Customer Service. AHHH!

Since I’v e been in Taiwan I have been lovin it! (Mostly)!

I have gotten used to the traffic, beetle nut spitting, non verbal communication, even waiters you have to lasso to get to come to the table. etc.

I can deal with all of it, but when it comes to customer service concerning purchased products. I am going crazy still!

I here these stories of incompetence and or lying even from my Taiwanese friends and adult students. If just drives me batty!

My digital camera for instance, a Sony Cyber-shot was having some problems after 14 months of use. 2 months after warranty of course. I treat that camera like a baby too. After taking it to the shop the guy looked at it like it was from the 23rd century! He said he would have to send it to the 'factory": Cost NT2,500. It had a lens problem and some color issues. Well got it back in 2 weeks :fume: It worked in the shop. 3 days later, same problem. Took it back and they said sorry, and I had to wait 6 more days to get it back…working fine so far. had to beg for a receipt.

PC nightmare! Bought my PC 7 months ago. Told them what I wanted and got my new 25,000 dollar PC in 2 hours! :bravo: After 7 months crack, then smoke! Power blew out. Well it was under warranty. Took it back and asked the how long? Answer after some chit chat by the college age Pc “geeks” discussing the problem… I… don’t know? Well got it back 17 days later after calling them twice and asking a Taiwanese friend to help. SloooooW. It was just a burnt out power unit, did they ship it from Alaska!?!

Hey in the USA, where I am from car mechanics are rip off artists, but most electronic stores and retailers do have decent service. I know this is Taiwan, but I hear horror stories worse than this from local people.

Anyone else feel this way, or am I going overboard. :help:

I think its great in a way, with fuck nuts like these, its going to keep Taiwan in the manufacturing industry and allow western countries to dominate service based industries. But hey, over here they like it cheap and nasty and with 80NT wages and high turnover of local staff there isn’t much motivation to provide service…but of course it works both ways too, if customers always swap to the cheapest “service provider” / outlet, then its those companies that will survive and thrive.

So Dangergrl, you are complaining that they are too slow to repair things and you want it faster? Did you ask them to go faster? Are you sure it is faster in the country where you are from? So if I understand, you posted this rant simply because they took too long to repair your electronic stuff?

I think one thing that is bad about Taiwan customer service is their policies, like getting your money back if even within 7 days you return something unused. They will only allow you to exchange not return your money. However, I think their customer service attitude is better than in the USA for example. They can take a lot of shit from me and others and maintain their calm and cool. I have had bitchy customer service agents in the USA get an attitude before I even open my mouth, they have hung up on me and challenged me like with things like “sir, you need to calm down or I am not going to help you”, etc. In Taiwan they never lose their cool, even if you do.

Repairs are not the highest priority for electronics companies. If you drive a nice car like a BMW or Benz and need to get something repaired, they do it immediately and serve you coffee cake, have 42 inch plasmas to watch and free internet to surf, loaner cars, pickup service from your home etc. Come on, who cares about your 14 month old Sony camera. Maybe they had to send it back to Japan or there is only one trained technician for all of Taiwan.

Look Hobart, I think its a case of the straw that broke the camels back as they say. If that was the only shitty customer service she received in Taiwan, I’m sure she wouldn’t be ranting.

As for your comments about them “taking it”. Thats what Taiwanese do… they just take it. Its nothing to do with their customer service policies, its Taiwanese culture. And then they do nothing… because employees aren’t empowered to make decisions here… you have bosses that micromanage instead of developing the companies strategy. (which is usually simply make it cheaper… and copy that new thingamee that came out of [insert Japan/US/Korea])

After eating a plate of kung pow chicken at a reputable teahouse, I had to run to the bathroom to barf. when I arrived at the bathroom i was loathe to discover that I was not the first (or second, or third) person to barf. The chicken they had served was rancid and several patrons had gotten sick in a matter of a few minutes.

The only service i, and my fellow barfers, were offered was a “bu hao yi se.” and a pat on the back.


so it goes…


I just got an Ice milk tea from my favorite tea shop today and it had no tea taste at all - all cream. I took it back and told them and they promptly made me a new one using more tea and less cream. Your mileage may vary!

What did they do with the first cup after you returned it to them?

