ulterior motive aka wanted something from me

    My dear angry customer, a word of advice…….learn not to expect too much before you pop an artery in your brain from high blood pressure or relocate to an environment where things like ‘human rights’ and ‘customer feedback/satisfaction’ actually mean something.

    • Leila

      February 18, 2014 at 6:37 pm

      How very ignorant of you, so basically you should put, tolerate or bug off for a paid service. It is small minded people such as yourself that keeps us all in cave land nigger behaviour.

  11. Jescy Eagle

    February 18, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    My experience with a trader… i needed washing soap badly that morning to wash a few laundry. I asked a young girl to buy one for me. I checked for the expiry date and lo & behold; 15th October 2013 was the expiry date, manufactured date was October 2010. I took it back to this woman hoping that she would be sorry and change it for me….i was wrong! she threw it at me and asked me if washing powders or soaps expire. i was shocked! I didnt want to trade words with her bcs i could see that she was very “stupid”….Hmmmmm i took my money and left…Well, i told the entire neighborhood not to buy from her shop bcz every item there has expired…

    • Non professional opinion

      February 18, 2014 at 5:54 pm

      Why were you checking the expiry date on soap. Were you planning to eat it?

    • Eve82

      February 18, 2014 at 6:12 pm

      Jescy this must be the lady who sold that soap to you.

    • sigh

      February 19, 2014 at 2:20 am

      LMAOOOO!!!! Seriously. Expiry denotes ineffectiveness. @nonprofessionalopinion makes stupid comments all the time.

    • Newbie

      February 22, 2014 at 1:43 am

      Lwkmd!

  12. lindanotikeji

    February 18, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    This is Loooooooong, bear with me.

    AIRTEL BIS
    Ignoring the fact that it was priced at 1500,instead of 1k,I subscribed on July 2nd (BIGGEST MISTAKE EVER) On July 5th,just 3 days later,I got a message telling me that I had used up my FUP limit,but could still browse.Immediately,my downloads became extremely slow,Videos that should normally be downloaded in 5mins took an Hour.I called customer care,the lady that picked didn’t even understand what I was talking about.Had to google FUP to see what it meant(google is your friend!) and then I realised that airtel subscribers in other countries have been complaining about its FUP limit for years.

    On July 7th,my BIS went off,I had EDGE on my phone the whole day but couldn’t do anything.Customer care number wasn’t going.Eventually had to pull and re-insert my sim and still couldn’t get network till the next day.I ignored this again

    On saturday July 13th,everything scattered,no pings,couldn’t browse,NOTHING.pulled my sim so many times,still NOTHING.At around 8pm,I could suddenly browse,immediately tried downloading an episode of a TV series,Before it could go halfway,everything scattered again.

    Sunday Morning,I called customer care and got the shock of my life,I was told that the plan isn’t actually unlimited,there’s a 2gig limit and when its exhausted,u have to call them to give u another 2 gig.This basically means that if you’re a heavy internet user like me,you’ll have to call airtel every week for more mb.The customer care rep noticed that I was pissed and started giggling.as I complained that he was telling me nonsense,he actually told me to watch my tone!For Crying out Loud,what kind of customer care rep tells a vexed customer to watch his tone?!?!He then HUNG UP on me!!!

    I checked my a/c balance after the call and discovered that the 1600 I had,had dissappeared,I wearily called back and was told that the 30mins browsing I did @ 8pm on saturday,had exhausted that credit.

    I now understand why many of my friends no longer bother with BIS,but just browse when they can get wifi in their offices.And why some don’t even bother with BBs again,rather buying Iphones and Samsung galaxies.

    My question is why would Airtel advertise a BIS plan as having unlimited browsing,when its actually limited to a mere 2gig and what does the NCC have to say about this???

    TL;DR – AIRTEL customer care is sh*t.

  13. roots

    February 18, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    deji rotinwa lol

  14. Charlie

    February 18, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    I couldn’t agree more with this piece. Simply reading it is opening up the scabbed wounds of my past experiences with the most discourteous shop assistants in Nigeria. I seriously empathise with Crofty. I live in the UK and sometimes I complain about too much customer service. For me, a balance is necessary. Like when you go into a restaurant and within 30 seconds of arriving, the waiters are asking if you are ready to order drinks. In my head, I’m usually like, “Chill man, I’ve not even taken my coat off”. It went on that way throughout the night. It struck me as a bit eager but I guess that is how they have been trained. Customer comes first. Despite this niggly annoyance, I leave as a satisfied customer. Even if I decide not to buy anything, so what?!! What if someone goes in a shop to admire that one thing they have nearly saved enough for?!! Last year in Nigeria, I went to an electronics store in Ikeja. Primarily window shopping but was actually looking for something in particular. I was greeted with the biggest screw face ever. I ignored it. Started looking at their camera; she was following me like I stole her winning lottery ticket. Are you meant to have anti-theft alarms attached to your products? In frustration and feeling uneasy, I left feeling extremely disappointed. I know I’m ranting and maybe I’m asking for too much but just simple manners and decorum will go a very long way. One last think, current state of customer service is lugubrious, sardonic and a pitiable disma-bisma (Shout out to Obahiagbon lol). It doesn’t matter if you are 16, 25, 45 or 65, everyone gets the same treatment. Should they care if their customers are working class or middle class? NO! Anyway, some people are just doughnuts wont get it. That is all!

    • Warri Babe

      February 18, 2014 at 3:09 pm

      Charlie, your grammar sef,lool!! but sincerely I always thought I was the one who overreacted at times!!!! I know life could be frustrating but it’s not an excuse for such poor customer relations>>A simple smile can work magic! My cousin who used to be a front desk officer is a testimony of that and I know where she is today just because of a simple smile and courtesy. Respect is key regardless of Class or Age, I can imagine Adenuga or Dangote meeting those attendants, their countenance will definitely change and it shouldn’t be so.

  15. Zayt

    February 18, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    Customer service in 9ja! hian! U go wait tire..!

  16. mma

    February 18, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    The most annoying is when someone tries to complain, people will start looking at u like u’re some trouble make.
    Pls BN I would really love to submit a write up. How do I go about it?

    • Damilare Aiki

      February 18, 2014 at 2:38 pm

      Hi Mma,

      Please send an e-mail to [email protected]

    • http://www.hairmillionaire.blogspot.com

      February 19, 2014 at 12:14 am

      Seriously, the bfirst month in Lagos, I walked into the bank and two guys went past the 30man strong queue to the front, when I complained, the cashier told me “Aunty wait it won’t take long” No not me, you have the wrong babe today, I made sure they didn’t finish their transaction, I don’t care how much money you are depositing, standing in a queue and waiting your turn is a universal concept, but I pick my rants wisely, its not every battle I have to fight.

  17. anonymous

    February 18, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    etisalat office and change palaver, the fair guy at the office in siverbird galleria sure knows how to make you feel guilty for not giving him the exact amount. he was so customer unfreindly. people like that should be kept inside not attending to customers.

  18. AREA CODE

    February 18, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    customer service ko, agbero service ni! some years back I walked into a new generation bank to make an enquire and the first thing I was told was “can’t you greet?” I was flabberwhelmed and overgasted to say the least ,some months later I went to complain about the ATM service and how I can’t come back for the same purpose cause I needed the cash immediately and they have stopped dispensing such amount over the counter ,one of their workers replied me with “you have money to buy an expensive meal, but something something rude sha” won’t say the rest but it was a nasty response . let me say that was the last day anyone in that bank ever spoke to me in a rude manner ,I gave them an earful and walked out of the place the next time I went there everyone had a smile for me including the gateman,

  19. Fabulicious

    February 18, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    Naija,lord have mercy….wait till you go to genesis cinema to see a movie and they tell you it’s no more showing,even when the time is clearly on the screen and the girls go “ehhh,watch another one nah, this animation too is nice”. Shuooo,Nne did I leave my house to come and watch animation movie.

  20. ENIOLA

    February 18, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    Rotinwa, you’re so on point on this.
    Apart from being an angry customer. I’m not an Atoke or a Socially awkward writer pls bear with me but trust me, you’ll get the gist.
    How do you advertise your service to the general public and expect customers or people to patronize you from far and near, most of these people as the case is, would be mostly based on ”let’s just give them a try” or your advert was aired just in time when your kind of service was in consideration. I pick your number from your ad of the said service, visit your website and so on to ascertain the validity of your business according to your advert. I put a call through to you, you text your prize range, I call back to declare my choice and request that you forward your Bank details. After I make payment, I call to ask if you’ve gotten an alert, you say No that you’ll let me know as soon as you do – that was on a Friday. Monday, Hello oga have you gotten an alert now? eeeem, I don’t even know. How much did you send again? (see, wahala- all booked up or overbusy?)
    Fast forward to when I need your service delivered in 5 days. Hello, good morning. I just wanted to remind you that the event is in 5 days time. eh ehn, okay okay, don’t worry. Alright I’ll send the address to you via text now. Hello, have you gotten my text and do you understand it? ehn no, I will check it and call you if there’s a problem. oh please do. Hours later, hello, you didn’t call back as promised, I’ve not even checked it, don’t worry.
    Trust me no be scam, their services are for real. Just can’t wait for them to mess up on the d-day.

  21. dma

    February 18, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    I just couldn’t stop laughing reading this article. I almost had a door slammed to my face at a clothing shop in Ikeja Lagos and also ignored for almost 20minutes! My offence I was wearing a combat short and a t-shirt the lady attendant finally got my attention when out of the blue my phone rang and I started talking on the phone to my wife whom I left back in New England. Somehow the attended eavesdropped on my conversation and figured out that I am based abroad it was only then I heard the word can I help you sir what would u like to buy!!! Waoooo and when I finally brought out 2 bundles of some thousand naira notes out of my combat shorts pocket I got a lot more than I bargained for!
    Naija!!!!!!

  22. my wife is Fiiiine!!

    February 18, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    Now i know i am definitely not Cray, the one that erks me the most is the change thing. I can maybe overlook a small mom and pop shop not having change, but when you start to go into the big supermarkets and you are greeted with the no change slogan and there is a bank next door to your business;i just cant deal with that. I always fly of the handle, forget about decorum; the real alaiye in me comes out “My FGC Okigwe days are still in my veins and can be summoned at very short notice.” I mean if you are a business and you have a bank thats 10mins at the most from you, common sense should tell you that you prob want to bank with them and get your change orders from them and not tell me you have no change. beyond STUPID is what we have become. They just dont care, and that is why we keep voting in Animals. My dream is to set up my own store and do things exactly the way it shoould be done; customer service sells. I try to lecture waiters and waitresses in Naijat on the importance of customer service; i tell them Nigerians are generous people and how they could easily make between 1k to 2k on a daily basis from tips if they just provide exceptional service. i mean 2k*30 is 60k. Truth is they dont care, they would rather look for a way to steal from you if they notice that you are in any way inebriated. I am very pained to say this but right before our very eyes we are becoming and will be a wasted generation if enough good people dont start to Speak up. If you go to a restaurant and they waste your time,wait till they bring the food and get up and leave; take your money elsewhere. I have never waited 30mins here in the US to be seated at any restaurant, my wife and sister think i am crazy but thats ok. I just will not spend my money on an establishment that doesnt understand that service is key.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      February 19, 2014 at 3:01 pm

      A completely WASTED generation, if nothing is done. Truly and unrepentantly WASTED, USELESS, LOST generation. That’s where we’re headed at full-speed in Nigeria today… forgive my ire, I’ve just come off the post about the girl who got killed.

  23. Speak Out

    February 18, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    The list is endless………….. I totally agree with your write up Deji…. The worst part is that they make it seem like you are very unreasonable and irrational………

  24. Beacon

    February 18, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    Few days ago one TFC popcorn girl i( had been waiting for her at the popcorn stand over 20 minutes as I really needed to get popcorn for my daughter ),came back from wherever it is she had disappeared to ,offered no apologies for keeping me waiting,bagged the popcorn,I handed her N500 and she yelled back at me,No change!I was livid,In annoyance I gave her a lesson or two on things she lacked in customer service and actually wanted to write a formal letter to TFC about her,but by the time I got back to my office,events had overtaken it and I just let it go.

  25. Angela

    February 18, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    Reading this on a day that I have contiuosly battled with GTBank careonline just says everything. This piece speaks my mind. Its terrible. Customer care service still has a long way to go in this country. Another thing that pisses me off is after buying something at a supermarket, they tell you no 10 naira change. I’m like duh, other shops know little change issues are bound to happen, so they keep a box of sweets on the table, its just an option, you can take the sweet instead of leaving your 10 naira. So what do you want me to do? Do you know how much you will get in a day if every customer that walks into your shop leaves their 10 naira for you? Sometimes I insist, most times I see my self as a lone voice, I look around me and the next customer could possibly be thinking; “ah mada, na 10 naira you no fit leave?” so I just leave.

  26. c'est moi

    February 18, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    I can’t help myself but share this. When I gave birth to my son, he is my first and only so the process was not funny. I was in labour for over 31hours. The midwife on night shift was an angel sent from heaven! she held my hand, was constantly there talking to me and encouraging me. words can never express the role she played, it was as though she was family. The lady who took over by 6am was another amazing being. You can imagine my frustration, labouring all night without any pain relief, i had reached my breaking point. I couldn’t even understand what anyone said to me but she understood my situation and was supportive anyway etc etc Finally my Slushy came. Fast forward 3months after my ordeal, my sis-inlaw came from Nigeria to chill with us, see her nephew… and i was givnig her the load down (you know everyone wants to hear your birthing process naw) and she was like eeehhhh??? then she told me her friend’s experience. Apparently, the lady fainted while pushing and guess what? the nurse slapped the living daylight outta the woman screaming ‘you wan kill ya pikin?’. As she told me this story, i felt a chill run down my spine. I was well taken care of and treated like an egg in another man’s country by a lovely angel, ever so patient, ever so kind and willing to offer a hand, a total stranger! this lady on the other was physically abused while going through the most challenging ordeal a woman can ever experience by a fellow woman, same race, same skin, same country person- she could be referred to as your sister. It’s scary and sad at thesame time. I get that the economy is bad and all but you are who you are. If you can’t have compassion on your fellow country men, the economy can blossom all it wants, you will never change. I still await the day i will get an amazing customer service from a Nigerian in Nigeria. @Ayodeji, don’t stop lamenting, not until someone hears, listens and change is evident. Mind you, this is just one story, i have one too many like this one and i know we all do. ee go better!

    • D

      March 31, 2014 at 2:43 pm

      Is this the 21st century? 31hrs of labour with no relief??? What happen to EPIDURAL????I had to check the date on this piece and it sure said 2014.

  27. Ayorinde

    February 18, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    This piece just answered d unending question running thru my mind…Like Nigeria customer service personnel are all trained to be uncouth? I went on a business trip with my ofc team, and @ d hotel d receptionist was exceptionally rude even when we were about spending more than a half a million?i couldn’t just hlp it, I asked her to gladly resign if she is tayad of working bcos d last tym I chked der are millions of unemployed Nigerians out der scouting for d opportunity she has.

  28. Tru

    February 18, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    My 2 cents: Us Nigerians claim to have a culture that espouses respect for others but, truth is, we lack courtesy and are huge hypocrites. Simple. And this is reflected in Customer Service, amongst others (check out the way we drive, for goodness’ sake!)

    • nene

      February 18, 2014 at 8:31 pm

      you got it. nigerians lack COURTESY.

  29. D for Denzel

    February 18, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    I have been waiting forever to read something like this! Bless ur heart writer! i have always taken it upon myself as a task to “school” any silly customer service person who doesn’t understand his/her job! people look like me like i’m a trouble maker n stuff ..buh that’s their headache mehn! as far as i am paying for it you must be polite! In fact its like these customer service people can now sense that i am just waiting to be “tried” because i have been receiving average performance lately and haven’t had to “school” anyone recently …hahaha

  30. D for Denzel

    February 18, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    forgive typos *look at me *average customer service

  31. Poison Ivy

    February 18, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    For me,MTN is the worst,they are like abusive boyfriends that won’t stop until you quite.Their internal & external customer service is crap(total crap).Thank God from delivering from their charms
    Officially reping the “green pasture network”(glo),so far so good.

  32. Esco www.woahnigeria.wordpress.com

    February 18, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    In our dear country Naija, the customer service culture is suffering.

    Back in the day for example, the good folk at the shoe store chain Bata (now Famad apparently) had the most professional attendants who helped you pick and try mountains of shoes and sandals if need be, until you walked out of the branch, smiling with your purchase.

    That was then.
    And it is funny how some restaurateurs claim “Food is Ready” or the plusher joints have the a big beautiful advert board showing an array of pies, muffins and pastries , but when you get into the joint, all they left is fufu and hot Golden Guinea beer? Or the chicken they offer you in the store looks like the carcass of a local fowl, while the one advertised on the board was a battery reared hen?

    Back in University, there was this popular eatery whose owner who used to welcome students in with a frown and a verbal rundown of what was not on the menu: “Eba no dey. Fufu don finish. Rice dey fire. Fridge don spoil, I no go market so no fish, I de pick stone for inside beans”. Right, I don’t suppose the medium rare steak and a bottle of your finest Bordeaux are available?

    Believe you me; you get much better customer service at a roadside market, than you do at a bank or from a GSM or Internet Service Provider. At least the wee girl that hawks gra-nut (Nigerian for groundnut) on my street, gives me jara every time. Talk about BOGOF (buy one get one free!).

    • B!

      April 7, 2014 at 4:00 pm

      LMAO Mr.Esco!!!! Please write all these things on your blog. Stop lurking on BN… you haven’t posted anything on your blog in ages!

  33. sparkles

    February 18, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    Thank u so much for this writeup.. my experience with BRT ticket sellers comes to mind after reading this write up. I take the bus practically almost everyday. They never have change. Am sure if i calculate all the 20 naira i have to let go of because of this change issue, it will be enough to buy me a whole booklet of tickets. And they are never sorry,always rude n saucy. They’ll even tell u that ur change is too small, that other people’s change can buy more than that. can u imagine the crap? I hope one of them reads this and they endeavor to make a change.

    • Ready

      February 20, 2014 at 10:58 am

      BRT own no too hard o. I usually take the exact amount (I’d rather buy recharge cards or biscuits) or if I’m gonna take it morning and night for a while and I’ve got 1k on me, knowing my ticket costs say…N70, I’ll calculate a figure that’ll give me round figure change. So, I can buy 10, that way, they can’t tell me they don’t have N300 change.
      I’ve left my N10 once because the bus was approaching, and chick tried to collect my ticket back from me because she has no change. In their defense, the CBN hasn’t printed smaller denominations in a while cause they’re trying to return from polymer to paper. #Jona2015CampaignThievery (But I digress)

  34. Ife Love

    February 18, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    You are so on point with your write up and it could be so annoying. It irks me when customers service personnels look as though your willingness to buy their products is irritating. I remember going to the sweet sensation on Allen Avenue to get a cake for my friend’s bridal shower sometime ago. The cakes they had were not so attractive and we requested for some modification(Spraying some edible color on the cake) to make it look better and they were insultive in a way. I told them I had to have the cake and they had no choice but to make the modification. They eventually did it after about 45mins and serious dressing down o. I expressly told them to retrain themselves even if they were previously trained and bear in mind that there are always exceptions to the rule. They eventually were polite when they saw the money and the car that we used but i expressly told them I would not patronise them except they are the last resort..Twas soo soooooo irritating biko.
    Another one that gets to me is when you are lodged in a hotel for some reason(festive or official) and room service takes several calls and well over an hour to deliver. Speaking of people who will end up wondering why they are not receiving favors.
    I don’t give people crappy service and I dont take it.Simple!!!
    And most of those clothing store attendants vie for the top slot in crappy service delivery

    • Blessmyheart

      February 18, 2014 at 8:34 pm

      Room service ehn! So I was at this hotel and I called to order dinner, they didn’t have meat, fish or any protein. Really? Was I supposed to eat food without protein? Ok, please make noodles and egg for me and they brought it after an hour and half, saying they had many visitors and few staff. Seriously? I refused to collect the food and made sure I didn’t eat in that hotel till I left town.

    • Ife Love

      February 19, 2014 at 9:48 am

      As in…! It’s as though they take courses in slow delivery services. Like you are expected to do their jobs for them. When that happens, I just jejely find my way elsewhere to eat….

  35. fairygodsister

    February 18, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    Thought the article was stellar till I saw this comment, “I don’t suppose the medium rare steak and a bottle of your finest Bordeaux are available?”

    Dead!! My stories with customer care in Nigeria will fill a book, and some! Not trying to spam, but here are three (of the lot), and how I sorted them.

    Hotel in Edo with chef teaching me the difference between onions and leeks (smh) – fairygodsister.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/edo-decides-part-3-the-morning-after/

    GTBank and my atm card (which they ended up posting to me) – fairygodsister.wordpress.com/2013/04/02/gtb-and-me-short-story/

    Stanbic IBTC and online banking (sigh) – fairygodsister.wordpress.com/2013/11/18/another-bank-another-story-seriously/

  36. Confused sister

    February 18, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    It’s everywhere, not just in Lagos. Nigerians are rude! Very rude!!!!!

  37. Dr. N

    February 18, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    I moved to Lagos few years ago. Hubby had d car as I didn’t know my way around. Each time I walked past the estate security men, they looked at me like they didn’t know me. When I was a passenger in hubby’s car, they were very cordial. Fast forward to few months later, when I got a car, see hailing na! Hypocrisy is too much in Naija o!
    As for the lady in labour who received a slap, she got off lightly. Such people are still under the illusion of traditional practices, where instead of encouraging, you bullied the woman in labour. We’ll get there. http://www.drnsmusings.wordpress.com

  38. Angel

    February 18, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    Even outside the country, Nigerians are seen as very aggressive and impolite.

  39. nene

    February 18, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    most nigerians are frustrated (and you can’t blame them), hence the aggressive, brash, violent, impolite, rude and non challant behaviour.

  40. nene

    February 18, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    when i returned to nigeria i was soo polite. i was shopping for clothes for a birthday party and the woman who owned the store and her sales girls were telling me that i should be more aggressive and not too nice because people will take advantage of me. i was shocked because i was just being courteous but to them, they felt i was too nice and calm, maybe even naive. i have to say, the culture has gotten to me but each time travel out, i realise how rude i’ve become and there’s a temporary change back and forth.

  41. bola

    February 18, 2014 at 9:07 pm

    My own sad story was at Abuja Clinics. I was having Sore throat that was giving me mad fever apparently was a bacterial infection. I left my office on Friday and gott there with a raging fever and saw the doctor after waiting for close to an hour and sleeping off on the seat with my mouth wide open. I finally see the doctor and explains my situation and she prescribes paracetamol and amoxylin antibiotics and then asks me to go for test which I took her papers and get to the lab and meet a long queue but I can’t wait cos I have a bad fever and my eyes are turning so I go back to pick my drugs and leave and am asked to sign the bill and it was much and am politely ask for the tests to be cancelled cos I can’t wait again as I need to lie down and sleep and they ask me to see a doctor which I do and I ask her to please forget the test and allow me pick the drugs and leave and do the test elsewhere and she says y and I say that cos I can’t wait and my fever is high and she finally remembers to slip a thermometer in my armpit to check and sees my temp and says oh wow its very high and gives me injection to bring it down and asks me to go and come back for my result. Now how does a sick person with a high fever, clearly weak and a painful sore throat leaves and comes back in the hot sun anyway I left but didn’t come back. I took her drugs and decided not to go back since the main result for the throat swab would be out in 2 days and am supposed to manage on her drugs so I suffer from high fever for two days since her drugs didn’t work and I finally go back after two days and they asked me to wait to see a doc before I get my result so I sit for 2 hours and no doc is forthcoming so I go to the Lab and ask for my test results so I can use it to go any pharmacist or another hospital and get treatment since their doc isn’t available and they said no I must see a doc first and am like ave been waiting for two hours and no doc and they said I should still wait and then I loose my patience and start yelling for my results so I can leave as I cannot start taking the test elsewhere and they finally release it and I go and the next thing Abuja Clinics writes my husband’s office that is paying the bills to report me. Please where did I go wrong here? We have really suffered in Naija o

  42. mia

    February 19, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    once you tell me no change, i drop the stuff and walk away and i do not fail to give you a piece of my mind. on security men, they have a begging culture embedded in their DNA, they probably got that from their ancestors, the Nigerian police. if you harass me as a security man, i will harass yo back and dare you to lay a finger on me.

    i once took a cab who was meant to drop me at a certain location, he knew is battery was bad but decided to do nothing about it, so the vehicle did not start some few mins walk to my destination, i came down and reduced his money, he started running after me, i made him walk all the way to my destination, schooled about his folly and entered in to the premises as i knew he would not be allowed without an ID card. that should teach him a lesson.

  43. Retta

    February 19, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    That the reason why you need to hire L&L E- planning for your events. We have the best customer service in Nigeria. We are small but we are growing. We cater, we usher, we waiter with a smile. Book us for your outdoor/indoor events today… 🙂

    Click on my name to be redirected to link. Thank you.

  44. Kay

    February 19, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    Hey all, next time this happens email their name and details to [email protected], we’re going to publicize their misbehavior!
    @ayorotinwa please spread the word

  45. Señora_nc

    February 19, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    This is kinda loonngggg::: Even shop-owners can be so NOT nice!!! Went on a crazy baby shopping spree during the first trimester of my pregnancy. Stumbled into some baby shop and bought a couple of stuff including a Graco Playard and Avent Infant starter feeding bottles. On getting home, I took a proper look at my purchase and then noticed that the seal for the feeding bottle just looked fake and I decided to break the seal and open it. Lo and behold, the bottles looked old and had scratch marks on them. Mad as hell, I decided to go back to the shop. The sales girl really couldn’t help so I took her madam’s number and phoned her. The lady never wanted to listen to me, and rudely told me that I had already broken the seal of the feeding bottles and so she won’t help me. Appalled by her rudeness over the phone, I angrily left the feeding bottles at the shop and vowed NEVER to set foot let alone feet in that shop again.
    I have a daughter now and I recall the shop had really nice baby girl clothing….horrid shop owner may never know this but she just lost me (a first-time-mommy who goes on a crazy shopping spree for her daughter lol) as a loyal customer!!!

  46. Barbara

    February 21, 2014 at 11:25 am

    Nice piece, this is one thing i hate here in Nigeria, I always end up being the fighter because of this, I cant be asking for good service when I’m paying for it. Why should you frown, when you are being paid, i dont think anyone forced you to work. Customer service is really horrible in Naija and because of this I always demand a good service and end up quareling everywhere I go because the owner or manager must hear me. I am not a trouble maker, I just like things to be right. Thank fully my husband supports me, so we are called the roaring couple. winks

  47. Narnia

    February 28, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Lmao the comments are giving me life!! Nigerians are tooo funny man!
    But yh Nigeria customer service is wack!!! Everyone seems angry with life loool

  48. Temitope

    March 27, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    Lmao…true!

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