I went into a FarEast branch tonight to apply for a monthly service with them as a few of my friends use them.
My Chinese isn’t the best so the first store called customer service who translated that the head office had no issue with me getting a line. The manager then grabbed the phone and I could hear her tell the customer service woman that they prefer to give me prepaid service, of course, because I am a foreigner.
Customer service didn’t want to argue so after all that time with her discussing plans with me over the phone, she said that the store will give me a prepaid card. I just asked her directly, the manager doesn’t want to give me a monthly plan right? and she said she didn’t. The customer service rep gave me the corporate store address and said go there.
I then went over there. The girl got visibly flustered the moment I walked in and realized that she was dealing with a non Chinese speaker. Even though I had a dictionary, she kept nervously laughing and barely even looked at it when I was showing her what I meant. She immediately grabbed the phone again and we got the same customer service lady who advised the same as before.
The woman at the store told customer service that her manager wants her to sign people up on a 2 year contract, and not issue month to month plans even though Fareastone has such plans She told customer service that if I want a no contract plan I will have to come back tomorrow til she talks to her manager. I intend to stay in Taiwan but things happen and I don’t want to be tied in a contract when I own my own phone. It seems the store gets more money for contracts.
I thanked the customer service lady and said I will call her tomorrow when the manager gets in the store to help facilitate the transaction, and I asked if she is working tomorrow. She said she was not so I said how about Tuesday. She giggled and didn’t answer me so I asked again and she said that yes, she works Tuesday. I had forgot her name that she gave me the first time so I asked her again for it. She ignored me and said, anything else you need today, and I said yes, your name please. She said ok, you can put the other woman on the phone now, so I asked a third time and she went quiet and repeated, can I speak to the other lady now? I put her back on the phone with the lady in the store, who in the end said she didn’t know the name of the woman i was talking to.
To end it all I advised I will be back tomorrow to speak to the manager. (this was in Mandarin) to which she replied ‘ting bu dong’ but when I left the store she was telling her friend that the weiguoren will be back tomorrow re: speaking to the manager and they both laughed nervously again.
What a mess… With the first store, even with customer service telling them it was ok, they obviously didn’t feel comfortable giving me a monthly plan
the second store girl was completely flustered the instant i walked in and made everything extremely difficult. And customer service it appears has no power over the corporate store to make them do anything, and finally, no contract = no service, even though customer service said they offer it.
What a cluster *
From all my experiences here, it seems that we are just tolerated in Taiwan as a bit of a nuisance, but essentially a non entity that any company cares to be concerned about.