Ha ha ha ha…You try getting your computer replaced within two hours in England.
You take it to the shop. They look at it and they take it away. Two months later it comes back, still not working. Send it back again, two months later, back it comes but still not 100%

Give up.

And my laptop:

Phone up the company.
“Can you send it down to us? We can do the work for you on the same day.”
So I drive down to Slough which is miles away from where I live.
"Who told you we can do it on the same day? No, we need to send it back to the factory. It will take about 6 weeks.

Bang head against wall and draw blood.

Infact anything in the UK service-wise is worse than in Taiwan, from getting internet service to plumbing work to getting your front door painted.

And then we have impersonal centres where everybody speaks English, but with a really incomprehensible Glasweigian or Indian accent.

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If you have problems with Sony camera products go directly to the Sony repair center in Xinyi. Lost the address and phone number though perhaps you can google it or ask at shops that sell Sony products. I think it’s on Song Ren Rd., between Taipei City Hall and Houshan Pi MRT station, heading North and within walking distance from Zhongxiao East Rd., not 100% though about the road name (could also be a road that runs parallel to Song Ren).
I found them very helpful and efficient, they ‘fixed’ my overseas-purchased DV camera on the same day, for free (actually they didn’t find a fault with it but I am sure it didn’t work when I brought it to there).

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Tips on how to get (to) Customer Service: Union Bank of Taiwan issued me a credit card - no guarantor! When I was first approached about the card in the City Hall MRT last year, I said, “我不會講中文 (Wǒ bù huì jiǎng zhōngwén)”, and when he persisted, I then said in English, “I am a foreigner”, to which he paused then replied, “it’s ok!”

Here’s the thing: Union Bank isn’t set up to handle inquiries for the functionally illiterate Mandarin speaker. So, their website and customer service line are only in Chinese. I know that if I could make it to a live person, there is a chance that she or he will speak enough English (and my embarrassing Mandarin ability will be just enough) to handle basic but useful requests, like

  • What is my balance?
  • I just paid my balance, when can you reactivate my card?
  • Please reactivate my card
  • Please cancel the last transaction

Here’s my tip: instead of trying to understand bits of Chinese that are streamed over the phone when the service menu is recited (only to find out there probably isn’t any number to press to reach a live person), just press 1 and wait. That’s it. I still don’t know what pressing 1 is really for, but pressing 1 and doing nothing else eventually gets me to someone I can plead my case to.

TL;DR: To speak to an operator at UBOT Credit Card, dial (02) 2545-5168, press 1 and hold on - someone will pick up

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I tried this again this afternoon. Pressing 1 and waiting didn’t get me anywhere - the voice menu was repeated 3 or 4 times and then they said goodbye. But when I called again and kept pressing 1 over and over, the system did push me over to a human.

I was able to reach an English customer service page for E.sun Bank (

Earlier, I failed to get around the customer phone service, but by adding E.Sun to my LINE, and starting a chat with it, I was able to get this error message: 有問題需要幫忙嗎?
歡迎使用24小時【智能客服】即時互動諮詢: 玉山銀行智能客服

I spotted the EN Link in the upper right corner of the page, which landed me here: E.sun Bank (

Then, by asking a question like, “Why can not I use my credit card?”, I received this reply:

The possible reasons of why credit card doesn’t work are as follows:
(1) Exceeds the credit limit.→Used Credit Limit
(2) Over payment due date.→Credit Card Payment
(3) You haven’t activated it.
(4) Entering the wrong credit card information.
(5) Credit card is damaged.
(6) It’s expired.

※ You are also welcome to contact our call center at (02)2182-1313#7

So now I know how to get to an English menu in E.Sun phone banking. Sort of. But I’m not complaining – this is more than I was expecting earlier. OK, I guess I was hoping too much at that point that I would get to an English-speaking service rep, because I didn’t. Instead, the nice person who answered tried to get me to give her my number so she could ask her English-speaking Teammates to call me back.

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I’ve found it to be pretty common in the UK etc. that you can bypass automated systems at banks and so on just by hammering a few buttons or otherwise ignoring what the system is asking you to do. After a couple of attempts, the system often just tells you to hold so they can transfer you to a human. I always assumed they did this for accessibility purposes to accommodate disabled customers and/or people using older devices.

It seldom works in Taiwan though. Often when I’ve tried, it just hangs up on you lol. :roll_eyes: